I preface this post with “most likely,” because it was a self-diagnosis, I probably won’t be able to get in front of a psychologist for a while because I’m currently living in Africa, and because many of the traits listed are me to a T.
The discovery was by sheer happenstance. An email came through, I was about to unsubscribe because the author had been sending daily, near back-to-back emails, and I was tired of receiving them. Luckily, it was that email that was the final straw, because otherwise, I would’ve just sent it to the trash.
If you haven’t gathered just yet, I am extremely excited about this self-diagnosis. It explains so much that I always thought was just me being weird. Feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere, uncontrollably saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times, being able to communicate my truth best through writing vs verbally, the social anxiety, and so much more.
Some of the traits can be traced back to my childhood, the number one being that my preschool teachers asking my mom if I was autistic because I never said a word, but that was long gone by kindergarten because I’d begun to start working on my mask. Other traits I presented included self-soothing by rubbing the satin edges of my favorite blanket against my face, rubbing my earlobes, and sleeping under the cot so my face could feel the cold floor in preschool (I remember that to this day. I’m still confused as to why the teachers never put me back on the cot 🤔)
Prior to this, I’d been mucking around in Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) territory, which, by the way, likely goes hand in hand. My theory is that, because of being on the spectrum, CEN happens more often to those children simply because they don’t act like “normal” children. They may be harder to discipline, or may cause trouble more than other “normal” children. Which would absolutely be my case on 💯. You can ask my mom.
So what does one do after an Autism spectrum diagnosis? Read more on the topic of women on the spectrum (because many women on the spectrum never receive a diagnosis simply because more research and information about it is directed at males on the spectrum—females present much differently, and have often been successful at creating masks to fit into normal social situations), find out more traits to look out for, search for any resources to assist someone on the spectrum, and find a tele-psychologist who might test me at a distance.
I mostly wanted to come and say this, in case any of my followers also foot the woman-on-autism-spectrum bill. We shall see what comes of this!
– Aminah Jamil ♾