Safe and “Additional” Diagnosis

Just a relatively quick update, as I don’t have the mental energy right now for an in-depth post explaining everything. There’s way too much.

I’ve been back in the psychiatric clinic for the past two weeks. Didn’t want to come in initially, but my therapist thought it was necessary, and I ultimately agreed. I’m going to be discharged either on Thursday or Friday.

There’s something I haven’t mentioned before, as I haven’t been ready to talk to others about it, or even write about it. A while ago I came across a woman on the autism spectrum, and through identifying with her a lot, I started exploring it. So many things about myself, my life, made sense. I had always believed the stereotypes that comes along with autism, so it was never something I thought would apply to me until then.

I was terrified to bring it up with my therapist for many reasons, but I took the plunge anyway. I was very surprised when she told me that she had ASD as her differential diagnosis for a while already. She had never mentioned it to me before.

We spoke about it (specific symptoms/difficulties) now and then during a session in relation to something else that would come up, but never actually discussed it in any depth. And since it wasn’t something she specialized in, she also couldn’t do any official assessments. I was also wary about making it a “thing” in case I was wrong.

But then out of the blue, just before my admission, she brought up the possibility of getting an assessment while I’m in the clinic. She spoke to my dad before my admission and explained the purpose of the admission, the possibility of ASD, among other things. She was concerned about me, and thought that since I’m going to be living with them again as soon as I get my EU passport, he needs to understand some things. It went very well, and he was receptive and understanding. I was so surprised. He’s been different with me after that. In a good way. We’re having another “meeting” with him this week to discuss the results of my assessments.

I didn’t think anything would come of it actually, but true to her word, she arranged with a specialist to do an assessment with me. It was exhausting. Long. Overwhelming. I also had a sensory evaluation done (on a different day, thank god).

When the results came back and was discussed and explained, I felt so many emotions, I couldn’t even process them all. There was a mixture of heavy relief, intense sadness, my life flashing before my eyes. Memories. Even extreme anger. I’m still processing everything.

Primary diagnosis: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a type previously called Aspergers
Secondary diagnosis: BPD

I strongly suspect my mom is also on the spectrum, as we’re so similar. When I had to ask her questions about my childhood, it brought back memories for her of her own childhood and life too with similar difficulties. She said I was a very different baby and child compared to her other two children, my half-sisters, and understands me better than she does them, even though I didn’t grow up with her. One of her brothers had been diagnosed with ASD as a child, so it seems it might run in her side of the family.

So much of my life makes so much more sense in light of all of this. I make more sense to myself now, and realized just how much masking I did throughout my life. No wonder I’m almost always exhausted and drained. My sensory report also confirmed so much. Feeling useless and stupid because I struggle/d with things that aren’t a big deal to most others… I’m not lazy, stupid, or pathetic. My brain just works differently and deals with certain things in different ways.

5 responses to “Safe and “Additional” Diagnosis”

  1. I’m glad for you that you got this diagnosis. It sounds like it’s already helped you see that there’s nothing wrong with you—you simply process sensory information differently. My son is on the spectrum as well. Once we recognize what’s not working for him, it’s often very easy to make adjustments in the environment or lighting or temperature or whatever, and he feels so much more at ease. I’m also glad to hear your dad is being supportive. I hope this information really helps you see yourself with kindness and make whatever adaptations that will ease your way in the world. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Q. It’s been extremely helpful getting this diagnosis. The world wasn’t set up in a way that accommodates different neurotypes, unfortunately. But with this information, it will perhaps (hopefully) make it easier to navigate this world and make it work for me, instead of trying to fit in all the time and getting overwhelmed, disappointed, and despondent. I’ll also try to be less hard on myself. So glad to hear that your son has parents that help him where they can. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I never had the sense you were “lazy, stupid, and pathetic,” but your understanding that you aren’t is a major, much more important missing piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, that means a lot. Being judged as those things throughout my life has made it so ingrained that it’s difficult to get out of it. But I’m trying and will continue to do so. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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