Diagnosed at 13. My parents didn’t even tell me I had it until I was 15. They told me right after I’d learned that my father had cancer. I spent a long time denying that I had autism; I used to think autistic people were straight-up freaks, and I was not a straight-up freak. A couple years ago I came to terms that I was indeed autistic. I tried to beat the autism, tried to be a normal person like the rest of my family, but it doesn’t matter for two reasons: 1) My parents don’t want me anyway, and 2) There is no cure.
Let me repeat that second one, because it makes me more depressed than anything. There is no cure for autism.
I’m going to be like this until I die. I used to think I was going to be one of the great minds of my generation, but that was all a ruse to keep my parents happy. I can’t believe I ever thought my life would be different from what it is now. I was so stupid.
You still can be. You just need to find a place that can accept the weird with the useful. Autism really isn’t the end of the world, even if society makes it out to be worse than death. It’s not.
It’s ok. You might not be ok, and you have the right to that, but I would bet that other people’s reactions to your autistic traits plays a bigger part than the actual traits. That’s usually how it goes, and it’s society’s problem, not yours. That doesn’t make it any easier, I know. But autism is not the end of the world, and I hate how people keep telling autistic people that they are broken. You’re not a broken neurotypical, you’re running a completely different kind of brain.
The first time I felt like my life was over, and like this was “it”, I was 12 years old.
Speaking as one of the older autistic adults on here, I have to say that I very much understand how you feel. My young adulthood wasn’t easy. I had a millstone of misdiagnoses around my neck, the accompanying “never gonna be anything”, withOUT the benefit of knowing “what’s actually ‘wrong’ with me”.
I think a big trap that a lot of young autistic face when they hit adulthood is twofold: lack of preparation and resources specifically targeted at autistics reaching adulthood for coping with the spikes of intense anxiety and depression, and the tendency to view this life stage as a kind of endzone instead of the transitional phase that it is.
My own inability to cope combined with the circumstances I was dealt at that time caused me to have a sort of…extended adolescence/suspended adulthood that remained in effect until I was 25. I honestly felt like my life was over all over again.
But then it wasn’t. I still get amazed by my own capacity to change, while at the same time be exactly the same as I ever was. I still like and do many of the same things I have always done and liked. A lot of the really negative messages we get from society are all too easy to internalize, and one of the most destructive is the one-two knockout combo of “you’ll never be anything”; “you must be EXCEPTIONAL/INSPIRATIONAL!”
The good news is (speaking as someone who came out the other side), you can reject both of those messages and just be a normal person with a life, without rejecting your amazing autistic selfhood.
Why does everyone look at Autism so negatively? I’m so glad I have it. It’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where I didn’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. If I’m anything great, anything inspirational or amazing, it’s because I have Autism. Not understanding socialization or society is a gift, because society is soooo fucked up. I would never want to be part of it. I’m glad I was picked on and singled out for being different, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t understand the pain that people like us go through, and I would look at us the way the rest of the world does. Instead I can look at everyone and not judge them, and accept them for who they are. The only reason I’m a good person is because I have Autism and I’m an outcast. I don’t like the journey that it took to become the person I am, but I love myself and how I help I can now help people and be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. I wouldn’t want my life any other way.
I honestly don’t think I’m broke, I think everyone else is if they are willing to perpetuate society the way it is. Where rape is a crime and we blame the victims. Where they single people out for being different even though we are all different. They make fun of people for being too fat, to skinny, and everywhere in between. Where you’re never good enough no matter how hard you try. Where people are singled out for the way they love. I would never want to be a part of that. I couldn’t live with myself if I was. So I think I’m blessed to be Autistic and socially retarded.
Look it Autism how ever you want, I’m glad I have it.