Asperger’s in Women

Yes, there are women with Asperger’s syndrome too. I am one of them, and Joanna, the co-admin of this site, is another. I was diagnosed at 40, Joanna at 36, but many women are diagnosed later than that.

Asperger’s symptoms in adult females
The psychologist who diagnosed me explained that women are naturally more skilled at social interaction than men, and so tend to be better at overcoming and/or hiding autism-related issues, and our symptoms are often much less evident – at least on the outside. We are also often more interested in learning how to ‘get on’, and some of us spend enormous amounts of time, money and effort trying to match our clothes, our interests, and/or our style of interaction, to those around us in an attempt to fit in. For some it becomes an obsession. When we are still not accepted – as many of us aren’t – the blow is all the more crushing, and can contribute to existing, or subsequent, mental-health problems. I spent until I was 40 trying to fit in, and it takes a huge amount of confidence to face that many years of failure. I didn’t have it.

Diagnosis for women
Because of this greater skill in social-adaptation, autistic women also have a much harder time when it comes to getting a diagnosis. I had known my doctor for ten years when I went to see him about the possibility of my having autism. Until then, he had seen only the image I presented to people like him, particularly as I had children and would have never wanted to reveal any unidentified ‘weakness’ in case he thought I couldn’t take care of my kids. So he only knew the fake me, the look-at-how-normal-I-can-be me, and during the I-think-I-have-Asperger’s-syndrome consultation, he told me I couldn’t be autistic, because I was female and an adult (and referred me for depression). This level of ignorance amongst frontline medics (or any medic) is of course unacceptable, but it exists, and you need to be prepared for the possibility of encountering something similar when visiting your own doctor. See the “Think You Have Asperger’s Syndrome?” and “It’s Okay to Want a Diagnosis!” pages for more advice on going for a diagnosis.

Asperger’s tests for women
I don’t know of an online test specifically for women with Asperger’s syndrome, but I believe the regular tests are indicative as long as we are able to find the real person underneath all the pretence. When I first took online tests, I tried to answer the questions as I would have done as a young woman, before I had learned to become the fake person.

“I’ve spent so long pretending, I’ve forgotten who I really am”
This is a sentiment I’ve heard from a lot of autistic women. Those who are successful in fitting in (even if they don’t ever feel truly accepted) find their real identities – the people they would be if they didn’t have to pretend to be someone else all the time – get blurred with the new “fake-normal” person they feel they have to be.

For my part, one way I tried to fit in was by going to coffee mornings, even once including a Macmillan coffee morning. I struggled terribly with the interaction, and was rarely invited back to the same house twice (still don’t know why), and would come away feeling terrible about myself; but because this is “what you do” as the mother of young children, I accepted each new invitation with relish, and looked forward to it as proof that I was a normal person. It was like a badge: I Go To Coffee Mornings – I Must Be Normal.

The day I got my diagnosis, I finally knew why the world didn’t accept me, and could see there were people who would never like me, however hard I tried, and strangely, I no longer cared. This realisation released me from ‘having to be someone else’. There was no point anyway – I could never be that normal person (I had a diagnosis to prove it), so I might as well go back to being ME again! I stopped wearing the fashionable, but uncomfortable clothes that stopped me climbing trees with my kids, and crawling under my car for dropped toys, and went back to jeans and t-shirts. I had all my hair cut off (what a blessed relief that was), and threw out my make-up and those stupid heel-rubbing shoes that I couldn’t even walk in, let alone hop, skip, and jump in. Eventually, I started to hop, skip, and jump, and wear multicoloured hats, and go barefoot if I wanted to – and sod the funny looks. And I could finally admit I hated coffee mornings, and never had to go to another one again.

You have a choice
Whether or not you have a diagnosis, I hope those of you who struggle to fit in will understand you have a choice about being friends with those women… the ones who need you to wear the ‘right’ clothes, and drive the ‘right’ car, and go to the ‘right’ people’s coffee mornings before they’ll accept you. I encourage you to see that people who need someone to fit in with their ideal of ‘the right person’ before they can be friends with you, clearly doesn’t deserve the friendship.

image credit facebook/DomGoddess

©Leigh Forbes

Related content:
» It’s Okay to Want a Diagnosis!”
» Think you might have Asperger’s syndrome?”
»
Bullying & Abuse
» Symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome (from an aspie perspective)
» The Triad of Impairments (in real terms)
» Diagnosis Stories
» Online Tests

141 Responses to Asperger’s in Women

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  1. JC says:

