Today is the 2nd January and the whole school fiasco is making me feel anxious. I need to plan. I need to be able to sort out my school and the kids school and everything in between. There are so many different things going through my mind that at the moment I dont want to do any of them.
My washing machine has given up the ghost and I havent even finished paying for it. I am starting to wonder what normal even looks like any more.
I read an amazing article the other day about a late diagnosis. Things have not been going to well at work and I am wondering if a diagnosis would be helpful or even give me an insight into what I am doing wrong. What do I need help with?
Take work. At the end of the day I am frazzled. Sensory overload is hitting me big time. I dont react well to the overhead flourescent lights or the other lights that seem to be on all the time. I work with lovely but oh so loud people who just dont stop talking. Its constant noise and constantly having to filter out the noise and concentrate on what people are saying is draining. So when I say frazzled its not the normal run of the mill tired at the end of the day.
I am also conscious of the differences in how people treat me and how they treat other people. I try to mimic other people and believe this is called masking. I am currently reading amongst the many books I am currently reading ” Helping you to identify and understand Autism Masking” by Emma Kendall. I have it on my kindle but have not yet gotten around to reading it so can only guess that this fitting in behaviour and mimicking is part of the masking. See this article Autistic girls going undiagnosed due to ‘camouflaging’ behaviour, study says | Autism | The Guardian for an explanation of what is going on and how it affects girls more than boys.
I decided to go for a diagnosis. At the age of nearly 50 I am surprised that it has taken this long for someone to say “hey you know what …..” but instead it has been more of a guilt trip mental problem character assassination type thing. Reading the article and the associated research https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-020-04615-z has shown how it is easy to miss this. I can completely understand how exhausting it is to try and be something you are not day in day out. I am exhausted. I try so hard to understand, to be pleasant and be sociable. That’s what girls do. Isn’t it? But wow I would just love to be accepted as my authentic self.
In some ways its more defined for boys. I find myself masking all the time trying to fit in. I once described it as getting ready for work. You put your work clothes on which are different to the clothes you wear when you go out to the shops, and in the same way you dig out your work personality, your agreeable person personality. It has taken me a long time to understand that that person is not me. Not my authentic self to the point that i thought that I had a personality disorder. Sometimes I actually am not sure what I actually like or what the influence of those around me makes me think i like.
This is what I want to get to A psychiatrist diagnosed me as autistic with ADHD. Now, finally, I can thrive | Autism | The Guardian I need guidance on what I need to thrive. What other people need to do to help me to thrive.
So I decided to go for my diagnosis at the end of the year. What timing! Just as COVID explodes once again. I phoned the doctors as that is the only way I can get a diagnosis. There must be a better way surely. I am not ill! I dont have a personality issue as such Im just a cat in a world run by dogs! Im different and it feels a bit clinical and well just weird to be having to go to the doctor and justify why I think I should get a diagnosis.
I know its difficult at the moment but it felt at odds. Then again it felt exactly the same as always you dont fit in, you are different, you dont get it … and so on. I have to forward my proof. I did a screening test on the internet (well thats what I called it) and it seems I am an expresso coffee .. not really it was about 200 questions that I tried to answer as honestly as I could. I will email the doctor that and wait…. Im not holding my breath.
The really ironic thing is that I work literally around the corner from the place that would do the diagnosis. I walk past it on the way to work and yet its going to be years before it comes to my turn. I am going to have to save £3000 to get a private diagnosis at the same place. I will have to see what is in Gods plan I think.
Cant seem to rationalise this one out and plan as per my usual strategies.
So cant wait to see what the new year brings. Cognitive psychology and masking research 🙂
Happy New Year !