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New to realizing I am on the spectrum....


New Member
I think I am probably like a lot of others here, I am a 54 year old woman and just recently realized that I very highly probably have high functioning autism. I have always felt very different, my whole life, from as early as I can remember. I was practically mute as a young child, had very few people I would talk to. I remember a lot of adults thinking something was wrong with me, and reading some of my old elementary school report cards, my teachers very expressly always mentioned how quiet I was, that I didn't talk. However, I always did well academically. Socially not so much, although I always managed to have one or two close friends, most of the time. They were usually a lot like me. As far as in group social situations, I have never felt that I fit in, and always feel like other people don't like me. So many stories I could tell, like everyone else here, I am sure.

Anyway, fast forward to now, I am divorced twice, first husband married for 20 years, I have two grown daughters from that marriage, he always made me feel like something was wrong with me. I had a few very awful bouts of depression. I have now been on anti-depressants for almost 25 years. Second husband, only married about 2 years, he was an alcoholic and very verbally and emotionally abusive. So now I've been single for about 5 years, and these years are the first I have ever lived alone, both daughters on their own now. So I feel like this is the first time in my adult life I have been able to really focus on and get to know myself. I married the first time at 21. Husband was very demanding, basically was always taking care of him and then the 2 children.

SO, I have tossed around the idea in my mind for a few years that maybe I was on the spectrum, but never really seriously. In the last couple of months I started to really research and read about it and talk to others that are on the spectrum, and started seeing pieces of my life puzzle start falling into place. Everything made so much sense for the first time in my life, which is really a relief, and also a shock, since we all know about the classic stereotypes of autism, and there is so much new research (thankfully). Austism was not even on the radar when I was growing up, and I am quite good at masking, which I always knew, but never had a name for it. I have scored extremely high on every neurodivergency test I have taken so far. The only people I have shared it with so far are one of my daughters, who is very similar to me and probably also on the spectrum, and my very best friend that I've had since middle school. Not sure how much I want to share it just yet until I learn more about it myself. So, I found this forum, and thought it would be nice to have similar humans to discuss these things with. Just wanted to introduce myself and say hello!! ‍♀️ Sorry if this is way too much info for one post. I look forward to getting to know some of you.
Welcome to the site from another late recognition, silly sod, who's spent more time in denial that any other river I've swum in! ;)
What you said about the puzzles falling into place is very familiar, revelationary even, and hugely satisfying to suddenly realise one is not just useless, or lazy, or not trying hard enough - basically compared unfavourably to everyone else. Likewise the masking without knowing it's masking - I always called it "faking it" before I had any handle on what my problems were (or why they were, more accurately), which actually kind of fits, to my view, a mask is to disguise who you are. A 'fake' person?
Out of interest, do you think the antidepressants help? Or has it been so long you can't tell? I'm just curious because they never worked for me, and the depressions been pretty constant, if up and down. 25 years seems a long time, has your prescription been regularly reviewed? Not suggesting they're wrong, but curious as to what you make of them.
Hello and welcome! Glad you found us. I hope this place is enjoyable and supportive to you.
Welcome! I've read woman on the spectrum are more inclined to mask and diagnoses can be delayed, however I mask a lot. I was mute in school as well for a time and didn't enjoy the company of kids my own age. I still struggle with that. It sounds like you're doing well now, I'm glad for that. Thanks for sharing.
Hello and welcome! We are happy to have you here on this forum. It is more common for women to not get diagnosed at an early age. It’s more common for women to get diagnosed later in adulthood. Women show different symptoms and tend to blend in with the crowd.

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