It looks like I’m having a blogging day today. It always happens when I feel low. Which is, I suspect, caused by grief. I’m not totally sure though, I just know that I’m sad, pretty much since I woke up. Grief would make sense though. And obviously the war.
Shirley, the radio station manager, was hinting that I should say something positive about my diagnosis. I wonder now whether what I am saying sounds negative? Well, in a way it probably is, but I didn’t mean that the fact I received diagnosis was bad. It made a lot of sense to me and it confirmed what I was almost sure anyway but not 100 percent certain. Also John seemed to get more into me after I told him I have been diagnosed. I suppose he was worried that he won’t be able to get on with a neurotypical woman.
However, I did see quite a few ladies on my autism Facebook group complaining about the fact that they can’t get the diagnosis even though their sibling is autistic and they have loads of issues. They are told that they can’t be autistic because they can hold a conversation, maintain eye contact and are in a relationship. It is quite shocking to me that this is still happening. It seems like some diagnosticians don’t really know that much about autism, which then shows a lot needs to be improved.
But then, there is also another group of females who got diagnosed but doubt the diagnosis. They think that possibly their diagnostic teams overdiagnose people due to this new trend. And then those women are still wondering what is wrong with them, the same like they did before the diagnosis. I think that could be because diagnosis is based too much on discussing past issues, and of course we all have them. Some of the issues may in fact be caused by anxiety or other mental health problems.
I was spared both of those problems. My diagnostician, was very knowledgeable and able to recognise autism in me. I also never doubt my diagnosis, after I realised what one little task revealed about me.
Basically I was given a simple puzzle to do and there was no time limit to complete them, so I didn’t need to rush. But, as it was a task, I focused on it. Towards the end I realised that one piece was missing and at first I couldn’t even say anything out loud. I just couldn’t. It had nothing to do with shyness, I was just still focused on task and wanted to avoid human interactions. I was looking around the table for a couple of seconds, even though it was obvious that the piece was not there because the table was empty, I also didn’t see it on the floor. When I finally realised I won’t be able to get away from speaking up, I wanted to do that with as little interaction as possible so I looked ahead, avoiding looking at any of the ladies who run my assessment and I spelt out ‘Not enough!’
Both of the ladies looked up and started looking for the missing piece. They were very chatty and sweet while doing that. They found it in a plastic bag eventually and still were chatty while giving it to me, and I totally ignored them, I was just looking at the puzzle piece and was really anxious to get it in my hands.
A day or two later I realised the puzzle piece didn’t get missing. It was hidden on purpose and the whole situation was arranged to see how I would react to the social situation the two ladies created by chatting about the missing piece. And I was shocked that the ony two words I said was able to say was ‘not enough’ and I totally ignored their social efforts.
And that was the the exact reason why I never doubt I’m autistic after that. Everything else, you know, can be explained somehow. Yes, I have certain problems but everyone has some, maybe I exaggerated because I wanted to be diagnosed – that’s a common problem in my autistic female group.
Yes, I have some issues, but I don’t have others. For example if I really want something, I can be very influential. I couldn’t keep it for long but I was in situations where I got exactly what I wanted by talking about emotions, even with people who I barely knew.
The Guy Who’s Life Fell Apart – I mentioned him a couple of posts ago. I knew him for a bit, although not very well and I didn’t know why his ex dumped him. Maybe there was something wrong with him, I was thinking before we started dating. By accident I met his ex one day and I started talking about relationships while constantly thinking what can I say so that she told me the truth about his previous partner. And at some point I had it! I had to say how sad I was when the relationship that I had with the guy who brought me to the UK ended. And I was right. In response I’ve heard that The Guy Who’s Life Fell Apart was actually a good guy. He just liked being at home a lot and reading while she wanted to be out and about.
I don’t suppose this is something that an average autistic female can do. But as I said I really needed to know that. It’s also possible that I managed because the character from the novel I wrote in my early 30s was constantly doing that – trying to work out what to say so that people react in a certain way. So possibly I trained my brain to do that while writing?
So if the puzzle task was not part of my diagnosis I’d probably also doubt if I’m really autistic. This is the positive bit of my diagnosis. And I do admit that, possibly, as I was focusing on ‘being real’, I forgot to talk about the good things.
But I also didn’t want to disclose this part of the assessment as I was thinking that was what my diagnostician came up with herself and if it gets widely discussed she won’t be able to use it again. Although she would probably come up with something else that would have the exact same effect.
I wonder what they did for men though?