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What It’s Like Being A Woman Talking About Autism

Many woman on the Autism Spectrum feel like their wearing a mask through this life.  We just try to fit in and be liked, we’ve learned to pick up on the way others act around us, and so we blend in as much as we can.  Mostly in the media they always talk about men having Autism, but I feel like they don’t mention women much. And at times this mask feels good it feels good to know you can hide those traits with what you think is better, but I’m hiding me every time I feel like I shouldn’t say something because it might come out weird and people will laugh and usually I can’t hold that in.  Being who we are shouldn’t be hard. It’s keeping you’re Autism hidden which I did I tried to not tell anyone about it. It’s finally finding the courage to tell people and open up about your Autism, and having people say things like; “You don’t look Autistic.” “You’re too pretty to have Autism.” “You must be high functioning.” “I never would have guessed you had Autism.” Though thought to be said as a compliment, what you really do is make us feel like all the efforts we’ve made to get here go completely unnoticed.

You can see something or how bad it is from the outside of that person .You’re not seeing her when she feels lonely, all the times she felt misunderstood. As a woman I’ve worked and learned to better fit in enough and pick up socially. I still have some trouble processing information and communicating my needs even as a verbal person, I have an intellectual disability and I’m sure I probably don’t seem like I do.

The biggest insecurity that I’ve battled with in my life honestly is my need to want to be like someone else and I’m still learning to love who I am. It takes awhile for you to recover from the way you’ve always saw yourself but it’s a process I keep saying that but it’s true often wondering when I’ll get there. I find myself advocating and speaking on Autism, and I see how people celebrate their differences and I feel bad and discouraged because I do not like Autism I believe in talking about Autism and encouraging other’s. If I’m honest I feel unqualified because I don’t always like having Autism. I’m trying to share what matters to me and this is my enough. I don’t know your story but I do know your significant as a woman and all of your efforts matter. And if your talking about Autism keep talking about it. Your story matters and your doing the best you can if people don’t realize that what you do is enough find new people.

The Need To Have Our Needs Met

Everyone you meet is living with needs, some needs are easier met and some a little harder. I don’t have special needs my needs are the same as the needs of other people their just more intense. If you’ve met someone or you are someone with this do you relate with any of these? You have a lot of needs, you’re selfish you only think about what you need, you don’t______ (fill in the blank) to get your needs met, needy, you depend on people too much. All due to the need to want your needs validated and met. I would love to address this,  basically Autism is not selfish it may sometimes seem like it because some people do need people to help them through life their is nothing wrong with that. What you see as needy is just a person with needs who may not fully be able to say what they need. We take it personally when people aren’t loving us the way we need it’s not so much something we should make about us. People aren’t always capable or have the patience to meet my needs.

Low Functioning Autism vs. High Functioning

Autism is Autism do people have it worst? Yes but the challenges every person face are different. Every time the media portrays Autism it’s always pretty severe or it’s some really smart. The show Atypical for instances or The Big Bang theory both of which shows I watched.  I’ve always struggled with work so the smart you should be achieving always had a way of getting to me, when other’s believe with Asperger’s are smart but people with Autism are not that is so the dangers of labeling it Low functioning and High Functioning. In some areas I’m doing well in other areas it’s harder for me it’s like that.

For me though even though I’m good at writing and I can communicate, I have moments where what I say is not valued because it doesn’t make sense the way it came, which also could make people think you’re an adult shouldn’t you know that doesn’t make sense? And you feel like less of a person in those moments. Have you ever experienced this? When you’re high functioning people don’t think anything of you’re disordered or sometimes you don’t get labeled at all. People find out and say oh I couldn’t tell there was anything wrong with you, or you don’t look Autistic. You must be very smart. You don’t get accommodations you are rather viewed as lazy or just bad. When you’re lower functioning you do get a lot of accommodations, you get more support, you’re viewed as an Autistic person, but you aren’t treated like a person they undervalue by saying you can’t do anything. You would actually have an excuse but when you are high functioning you don’t have an excuse in society. We should just be an Autistic individual and not be labeled as more or less. I’m in no way undervaluing lower Autism or overvaluing higher Autism. I’m just saying we should put a label on neither, because we all want the same thing acceptance, and we all have challenges we face daily.

Sometimes we say things that sound perfectly okay to say

One thing about being on the Autism spectrum, well sometimes you say the most random things. Have you been out in a group before and said something and everyone looked at you like that really didn’t make sense.  You stand their feeling like you said something wrong. I’ve gone out before said something, and people just laughed. In those moments it can seem like people are making fun of you. It’s just a lack of understanding though, it doesn’t mean you said something stupid. Do you ever have moments in life where you just observe the way you respond to things?; But it’s most likely not just you’re experience.

Sometimes we say things and in our minds those things make sense it’s when it’s said out loud we think it’s criticized. Don’t you shrink down to a kid in those moments? I truly do we need to stop ourselves and say this is how I was created. I can get so caught up in wanting to say the right things, wanting to change what I said to say something smarter. You’re so bright you feel deeper that others don’t, you have so much kindness and uniqueness in you.  Next time we say something and the thought comes that didn’t make sense. That was a stupid thing, let’s say no to that thought and carry on.

Communication and relating to others

Being on the Autism spectrum I know one thing relating to people around me can seem really difficult. I’m very open about a lot of things I have poured my heart out gone home and thought maybe I shouldn’t have shared that.  Writing out my feelings is no problem it’s when I say them in person where having trouble communicating them comes into play. People may not understand the needs or even the wants we have. Have you ever gotten upset over something and acted off that emotion, instead of just saying you hurt my feelings you flight? Sometimes ignoring the situation is easier. Even the words communication or confrontation are hard. Confronting any situation can seem really overwhelming I’ll just avoid it all together. I’ve gotten upset over situations and avoided them, instead of confronting why.

We have a lot of needs and sometimes those needs can become overwhelming if they aren’t being met the way we need them to.  Sometimes people can’t meet them it could be maybe they don’t know how to meet them.  We want friendships, we want understanding, we want our needs to be met.  There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of needs, if you have them I do too. It’s not a me attitude, selfish, or needy it’s just needing a bit more love. I don’t know you’re experience every person is different and we all want the same thing and that’s acceptance for who we are. You are not annoying, a burden, or too much for having those needs. This needs to be said it can seem this way, but it’s not. The people you’re too much for are don’t belong on your journey.

My Adult years on the spectrum

Living on The Autism Spectrum as an adult has it’s challenges and it’s strengths. It has it’s obsessions too, I love my iPad, music, and being active on social media.  If you’ve met me you would say I seem fine just like every other person. It’s the people who really know me who see the real side of me.  We live in a society where being different is a bad thing or something we should fear, and I lived telling myself that once people saw me for who I was they would not understand.

Having a community of people is so important to me, without friendship I feel as if I’m by myself in this life. Well honestly as an adult it’s like society is screaming at you, have friends, be in a relationship, have a job, drive, have a life basically. People don’t understand the journey we’ve been on and just because it’s different doesn’t make it less. People always say people with Autism live without emotions, no we sure do have emotions at times I feel so intensely every emotion. I actually express myself to everyone openly because that’s just me. My Autism has brought me moments of insecurity and moments of happiness. Without it we would be missing what makes us who we are but it’s not all we are. We’re unique, kind, thinkers, and we stand out apart from the rest.

Always be yourself. I’m always me and even as an adult when people question you’re life you are not living for people. This is the reminder we need I’m not living for who they think I need to be,  or what they think I should be doing as an adult. I’m living for me and who I am.