PART 2: In this video I share a magical moment in my aspergers story. The big revelation came, not receiving an asd diagnosis, but by meeting other people on the spectrum. SHARE YOUR STORY: I'm compiling stories for a special project at the end of the month. If you'd like to share your diagnosis story too please message me at firstname.lastname@example.org :) Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aspergersfrom... Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aspergersfro... Twitter: https://twitter.com/AspieFromInside Written Blog: https://aspergersfromtheinside.com/ More Videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/aspergersfr... ----------------------------------------------- // WELCOME TO ASPERGERS FROM THE INSIDE!! My name is Paul and I discovered I have Aspergers at age 30. If you're new you can check out a playlist of some of my most popular videos here: https://www.youtube.com/c/aspergersfr... Yes, I know, I don't look autistic. That's exactly why I started this blog, because if I didn't show you, you would never know. As the name suggests, this channel is devoted to giving you insight into the world of Aspergers. This blog started off being just my story, but I've learned SO MUCH about my own condition from meeting others on the Autism Spectrum that now I make sure to feature their stories as well. I've come a long way in my own personal journey. Now I'm sharing what I've found so you don't have to learn it the hard way too.
Unknown Speaker 0:00
Okay, so welcome to part two of my diagnosis story. Part One, I looked at how I went for 30 years without realizing that I was on the spectrum. And so in this part, I'll be looking at what was the trigger, and how I suddenly over a relatively short amount of time, came to be very sure that I that I was on the spectrum and started identifying as having Asperger's. So I guess the biggest trigger at the start, was I read a book called, look me in the I, my life with Asperger's, which is an autobiography of a man with Asperger's in the US called john elder Robison. And he was describing all of these things in this book that I just seemed to understand, at a really, really deep level. And he was explaining them to the reader, as if the reader wasn't supposed to understand. So I'll give you an example. Something like his psychologist would write down in his notes. Johnny doesn't like to play with the other children. And he would explain in his in his own language, Johnny would love to play with the other children. Our children are really mean to Johnny, Johnny would prefer to sit by himself then to put up with the meanness of the other children. Right. So you can see how there's like the outside perspective that the rest of the world sees, and then his inside perspective, whereas I found that I could really easily relate to his inside perspective, and I didn't need him to explain it to me before I before I understood it.
Unknown Speaker 1:40
Unknown Speaker 1:42
there were a lot of things that that were a bit of triggers for me in that book, thinking, oh, wow, I do that, too. So I got about halfway through this book, I didn't even finish it, put it down, started researching Asperger's online. Right, I did an online test, I found like the autism question test. And the official internet diagnosis was probably, so that wasn't very helpful. But then I found I was still quite motivated. So I found a group called Asperger's Victoria, and they had a support group meeting, like the next day or something like that. So I sent them an email and I said, Hey, I'm, you know, thinking, I'm not sure I might be on the spectrum. Can I come along to your meeting? And I got back a very, very welcoming. Yes, of course, you can just turn up, you'll be fine. No issues there at all. I had massive reservations, thinking, can I can I really just tag along to a support group meeting about this condition that I know virtually nothing about? And, you know, I, the internet diagnosis said probably, but I went, and I was really worried about being an imposter, basically. So I overcompensated by introducing myself, Hi, my name is Paul, I diagnosed myself on the internet yesterday. And that was supposed to be like a joke. But no one took it like a joke. They basically said, welcome, you're one of us now. And, and that that really, really threw me I was I was expecting some resistance. I was expecting people to say, hang on, hang on. You need to prove that you're one of us. You can't just come in here with no knowledge of anything and expect us to be welcoming of you. But I found the exact opposite. And I was quite frankly, shocked. I was there was just no judgment there. It was all 100% welcoming. Anyway. So the next question for me, you know, in my, in my state of shock thrown off guard by this reaction I didn't expect. The next question was, so do I maybe I do belong here. What How do I know if if I belong with this group or not? And I was looking around the room, and everyone was so different to each other. And I was thinking to myself, How on earth am I going to figure out if I belong with these people when they're all so different to each other? And then something quite magical happened. We were having a discussion. And the discussion topic was what to do when you go to the supermarket. And the thing that you were asked to buy isn't there. And we probably talked about this for a good like 20 or 30 minutes. And in that discussion, I found that all of these other people had been asking themselves similar questions that I've been asking themselves that had similar similar issues that I had been having and Most importantly, they've really loved all of my strategies, because obviously I'd spend a lot of time thinking about this. And I had a strategy for every situation or if this, then give them a call, if you're not sure about this, then do this. If so, yeah, so that was really good. Okay, okay. Okay, what else, what else? So that really was quite a magical moment, when I realized that I had found my tribe, I have been looking for a place to belong for a very, very long time, always feeling like I'm on the outside, and I don't quite fit in anywhere. And all of a sudden, with this group, I feel like I'm supposed to be there. And I guess from that moment on, I was just sure that I was on the spectrum. And it wasn't because of any kind of intellectual reasoning, it was just from an overwhelming feeling of, Wow, I've never been in a place with people that I felt so similar to in my entire life. There must be something to this. I must be one of them. They are an Asperger's support group. I must have Asperger's, you know, so that was the kind of emotional logic that was that was going on. And it was only afterwards that I started obsessing about actually reading up about Asperger's. And okay, what is it? does this apply to me? How is this working?
