Adult Asperger’s / autism discovery is kind of like the movie ‘The Matrix’…

In the movie ‘The Matrix’, the main character, Neo, is living what he believes to be a normal life.  He goes to work as a software developer, comes home to an ordinary apartment/flat, and even helps his elderly neighbor take out her garbage.

But not all aspects of his life are so open-and-shut.  He knows on an instinctive level that something isn’t right.  He can’t quite seem to shake the feeling that there’s a disturbance in the force (to borrow shamelessly from Star Wars).  He struggles with insomnia, eventually passing out at his computer in the wee hours of the morning, clearly at odds with a nagging internal discord that gnaws at his core.

After a series of messages containing hidden meanings that catch his attention, he wisely follows his gut instincts and, to make a long and bizarre story short, he suddenly discovers that the world he’s taken at face value was nothing like he had assumed, and the life that he’d thought he’d been living was revealed to be a complete illusion.

His real body was located, and his real mind and body were forcibly liberated from the shackles–the wiring and the individual pod in which he’d been unknowingly held captive, and he awoke, for the first time, into a frightening world.

Suddenly, he realized that his friendships, activities, daily routine, frequented places, thoughts, emotions, and memories, up until that point, had all been a complete sham, based on that elaborate illusion.

And then his life began for real; he was living, truly alive, for the first time.  He had to acclimate to this new and unfamiliar world, developing senses and strength.  He’d never used his eyes or limbs before.  He trained tirelessly and intensely, speed-learning survival strategies and other skills.

The discovery of my Asperger’s/autism spectrum status was eerily similar for me, except for the “frightening world” part (the world into which I awoke is colorful, peaceful, comforting, nurturing, supportive, validating, connected, and loving).  This was only made possible by the loving, supportive, and comforting people and blogs I found early on, however.  Otherwise, despite an increased understanding, the world might have become an even colder, pricklier place.

Like Neo in “The Matrix”, I, too, realized the truth about the world, the truth about my role and my place in it, and indeed….who I really was.  I realized that my own interaction with–and responses to–the world were based on an illusion of my own: the illusion that I was neurotypical and the accompanying assumption that I “should”, then, be like the “rest of the world”.

I, too, realized that my life up until that moment had indeed been lived under false pretenses.

It was as if another main ‘The Matrix’ character, Morpheus, was whispering in my ear, guiding the moves I made.

“What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

I, too, realized the true nature of myself, and felt myself awaken for the first time.  I, too began to view the world in a new and unfamiliar light.  But I, too, realized that as strange as this new dynamic between myself and the world at large appeared to be, it was the truth.

“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

I obviously took the Red Pill.

And in a way, I have to retrace my steps and make a correction to something I said above–the part about the “frightening world”.  To be clear, it’s not the world of the Asperger’s/autism spectrum that I found frightening.  I actually find the Asperger’s/autism spectrum world infinitely more peaceful and comforting.  Rather, it’s the general world at large that eventually has some changing to do.  Inclusion and accommodation benefit everyone.

The “rest of the” world became a bit more frightening to me.  Not the anxiety-inducing kind…more of the appalling, disgusted kind.  Suddenly, I had given myself permission to view the world through a raw and honest lens, and it revealed itself to be one of irrationality, obnoxiousness, boorishness, confusion, rash judgments, and harsh criticism.  I gave my permission to be honest with myself about what I saw, and what I saw was unpleasant.

I realized that it made me uncomfortable.  I realized that it overwhelmed me.  I realized that in order to survive and carry out my daily functions and life purpose within it, I was going to have to make some serious adjustments.

The armor went on.  The defenses went up.  I was armed.  But even with all of the protection I afforded myself, I realize that, similar to ‘The Matrix’, the only true shelter and safety exist within the narrow confines of the safe-ship.  My sanctuary is my safety net, my Friendly Space.  The walls are my protection, within which I can control my surroundings.  Everything outside of my sanctuary is a potential danger, and everyone outside my inner circle is a potential threat.

The important part is, I know that now.  It’s not that this is a new concept for me, it’s just that it’s newly realized by me.  It’s always been the way it is; I’ve just now become aware of it.

And now, like Neo in ‘The Matrix’, I can live a real life, a life of truth, and truly alive.

The lovely comforter bedspread of blogs I fell into early on became the collective chorus of Morpheus:

“Welcome to the real world.”

