When Family Doesn’t Understand 

I have been fortunate enough to have almost everyone in my life say the right words and support me since finding out that I have Asperger’s. However, my father has said a few hurtful things and seems to be unaware of how his words impact me. 

When I told him, his initial reaction was “what the fuck?” This brought up memories of the day when I told him that I’m gay. His response was to cry and then try to tell me that I couldn’t be gay. 

Even though the first thing that came out of his mouth about Asperger’s was less than supportive, he went on to say things everyone in my position wants to hear. Things such as “this doesn’t change anything,” “I’m there for you,” etc. 

Unfortunately, his actions didn’t live up to those words, and it took more than two months to get him to have another conversation with me about everything. During which, he spent most of the time talking about the issues in his life that made him mostly unresponsive for 8+ weeks. 

I would have been understanding of his difficulties and been more or less willing to move forward with no hurt feelings if he hadn’t said one key thing. When telling me about another person he met with Asperger’s many years ago, he said that he knew “something was wrong with him right away.” Um, what? He was talking to his daughter with Asperger’s and tried to relate by saying the word “wrong” in relation to another Aspie? 

I quickly said “different, not wrong.” He didn’t even seem to take that in for a few seconds, and then he replied “oh yeah.” 

Later in the conversation, I tried to educate him about all of the strengths associated with Asperger’s and how much it has impacted who I am as a person. He seemed surprised to know that there were strengths, even though I sent him information about this topic two months ago. 

This is disappointing, infuriating and heartbreaking behavior. First, he basically blew me off for two months, and then he made his ignorance about the topic very clear. There is nothing “wrong” with me. I tried to explain that it’s like having a different operating system (the Mac instead of PC analogy), but I honestly don’t know if that really reached him or made sense to him. 

Sigh. I understand that everyone has to figure things out for themselves and that there can be some emotional adjustments necessary after finding something like this out, but I wish he would have done some of that work during the past two months. I also wish he would have been thoughtful enough to not refer to someone else’s Asperger’s as something that was “wrong” with them.  


The Official Diagnosis 


Getting an official Asperger’s or ASD diagnosis is surprisingly difficult for most adults, especially women. In my case, it took a while to find a counselor/social worker who has any adult Asperger’s experience and was also willing to see me. After I did, though, my counselor almost immediately verbally acknowledged my Asperger’s.

When this happened, I felt validated, liberated and a bit scared. Before I knew what was happening, I had an official diagnosis. However, we didn’t actually discuss this diagnosis until I saw it on my insurance provider’s website.

It was very jarring to get the news this way, but I’m not upset with my counselor about it. I already knew I was an Aspie, and she’d already made it clear that she agreed. Somehow, though, seeing it officially in writing brought up a lot of emotions.

What I dislike about having a diagnosis is that this can be used by others to label me as “disabled.” But I’m not. I can live independently, I have a job, etc. My quality of life is much better with some assistance and accommodations, but this is not necessary for me to survive.

I also hate the ridiculous social stigma. It makes me angry that people use autism as a joke in books, movies, TV shows, etc. and that some online gaming groups put “no autistic kids” in their rules. That’s bullshit.

On the other hand, I’ve always thrived on advocating for important social causes. Back in the early to mid 1990s, I helped teach a lot of people in a small-minded town about the fact that gay people are just like everyone else. Now, I see my recent discovery and diagnosis as an opportunity to educate people about autism. 

The fact is that I do not feel ashamed to have Asperger’s, nor should any other Aspie. Asperger’s has had a huge impact on who I am and how I’ve lived my entire life, and I like who I’ve become. There were many unnecessarily difficult times in my life because I didn’t know I was an Aspie, but now that I know, everything has gotten much better.

Ultimately, the official diagnosis did nothing more than confirm my truth. I am autistic. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Anyone who thinks differently is simply putting their ignorance on display.

REBLOGGED: If the world was built for me

This is a spot-on explanation of the many little changes that would make the world much more sensory friendly.

