Getting diagnosed #ADHD in November 2020 and Autistic in April 2021 (at 34years old) was like finally being handed the keys to myself. Those keys (and medication) saved my life. That is not hyperbole.

Silly things made sense! Like my love of tiny utensils, not being able to sit in chairs properly, my obsession with animals, why certain smells are enough to take me out, and finally the answer to my lifelong question, “why is everything so loud?”

Big things, too.
As a child I acted like a cat. My name was Mabel. I was a cat at school too. I did a lot of “weird” things. I was bullied a lot, you could have guessed. I remember sitting out in the grass field alone at recess searching for four-leaf clovers. The kids didn’t want me to play.
I wanted to be Indiana Jones, but girls aren’t allowed to be boys, they’d say. That didn’t make sense to me then and it still doesn’t now. What makes Indiana Jones a boy? What made me a girl? Why can’t I be both and all the things in between? (spoiler: I can and I am)
I thought everybody’s behaviors were policed like mine were. Assumed everyone had heard “you’re being weird,” or “stop. You’re so embarrassing,” hundreds of times before adolescence. I couldn’t understand why I just never seemed to understand math.
I thought I struggled in school because the teachers said I was brilliant but didn’t “apply” myself or, maybe I really was just not smart. The number of times I was called “gifted” added confusion.
How could I, in middle school, test “college-level” language arts but when in actual college couldn’t pass basic, elementary level algebra? I never got a college degree because I didn’t know I have a learning disability (dyscalculia).
I knew I was doing this being a person thing wrong, but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to do it right. I learned by watching. And I grew up with my filmmaker brother, so we were always watching boys. I wanted to be Aragorn, not Arwen. Eowyn would have been fine too, though.
When I am going to a new place, I research it. I need to know what the food options are, how the lighting and ambiance are, what the layout looks like, and prepare myself for it. I didn’t realize this is something I have done my whole life that most others do not do.
I have to feel prepared and work through every scenario possible. I have ‘scripts’ in my head for social interactions, and I like to arrive early so I can go straight to the bathroom (it’s almost always in the back) and get a lay of the land to plan my escape if necessary.
I will always opt to sit outside if that is an option. I like to ‘fly under the radar,’ and generally don’t enjoy being perceived.. especially if my shoulders are showing. But I am an engaging and funny storyteller in the right situation.
I change outfits multiple times a day because I’m just not comfortable in that thing anymore. Fuck all tags, itchy things can burn. After socialization, I sometimes go nonverbal.
At parties or gatherings, I walk away from conversations that are boring without a word and rarely ever say goodbye. There always comes a point where I just have to go. So, I go.
My accent changes and the echolalia is real. Never before did I know why I had to repeat sounds, or why I make the sounds that I do. I am curiously good at copying accents and dialects just by hearing them yet I can’t watch/process things without subtitles.
from my blog post,…

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More from @tara__incognita

Jul 25
My whole life I’ve had people twist the things I say, claiming meanings in my words that aren’t there — and they expect me to do the same but I won’t. I can’t. It’s exhausting.

For example, when you say something racist and I say hey did you know that is a problematic thing to say because___, and you say IM NOT RACIST!! …… What you should have said is “I don’t want to be racist.”then suddenly I’m too sensitive. & now instead of having a compassionate
but tough conversation about you, we’re having a conversation about my perceived character flaws. This cycle is super obvious to me, but so many really struggle with it.
Read 19 tweets
Jul 25
A lil google of linguistic ‘oddities’ in autistic folks:
* verbosity
* abrupt transitions
* literal interpretations and miscomprehension of nuance
* use of metaphor meaningful only to the speaker
* auditory perception deficits
* unusually pedantic, formal or idiosyncratic speech
* repetitive speech and oddities in volume, pitch, intonation, prosody, and rhythm

* echolalia (repetition of what has been said to them)

Which, if you’ve ever had a conversation with me will likely chuckle and agree.
I’ve always benefitted from written instructions (cheat sheets, I like to call them) and visual aids. Instructions like, “do this” without the how or why are nearly impossible for me to accomplish, and because everything is nonbinary the other side is equally frustrating.
Read 25 tweets

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