    Say! WHAT IF all us Aspergers and autistics are the normal and just fine ones in the world? The ones who DO understand life and how to live in harmony with each other and the earth! And it’s everyone else out there whose “out of touch “, manipulative and exploitive, who there’s something wrong with! And before WE knew what happened, THEY put US, everyone and everything THEY didn’t understand in a box first – so THEY wouldn’t have to think or believe there’s really something wrong with THEM! If I’m correct about this, that would mean WE, and others with autism, would be the smartest ones, who really know how to care for each other and the earth. AND we do it in our own original unique language! I think I get it now, I like this. I like being Aspergers. I choose to believe who I am, and how I think or do things, is closer to how the human race is supposed to live …. taking care of and being good to each other and the earth. ME and MY thinking are just fine.

  2. Not Public Yet says:

    Female – 62 years old – self diagnosed Aspie – 3 years awaiting appt – still waiting – UK.

  3. Candy says:

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I have Asperger’s. Oddly enough I recognised it in my husband, my mother and my daughter before realising that I almost certainly have it too. I’ve spent a lifetime acting parts, imitating other people, and I’m only beginning to recover the real me. I’ve been feeling very sad at all the lost opportunities, and social and work failures that could have been avoided if I’d realised earlier (I’m 50 this year). It’s reassuring to read of other women who have had a late diagnosis and still feel it’s worth it. I do like the idea of being a successful aspie (though I dislike the word) rather than a failure as a human being. I can acknowledge now just how hard I’ve worked to function normally, and how much I’ve achieved on my own terms. Thank you for the blog.

  4. Belinda says:

    Hi everyone,
    So glad to have found this site. I am a 37 year old Aussie and have always felt like an alien in the world. Have always been a tomboy and hated wearing dresses. Love animals and science, hate going to parties and being around crowds and people in general. Have had many jobs over a period of 18 years, which have involved working in offices within a clerical context. I have never understood the politics or dynamics of working in an office, hence the reason I have struggled to keep a job. I get bored very easily and frustrated when people give me instructions that aren’t clear or contradictory and am particularly frustrated when I have to do tasks that aren’t necessary, or don’t make sense simply because the manager or boss is unable to create adequate structure to facilitate the integration of systems and make tasks more efficient. I hate multitasking and I am crap at it, but I am not qualified or experienced to do anything else. It is very depressing. I have very low self esteem as a result of my experiences and life continues to become more difficult.

    • James craig says:

      Please do not be so hard on yourself …i feel your pain sister…i hope you can find a place of acceptance within yourself….i am trying meditation and its helping to keep me grounded. you are stronger than you know

  5. Michele says:

    I just want to say that finding this website has been a life changer for me. I am a 52 year old woman, self-diagnosed, (only recently) after spending my whole life feeling like I must be an alien because I just didn’t seem to have the proper skills to fit into this weird world of people. I finally can admit to myself that I have been wearing a social mask my whole life in an effort to fit in and make the connections with other people that everyone else seemed to do with such ease. For me it was a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning knowing that I was going to have to navigate the terrible currents of social interaction. I am most at ease alone doing the things I like to do without having to stop and “connect” with people. I have been so lucky that I met a man over 30 years ago who I did connect with and we have been married for 29 years and have two wonderful daughters together. But even from him, I have kept a lot of my true self hidden, and now that I have figured out what makes me different, I am letting myself out a little at a time. I think that I am so lucky that he does not feel that I have been hiding things from him all this time and feels betrayed. Instead he is taking it all in stride and encourages me to be my true self. It is wonderful but very scary. How do I be my true self when I have been being my social mask for all my life? How do you find out who you really are if you have been living behind a facade? People who know me or at least think they know me are totally flabbergasted that I might have Asperger’s because I am so friendly and chatty. They don’t realize that it is just a coping skill that I have learned, like a deflection or smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that I have no clue what I am doing. But then how do I manage now that I know the truth? How does anyone? Thank you again for this wonderful website.

  6. Sarah says:

    Hello ladies, I am an Aspien Superwoman (apparently, but rarely feel like one) who was diagnosed in my early 40s. Would love to be able to get alongside/support others with this condition or become involved with research. Any ideas ?

