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cobb33
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20 Dec 2016, 1:10 pm

I feel like my life is a lie because for 20 years i thought i was normal. everything is overwhelming now, im in college and doing bad in most of my classes since everything feels overwhelming i recently found out i have asbebergers. and i just cant grasp reality anymore its like im just following along with rest of the normal people . im normal to myself but in reality im just following along, im a good actor, to fit in to be what is considered normal to poeple. its really unsettling, its like im playing a game i have think and hope that i give appropriate responses. i get society and at the same time i rebel i dont what to give in to society. and i can tell why i really dont have many friends and even could form a relationship with girls because i have a hard time connecting with people and emotionally. what do i do? am i going insane ?



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20 Dec 2016, 1:58 pm

One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


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Last edited by League_Girl on 20 Dec 2016, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zer0netgain
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20 Dec 2016, 2:06 pm

Welcome to the show.

My experience was similar. When I learned of AS, my life up until then looked like a farce. All those years believing I was "normal" only to learn I wasn't.

Of course, by the time I learned the truth, I was already questioning if there wasn't something wrong with me. So, it wasn't as traumatic as what you're going through.

Once I knew the truth, I didn't become more autistic because of the discovery, but I saw less justification for resisting who I was in favor of acting "normal" for everyone else's benefit.



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20 Dec 2016, 3:17 pm

It's not that your life before was a lie-- you did what you thought you had to given the information you had. Now you have new information.

That said, I had a very similar reaction when I was diagnosed and still do sometimes even two years on. Sometimes I feel "more autistic" than I was before, at least in appearance because there are some things I don't bother to pretend anymore. In some ways I probably seem "less autistic" because I can adjust to what I know are my weaknesses and quirks now with less guilt.

Also, like zer0netgain I had begun to suspect before I was diagnosed. I was already making jokes about having "late-onset Asperger's," only to find that there was nothing late-onset about it. But it was, and still is, sometimes hard to accept, to the point of being surreal sometimes.

So many emotions came up in the weeks and months after diagnosis it was literally overwhelming. Just give yourself time to accept it and make it part of who you are. It's not a total revision of your personality-- you're still the same person. You just have a more complete picture of that person now.


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20 Dec 2016, 3:39 pm

Advice from a 38-year-old Aspie??

No, you're not going crazy.

Actually, this is pretty typical.

At the end of the day, nothing much is going to change. You're still going to go through your day trying to "act normal," at least for most of the people most of the time. That's not so much "living a lie" or "being fake" as it is "protective camouflage" and "survival skills." Because that's what you have to do.

What can you do?? Instead of worrying about "normal," use some other metric before you open your mouth in social situations. Like maybe "Is it necessary?? Is it truthful?? Is it kind??" is one of my favorites.

You can NOT start microanalyzing every behavior. It's a waste of energy. Who gives a f**k if you walk funny, or if the tone/pitch of your voice is just a little off, or if you tend to self-soothe by rubbing the end of your nose with your thumb or snapping your fingers against your thigh (all things I do)?? Who ACTUALLY gives a f**k?? Who does it hurt??

Look for ways to sort out, work around, compensate for, or fix the executive functioning issues you have (if you're not familiar with it, Google it and start reading). That will make things like getting homework in on time and managing a class schedule (and later housework and a work schedule) a hell of a lot easier. That's something I would change if I could go back and talk to my 18-year-old autistic self.

Outside of your professional environment, don't sweat "fitting in" so much. Other than in situations where time is being traded for money (school, work) the people who mind don't matter, and the people who matter don't mind. If you just take turns and be kind, you will find friends and might even find a partner if you want one. But being surrounded by people you have to keep your "stage persona" on for in your private life is a hell of a lot worse fate than ending up alone.

f*****g DO NOT be in a hurry to find a partner/get married/have sex/whatever. JUST. f*****g. DON'T. Rushing that s**t and stressing about that s**t is THE WORST decision you can make. PLEASE believe me. I understand that "everyone else is doing it" and that loneliness is painful and that the sex drive is a biological need and all the reasons to put that at the top of your list. DO. NOT. RUSH. IT.

Learn that "autistic" isn't synonymous with "bad." Good luck with that. I haven't got there yet; in the current cultural environment, I don't see how anyone can without withdrawing from society to a large extent.


