Back After A Long Absence, and Finally Certain

Page 1 of 1 [ 7 posts ] 

Gebodragon
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 7

12 Nov 2021, 9:59 am

Hi, everyone,

I joined WP back in 2012, posted just a couple of times, and then disappeared until now. It was in 2012 that I began to seriously suspect that I was on the spectrum. I did a lot of reading and research, and took every online assessment test I could find, which all confirmed my suspicion. I saw a clinical psychologist who knew me quite well, having treated me in connection with other issues for several years, and she agreed with me, telling me "consider yourself diagnosed," even while admitting that she was by no means an expert and knew very little about autism. She even apologized for having missed it; in fact, it would have made a huge difference in the years of therapy I'd done with her, which had been very difficult for me, and in some ways even traumatizing; I'd always felt like I was a failure at it.

I figured I'd never be able to afford a formal assessment. So I didn't tell anyone, just kept the information to myself, and went on. Fast forward to this year, when I was seeing another therapist, online, during an especially bad episode of depression related mostly I think to pandemic isolation (I'd moved to a new state, and had no opportunities to connect with any people outside of work, and the two family members I live with), and I told her about my belief that I was autistic and about the "diagnosis" by my former therapist. She must have seen something in my interactions with her that was convincing enough, and she immediately offered to refer me for an assessment that would be covered by my insurance. In February of this year, the assessment was done by a neuropsychologist specializing in adult assessment, and I finally had my formal diagnosis, ASD Level One.

I'm 66 years old, and for the last year I've been continuing to learn about autism, processing how profoundly my whole life has been affected by what I didn't know about myself, and trying to figure out what it means for me going forward at this late stage in life.

I have known since very early childhood that I was different, even feeling like an outsider in my own family. I did well in school academically, but socially life has always been a nightmare. Middle school was the absolute worst, for a lot of reasons. I had no family support; my family were quite dysfunctional, my parents were poorly educated, and would never have even heard of autism, and I was meant to just "get over it" when I was having any sort of problem. High school was much better because music was my most intense special interest, and I was very good at it, playing an instrument all through high school and college and into graduate school. It gave me a built-in tribe of other musical, nerdy kids, and this, I believe, probably saved my life.

Anyway, there's so much more--years and years of relationship struggles, two unfinished master's degrees, job struggles, several years on disability after a massive burnout and breakdown, years of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, years of being underemployed, years of feeling like a failure at life, of feeling broken and damaged, etc. I know that many of you can relate.

I also went through a gender transition at age 52, after living my whole life as a girl and then a woman, another reason my struggles were dismissed and not taken seriously. That improved life for me in a great many ways--making me more comfortable in my own skin, and the trans community is wonderful and welcoming--but it wasn't the answer to everything. I still was aware that something wasn't right.

Now, just as I've finally retired--I still work a couple of days a week at a job that I can tolerate, just for some extra money--I have the time to re-examine and reframe my entire life through a lens that is finally clear enough for me to see, and to come to terms with all of it. I have been very isolated generally for the last three years after moving to a new city (I do live with family members, so there is that, but I'm talking about other social contacts), and I am longing to connect with other people like me.

I'm glad to see so many other people near my age here who have dealt with a lifetime of not knowing. It makes me feel much less alone. I'm glad to be back. Sorry for the very long post. It's all been bottled up for such a long time. Also, I don't want to imply that my life has been all bad; I have been very very fortunate also in a great many ways, and right now, I can honestly say that my life has never been better.

Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to getting to know some of you.



Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,828
Location: U.S.A.

12 Nov 2021, 10:29 am

Welcome back! I always consider it a good sign when someone decides WP is worth returning to.

And, four posts in ten years?! So far you are doing an excellent job of not flooding WP with posts! :lol:

I am surprised at how easily you found someone to do an Adult Autism Assessment. Largely due to my insurance company being clueless, finding someone to do the assessment was the most difficult part of mine. But I was delighted when I got my diagnosis:

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)
Though I admit joining the ranks of the paid unemployed (retired!) had much more practical value.

Welcome!


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Tim_Tex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 43,600
Location: Abbottistan

12 Nov 2021, 1:41 pm

Welcome to WP!


_________________
Who’s better at math than a robot? They’re made of math!


autisticelders
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 883
Location: Alpena MI

13 Nov 2021, 6:11 am

welcome home, I have a similar story, suspected autism in my early 60's and it was a surprise but a relief to think I might have an answer to so many of my struggles over the sordid and painful past.

I was formally diagnosed at age 68, so 2 years in now after diagnosis , I am 70 today and living a life of self understanding and self accommodation.
It is like the lights were finally turned on and I can see where I am and how I got here at last!

Welcome back home, you are definitely not alone!

Diagnosis made all the difference to my life.


_________________
https://oldladywithautism.blog/

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson


AnonymousAnonymous
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 63,662
Location: Portland, Oregon

14 Nov 2021, 2:31 pm

Welcome back to Wrong Planet! :D


_________________
Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


Juliette
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,559
Location: Surrey, UK

14 Nov 2021, 3:25 pm

Welcome back :). Enjoyed reading all that you wrote and no need to ever apologise for sharing your journey. So good to read you’re in a better, happier place now. Good to have you with us.



Gebodragon
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 7

15 Nov 2021, 6:45 pm

Thanks, everyone, for welcoming me back. I'm often more lurker than poster online, but I hope to change that here, as I am definitely eager for interaction with other folks like me.