    • Belinda says:

      It is interesting how so many women are misdiagnosed with personality disorders, anxiety and depression instead of Asperger’s. As mentioned in my post above, I have worked in menial jobs for many years and have suffered mental health problems as a result of misdiagnosis and the inability for any of the mental health professionals I have seen to understand my problem. The last Psychologist I saw, I took a copy of Tony Atwood’s criteria for women with Asperger’s to her and highlighted all the areas that related to me, which was 80%, however she seemed to ignore this. She stated that the issues I was having with work were because of my interpersonal problems and that I had a low emotional IQ. I acknowledged this, however I know there is more to it than that, and that there are processing issues with my brain which have been verified through testing, particularly with my working memory, hence the reason why I am not good at multitasking. Unfortunately there is not a lot of research in the area of female asperger’s however an Australian Psychologist by the name of Tony Atwood has done a fair bit of work in this area and has written a number of books on the subject. I would suggest you look at his website http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/
      I have just stated studying neuroscience and hope to pursue the topic of female Asperger’s and adhd in my work, if I manage to get to the research level.

  7. Jacquej57 says:

    I am sitting here in tears. At 60 years old I have never fit in. Never dressed right. Never had the ability to make small talk or attend social situations without wanting to flee. I was diagnosed with ADHD because I am so dis tractable and I talk so fast. I was diagnosed with social anxiety. I was diagnosed with mild depression. But none of those diagnoses felt right. Reading the articles on this site is like coming home. Thank you. You have no idea……Just thank you.

  8. Me says:

    Grateful for this article and many others on the internet for women with Aspergers. I’ve always felt different and have never really vocalized these differences to anyone, but sort of just “Made it work”. Whenever I’m invited on a social outing, it stresses me out and I almost feel invaded or angry, even if it’s someone I really like. I have always begrudgingly opted to be social because I know that is what is expected in society, ESPECIALLY for women. I felt a tremendous relief knowing that I may have Aspergers and there is a reason for wanting to be alone all these years. Now, as a mother and wife I feel getting a diagnosis is essential to be better at these roles. My family has been patient and loving, of course a few of them have actual autism and Aspergers diagnoses themselves, so they understand lol! It is just more tricky for women to get diagnosed, so thanks for the information!

  9. ilene says:

    I’ve never been diagnosed but I’m sure I’m HFA, or aspberger. I’m 58 years old and my entire history is replete with autistic like “symptoms”. When I was growing up I could barely talk to anyone. I was called “shy”. I had, and still have, ultra-sensitivity to sounds and smells. When I was young I could never look people in the eye, although by the time I was in later 20s I got better at it. In high school a teacher put a number across the entire chalk board and gave us all 1 minute to memorize it. He then erased it and told us to write down the number. Of course I was the only one who got it correct.
    I was a master at sequences, loved the designs in marbles and had a huge collection. Loved shiny things like crystals. Also, I loved playing with cars and had a collection. I hate fiction, and only read non-fiction. I read wikipedia for hours. My interests are largely left brain, I guess. I love WordPress and working with things like HTML, CSS, and coding. I’m also into philosophy and am currently studying Zen and Tao. I’m active physically too, which is my ADHD kicking in. Running or working out keeps my energy in line.
    My dad had it too….I think. He was born in 1932 (died at the age of 46) so I think it was likely missed. His IQ was 165 and he graduated from high school at age 15. He also was the type who sat around and read encyclopedias for fun.
    I was diagnosed as a young adult with depression, ADHD, and Anxiety. But, overall, I fell through the cracks as a child. I was super quiet and was always nervous, always feeling like everyone else understood what was going on but I didn’t.
    Today, I work in a fast pace call center. It’s all wrong for me. I hate it. But I stay on because it’s getting harder to find jobs at my age. The job is very hard for me because of all the talking. I find that other people have such an easy time communicating to our customers. But it’s exhausting to me and I feel like my verbal skills are so poor compared to other co-workers. Sometimes I just hang up on the customer because the whole scene gets on my nerves. The workplace team “group dynamics” is another hard one for me, because it seems I miss a lot of Ques, or social communications that are “non-verbal”. This kind of a work environment is all wrong for me. I went to Employee counseling but the Counselor didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. Anyways, its’ been a rough road.

  10. Kimberley says:

    I have self diagnosed myself with aspergers. Im a 39 year old female with terrible social anxiety and self confidence. Initially i felt great relief when id read about aspergers in females and finally found a xefinition of my life and feelings. That was 2 weeks ago. Today i feel hopeless after losing a friendship i had great hopes for. I dont know whose fault it was… likely mine. And that sucks. Knowing this is what my life is going to forever be about. This friends husband is friends with my husband and our kids are friends plus they go to school together. I feel guilty that our husbands friendship may be awkward…. but i dont know what to do about it. My first thought is to escape… sell up and move to a new area. But i know the problems will continue whereever i live. Im thankful my husband is understanding and has successfully got me an earlier appt with a psycgologist familiar with female aspies. Ideally i wish me and my family could move somewhere where we are unknown and live as hermits. This wouldnt be ideal flr my husband or family however.

