It’s funny how when we hear what we’ve been telling ourselves for years from someone else – it hurts. It becomes real. The thing that you feared or were uncomfortable about yourself, that you were hoping wasn’t true, is now true, because they’ve said it to you.
It could be something that you need to do to help you grow, or just something you were insecure about. It feels like they’ve just ripped off the band aid without any warning and left you, standing there, butt naked. It makes you feel vulnerable.
What’s made me feel so vulnerable this week is that someone suggested that I might have autism or a learning difficulty. Some of my behaviors reminded them of people they’ve worked with that had autism and learning difficulties. BTW I know they are completely two different things. The person who pointed this out to me argued that I might have both. I was like great, thank you so much. Wonderful. Anything else that I might have, that you feel you might have missed. ( The last part – all of that was beautifully said in my head)
Anyway, I don’t know if I believe them but it’s not the fact that I might have those things, it’s the fact that they saw that in me. They saw past me trying so hard to cover up how hard I try to do certain things.
I’ve always done pretty well when it comes to research and essay writing, but I’ve never been the type of person that could absorb information straight away. I wouldn’t learn anything off a presentation or lecture, but I would go home learn everything myself from the beginning. I’ve managed to get away with that for 23 years, because for all of education up until now required me to go away and prepare for exams, essays or presentations. Never on the spot thinking. Now that I’m working somewhere, where it’s easier for people to spot my learning struggles.
I think what I’m struggling with is the fact that after this person said this to me – I went down the dark hole called the internet and searched on everything and anything about autism and learning difficulties. I related to almost all the symptoms of autism and signs of visual dyslexia. I completed every internet test I could find, official and non official and I scored high in most. This of course doesn’t mean that I am. I’m no way self-diagnosing. It just means that I need to get tested and at this point I have no choice because I’m still going to struggle with these things until I do something about it.
Part of me is welcoming a diagnosis, then maybe I can get some support and maybe I won’t have to try so hard to be something I’m not or do things that I’m just not made to do. The other part of me is thinking I don’t want to feel different than I already feel I am. I’ll have a label now. I’m finally starting to accept myself – unconditionally (trying) and being okay with people having opinions of me. Now people won’t just go yeah she’s weird, no they’ll go yeah she’s got this learning difficulty or autism, that’s why she acts like that. Will it also restrict me, will i start saying to myself, I can’t do this or that because I have this condition?
There are all these questions that I have but the truth is I just don’t want to find out. Because either way, I’ll have to come terms with knowing and then the task of figuring what the outcome means, and then what do I do from here.
Yeah, I’m just going to have to get tested.
I don’t know what I’m hoping for, I just hope that whatever the outcome, it’s helps in the long run.