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20 Dec 2016, 7:00 pm

League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


Those other mental conditions are very specific compared to autism. Autism is a 'spectrum", traits need to "pervasive" to get diagnosed. When you find out you have lived your life for decades based on false assumptions about a pervasive mental situation it is natural to wonder what part of you is added learned skills and what is fooling yourself. "Faking it to make it" is done by most people to a certain extent. For many autistics it needs to be close to a 24/7 deal. Another group where "faking it to make it" is often a full time job is entertainers. Unlike many Autistics they start out knowing what they are doing but a lot of them get so wrapped up in it they forget who they are and then you see them in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For the OP all I can say is give it a lot of time and let your autistic brain process this information the way it needs to process it.


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21 Dec 2016, 12:43 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


Those other mental conditions are very specific compared to autism. Autism is a 'spectrum", traits need to "pervasive" to get diagnosed. When you find out you have lived your life for decades based on false assumptions about a pervasive mental situation it is natural to wonder what part of you is added learned skills and what is fooling yourself. "Faking it to make it" is done by most people to a certain extent. For many autistics it needs to be close to a 24/7 deal. Another group where "faking it to make it" is often a full time job is entertainers. Unlike many Autistics they start out knowing what they are doing but a lot of them get so wrapped up in it they forget who they are and then you see them in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For the OP all I can say is give it a lot of time and let your autistic brain process this information the way it needs to process it.



I believe everything is a spectrum. What do you mean by ASD people end up in the news for the wrong reasons?


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21 Dec 2016, 1:09 am

I feel reading this thread has made a little more sense to what I'm thinking and feeling myself now. I'm not diagnosed but in time I want to go for that. It's been a few weeks for me since It was suggested I might be on the spectrum. So I researched and found out that it is very likely that I am. Everything makes more sense now. I'm 47 and wondering how much of my persona in public is learned and copied. I know I use other people's speech nuances and snippets from films during conversations, always have done. Especially to describe something, I know who I am alone in private but around people I have always been and felt like I've been putting on an act to Fit in and feel less quirky.


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21 Dec 2016, 6:12 am

League_Girl wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


Those other mental conditions are very specific compared to autism. Autism is a 'spectrum", traits need to "pervasive" to get diagnosed. When you find out you have lived your life for decades based on false assumptions about a pervasive mental situation it is natural to wonder what part of you is added learned skills and what is fooling yourself. "Faking it to make it" is done by most people to a certain extent. For many autistics it needs to be close to a 24/7 deal. Another group where "faking it to make it" is often a full time job is entertainers. Unlike many Autistics they start out knowing what they are doing but a lot of them get so wrapped up in it they forget who they are and then you see them in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For the OP all I can say is give it a lot of time and let your autistic brain process this information the way it needs to process it.



I believe everything is a spectrum. What do you mean by ASD people end up in the news for the wrong reasons?


"in the news for the wrong reasons" was referring to entertainers for things not related to thier job such a drug habbits and other destructive behaviors, and actions caused by believing they are gods gift to earth which can happen when you live in a bubble where everybody is protecting and fawning over you all the time.


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Jhob5
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24 Dec 2016, 2:16 pm

i have aspergers too. Im in college. life is hard. youll get bullied. Youll get mocked. theyll try to "fix you". you cant fix us. because theres nothing to fix! Find what you find is fun. I still play yugioh on my ps4. i love yugioh. who cares. just dont smoke too much weed. youll do stupid stuff



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24 Dec 2016, 4:11 pm

League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


This.



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24 Dec 2016, 4:36 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


Those other mental conditions are very specific compared to autism. Autism is a 'spectrum", traits need to "pervasive" to get diagnosed. When you find out you have lived your life for decades based on false assumptions about a pervasive mental situation it is natural to wonder what part of you is added learned skills and what is fooling yourself. "Faking it to make it" is done by most people to a certain extent. For many autistics it needs to be close to a 24/7 deal. Another group where "faking it to make it" is often a full time job is entertainers. Unlike many Autistics they start out knowing what they are doing but a lot of them get so wrapped up in it they forget who they are and then you see them in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For the OP all I can say is give it a lot of time and let your autistic brain process this information the way it needs to process it.


Really?

If you say so.

Makes no sense to me. Doesnt fit my life experience as a late diagnosed aspie at all.

If you really are an aspie then the world starts rubbing your face in dogshit about you being abnormal from day one regardless of whether some doc hangs a label on you or not. Then when you finnally do get a official diagnosis of aspergers its a step side wise (or a step up), and its never a step down. You already KNOW youre abnormal.The only thing that has changed is that now you have the ah ha moment of knowing that your abnormality stems from one thing - a thing that has a label. So being diagnosed cannot possibly be any kind of shock to anyone who really is an aspie except in a positive way (the shock of learning that its not all your fault).

