I’ve never fitted in. Not really anyway. My whole life I have felt like the odd one out. Even in kindergarten I knew the other kids were different, or rather: I was different. Not that I thought that they were all the same, I certainly don’t remember it that way, but if according to George Orwell some are more equal than others, I was definitely more different than others.
It’s hard to completely describe what that realisation does to a child. I know I never felt good enough, partly because of me being different and partly because I was made to feel not good enough. Such experiences have a lasting impact.
On my continued search for the reason why I never fitted in anywhere I did a lot of reading, because that is what I do, that is my safety net. With zero humans to turn to, books were all I had. Books were safe, books were honest, books were there for me.
I discarded lots of possible why’s during my quest. I won’t go over them all, I probably wouldn’t be able to remember them all anyway. One that definitely stood out for me was ‘gifted’, in the sense of intellectual giftedness. I found myself very much identifying with the stories of those interviewed in some books I read on the topic.
I decided to take a Mensa test, which to me really was the only way I knew to have my IQ tested. The actual Mensa membership was never something I was seeking, all I wanted to know was why I was so different, where my utter inability to connect with people stemmed from. Taking the Mensa test was just a means to an end.
My IQ results would definitely had let me ‘into’ Mensa, had that ever been something I wanted to do. For a while I truly believed that I had my answer, and I can’t say I took it very well when it started to dawn on me that I had not, after all, finished my search for answers.
It eventually took many more years and a diagnosis of a close relative for me to return to a previously discarded possibility. Discarded, not because I was not open to the idea, but simply because the then current description of my eventual diagnosis did not fit me at all. The ridiculous assumptions that came with said diagnosis like ‘no feelings’ and ‘no emotions’ cost me many extra years of searching.
I was eventually very fortunate to end up on the right trail at the same time when several new books were published. Books about women with autism, women with Asperger’s. Books written by people that knew how unjust those assumptions that led me to previously discard autism as the reason that made me different really were. Books with stories that ‘clicked’.
And thus, my journey as a woman diagnosed with Asperger’s began. These blog posts are my musings about past, present and future.