Let me start with my mission statement. As others have before me, I have, in middle age, come to a realisation that I might possibly be autistic. But of course, it’s not a case of just realising, and then you are. You have to take a good look at yourself, the way you are, the way you live, the way your brain works. I have therefore embarked on a proper quest to find my place on the Autism spectrum.
To help me with my quest, I have been reading a number of blogs by women on the spectrum, which made me realise that many others have trodden this path before be.
Most of these blogs take the diagnosis (self- or otherwise) as the starting point, and the writer describes how it went on from there, what it means for their lives etc. There’s usually a post looking back on how they arrived at their diagnosis, and that is how I know that the dithering and doubting I’m going through right now is common. But, I thought, what if I wrote it down as it happened? So this is what this blog is about. This is me chasing my own tail, as I have for years, with an increasingly frantic pace. This is me going “yeah, but no, but yeah, but no…”. This is me tentatively groping my way towards a possible self-diagnosis.
There are several purposes to this blog. The first is that I’m using it to get my own thoughts straight. If I have to do my homework properly, it’s probably a good idea not to keep it all in my head, but to write it down, and the blog format is going to force me to do it in some systematic fashion. This will also help me to store up ammunition, should I ever be in a position of having to convince someone else but me that I’m actually autistic.
The second is that I have vague hopes of being able to help someone in my situation in the future. I get so much out of other people’s blogs, it is only fair if I try to give something back. And perhaps it will help someone to read about the doubts, the ups and downs, not in retrospect but “live” as it happens.
The third is that with this blog I am reaching out to the autistic online community. I have already made tentative contact by leaving a few comments on other people’s blogs, and I’ve had very kind responses. With my own blog, I’m making a more decisive approach. But I must admit I’m apprehensive. What is the autistic community going to say if I knock on their door? I’m only questioning at the moment. Will they help me decide? Will they accept my hesitant self-identification? Or will they say: “Who do you think you are? You’re a fake, a fraud. Go away and stop appropriating something that doesn’t belong to you.”
And with that I welcome you to the interior of my head. If you like, come with me on this journey into the spectrum world. Find out how my brain works. Take a look at my life through Spectrespecs.
Where will it all end? Only time will tell.