Keywords: pseudonymous, hard of hearing, Jewish (non-practicing), Autistic*, reader, writer, gamer, crafter, adoptee, black sheep, genderqueer**, cat lady.
This all came about due to the thoughts I was having every time I held a thick packet of pages containing eight different psychiatric evaluations which took place between the ages of twelve and twenty-four.
I had always thought growing up that, despite my struggles, I would somehow prevail. The mistake I made was that I never defined what ‘prevailed’ meant. Did it mean accomplishing all the things I was told I should accomplish from a very early age? Or should all of these evaluations, and the eventual Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, be taken into account?
For the last couple of years I have been in psychotherapy trying to reorganize my memories, and my mind, in the context of Autism. The result led to the realization that I have no idea who I am. I understand what I was expected to be, and at one point I shared those expectations. I need to let go of a lot of those expectations. Ditto for the ones that came about from the “I will prove them all wrong” line of reasoning.
The other thing I wondered, as I considered that the full file that I have is at least three hundred pages, is that much of how I define myself now is by where I’ve been. I have no idea where I’m going. I find myself very, very uninteresting as I have little discipline and accomplish very little as a result. I have all these interests that I think about, but don’t pursue. If I can’t work now, then I should do something. I should do a lot of somethings.
Keep in mind that all of it is in the context of an Autistic trying to figure out how to be a dynamic human being, and create an identity outside of being a “failed neurotypical.“
*Autistic – not “person with Autism.” See the following page for an argument against person-first language. Farther down the entry is a set of links to arguments for and against person-first language, in case you are interested in both perspectives:
The Significance of Semantics: Person-First Language: Why It Matters
**Genderqueer – See Wikipedia’s page for a basic run-down on this. I’ll accept being called “bisexual” if you absolutely cannot let go of binary gender, but I am not a huge fan of the term. I’m not militant about pronouns or anything and have always been ok with being referred to with female pronouns.