The morning of my final appointment, the one at which I would get my evaluation results, was a Friday morning very similar to this one. Ten weeks ago. Beforehand I wrote this (some strong and self-deprecating language) in my paper journal:
What the fuck was I thinking? Today is the day. I don’t see how there could be a middle ground. Either it all makes sense or I’m a rotten, lazy person despite my best efforts. We can add oversensitive and controlling to the list also, along with callous and clueless.
But it’s also only one official verdict. It can’t take away the fact that I see myself in the writing of other autistic people or that, for once in my life, I seem to be almost a textbook example of something.
I have things I need to get done before the appointment and not much time to do them. That was intentional, of course. I’d better get to it then.
At that point in time, I was primarily regretting my decision to get evaluated. Maybe it would’ve been better to not know for certain. I was so anxious and stressed about it all. Not to even mention, how did one react in either of the two probable situations? Happy? Sad? Surprised? Well, not surprised because I had pretty well prepared myself for either one.
All in all, I think it went pretty well. The appointment was mostly a blur really. We went over the paperwork and came to nearly the end of the packet where it was spelled out in black and white: 299.0 Autism Spectrum Disorder. Requiring Support. A tear or two, of relief I now think, trickled down my cheek at around this point.
After returning home I typed this out very quickly because I had a dentist appointment scheduled for about an hour later:
I’m not a lazy horrible person! I just have to go to the dentist now and can’t process anything at the moment. Pretty sure I feel relieved though.
Being a lazy horrible person is what I was told my entire life and until now there wasn’t much keeping those tapes from replaying in my head ad nauseum. I wasn’t working up to my potential therefore I was lazy or not trying hard enough. I kept making mistakes when interacting with people therefore I was mean/thoughtless/etc. Friends and parents getting angry because I did or didn’t do/say something and not explaining why in a way I could understand or remember because “You know what you did.” and “I already told you so you’re being defiant by not remembering.” 😦
Having independent confirmation is a huge thing! I’ve also been told my entire life that my way of perceiving things was wrong, by the vast majority of people I’ve interacted with. Not as much in recent years, but there were still nearly 3 decades of repeated invalidation.
Then, I went to the dentist, which was just terrible timing. If I had it to do over, I would not plan to do anything for the next several days after, let alone the day of, getting my results. I wasn’t even remotely back to my normal functioning levels for a good month after it was all over.
Later in the day, I wrote more:
Afternoon – It’s over. Relief is sweet. So tired. So stressful to wait. But it’s there in black and white. I can’t think too hard about it yet, but I’m validated. I’m not wrong, just different. It all officially makes sense now.
Done, Relief. Autistic.
Nothing changed today – everything changed today.
I’m still myself, but now I trust myself.
I’ve always been autistic, but now it’s official.
Suspicion to certainty
I can be who I’m meant to be.