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Tiff B
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Location: Saumur, France

06 Jun 2024, 9:40 am

Hello!

This is my very first post here.

For the moment I am self-diagnosed but I have a couple of appointments in July to start the diagnostic process. I'm both really looking forward to it and also dreading it. Trying to psych myself up and be well prepared, but I live in France and I am afraid that we're not quite as advanced as folks in North-America for ex... that makes me worry a bit.

I am a 44 yr old woman, and an adept chameleon. I also have CPTSD from going through some crappy stuff when I was super young, and I also have a whole bunch of other neurodivergencies (ADHD/OCD/HSP...), so doctors and therapists have had a tendency to put all my quirks down to that. But to me something was always missing in their diagnoses.

It wasn't until I started suffering from chronic fatigue (I got fibromyalgia 10 yrs ago) that I realized how much energy I put into pretending to be someone else, and "acting right". Things fell into place when I started reading up on ASD, esp what used to be called Asperger's.

I am looking forward to reading about your journeys and your experiences. I have gone to group therapy a few times in my life and always found it amazing - being surrounded with people who understand and don't judge was a total revelation. I guess I'm looking for the kind of safe feeling I had at those meetings, when I felt that nothing I could reveal about myself would really shock anyone. It's also good to have a place where I don't have to think real hard before saying anything.

I would love to hear from those of you who've started the diagnosis process, or who've been diagnosed with other stuff which has led them to believe ASD was the link.

Wishing you all a wonderfully divergent day :heart:


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utterly absurd
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06 Jun 2024, 11:30 am

Welcome to Wrong Planet! I hope you enjoy it here.


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06 Jun 2024, 11:30 am

Welcome to WP!


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Double Retired
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06 Jun 2024, 12:33 pm

Welcome to WP! And I hope you enjoy the formal assessment process (I know I did!).

And about my journey that got me here?

I was still quite young when it became clear I was odd, a bully magnet, and had standardized test scores that said I was bright. Originally I thought perhaps I was the one who was messed up but those standardized test scores plus the way most people acted eventually persuaded me that I was not the one who was messed up...I was "different" but I became increasingly convinced that was not the same as being flawed.

By the time I was in my 50's I was increasingly convinced that my "difference" might be a difference known to the medical profession but I had no idea what it was. I even got a genetic test—that found no abnormalities.

In 2019 I learned that in 2018 my at-the-time-very-old-but-still-alive father met a young boy and said he was doing the same "weird" things I used to do...however, I would've been doing them before 1960! I had heard that the kid's parents wondered if he was Autistic so, even though I certainly did not think I was Autistic, I decided to check the long-shot answer and started reading about Autism on the Internet.

And what I read described me. Then I got my bride to read about Autism and she agreed it described me. Then I took the AQ test and it said I had "significant Autistic traits (Autism)." Then I got my bride to take the test on my behalf, answering things the way she thought I should, and the result was again that I was Autistic.

And so I arranged a formal Autism assessment.

It was kind of fun (usually they'd be testing little kids) and I got the formal assessment of:

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)
Noting I also satisfied the criteria previously associated with Asperger's Syndrome.

I was delighted to finally know what was going on. I insisted we buy champagne on the way home from getting the diagnosis.

It is important to note that Autism affects people differently. In my case, I think it was an advantage...except, of course, in socializing with other people. I am now 69; I've done reasonably well for myself academically, professionally, and financially; though there were quite a few years I was very unhappy I persevered, retired, and am now retired and loving it.


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Last edited by Double Retired on 06 Jun 2024, 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mountain Goat
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06 Jun 2024, 12:39 pm

Hello.


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Last edited by Mountain Goat on Febuary 31st, 2026, 12:42 am, edited 126 time in total.


MoeTrashPanda
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06 Jun 2024, 1:12 pm

Welcome to the Wrong Planet!! ฅ՞•ﻌ•՞ฅ Your experiences really resonated with me.

I have always been a chameleon as well, masking to manage socially in groups, in school, and at work--but I've always felt I was different somehow. I struggled to regulate my emotions, preferred to self-isolate myself, and was a very rigid thinker. I've always been the floater who is well-liked, but never first pick for groups.

After being gas-lit in 2018 by doctors who said I didn't have anything wrong with me because I had good grades in school (yes this is really what they said to me), I realized something was truly not right--I was struggling without structure and routine in college and ended up failing several courses (something I had NEVER done).

I started going to therapy in 2020, and was diagnosed with ADHD in 2021. The clinic diagnosed me with OCD based anxiety, and ADHD. I knew the OCD based anxiety was absolutely a code for autism, but I couldn't afford to have more tests done to confirm an autism diagnosis (my insurance doesn't cover the diagnostic tests. The tests were around $2000-$3000 out of pocket). I have done hours of research and have fully accepted my own self-diagnosis. Even if I don't have an official autism diagnosis, my experiences and issues with navigating life as a ND woman are still valid.

I can totally understand how you would be anxious to get the test done, but also dread it! It's a huge step to become diagnosed--especially later in life. You might grieve for your inner child. I wish we knew about our ADHD/ASD when we were younger. It would have made life a lot easier to navigate if we understood WHY we were struggling.

Anyways, I hope your diagnosis and life journey goes well for you. I hope you can find the answers and validation you deserve. ʕ•ᴥ•ʔノ♡


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jimmy m
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06 Jun 2024, 1:18 pm

Tiff B wrote:
I would love to hear from those of you who've started the diagnosis process, or who've been diagnosed with other stuff which has led them to believe ASD was the link.


I have Asperger's Syndrome. I figured that out about 5 or 6 years ago. There are tests available on the internet for free, that can provide an unofficial diagnosis. I am 75 years old and it doesn't make much sense to me to try and get analyzed at my stage in life. But it does explain many of my difficulties in life.

Assuming you have Asperger's Syndrome (Aspie for short), then what can I tell you? Be yourself, not some false being trying to fit in with everyone else. You are different, so be your true self. It will not make you friends but it will keep some of the pain away and help you recover from the hurt.

Two other things I can advise.
#1 Sleep: Allow yourself to get deep sleep (REM and deep NREM sleep). This will help you heal. You need on average around 2 hours of this deep sleep each night to allow you to recover. Dreams are magical.
#2 Exercise: Try to get at least 30 minutes of extreme exercise each day. It can heal your mind and repair the damage.
I am 75 years old and I can swim a mile. I exercise by walking up and down a steep hill each day for an hour.


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BillyTree
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06 Jun 2024, 2:12 pm

Welcome!


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autisticelders
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06 Jun 2024, 2:33 pm

welcome, you are among others who will understand, glad you found us!


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06 Jun 2024, 3:50 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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06 Jun 2024, 3:56 pm

Welcome to WP! :alien:



Tiff B
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Location: Saumur, France

07 Jun 2024, 1:55 am

Hey there just wanted to say a big thanks for your welcome, and a special thank you to those of you who took the time to tell me a bit more about their journey, it's really touching to read. I definitely feel I'm in the right place.
Have a great day!


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CuriousWoodlander
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08 Jun 2024, 5:25 am

Hello. Welcome to Wrong Planet :)



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09 Jun 2024, 3:20 pm

Hi Tiffany,

I have visited Saumur on a number of occasions. It was a lovely place when I went there. Haven't been there for 20 years or so though so I hope it still is. I have a photo of me next to the Dolmen de la Madelaine near the Super U at Gennes!

Welcome to Wrong Planet. You will find people very friendly here, very understanding and quite forgiving of long winded posts.


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