And worrying about "fake vs real" makes no sense. Before an aspie is dx'd as an aspie an aspie doesnt know that they are an aspie so they cant lie about what they dont know about. You just live your life as best you can.

Being fake is the essence of being NT. So if you have been faking all along at being NT then you are a "fake faker". So thats to be applauded,and you should keep up the good work. And you should use your newfound knowledge (from being dxd) as a mental framework to get better at it.

And I still dont know why the fact that its a spectrum makes autism an excuse to shed normal behavior just to not be "fake".



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24 Dec 2016, 4:53 pm

naturalplastic wrote:

Really?

If you say so.

Makes no sense to me. Doesnt fit my life experience as a late diagnosed aspie at all.

If you really are an aspie then the world starts rubbing your face in dogshit about you being abnormal from day one regardless of whether some doc hangs a label on you or not. Then when you finnally do get a official diagnosis of aspergers its a step side wise (or a step up), and its never a step down. You already KNOW youre abnormal.The only thing that has changed is that now you have the ah ha moment of knowing that your abnormality stems from one thing - a thing that has a label. So being diagnosed cannot possibly be any kind of shock to anyone who really is an aspie except in a positive way (the shock of learning that its not all your fault).

And worrying about "fake vs real" makes no sense. Before an aspie is dx'd as an aspie an aspie doesnt know that they are an aspie so they cant lie about what they dont know about. You just live your life as best you can.

Being fake is the essence of being NT. So if you have been faking all along at being NT then you are a "fake faker". So thats to be applauded,and you should keep up the good work. And you should use your newfound knowledge (from being dxd) as a mental framework to get better at it.

And I still dont know why the fact that its a spectrum makes autism an excuse to shed normal behavior just to not be "fake".


I disagree with the bit in bold. Obviously it wasn't a total shock because I had gone for the diagnosis specifically to find that out, but it is a steep learning curve and a lot to wrap your head around.

Fact is, as a child I constantly felt that people hated me but I 'didn't know why'. I couldn't work out what I was doing wrong. And I was going through a lot as a kid/teenager. So, I blamed myself sometimes. And at other times I blamed other people. Because, from my perspective, I was a 'normal' person and I was nice, caring and generous. Really, what was there not to like about me? And yet, everyone in my life hated me or wanted to hurt me, and I had absolutely no idea why. It was like someone had sent a message to everyone in the world, telling them that I was supposed to be hated, and they all got the same message. Everywhere I went.

As I grew up, I slowly found people that accepted me or liked me. Now, what set me apart from others felt a lot more obvious to me, but I still thought I was just 'different', and I blamed my past. I'm 'scared of people', I'm 'just very shy', I'm 'too mature to be interested in drinking/drugs/shallow socialising', I've 'had a difficult life and this is a normal response to many years of being mistreated'. When you don't know that you are set apart neurologically, you find other reasons to explain things.

At first, you're different for some completely unknown reason. Then, you're different because you've always been treated differently. At no point do you think you're different because there is actually something different about the way you work.

After you're diagnosed, you might learn that you do a lot of weird and obvious things that you didn't know were out of the ordinary. You see your entire life from this new perspective. That is difficult to deal with, and it's like seeing every life experience through a totally different lens. And that is a shock. And it's negative. And it answers the 'why', but in a way that is too late for you to go back and do anything about it.

The important thing is to move forward with the new knowledge and use it to your advantage. But, that doesn't mean that it's not extremely difficult to look back over the past.



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24 Dec 2016, 5:42 pm

Quote:
Fact is, as a child I constantly felt that people hated me but I 'didn't know why'. I couldn't work out what I was doing wrong. And I was going through a lot as a kid/teenager. So, I blamed myself sometimes. And at other times I blamed other people. Because, from my perspective, I was a 'normal' person and I was nice, caring and generous. Really, what was there not to like about me? And yet, everyone in my life hated me or wanted to hurt me, and I had absolutely no idea why. It was like someone had sent a message to everyone in the world, telling them that I was supposed to be hated, and they all got the same message. Everywhere I went.

As I grew up, I slowly found people that accepted me or liked me. Now, what set me apart from others felt a lot more obvious to me, but I still thought I was just 'different', and I blamed my past. I'm 'scared of people', I'm 'just very shy', I'm 'too mature to be interested in drinking/drugs/shallow socialising', I've 'had a difficult life and this is a normal response to many years of being mistreated'. When you don't know that you are set apart neurologically, you find other reasons to explain things.