  11. Alison Cook says:

    Now 73, and have spent most of my life trying to make friends and fit in. When unsuccessful, as has happened everywhere, I have moved on to a new town or country, hoping to find people in the new place more friendly. My diagnosis four years ago was a godsend, as I have come to the realisation that it’s not the other people it’s me. I have never got on with people, yet have spent most my life trying to. Post diagnosis much of the stress has been lifted. I don’t need to keep trying.

    Alison

  12. Jan says:

    Thanks for a great blog. I was formally diagnosed with Aspergers this past June. I am 54 this year, so it was a long time coming. While it has been such a relief to have the diagnosis, it has also sent shock waves through my life—-I have flashbacks…. reliving many many moments of my life through the lens of my diagnosis. I am much kinder to my Self as a result. Right now I am excavating my true Self buried under all the crap … the facade of a neurotypical. I am trying to out who I am, and be true to her. I am trying all the creative stuff I used to like as a kid/teen/young adult but buried because it wasn’t “practical…. won’t get you a job”…. Most of these things don’t require any interactions with people—such a relief!
    Like many here, I had unsupportive birth family…. but have been in a very loving supportive relationship for 20 years now. I am very grateful to them… and to all the girls and women who take the time to write/blog/share about their journey with Aspergers.

    • Keli says:

      I was finally diagnosed this past summer at age 47. Such a relief! I have known all of my life I was different, I have been told my whole life “Keli, you aren’t normal.” Now I know that no matter how much I try, I will never be normal. And my family just needs to deal with that. I finally have a relationship with a wonderful man who can handle my meltdowns, who thinks its adorable when my inner child come out to play and who can give me my space, because he needs space too. When I met him, Mum said it would never work out because I am “too”. Too needy, too sensitive, too emotional, I feel too deeply, I want too much, I’m too much a little girl. I’m happy to say she is wrong. :-)

  13. Arha says:

    Thanks for this post. Sometimes i get frustrated with all the stereotypical “emotionless autistic man” talk so i always like it when i find pages like this. I wish i had friends and a s/o with autism irl, it gets so tring to deal with all the anxiety..

  14. Seren says:

    I was diagnosed age 62 nearly two years ago and am still coming to terms with it. I had a horrendous childhood and have spent my life being a chameleon, desperately trying to second guess people and fit in. I was very successful at work, but have had disastrous relationships. I am now being myself as much as possible and, in a way, re-connecting with how I was as a young child before anyone tried knocking aspergers out of me. Two of my children have accepted my diagnosis in a beautiful way, but another has told me never to talk about it which has kind of broken my heart because it’s someone saying ‘don’t be yourself’. Very difficult. After a life time of isolation the best thing is to know that I am not alone and there are other women like me around.

  15. Sarah Cullen says:

    Thank you! I have just been diagnosed with Aspergers (or being on the Autism Spectrum) & it is such a relief – like joining on the messy dots of my life to be able to see the whole picture beautifully clearly. I am 47 years old although feel pretty much most of the time like a child living inside a woman’s body. I look forward to moving forward with my head held high & embracing my different-ness.

  16. Lisa Sherman says:

    The first thing that caught my eye in this article was the facebook quote. I immediately LOL’d, thinking “that’s me alright, always has been, even when I was a little girl”. (I have never really cared what anyone thought of me, other than the people I care about, who I absolutely care about what they think of me.) My next thought was that I’d like to post it outside my cube at work, in the guise of an innocent, funny thing that would help my coworkers better understand me. But then I admitted to myself that it would be more like a sign stating “This is me, take it or leave it, I don’t care.”, and realized that it would likely be construed as “inappropriate”, making people once again shake their heads in wonder about the “weird” person they work with. I don’t care, but I guess I’ll keep this little joke between us girls who dare to be different. Don’t ever change!

