3/23/2020

Four years ago this evening, I was sitting in the stairwell outside, not far from the front door of our apartment.  Clutching my smartphone in hand, and a white-hot-burning compulsion to know.  Information tidbits like jigsaw puzzle pieces boomeranging around in my head.  An empty search box with a blinking cursor at the top of my screen taunted me, daring me to google my query.  Checking the boxes next to the questions of the first questionnaire that popped up in the results.

Staring at the quiz score, eyes widening as I scrolled down for the scoring key.

My life was never the same again.  Ever.

I’m not sure how long it took for the thought “wow.  I am on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.  I am autisticnot to be the first thing to cross my mind every morning, but I’m sure it could be measured in months.

A year later, my partner made me a small cake to celebrate the anniversary of my discovery, his term for it being “Aspie birthday” in a way that can only be described as extremely supportive.  The year after that, he took me out for sushi to celebrate the same.  And a year after that, he was out of town, but my “Neuro-Brother” had come to visit us for a few days, getting in that evening. 😉

Today is quieter, with no specific celebration plans, but that’s OK.  I’m still celebrating in my head, and people around me are unspokenly supportive.

Indeed, the emotions are mixed.  Of course I’m relieved that I found out I’m on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, especially when I did, because let’s face it: my situation was getting pretty dire, and nobody else had any answers, not even the counselor I’d been seeing at the time.  Textbook a presentation as I had, especially for a female, nobody nailed anything down.  It’s not that I flew under the radar; it’s more like the professionals’ radar was calibrated to too coarse a setting, too narrow an impression.

The emotional mixture comes from…I’m not sure what.  Maybe it’s simply fatigue from school, the Masters degree program, from which I’m now on break between quarters, gearing up to start my last quarter before graduation, knowing that it’s probably going to be my most strenuous quarter yet.

Or maybe I’ve simply settled into a content, matter-of-fact baseline, having processed the lion’s share of the emotions, memories, adjustment, acclimation, exploration, and eureka! moments that came with the life-changing, game-changing new discovery, and I no longer feel the compulsive drive to run the endless internet searches on This or That.

And that’s OK.  If indeed the latter possibility is the case, then maybe that means that, after about 4 years (maybe a little earlier), I Have Arrived.

Arrived where?  At what?  Contentment, maybe.  Or possibly indifference; “yep, I’m on the spectrum.  I’m still me, and life is still life.”

I spent the first year reaching outward to find my tribe, the second year returning inward and reclaiming my own core, my third year in school, and my fourth year outside playing after school (and work).

School is a lot of reading and writing.  The latter requirement has probably sapped my limited supply of creative juice for the time being.  Writing about facts and figures, according to rules set forth by someone else, in response to a postulate or assignment given by someone else, does not exactly fire up the muses who usually bicker amongst themselves in my ear.  The unemotional, grounded left brain often counteracts the creative, inspired right brain.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Within a matter of months, life will revert back to a pre-school routine.  Other factors have changed in the meantime, so I’m not sure yet exactly what that means for this blog, but I do know a few things right now…

1 – I am *not* deleting this blog.  Even *if* I ever stop writing, I will leave it in place, as is.

2 – And in fact, I will likely continue to add new content (even if very sparsely) as I’m inspired to write about something Aspergian/autistic.

I’d like to share with you some of the earliest posts, written within the first couple months after I discovered that I’m on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum…

Anyway, yes, I’m still here.  I’m good.  My brain is panting a little from all the non-blog stuff I’ve been doing over the past couple years, but it’s here, too.  My brain is limited, but it’s here. 🙂

Last but definitely not least, I want to thank all of you who have commented or otherwise contacted me to check in on me, send me your well wishes and encouraging words, and so on.  I honestly–honestly–cannot tell you how much I appreciate that.  I do receive these messages and read these comments.  I do appreciate all of your wonderful thoughts, words, feelings, and cheering on.  I really, really, really do.

I’ve got this list of Things To Do once I graduate.  One is to get back into the gym (lol).  Another is to respond to all of the so-far-unanswered comments that people have written.  And another is to write more comments on other peoples’ blogs.

I hope everyone else is well, too!  I’ve been following all of you as best I can from the WordPress Reader, and I do try to keep caught up on that, at least once a day, spanning back over the past 24 hours, give or take.

