I’m both Gay and Autistic
It’s weird, I’m probably going to switch that back and forth, there now pretty defining to me as a person. Could Gistic be a thing? A new subgroup! Eh, I still down with being a really gay Otter. I was diagnosed with mild autism about three years ago. A therapist, the first person who truly got me, asked if I’ve been tested. Honestly, I had always thought about it but never mentioned it. When I think of people with Autism, I think of Max on Parenthood. It was right around the time that they introduced the character Hank, that stuff started to click more and more in my head.
So, I was tested, it came back that I was most likely on the low end of the spectrum. We decided to not do further testing because by the end of it all, there would probably still be more questions. Let’s just throw the official label of Asperger’s but really, we will just deal with you as an individual. I think a lot of my growth in understanding my struggles, when I stopped trying to label them. I’m not OCD, I don’t have an Eating Disorder, I am a person who struggles with things. I know that there are people in extremes, where those labels matter. However, to me, unless we are in a hospital or you’re my insurance company, the labels aren’t useful. I’ve dealt with that very recently, with people making assumptions about how someone with my diagnosis would behave. Usually, it’s people who want to help. They see your label and sudden await a break down or you to go crazy. I accidentally let it to slip to someone I was messaging with online and the fact that I have an ED slipped out. I mentioned that maybe a loud Mexican restaurant might not be the best place to meet. When asked why, I took a risk and was honest. After about five minutes of trying to assure him that I was a functional human being he agreed to meet but as time went on I cancelled. I realized that date was basically a test to see just how crazy I was and even if it wasn’t I would feel that way.
Here we are and a few things sudden become clear. I start to write more, I start to feel like myself for the first time in a long time. The words just start pouring out. I realize that I write in a stream of thought because I am always writing in my head. Then it becomes clean, I have Autism. Writing that is actually much more powerful to me because with the Autism, it’s hard to speak the words. My emotions get turned up to 11 and everything becomes white noise. All those witty things I had in my mind stay there and I remain quiet.
When I was a kid, I was put in speech therapy. I’m not mad at anyone. It was the right thing to do at the right time with information they had. I just think it was easier to have the conversations in my head.
I was the kid that loved all the action figures, because I could create worlds of my own. My Star Trek adventures were much better than any show every created. Very DS9 heavy and I loved Major (Vedek) Kira.
I was ok with creating a world in my room and everyone told me that it was not ok. I left when I needed to but in a painful childhood, Major Kira and DS9 never left me. I think that is why I love shows so passionately. I carry them on in my head. Consistently creating new worlds. Occasionally, it made think I was crazy. Well, crazier.
I was bounced around from diagnosis to diagnosis; I have been diagnosed with Bipolar, an Eating Disorder and so on. None of them fit. Something was slightly off.
So here I am, 36 years old and figuring out how the hell to deal with being Autistic and Gay or Gay and Autistic. Still haven’t figured it out yet.
So far it means in general most people’s emotional scales go to 10, mine go to 11 and get there a lot faster. I also means; that it’s always better to give me a moment and when I can, I need to continue to express myself in words.