Length, thanking Mike
@mike came out” with his Dx on patreon a few days before I was unexpectedly Dx-ed (long story), and his representation made such a wild difference.
Someone I respect highly, care about deeply, and have had the voice of in my ears for 5+ years through my heavy deconstruction, personal trauma, and family death carried me through the initial shock of my Dx and helped do the initial breaking of my pre-existing construct on what autism is.
I cannot believe it’s been a year 💛
Yesterday was my 1 year autistic-anniversary, which isn’t an actual thing, but I’m making it one
One year of learning and of riding the waves of the joy and the grief of adult diagnosis. So many moments of pure elation as something finally made sense and so many moments of pure terror when something else made even less sense.
I’m here now, in good company.
Listening to @mike on the Unspoken podcast and y’all: take a listen. (And Mike: I am the most broken record but wow do I echo what you’re sharing in so many ways)
A small update: taking courageous steps everyday. Signed up for studio hours at a ceramics studio and I feel like I got a massive part of myself back. I’m nearing finals and being able to see my checklist go down is a relief. I stopped going to therapy and it’s been massively helpful (it’s okay to listen to your body when it says it needs to take breaks; do consult with your therapist about this). Depending relationships. Breathing. Slowly, but surely, crawling out of the hole of despair.
Spending some much needed time with my tablet tonight and drew up this little thing. Thinking a lot about kindness lately, and being on the receiving end of it and not knowing what to do (all the while being incredibly grateful).
Image description: digital artwork with cursive lettering that fits within a circle which reads “it is marvelous to be shattered by kindness” - Tennessee Williams
I “came out” on IG (on my story) as autistic yesterday for a number of reasons I won’t go into, but 200 of my 1100 friends+followers now know, which I feel okay about? I think??? It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks and I’m still very much trying to sort through it all.
Essentially, thank you to you all being a secure base to come back to
Showing “obvious” autistic traits has been catastrophically bad in the past, and he really understands how fearful and (likely) traumatized I am from all of that and how different situations have made me vulnerable to threat, social isolation, ridicule, etc.
There’s a lot to work through there, but I’m glad he exists, and that my brain knows there’s someone on campus that wouldn’t misinterpret my “odd” behavior as something they needed to interfere with in harmful ways.
SO: thank you for your responses the other day (and the continued support from the autistic folks on here) about your experiences telling people about you being autistic.
It helped me not feel so alone and much more courageous, knowing I had a safe homebase of y’all to come back to if it blew up in my face.
Instead, it created new safeness and openness with a professor I have a close relationship to scholastically and personally as well and I am SO GRATEFUL for that.
I could go on and on, but it was a truly healing interaction and one that gave me a lot of hope going forward facing school and otherwise.
I emailed him thanking him and he said he was honored and pleased that I felt safe to share with him and that he’s happy to welcome me exactly as I am. He said he’d encourage me to let the others on the research team know as well, which I’m debating, but as time goes on, I think would be a really helpful and healthy thing to do as well.
1/3 An update:
After research lab meeting I asked my prof if I could chat with him for a bit and I officially came “aut” as autistic to him and it went THE BEST it probably could have! I even got super overwhelmed and asked if I could sit with it for a moment, then realized I was really fearful to stim in front of him, so I asked (knowing he would say yes) if I could rock and he warmly said, “oh course!” Even just feeling safe enough to ask those two questions is a MAJOR thing for me.
Autism and “coming aut”
So. To those who are open about their autism: what contexts are you open about it (with certain people? Groups? Teachers? Bosses? Etc?) and have you found being open about it helpful or harmful? The masking feels like it’s killing me lately and I’ve been debating a lot whether or not to let my research team know/at least my research professor about it because I’m drowning.
@mike I’m only 30 minutes into the fear episode but it’s hitting deep in needed places. More than I can explain right now, thank you for sharing.
Believing in better things.
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