Autism and Expectations

If the world was built for me. There would be nothing wrong with me. I would be happy and safe and certain and successful.

If the world was built for me, when I met people there would be no expectation of physical contact or small talk. We may ignore each other, with a socially acceptable nod, or throw ourselves into a deep and meaningful conversation.

If the world was built for me, then we would all sit next to each other, not opposite. Things would be based on literal words, not guessed expressions and gestures.

If the world was built for me, there would be a compulsory day off for everyone after any social event. Just so we could all take the time to recharge and process things.

If the world was built for me, work would be about working and nothing else. There wouldn’t be the necessary interaction that…

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Relaxing into Aspie Life

Before I discovered that I have Asperger’s, my life was way more chaotic than it ever needed to be. I spent a lot of time trying to force myself to conform to certain social expectations, and I felt an almost constant level of stress. 

Now that I know why I react the way I do in certain situations, I’ve stopped constantly telling myself that I “should” do this or that. Now I’m finally starting to feel relaxed for the first time ever. 

I used to have a close friend who chided me for not responding in certain ways. It was never okay to just listen without making some sort of response every few seconds. Silence wasn’t allowed. This stressed me out so much that we eventually hit a breaking point. Now I’ve finally been given the wonderful opportunity to rediscover silence, and it’s already been life-altering. 

My fiancée is comfortable with silence. She’s also happy to spend hours together reading, walking in nature, painting, coloring, etc. We meditate together. During many of these activities, we don’t talk a lot. This has really helped me relax and feel less anxious. When we do talk, it’s usually about something that actually matters instead of inane chatter, and that is very satisfying to me. 

Another nice thing is that I now have the understanding and support I need to go sit or lie down in a dark, cool room whenever I start to feel overwhelmed. This is no longer judged or viewed as a bad thing. Having this safe space has helped so much.

I never would have thought that realizing I have Asperger’s and working with a therapist who has experience helping people with adult autism could be so freeing. Life is still challenging at times, and I don’t think I’ll ever like going to stores or spending a lot of time socializing. But the rest of my life has vastly improved. 

I’m relaxing into Asperger’s, into myself and into a better quality of life. Being true to myself and openly saying what I need has improved my relationship. I’m starting to sleep better, and I’m beginning to see all of the strengths/advantages of having Asperger’s. Now, for the first time ever, I feel like I’m who and where I was always meant to be. 

REBLOGGED: Aspergers Traits (Women, Females, Girls)

There are so many things in this post that I can relate to. I can also see some of the many ways that I have adapted throughout my life in order to fit in with the NT world. As always, it’s rare for any Aspie to have 100 percent of the same symptoms/experiences as another person with Asperger’s, but all of us Aspie women will relate to many of the things on this list.

Everyday Asperger's

Ten Traits

1) We are deep philosophical thinkers and writers; gifted in the sense of our level of thinking. Perhaps poets, professors, authors, or avid readers of nonfictional genre. I don’t believe you can have Aspergers without being highly-intelligent by mainstream standards. Perhaps that is part of the issue at hand, the extreme intelligence leading to an over-active mind and high anxiety. We see things at multiple levels, including our own place in the world and our own thinking processes. We analyze our existence, the meaning of life, the meaning of everything continually. We are serious and matter-of-fact. Nothing is taken for granted, simplified, or easy. Everything is complex.

2) We are innocent, naive, and honest. Do we lie? Yes. Do we like to lie? No. Things that are hard for us to understand: manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior, and retaliation. Are we easily fooled and conned, particularly before we…

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The Post Discovery After Effects and Perks of Meditation


Finding out about my Asperger’s has been a wonderful and relieving revelation in many ways, but it has also caused some strife and heartache. It is difficult at first to take in the information that you are autistic. For me, this was less about social stigmas, although I did have some fears of being rejected and judged. However, the bigger factor was about learning to view myself and 38 year’s worth of experiences through a different lens.

