Well, the first official consultation appointment, anyway.
Tonight is the eve of my first meeting with my specialist for the purposes of formal Asperger’s/autism spectrum diagnosis.
It’s two in the morning. I’m sitting in the staircase between the second and third floors of my apartment building. The sky is clear and the air is crisp, which means that it’s all the more quiet, because now the air conditioning units have finally gone dormant.
I feel conspiratorial, like I have the whole world to myself.
All is calm, all is bright. Or something.
And yet, despite the serene exterior, I’m torrential inside (although not in a bad way). Sleep is a long way off, if it comes at all. The best I can do to describe it is equal parts optimism and anxiety.
The optimistic part is a lightness, a walking on air feeling. I’m really doing it; I’m actually getting assessed! A formal diagnosis at last. I think it’s going to be a relief, a closure of sorts. Finality. Corroboration. Agreement. “Legitimacy.” (Although this does not in any way imply an opinion that spectrum self-diagnosis is any less valid–because it’s not. I think it’s perfectly legitimate, for many reasons explained elsewhere.)
And then, the icy chill of anxiety settles in. The questions, the self-doubt. Will I remember that for once in my life, I don’t have to mask and act? Will I “pass”? Am I “Aspie/autistic enough”? Can I feel comfortable enough to let down my guard and simply do this revolutionary thing called Be Myself?
What will my specialist think? Will he be able to recognize the spectrum traits as presented in adult females? Will he recognize the spectrum traits as they’ve manifested in this adult female? After all, he’s my jury. When the deliberations are finished, which way will the verdict swing? On which side will the gavel slam down?
Nine hours to go. True to my over-analytical form, I’ve already realized that this means that we’re now down to the single digits, in terms of hours, anyway. Before I know it, I’ll be able to measure the remaining time in minutes, and soon enough, those will be in the single digits, too.
And before I know it, it’ll be over. Just like that. One way or another.
Sleep and I are estranged lovers anyway; the anticipation certainly doesn’t help that.
But I’ve frequently gone about my day with even less sleep before. This is definitely nothing new. I’ll make it.
I just wish I didn’t have the world this much to myself 🙂
The featured image at the top of this post is extra-meaningful to me. It comes from the movie “The Neverending Story” (1984), which, when I first saw it at age seven, I immediately identified with the dreamy, introverted, intellectual, sensitive, fantasy-oriented boy who usually had his “head in the clouds”, to the point where–like me–it interfered with his school career.
In the movie, these two figures, known as the Riddle Gate (aka “The Sphinxes”), are the first of two gates one must pass through in order to save the imaginary world of Fantasia from being swallowed by The Nothing. Only the worthy, who are secure and solid in their own skins and self-concepts, will survive the gates; others, who may talk a big game but have doubt in their hearts, will perish by way of lightning-fast lasers that shoot down from the Sphinxes eyes.
The symbolism here, for me, is that the Sphinxes Gate demands that one be genuine (which I believe I am) and that they can see one’s true self, even if/when that person him/herself is unaware. So, it is a test of sorts–of one’s true self. Another symbolic aspect is that this is the first of two gates that one must pass through; as difficult as this one may be, there is another to transcend immediately afterward, which is symbolic in that my current plans include being assessed by two separate professionals.
Neat, eh? 🙂
If you’ve never seen the movie, I highly recommend it!! ❤