I agree that in some ways a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It is nice to know that I am not crazy. I think the warring sides of my ADHD and ASD often made me feel this way.Quite the opposite. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I now had an explanation for my life's experience, or at the very least put it into proper context and perspective. I wasn't a failing neurotypical. The reality was that I had some understanding or perhaps some commonality with some of those autistic children we sometimes see in the media, but then, I was also a "well-functioning" adult, and in my ignorance, I couldn't satisfy that argument. I had no idea of ASD-1, 2, or 3 or any of the associated and/or common co-morbidities. It just wasn't on my radar. I had some issues around 2019-2020 at work and was talking with a co-worker with an adult son with ASD-1/Asperger's. We were talking about him, and I recognized those behaviors in myself, and then she recognized those behaviors in me, and so I found the AQ test online, took the test, and the results suggested very strong autistic responses. Started doing some reading, took some different autism tests, all of it was lining up. Made an appointment with a psychologist specializing in adult autism, and the rest is history.
@SeanF, could you elaborate a bit on why your autism diagnosis is making you struggle? Obviously, I had the opposite experience and would like to understand yours better.
I am not entirely sure how to explain how I feel as I am also alexithymic. It takes me an ungodly amount of time to process this sort of stuff because I am never sure how I am feeling. I generally base it off my somatic responses. I think one of the things I dislike the most is my loss of agency or at least the mistaken belief that I had agency combined with my initial confusion over my self-identity. I think there are many things that I was trying to be for other people I love, that I am now realizing that I am not. At 48, this has resulted in a very unbalancing paradigm shift. In the long-term it will probably be a beneficial one. In the short-term, however, it makes feel the need to vomit.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that discovering I am Autistic makes me feel that way. It is the disequilibrium of having to recreate a sense of self that I have struggled my whole life to erect. I have lived for 48 years in existential crisis, ignoring pieces of who I am in a desperate attempt to belong to a world that I now understand was not even built for me.
I watched a cute video yesterday about a cat that thought it was a rabbit because it lived with a bunch of them in a home. The cat would awkwardly hop, pretending to be a cat. I could not help but identify with this. Only in real life there is also a place for cats. If that particular cat ever realized that it wasn't actually a bunny, it would have a community where it belonged. I do not feel we Autistic people share that luxury.
I feel like this is the main reason for my sadness, despair, anxiety, whatever emotion it is that makes my stomach turn over on itself as if I have just swallowed expired milk. I guess I was just wondering if I really was alone in this despair and was kind of hoping to discover that I was not.