(This post is simply my take on my own situation; others’ situations and conclusions will vary 🙂 )
I was talking with a friend yesterday about my excitement about moving forward, getting started on my formal assessment process. I mentioned that this would also give me a firmer starting point when seeking ongoing therapy/coaching, for issues like anxiety, communication, executive function, and time management.
She said, “well, yeah–we could all benefit from that.”
On one hand, yes, she’s absolutely right. On the other…
…*sigh*. Yet one more example of “everybody experiences that” in reference to the erroneous comparison of Asperger’s/autism with neurotypicality.
Is it possible to want to hug and strangle someone at the same time?
She proceeded to say (with good intentions) that she wasn’t so sure I “needed” the therapy/counseling/coaching. She added that sure, it would certainly be beneficial, but I had already achieved so much on my own, without such supports.
She’s spot-on correct…
…and she’s also dead wrong. (*Sigh* again.)
Yes, I’ve achieved a fair amount in my life. I’ve worked my ass off and I do indeed have something to show for it.
But surface appearances aren’t everything. I put on a good (OK–at least, decent) act. I somehow made it through school, and I now have a license and a solvent practice.
But at what price? I paid dearly. The costs are largely internal, hidden, invisible…
…at least to others (thankfully).
But how long will that last?
How long can I keep up those appearances?
How long do I have before someone notices my shortcomings?
How long do I have until my energy runs out and cracks appear in that facade?
Truthfully, it’s already starting to happen. I’m noticing it. It’s taking more and more energy to mask, to act, to give the impression that I’m “normal”. The energy requirement is taking its toll, and I’m not sure how much longer I can muster it.
I’m thinking back to this…
What might have started out as an optional luxury for optimum performance and quality of life has begun to morph into a need for continued survival.
My friend admitted that she is indeed a third-party outsider, who knows only what she sees, and that there’s a difference between her observations and my living the situation every day. She also clarified her previous statements by saying that she simply didn’t want me to shortchange myself and overlook or forget what I have accomplished.
That rang true. That, I can agree with.
And at that point, the mild urge to strangle was gone, replaced only with the desire to hug. 🙂