  17. Diane says:

    My daughter, 31 and I, 68, have been watching a tv show called Parenthood. You may have heard of it. Watching Max and learning more about autism has been interesting to me as I have a niece who is high functioning autistic. Then when the adult Hank came into the picture we learned there is a test online So we started looking up information and found a test that says we both rate as a 30. And after reading your blog we are pretty sure we have it. Now we are discussing seeing a doctor.
    Thank you for your information, we feel so much better about ourselves.
    Much love, Diane and Meghan Rose

  18. Christina says:

    I have started wondering if I have asperger’s. I act very young for my age yet I don’t think I’m too immature. It’s hard to explain, but I get excited and I feel like my real self is “silly”. I become obsessed with learning certain things.. sometimes weird stuff. The shows and games I like are sometimes for children. I have a really hard time making friends and I just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m not rude and I ask people about themselves, but other women just don’t click with me yet I really want female friends. Social interactions make me uncomfortable and I know I have social anxiety. When I’m really tired, I have a hard time keeping eye contact and making small talk as I find it tiring. I grew up later than most people, examples are lost my virginity and had my first boyfriend in my twenties, didn’t get a drivers licence or learn to cook until late twenties, always worked dead end jobs, dressed like a friggen weirdo (boys tshirts, old dresses I found at good will, bright coloured shoes, ugly hair cuts.

    What makes me doubt that I might have aspergers is that I’m overly polite and am nervous to say the wrong thing out of line and I heard that’s not common with people with asperger’s as they’re a bit too honest. When I was young I was downright rude and mean because I didn’t care what people thought. I’m also not very smart, terrible at math and when I talk I fumble and forget my words. Could anyone give me some insight?

    • Danielle says:

      This is exactly how I am as well, but I have a hard time talking TO people. They can talk to me and I have no problem but I get very uncomfortable looking at them and I trail off constantly and forget what we were talking about in the first place, sometimes I even forget what we’re talking about WHILE we are talking about it.
      I was also rude when I was younger and my grandpa used to call me a “hi-bird” because I would say hello to everyone but I wouldnt say anything past that.

      I just want to know if I have this so I can understand why I’m SO different from other people and why I have such a hard time. So I would also like to know.

      • Jeni says:

        I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I think I’m losing my mind because to other people I don’t make any sense, I’m always off in left field with my comments, I hear something completely different than what people are actually saying and yes I forget what I’m talking about while I’m in the middle of talking. I just want to take that “red pill” so I can at least communicate with people somewhat so I don’t feel like I belong in a mental ward.

  19. Paris Frances says:

    I am 21 years old and it feels like I’ve seen the light for the first time, after so many years of feeling “different” and out of step with everyone around me. It’s painful and yet strangely uplifting at the same time. All these years I’ve felt like I was going crazy because I just “knew” that there was something different about me (compared to typical teenage girls) and yet I couldn’t put my finger on what it exactly was. Socializing with others is a complete farce for me, and I always end up putting on a “mask” that I’ve honed through the years by carefully observing others. It seems like I never got the manual and everybody knew this secret that I wasn’t let on. Social anxiety? Depression? Bipolar disorder? I used these terms to make sense of the internal turmoil and struggle I was going through. And yet, I instinctively knew that they didn’t quite fit.
    But when I started reading about High functioning autism and how it specifically manifested itself in females it was like I was reading my own life story. The portrait of my hidden confusion.
    Thanks for making this blog and this post as well. You cannot imagine how illuminating this is. Rock on :) and I’m going to peruse more of your content.

  20. Kuhla says:

    Thank you so much for this – loved the part about dropping all the trappings of trying to appear normal – uncomfy stuff! Really felt like home whilst I read it. :)

  21. Ann says:

    I’ve just read this post,
    I’ve never really been someone who fitted in, and wondered whether I had Aspergers for a long time. Then, last year, I found out that there was a local clinic that does adult Asperger assessments.
    I asked my GP if he would be willing to refer me, his response was something like “Why? What difference will it make – you’re in your 40s with a good full-time job?” (Said in a questioning, not dismissive way.)
    My response “Because I want to know why I’m Me, and whether it’s because I have Aspergers”.
    Result – a referral, and a diagnosis of Aspergers!
    I’m a scientist by profession, and am curious about my condition, so I am doing some research projects by the Autism Research Centre- search online if interested. Ann

  22. Since my diagnosis at nine years old I have spent my life trying to be different from other people. Because if you fit in, then nobody will remember you, even when you’re an artist like me. The drawback will be a feeling of isolation from those that don’t understand you, though fortunately that is starting to change.

  23. Sarah says:

    Every so often I have a read up on Aspergers and it’s great that this time round I’m finding info for women. I feel like my mother trained me how to behave but with my own daughter – she instinctively knows how to be. My son, not so much.

