This post contains the *last sections from the entries I journaled four years ago. It’s continued from here.
On our [recent] drive home from [the nearby Big City], I talked to [husband] about what I had been like in middle school. We weren’t friends then, but we took several classes together for two years. Apparently I was noticeably weird and different. I’m not just making it up after reading the diagnostic criteria!
[Husband] said that my preoccupations with reading and Star Wars (as well as almost any sci-fi I could get my hands on) were very extreme. He said that I interacted (or didn’t) with the other children oddly and that the other students didn’t like that I talked more to the teachers than to them.
I simply got along better with adults at that age and it didn’t seem odd to me.
It was absolutely priceless at that time to be able to so easily corroborate my memories with someone who currently knows me better than anyone else does and who had also known me as a peer when I was a child.
When we got home, [husband] and I read through the diagnostic criteria. I fit the [Aspergers] criteria for DSM-IV as well as the DSM-V autism criteria. There we go, and I’m not just making it up in my head. Sometimes it still feels like the criteria fit just too well.
I believe I’ve stated it before, but this was just before the switch was made to the DSM-V from the DSM-IV so I looked pretty extensively at both potential diagnostic criteria. Just to be absolutely thorough about it all.
It’s as if I must be exaggerating to myself or something in order to make it fit, but when I talk to people who knew me when I was younger or recall conversations I’ve had about my childhood in the past… yeah, no. It really does fit that well.
I had talked to several different people about my suspicions by this point. During that time, and since then, nobody who both knows me well and has a decent understanding of Aspergers/autism has been surprised when I told them of my suspicions or of my diagnosis. They all have said things like, “Oh, yes, this explains a lot!”
It’s creepy in so many ways, but it’s also somewhat liberating how well the criteria fit. There was a reason for my weirdness! There still is a reason! I’m a lot better at functioning than I used to be, but some of the things I thought I had gotten better at, [husband] was enthusiastically agreeing with so I guess I still have a lot to work on.
And then, as suddenly as I’d begun, I stopped researching autism. I got overwhelmed and just stopped. We had noticed that one of our children, who was pretty much exactly like I had been as a child, also fit the criteria all too perfectly. Having insurance coverage for our children, because pretty much only children and pregnant women get government healthcare in my state, our child ended up being officially diagnosed soon after this.
I went on with my job, with my children, and with my volunteer work. For four years.
I even had my last baby during this time period.
Thoughts of autism would pop up periodically, maybe once daily, but they were primarily restricted to, “I’m doing pretty well. Maybe I’m not Autistic after all.” and then the next day, or even hour, they’d be more along the lines of, “Oh, wow, I’m so very clearly Autistic AF.”
I had no closure about this possibility throughout those years. Looking back, I’m not sure how I lived with the uncertainty other than simply trying not to think about it any more often than when it would randomly pop up.
*I did write plenty of other things during those few months, but my other writings weren’t straight journal entries. They were mostly personal responses to descriptions of typical Autistic/Asperger presentations and traits. I haven’t decided if or how I might use those on the blog given that they’re quite lengthy and I will likely cover most of that information in other ways anyhow.