I don’t like writing “I am” statements about myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve always felt like a work in progress, maybe it’s because I like to let information unfold in context rather than laying it all out, or maybe it’s because I always feel like I’m leaving a lot of things out. (Ok, yes, it’s all of the above, plus more.) But I started this blog primarily to write about my new understanding of myself as an autistic adult who was an autistic child but didn’t know it. That autistic child grew up, accomplished quite a lot of difficult things, but could never escape a pervasive feeling of difference and alienation. The ah-ha moment came in the fall of 2015, beginning with self-identification as autistic (likely what would have been called Asperger’s for those who make a distinction) and continuing into confirmation (and diagnosis, though I didn’t realize that right away) by a therapist very familiar with the autism spectrum. Right now that identity is taking center stage, as it really does reframe everything else about my life so far.
Here are some things I like:
- Writing (fiction and essays)
- Petting my dog
- Nature photography
- Listening to podcasts
- Crochet and other crafts
- Learning new things
- Video games
- Walking and hiking
- Living in the woods
- Learning more about autism
If you do still want some biographical information about me, my post Letting Go of Fitting In gives a broad-brush overview of my life so far. 🙂
A note about gender and pronouns:
A lot of people on the autism spectrum are gender-divergent as well as neurodivergent, and I am no exception — but at the same time, gender identity hasn’t been a major area of inquiry for me. From a very young age, I have always felt that I was bigender (both male and female) or possibly agender (no gender at all), but neither of those have quite been the right words for me. I’ve recently settled on “genderfluid” as probably being the right term, because my feeling of gender just…changes at times.
At the same time, I have also been generally comfortable with the outwardly female identity the world has given me. I use female pronouns (she/her) and refer to myself as a woman, but I also find it jarring when I realize someone is assuming something about me based solely on my appearance as female. This goes beyond a general dislike of sexism to a deep-seated confusion when I realize the person is only seeing half of me.
So for those who are interested, female pronouns are fine, and I generally refer to myself as a woman (especially as I explore the presentation of autism in women, which can be very different from the way it appears in men), but at heart I am genderfluid. This may be something I explore more fully in the future, and in the meantime I apologize if I don’t quite have the right language to express this part of me.