Accepting I’m different

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled to fit in. things people find easy, I dont and came up with numerous ways to fit it or ways to accomplish things. Despite this I’ve always been told I’m doing things wrong or someone would say “I wouldn’t have done it that way.” Nothing i have done has been good enough and honestly throughout my life I’ve felt a failure.

However since my autism diagnosis, my life and outlook on things has changed dramatically. Its difficult for me to accept that I’m different and that I am in fact disabled. Everything i have been through in my life and the way i react to things or the way i think, is different to everyone else. Thats a hard thing to get my head around. It wasn’t until my diagnosis that certain aspects of my life began to click in place. I’ve started to realise some of my reactions and feelings are autistic traits.

Because I’ve tried to fit in to the world around me and to be accepted by people I have learned to mask things. (Masking is a process in which an individual changes or “masks” their natural personality to conform to social pressures, abuse, and/or harassment). My counsellors and Doctor have agreed that masking is wrong and I should stop trying to conform to things and be my true self. This is where things are getting really difficult. I’m trying to be myself and just do things that i enjoy, however for me to do that i’m starting to ‘let go’ / forgetting to do things that would be classed as ‘normal.’ e.g. Energy bills or managing money that i really dont understand it and so am kind of ignoring it and hoping for the best, which i know isn’t the best plan. There are so many things that i still have to try to conform to and things that i have to do. Which goes against being myself and trying to bring down the ‘masks’ I’ve created.

How do i be myself and restart my life as an autistic adult if i cant let go of the image of a ‘normal’ adult i pretended to be. It really is a minefield and that’s before I even get onto my other health and learning Conditions.

2 thoughts on “Accepting I’m different

  1. Being ourselves is something we all struggle with and sometimes there are only a few people who get to see the real us. Although quite often even they only see the mask. It’s often a case of trying to pick and chose what you need to do. Routines are so important and can help when trying to get things in order. School-like timetables spring to mind and there are a lot of places that can help, whether it’s verbal or visual tables. I’ve also found (with having children) that going back to basics helps. For example with money – try looking at children or school learning websites to relearn about money basics. Quite often my son never really learnt the basics, so expecting him to know the advanced bits never works. Remember you are older now, so relooking over things you were shown but never understood in school is allowed and you can take your time to learn it at your pace now. You are not a failure and your understanding of your diagnosis allows you to look again at the basics in a new way. Don’t give up because it may feel like a step backwards, instead think of it as teaching the new you. Since your diagnosis you are finding you need to look at things again and to be who you are and not your mask. If the real you doesn’t understand things, then try learning in a way that helps you. Also don’t be afraid to look online for local courses, there may something that can help as well. PS. Some of the children’s toys are very useful too (really helped my maths…)

  2. Your mask has been in place so well that people think you are coping, but it now sounds as if you are really not coping well, so the answer must be to ask for help. Tell someone what it is you don’t understand and ask them to explain, or better still, point you in the right direction to solving the issue.
    This link is a fairly new service that helps with money tips and a budget planner, have a look at what they say it may be of some use. Lots of people here and ready to help in any way we can. x

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