I can relate to all this because this is how I exactly felt. As a kid I felt like I had the words different written all over me and it gave people the message to pick on me. I felt no matter where I go, people will always treat me bad. I felt the whole world was after me figuratively speaking. In 5th or 6th grade I used to say I got picked on because my name was Beth and all the Beths got picked on in the world and it was always a struggle trying to get someone to listen because I would get responses like "What's normal? Is Dad normal? Is John normal, he has to take medicine too for his blood clotting disease and your father has to take insulin" and telling me "So do all the Mary's" when I would say my name is Beth so all the Beths get picked on and being told what I was going through in school was all normal. I couldn't understand why I got such bad treatment and the wrong judgment and why the school staff was treating me differently.

I also questioned my symptoms by going over my childhood like "I am this way because I was bullied so I learned to turn off my feelings" "I thought kids were being mean to me in 7th grade because I was picked on at my old school" "I had a hard time figuring out the rules because I was in a special classroom when I was six and seven where some kids had different rules than everyone" "I am just messed up because I had a lot of ear infections and it made me deaf" "the reason why I got socially left behind was because kids were in a rush to grow up and I wanted to still play with toys and we just didn't have things in common" and "I was too focused on the word normal I didn't accept myself so I was trying to copy everyone and be like them" and "Maybe I am just an introvert so I found socializing boring." I still do this because I often hear about AS being misdiagnosed and hear about overlaps in personalities and autism and overlaps with autism and other conditions and hearing stories about how even NTs can be weird and different and be singled out as well. Plus I ask how would a doctor know if any of this is just a coincidence? That is a question I was asking in middle school too and high school but no one knew the answer. My therapist I saw was sure everything was a coincidence and told me parents liked to blame their kids problems on other things when I told him that the reason why my mom said I had a hard time figuring out how to act and what the rules were was because I was in the special class. Even the doctor we saw for my son said the same thing. We want our children to be normal so we find excuses for their behavior. I believe we do the same for ourselves too.


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25 Dec 2016, 4:49 am

naturalplastic wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
One thing I don't understand about the diagnoses is why everyone with it seems to think it means drop being normal or that it means they're fake. I wouldn't even worry about it and I also used to be confused when my mom would tell me to be Beth than Asperger's. I don't see this happening with other disorders where people find out they have a mental illness or another disorder so they all of a sudden drop being normal and start being anxiety or Bipolar or OCD, etc. than trying to get better or stay better and they don't go wondering that they have been fake and wondering what else is fake about them. People with ASD act like ASD is a different specie.


Those other mental conditions are very specific compared to autism. Autism is a 'spectrum", traits need to "pervasive" to get diagnosed. When you find out you have lived your life for decades based on false assumptions about a pervasive mental situation it is natural to wonder what part of you is added learned skills and what is fooling yourself. "Faking it to make it" is done by most people to a certain extent. For many autistics it needs to be close to a 24/7 deal. Another group where "faking it to make it" is often a full time job is entertainers. Unlike many Autistics they start out knowing what they are doing but a lot of them get so wrapped up in it they forget who they are and then you see them in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For the OP all I can say is give it a lot of time and let your autistic brain process this information the way it needs to process it.


Really?

If you say so.

Makes no sense to me. Doesnt fit my life experience as a late diagnosed aspie at all.

If you really are an aspie then the world starts rubbing your face in dogshit about you being abnormal from day one regardless of whether some doc hangs a label on you or not. Then when you finnally do get a official diagnosis of aspergers its a step side wise (or a step up), and its never a step down. You already KNOW youre abnormal.The only thing that has changed is that now you have the ah ha moment of knowing that your abnormality stems from one thing - a thing that has a label. So being diagnosed cannot possibly be any kind of shock to anyone who really is an aspie except in a positive way (the shock of learning that its not all your fault).

And worrying about "fake vs real" makes no sense. Before an aspie is dx'd as an aspie an aspie doesnt know that they are an aspie so they cant lie about what they dont know about. You just live your life as best you can.

Being fake is the essence of being NT. So if you have been faking all along at being NT then you are a "fake faker". So thats to be applauded,and you should keep up the good work. And you should use your newfound knowledge (from being dxd) as a mental framework to get better at it.

And I still dont know why the fact that its a spectrum makes autism an excuse to shed normal behavior just to not be "fake".


