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I posted this elsewhere, and I thought it might go nicely here:

As an adult (and during the diagnoses of my 2 children with autism) I realised my “quirks” were, at least in part, due to my undiagnosed autistic spectrum disorder. Struggling through a world made for NT folk has left me with serious anxiety, depression, and other issues; it has not stopped me from achieving a BSc, parenting my 2 lovely kids, volunteering for a suicide prevention helpline, nor getting married to my wonderful husband… but it can make me a bit much at parties, what with the run-on monologuing, misunderstanding of personal boundaries/private information, and debilitating social anxiety.

I have one parent and at least one sibling with Type I Bipolar; my other parent has undiagnosed HFA (never spoke until age 3; inability to grasp abstract concepts; special interests; uncontrolled mood swings, especially when outside routine situations; terror of social situations; trouble understanding the difference between private and public info; visual stimming… all traits my children and I share).

Luckily for me, my mom and I share a special interest (reading for both of us, and in my case, creative writing and journaling) and that helps me cope. I can escape into books, poems, short stories, movies, or videogames; and when the pressure is too much internally, I can write about my feelings and the effects of my ASD, which usually lets off enough steam to keep me coping.

Emotional/mental challenges are the bane of my life, but I’m also in limbo waiting for tests re: some physical symptoms unexplained by my anxiety or depression. In no particular order, the 3 things I would most like to know are: can anything make my sciatica significantly better, aside from pills I don’t care for; what would my life have been like, if I’d seen an autism specialist (NOT an ABA salesperson) when I was trapped in puberty; and will I ever finish a collection of stories good enough to publish?

I am recovering from a childhood and adolescence spent in a fundamentalist Christian home, with added elements of child abuse and psychological trauma. I practice mindfulness meditation, journaling (as I said above) and the fine art of trying not to lose my damn temper. Autistic meltdowns are *much* more forgivable in children than in plump middle-aged women who look relatively self-contained… right up until the moment the cup runneth over.