I may seem like I am a bit aloof & blunt sometimes, but I am very sensitive and often feel lonely and quite isolated from other people. I don’t have a close family for support
so it is just myself, my partner and my pets.
All my life I felt different from others around me and I found making friends difficult, never keeping friends for very long except for my intimate partners. As a child and teenager I felt alone and found finding and keeping friends very difficult, always preferring one on one friendships. I was terrible in groups and found & still do find parties, and group gatherings really uncomfortable, and I avoid them as much as I can. I preferred always to read, play with my dogs, make art or craft or watch movies.
I was academically very bright and succeeded in any studies I did but I didn’t succeed in feeling fulfilled and happy as a person due to social problems. I also had a short fuse and when under a lot of stress or if too much was happening I would withdraw or have a small melt down or occasionally even have a major meltdown which was really embarrassing.
My special interests all my life consumed me – serial obsessions which I was unable to explain to myself or others. These interests included various arts and crafts I learnt to do, reading and collecting cook-books (not cooking much though!!), collecting knitting wool, fabric, shoes and earrings. I prefer my own company even though I am in a long term happy same sex relationship prefer to sleep alone as I like my own space and feel I can amuse myself with my special interests without feeling like I am annoying my partner.
After reaching my 40’s and working in a professional role I learnt to mask my oddities so well that I now come across most of the time as a confident together person who is successful in her career and personal life however still somewhat distant from others. Beneath this veneer I still often feel very different, insecure and alone. I wish I had more close friends and I fear I will never be able to form these friendships.
I had no idea that I was Autistic until I saw a documentary on the ABC in 2019 about women with Aspergers. The stories in this program rang true and I was sure that I was on the spectrum as I saw myself in some of these stories. I then bought every book ever published on Aspergers in women and Autism in general devouring them all. I wasn’t sure I fitted into many of the profiles I read though but was reassured that everyone is very different and that I simply felt that I was Autistic. I sought out a female psychologist in Melbourne who specializes in diagnosing Autism in women and made an appointment for an assessment. Impatiently I waited months for this assessment and was very happy when I received a formal assessment of being Autistic. It explained so many things in my life and I felt like finally I understood the reason for my feelings and behaviour being so different from others.
Since this time my life hasn’t changed at all really, but I feel calmer and have a deeper understanding of myself. My partner also had answers for why my behaviour had been so challenging over the 29 years we have been together. I am not sure it has changed me as a person at all but I understand now why I behave, feel and react certain ways, to situations and have learnt to give myself space when I am feeling overwhelmed. My only hope is that I can meet others who share my interests and with whom I can develop deeper friendships. I am now 64 years of age but I feel and look much younger and I feel optimistic about the future. I plan to sell my business in the near future and hope to find a new creative challenge in life.