What I wrote is absolutely my diagnostic experience and a lot of other late diagnosed people. When I first got diagnosed I read a women blogger who was also diagnosed at late middle age describing her diagnosis as her second birthday and that seemed like a perfect way to describe it to me.

Proir to my diagnosis pretty any failures and a lot of bad reaction I got in return was 100 percent due to character flaws on my part. I knew I was abnormal. The diagnosis was not about getting a label. I had labels allright that others gave me and more importantly I gave myself "painfully shy", "weird" , "spazz", "underachiever" etc. I had no clue my problems were in part my lack of theory of mind, sensory sensitivities and so on. When I saw "Rain Man" back in '89 while I thought it was an interesting film I had no clue I had anything in common with him. I did not know social situations were actually easier for most other people. I just thought they were working hard at it to "fake it to make it" like me but they were doing it smarter then me. So I just believed since I was just more flawed and dumber then most others I had to work a lot harder then everybody else to accomplish something resembling the accomplishments of my peers. Certain skills did become natural or at least less difficult. Doubling down worked to a certain degree for me for a few decades or so until it did not due to age, age descrimination, networking and team work becoming more important etc. When the ineventible meltdown started to happen I ascribed to becoming too content and lazy. My solution was work even harder to be the networker employers now demanded. This proved exactly the wrong thing to do.

So after getting the explanation and finding out I was born this way and what autism is I looked back and found that bieng autistic and not understanding I was autistic had a role in all the key decisions that were turning points in my life. So I did have of period of intense questioning of what were true skills I had added and what was just me bieng delusional caused by not understanding the neurology driving me. Since the diagnosis I have become psychically disabled due to a mild stroke and tongue cancer that has left me non verbal. Hospitals and rehab facilities are sensory hell and not the place for loners. Having the explanination has allowed me to be prepared, pace myself and work to recover smarter because I have a better idea of who I really am and the weakness and strengths involved. If I did not get the explination I doubt I could survived mentally.

The above is not a call to use your autism as an excuse to be an as*hole and not to learn new skills. I am saying realize these skills are often not who you are but a tool needed to accomplish things. These tools like a lot of things in life can become counterproductive if overused. In this case depersonization/derealization mental illness can result.


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25 Dec 2016, 6:12 am

I could relate very much to this sense of confusion immediately after my own dx. Consequently I felt called to share with you all a little reflection I wrote on my diagnosis for my latest book. I hope you find it of value.

Autism as an Awakening

What you want to overcome you must first of all submit to..."
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 36
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In your autobiography, A Painful Gift, you brought out into the open the enormous struggle of living your life within the cloud of unknowing that you were in the autistic spectrum. As the years passed you came to see that there really was nothing special about your own story. Many people just like yourself had reached middle age depressed, exhausted and overwhelmed by unknowingly over - compensating and adapting to being in the autistic spectrum.

It is quite ironic that what you regard as one of your greatest achievements, your adaptive skills, became your greatest impediment and barrier to being diagnosed and getting the help you so desperately needed. You simply became too convincing behind your persona of normality for the depth of struggle and heartbreak to reveal itself. It seemed that for every humiliation you received as a child, your mask of so called normality became ever more fused to your being. However, what once served to protect you from abuse and humiliation, was now constricting and crushing.

Being a spiritual guide has helped you to see that people all have defences and personas, and that they wear them like garments of clothing. However, you have learned from your own experience, that you can suffer a great deal when you become over-attached to the masks you wear, to the extent that you lose touch with who it is that is looking through the mask.
When the mask falls, so too can the sadness that gave birth to this protective layer. In tenderly holding this grief, a doorway can be found that will set you free.

Your experience of being diagnosed with high functioning autism was life changing. It was like a moment of enlightenment whereby you felt as though you were given your humanity back. At first there was euphoria - the overwhelming joy of your struggle being seen and given its rightful name.

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name," said Confucius. However, a deeper truth was soon to reveal itself which could not be so easily diagnosed or given a name to. This deeper truth was that you simply lost the person you believed yourself to be.

This falling away of the concept you held of yourself after your diagnosis happened imperceptibly, until one day it just fell from you like a redundant skin. Into this drama came the question, "If I am not this self that has been constructed out of survival, then who am I?" At the time you were bewildered and mystified as to what was happening to you. Being intimate and integrating this experience took some time and skill. As a result a very new way of relating to yourself and the world began to unfold.

Today you can look back at your diagnosis with autism as a moment that changed your life in more ways than you could have possibly imagined at the time.