Unknown Speaker 6:34
And what I found was, I was so sure from that experience, that I was on the spectrum, that I started reading these books and telling off the books and going no, that's not what's happening. That's what it looks like on the outside. But that's not what's happening on the inside, a little bit like this autobiography that I was reading. And that's partly why I was inspired to, to start this blog Asperger's from the inside. Because I felt so strongly that from the outside, we get misjudged all the time. And I'd finally found people that validated my perception of the world and said, You're not crazy. This is actually a thing. I'm rambling a little bit. But that's okay. So what I learned at that support group meeting, and what I've continued to learn for the three years ever since, is that, if you want to understand Asperger's, autism, you need to meet people on the spectrum in real life. Because if you just read about it in a book, it's not going to tell you what it actually looks like in real life. And that was my experience. And that was the biggest thing that showed me that I was on the spectrum, was reading about this guy's autobiography, and then meeting other people on the spectrum in real life. So the next question I had to ask myself is, okay, so I know I'm on the spectrum. are other people going to be as accepting? Because the what I found was that the Asperger's community, no one, no one wanted an official diagnosis. That was the last question on their mind. Whereas when I spoke to others who didn't really know anything about Asperger's, or autism, they were pretty skeptical. They're like, What do you mean? What do you mean, you're on the spectrum? You can't just diagnose yourself, right? You need to go see a psychologist and stuff for that. So I was reading up a lot. And a big, big question is the pros and cons of getting a diagnosis, and there are plenty of them. And the one that really, really stood out to me is that it's a common experience. And it was definitely my experience, to feel as though I've spent my whole life not being believed. When I say, I don't work that way. When I say, this particular thing that you've asked me to do, I can't do it for these reasons. Or, I need to do it this way. Because your mainstream way doesn't work for me for all these reasons. I'm not really believed. And I felt like the label of Asperger's gave me something to point to and say, See, I told you I wasn't crazy. not crazy, or not insane. My mother had me tested, which is a quote I like from the Sheldon Cooper character. I'm not insane. My mother had me tested. So I really appreciated that validation that I felt from the community of other SPS that I met, but what was I going to do in the rest of the world if I didn't have a piece of paper to back me up like that? And what I realized is, there's always Going to be people who don't believe you, even if you've got a piece of paper and you say, look, this is a document that's recognized by the government. Don't tell me that I'm not on the spectrum. That's still not enough for people sometimes. So I was coming in iring about it for a long time. And I decided that because the diagnosis meant so much to me in terms of that validation, it was really important for myself, to be sure to get a professional opinion to be sure that I wasn't crazy, essentially, because I had decided that I belong and that I have Asperger's. But I can very easily doubt myself. So I decided to seek a diagnosis. And that will be the topic of part three of this series of my diagnosis journey. So stay tuned for that. Okay, bye. If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up and hit subscribe for weekly content just like this one. If you'd like to get even more involved, you can join the discussion on social media or support me by becoming a patron. Finally, I value your time and you'll notice all my videos are ad free. So please help me to cover what you want to hear by leaving me a comment and telling me what you think. So thanks for watching, and I'll see you another time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai