Share your story - autism/aspergers etc.

I thought I'd start a thread where people with autism/aspergers or anything remotely similar can share their experiences and hopefully support each other. Yes, I am including myself as I myself have autism. It seems like people like us don't have much of a voice in society. We are often lumped together with those who are unable to speak for themselves when we're not all like that. Maybe that's just my personal experiences but I want to know more. I'm finally at the point where I'm out of the denial stage enough that I want to learn more of other people's experiences with these sorts of things. Only took me about 7 years but here I am.

I will have to see where this goes, maybe this post will be lost in the abyss but hey, at least I put myself out there. At least I gave it a shot.

My own story begins in my early teens. I remember going through tests that I didn?t know the exact reason for yet, but I was worried. I knew that if I didn?t do well I was going to get a label that I wouldn?t want but also couldn?t argue with. After all, it would be backed up by science. I had earlier experiences with tests and hospital visits, but then it was something else - nothing to do with autism. Anyways, these tests showed that I had autism, obviously. I honestly felt devestated. Especially when the so called profesionals gave an explenation with a list of about 30 different "weaknesses" someone with autism had so I assumed that it applied to me. At least that was how I understood it. Only years later did I find out only about a third of them needed to apply to you in order to be diagnosed. And you could even be GOOD at some of them. But by then the damage had been done. I already thought of myself as a freak. As less than everybody else. It didn't help that I'd heard my parents say things like "you're so wierd, I don't get it" or "no wonder you don't have any friends" ... I'm still not sure if I was over sensitive but it changed me. I used to be a pretty happy kid. But by this point I had lost confidence, lost hope in the idea of a good future for me and also... most of my will to live. I felt like I was dragging around my worst enemy all the time, because that was how I saw myself. I isolated myself more, shut down even more in social situations. Everything in my life became way too serious. It wasn't about simple actions anymore. It wasn't about opening my mouth to let sound become words anymore. It was about keeping the "monster" of autism at bay. Hide it away, even from myself. And I did that by hiding all of myself.

How does my story end? Well. I haven't gotten that happy ending I've always imagined just yet. But I know I'm getting closer to accepting myself for who I am and honestly? When it comes down to it, I?m actually ?proud of how far I've come. I just don't realize it until I look back.

So - if people read this far and want to join the conversation - share YOUR story.
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