Big (AS-friendly) hugs to all of you!

40 Comments

  1. I’m glad you’re OK, I was wondering!

    Yes, falling between diagnostic cracks is hard. I’m still trying to get my official diagnosis; coronavirus disruption only pushes my assessment date further off. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. you could take part in research.this would help you a great great deal .i have Aspergers and m.e .
    i am co-Author of a book ,JUST PUBLISHED about .Disability and Sex
    can give you a link if you would like
    my blog,http;//mark-kent.webs.com
    twitter,supersnopper

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Aspie Birthday! and thank you once again for being a guiding light. You helped me find the courage to be evaluated, and yes, I’m on the spectrum too, as well as my mom, who was previously thought to be borderline personality disordered. It’s been a long journey for me and my more autistic sister, as we have had to sort through the c-ptsd of child abuse, and the gaslighting from our narcissist father. Now, I can be content with who I am, and be thankful for the acceptance and help my sister and I continue to receive along the way.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m a newer follower – I was processing for at least 7 years after being identified as autistic, just after a toxic relationship had made me a single father so was harder to get the mental space for it on top of looking after my children. You probably aren’t indifferent – hopefully more yourself and less worried about keeping up a mask.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Welcome back Laina and happy birthday. I haven’t written much since this a Coronavirus came about in China. My husband was out of town a lot for the past couple of months and I would read reports of the crisis on Twitter non stop.
    These stories don’t exactly get me in the mood to write something positive, so I’ve been quiet.
    I’m missing writing though and life goes on. May be time to get back into it.
    Glad to hear you only have one more semester to graduate 👩‍🎓. That’s quite an accomplishment. Keep on keepin on…

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hello Laina, nice to read you again. Hope you are well, and stay save, far from this virus. Than you for coming back, and i will understand if you want not continue the blog. Look, i think my skills in English writing is becoming a little better. Lol Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael! Thank you so much for your warm words. I definitely do want to continue this blog, it’s just a matter of low time and energy right now, but I expect that to abate soon, within the next few months 😁. Your English is actually quite good! I would not be able to tell that you’re not a native speaker 👍🏼😎

      Like

    1. Thank you! 😍. My general life rule for myself is “never say never”, but as with almost all rules, there are exceptions to that, and that’s one I can safely say – I will indeed leave this blog up, no matter what. I do plan to continue it for the foreseeable future, though 😁💕✨

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope you do keep writing. Hi there. I am going around the neighborhood introducing myself. My name is Marc. My blog contains excerpts from my book The Driveway Rules. It contains memoirs about growing up with undiagnosed autism. I hope you stop by.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laina, what a journey you’ve had! Thank you for sharing this important experience with your readers. I teach seven year olds and one of the students has a cousin who is on the spectrum. On the day of her read aloud, she chose “My Brother Charlie,” read about what autism is, and told the class how much she loves her cousin. What a great way to bring awareness to a group of littles from the mouth of one. Your post just jolted that memory. Happy belated 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You are really such a strong person, accepting the truth is something very difficult and you did it!
    Fortunate to have stumbled across your blog and I don’t regret it. Am glad you won’t delete the blog . Looking Forward to reading more. Lots of Happiness and Lots of love your way. take care stay safe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Raoul! I really appreciate your kind words. I’m enjoying your blog too :). You have an excellent head on your shoulders. Warm hugs and happy thoughts to you too, luv! Take care and stay safe too ❤

      Like

  10. Happy Aspie birthday #4. I hope the next semester goes as well as possible. I appreciated your update. I felt reading that you are in the driver’s seat. I hope you take advantage of that and go at your pace and take your own route. Sincere best wishes – David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David! 😁. I appreciate your kind words. The part about the driver’s seat and what followed afterward—what a cool thing to say! 💜. It’s probably quite true, maybe even more than I’m aware of 😉👍🏼👍🏼. Wishing you all the best too! 💚💙

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am personally so glad you are back.. sorry to be so slow on catching up with your posts…. there must be periods in our lives where integration of inner things is exponentially super charged…and awakening insights leave us in an entirely different place.. knowing who you are and being totally comfortable with it is so important to my way of thinking we all operate in the way our souls need…or are at least better off when we try to. Hugs and love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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