 

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23 Comments

    1. Awesome!! I’m so happy for you luv ❤️ It’s interesting, isn’t it? That sense of optimism, open future, innocent conspiratorial secret, and empowerment that I felt watching the end of that movie very much mirrors how I felt upon spectrum discovery. It’s a pretty cool feeling, isn’t it? 😊💜

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes it is. My confidence sky rocketed after my discovery, I actually felt like “the one” 😂😂 like nothing could stop me. The next time someone asks how it felt after my diagnosis I’ll have the perfect example 😂👌

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting and challenging. I knew that as an aspie I’m somewhat “related” to the thought world of the Matrix, seing rather the socio-philosophical side of it.
    As for my safety-ship, my sanctuary, I’m stll looking, waiting maybe for the ship that left me here, to take me back?!
    On the other hand I feel like having joined with the plural you in defending Sion…
    Until then, like Ozzy Osborne, “I’m dreaming my life away…”
    Take care 🖖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes!! I’m right there with you about–well, all of it, especially Sion 😊💓. Spectrum City, yo! 💪🏼. Hehe maybe one day we’ll start singing Ozzy’s “Mama I’m coming home” instead 🎉🎊🎉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The first time I saw The Matrix was when I rented the tape(yep, I’m old). It tripped me out so hard I had to watch it like 6 more times.😱 I agree that the world is loud & brash & rude & generally unkind. I have hope that people will wake up. Maybe as we work for inclusiveness we’ll be able to soften the edges.😘
    BTW, I was claiming title of Chosen One approx 1985, so Pooh poohy on Neo 😝😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was so inspiring to read! I have been struggling for a long time with choosing between the red and blue pill – so to speak. I have been suspecting that I might be on the spectrum for a long time. I’ve met a few doctors and psychiatrists who have all pointed to aspergers, and all of those online-tests have told me the same. Still, I’m hesitating to actually go and get that evaluation and potential diagnosis. It scares me that the difficulties I have might not be something that will pass over time, and my excuse has been that my difficulties aren’t actually so bad that I can’t live a relatively normal life. I’ve always been able to take care of myself, so wouldn’t an evaluation just be me putting myself through a difficult process, just to get a label? Then there’s of course the chance that I don’t actually have any diagnosis, in which case there would still be something wrong with me, but no explanation, which would be very disappointing.

    Your text has made me rethink. Maybe knowing for sure would help me in ways that I can’t see from this “other side”. Most of all, it would be nice not to go around wondering what’s wrong with me all the time. Maybe it would show that the source of my difficulties is another than I first thought, but I guess an evaluation would be a good first step, no matter where it ends up.

    You have no idea how helpful this is to me.
    Thank you.

    Embla

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think it’s always better to *know*. I know that if something isn’t quite right with me my overactive imagination will always come up with worst case scenarios. It’s always such a relief after & I’m always left wondering why I put myself thru such stress. One can’t choose a path with their eyes closed walking in circles. Good luck to you💗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amen, sister! 👏🏼👏🏼.

        I hear you, too, about the worst case scenario imagination! Definitely a thorn in my side sometimes 😉. Knowledge is not just half the battle; it’s *relief* ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for your kind words, my friend! ❤️ Hell yeah, take that step, luv 😊 Never know where it’ll take you 👍🏼

      I went through a similar thought-stream; to do, or not to do? That was the question. At first I thought, nah, I’m secure enough in my own assessment; I’ve been objective; I’ve ruled out everything else. I know what it is.

      Ultimately, I sought a formal diagnosis. At first, I did this almost exclusively to shut the naysayers up, the ones who flamed me for calling myself autistic/an Aspie without having that diagnosis letter in hand. I admit, I caved in to people who didn’t deserve that, people who I really didn’t have to justify myself to. But it felt really good to have my findings corroborated by my professional. I felt really solid. I did before, too, and getting diagnosed only strengthened my position, because now, no one could argue with me, and that reduced a lot of stress. It also solidified what I had come up with. It was really cool to actually have someone (who specializes in this area and that’s what they do all day) tell me, “you’re right!” Because most of my life, I would say or do things or hold opinions that I knew were right, but nobody else had paid attention or taken me seriously. So to have someone, especially a pro, validate me like that was awesome 😊 Just hearing the words “you’re right” was *huge* for me.

      But I only went forward and got professionally diagnosed in November, so there was quite a lag time between self-discovery and formal DX. But the important thing is to take the steps that are right for you, at the time(s) that is/are right for you 💞💞

      Like

      1. Thank you so much! I can relate to so much of what you’re saying.
        I wrote an email to the psychiatric clinic today. It was really scary and I cried all day. Most likely both because of fear and some sort of relief. Now I feel good about having taken this baby-step, and am very curious about where it will take me.
        Thank you for being so inspirational, motivating and most of all supportive of someone that you don’t even know. It means a lot to me ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your lovely words, luv 😘😘. I’m so relieved for you that you did this! So proud of you and so happy for you 💖. I admire your strength, dear friend! I’m excited for your journey. It’s indeed frightening at times and that means that you are all the stronger as a person 💞. Your words mean a whole lot to me, and I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your journey on your path with me/us 💚💙. So honored to be a part of it 😘😘

          Liked by 1 person

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