In May 2013, I entered a mental health treatment facility to manage my depression for the first time. There the psychiatrist told me he thought I had Asperger’s syndrome. I didn’t know what I felt at the time, maybe a little bit of denial, maybe a little bit of curiosity because a psychologist friend, who knew me as a child, told me she didn’t believe I was on the spectrum, and I believed her.
I had a pretty normal development, if you don’t count the fact that I stopped talking when I was 3 years old to everyone but my immediate family and a very select few friends. I started talking again when my psychologist friend, who was the psychologist at my elementary school, intervened. I was awkward throughout middle school and high school, having very intense interests like writing, presidents, birds, certain actresses, my pets, and TV shows and movies that had a love theme (like Who’s The Boss? [80’s sitcom], Notting Hill [Julia Roberts film], and currently Castle [Nathan Fillion/Stana Katic dramedy]).
I was very smart. I got very disappointed if I ever got a B- on a report card. I graduated from high school in 2004 with honors and a 3.6 GPA. I decided to go away to college and room with my best friend at the University of Minnesota, Morris. I loved the town and I loved the school and still do to this day, but I struggled being away from home. I isolated myself in my dorm room the three and half years I was there, I rarely went to class and part of me regrets staying so long, mainly for the massively bill I accumulated. I finally moved back home and got a job at Rainbow Foods, where I still work. I am a cashier and I do not enjoy it at all. It is difficult for me being so verbal and outgoing with people. I do feel I was meant to be at this job for some time though. If I hadn’t taken this job, I would still be very quiet and shy, I am still that, but not nearly as bad as I was 5 years ago when I started.
3 months ago, I was introduced to the possibility of being on the spectrum. I made an appointment to get tested as soon as possible, which happened to be in August. Now, a few weeks later, I got the preliminary diagnosis from the therapist. She believes I am on the spectrum in some capacity. I find out more information the next time I go in a week or two.
I hope this introduction to me helps you understand what I have gone through in this beginning process of diagnosis and acceptance.