Suddenly, most of the issues I’ve had in my life made a lot more sense, but it was also easy to see how badly people had treated me because they didn’t know that I have a neurological condition. This made me alternate between feeling angry at them and feeling compassion for those who are or who used to be close to me. After all, I didn’t know what I was dealing with, so how could they? Also, my emotional responses can be really heightened, and my sensory overload in stores and crowds never really made sense to anyone. But how could it when I didn’t even know what it was?

Perhaps the worst part of learning that I’m an Aspie is that I went through a very rough adjustment period for about two months. This greatly challenged my relationship and changed some important dynamics. For about seven weeks, I was beyond hyper-sensitive to everything, and it seemed like I was never going to be able to stop melting down at least two to three times per week. This was flat out awful for me and for A, and I feel badly for everything I put her through. I also know how fortunate I am that she loves me enough and feels comfortable enough with me that she was honest about the strain that everything was putting on her and on our relationship.

With the exception of one annual blip (specific dates can be really difficult for Aspies), I’ve been feeling a lot happier and calmer for almost a week now. Part of this was working through a major relationship issue with A, but it’s also about finally finding a therapist I can talk to, discovering the therapeutic benefits of painting and beginning a regular meditation routine.

Meditation is something that I never really understood. I used to think that it was impossible to think about nothing, and if I tried it, I had to use a visualization technique to keep other thoughts at bay. Now, I’m learning to be more mindful and to at least let thoughts and experiences such as itchiness pass by during meditation instead of reacting to them. And the craziest and most unexpected thing of all is that it’s actually working!

I can now let my mind drift for a full five minutes without actively engaging with any negative thoughts. I do visualize rain when needed to block out intruding thoughts and feelings, but sometimes I can actually sit there and find complete silence in my mind, at least for a few seconds.

This has been one of the most amazing discoveries of my life. In just a few days, I’ve been able to get a better grasp on my feelings. When I combine this with using a CBT app and writing out my feelings, I am much more capable of dealing with things that would have sent me spiraling out of control before.

I understand that this is something I will need to work on daily in order to maintain it, and I also know that I will still meltdown and have emotional expressions that seem way too big for the moment at hand. That’s part of being an Aspie. But I believe that just as exercising builds muscle and stamina, daily mediation can build more emotional resilience and help me keep my feelings in check long enough to at least examine whether or not they’re linked to something that is actually true.

The concept of “is it true?” was taught to me by A, and it has a lot of power. We all have a critical voice in our head, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. It’s easy to let the mind run off on a negativity marathon and cause extensive personal suffering, but the pain is often experienced without any actual justification. So now I’m trying my best to challenge my negative thoughts by asking myself “is this true?” Again, this may not be perfect, and I know it won’t always work, but I’m grateful to have another coping skill that I can turn to in moments of need.

Asperger’s can be challenging, but I also love many of my positive Aspie traits. With therapy and all of my other outlets, I have every reason to believe that I can get my emotional regulation more under control than it has ever been. And so far, that’s exactly what is happening.

Getting Validation from a Therapist 


I previously wrote about preferring online therapy, but certain recent events in my life made me want to give in-person therapy another try. A couple of months ago, I tried to connect with a psychologist who specializes in adult Asperger’s, but she was less than helpful and wouldn’t make time to see me. Fortunately, I finally found someone who has experience with adult Asperger’s and is actually really easy to talk to.

The most monumental thing about this is that after talking to me for a short time and asking a few specific questions, she began making comments such as “with your Asperger’s.” I didn’t really need that official confirmation to know I’m an Aspie (especially because a social worker friend of mine agreed that I’m very Aspie), but it was still very liberating and validating to have a professional recognize it almost immediately and begin making strides toward helping me.

I’ve also officially come out to everyone as an Aspie, and the response has all been positive. When you combine this with the love and support of A (my wonderful fiancée), I’m feeling much better about so many aspects of my life. The truth really will set you free every single time.