    As a child, I was forever being told to stop fidgeting. After my Dad left people would offer to have me to stay to give my Mum a break. There would be embarrassment all round when I’d turn up 5 minutes later packed and ready to go.

    I remember being a really muddled teen. Wanting to fit in, not understanding all the social codes, wearing crazy clothes because I felt it was safer to opt out of the race than fail at conforming. I was angry at hypocrisy around gender roles and couldn’t find my way around them without kicking them down. People I felt close to considered me emotionally distant while I felt like I talked too much and was really open.

    I’ve learned a new term tonight – proposagnosia (face blindness) – I’d have retail jobs and a customer could return 30 minutes later and I wouldn’t recognise them. If I see someone out of their regular context I can be flumoxed. I will probably know that I know them but not how. I have some reading to do on that. Maybe I’m not “hopeless” after all.

    I did the Myers Briggs test 20 years ago(ish). Most of the people in my relatively small software development company landed on few squares. I was delighted to be the only match to one of our tech leaders – a shambling, overweight, workaholic genius who could see potential and ramifications in an instant. I didn’t “know” him, but I was really happy to view myself as a younger version of him. I must dig out those results and see what I scored back then.

    I just did the test again and got INTJ – does that mean I’m not Aspie? or just that I hide it from myself? Is my inability to trust friendships and know how to sustain them an Aspie thing or a hangover from an abusive childhood? Does it matter?

    I have a sports coach, in part to control my anxiety about my progress, and he’s the nicest guy. But when he messaged me to say he needed to talk to me outside of our regular interactions I was gripped with fear – had I done something wrong? WTF, I’m his client, he can be frustrated, choose to discontinue our relationship but he doesn’t get to make me scared. Except he does. And people do. And I’m nearly 50 and I’m so over being like that. I’d like to relax and be comfortable with people I admire and enjoy without a monologue of behaviour checks clicking over in my mind.

    • Lisa says:

      I so hear you. I am 56 and have felt “out of place” all of my life. I’ve covered so well for so long that no one has a clue that I’m on the spectrum. The only thing that keeps me sane is my wonderful husband who celebrates and loves me for my differentness.

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  25. Amber says:

    So this is why I need to wear my own taste in clothes. Only keep friends who can handle me. Why my stubborn streak is stronger than my survival instinct. Is it why I can be perfect one moment and socially wrong the next? Is bare feet part of it or just one thing shared? This is why I prefer to write conversations. Why being different or weird is vital. This is why when I’m assed for depression in perfectly happy times I still score so high. I think not liking humans is normal makes far more sense now.
    The choice is one I already made but at lest now I’ve a better idea of what the questions was.

  26. Tori says:

    I’m a 25 year-old woman and I think I might have Aspergers. The more I read about the characteristics of women who have it, the more I believe I fit the description. I’ve never been in a relationship, have a hard time making friends, have been diagnosed with depression (or misdiagnosed, who knows), have been the outcast of friend groups, etc. What really hit me about this post is the line, “I’ve spent so long pretending, I’ve forgotten who I really am.” I once told a friend of mine that I should win an Oscar for my acting performance in everyday life.

    I’m going to my therapist in a couple weeks and I hope she can help me figure this out.

  27. Kate says:

    Reading this article and all the comments below has given me such comfort, as well as the courage to reach out to my GP to hopefully get a diagnosis (it’s a long road thanks to budget cuts in the NHS here in the UK). I think the one thing that held me back was the idea of “meltdowns.” I couldn’t recall any moments from my childhood when I had those freak out moments, the screaming and crying, lashing out etc. nor even in recent years, it was just so not me. But recently I’ve been thinking about my worst moments mental health wise and I think maybe that due to social pressures and my observations of the negative reactions to this sort of behaviour I have since I was quite young internalised my meltdowns. While on the outside it would appear that I was just shutting down, becoming completely non-verbal and isolating myself entirely, I would inside my head be literally screaming. Screaming words like “go away” or “no no no” over and over again in my head. This behaviour often scared me and I thought a great deal in highschool that I might be “crazy” or psychotic and because this internal behaviour was so easy to hide I never mentioned it to anyone. Is this something any other diagnosed Aspie women can relate to?

  28. Deb says:

    I just read the symptoms and nearly can’t breathe. I’ve been thinking I might have Asperger’s for a few weeks now, but I don’t want to say anything because my family already thinks I’m a hypochondriac. =\ But seeing myself in 18 (and a half, because one was how others feel about something I do, and while I don’t notice them, I know it’s something I do) out of 31 of the symptoms sounds like something I need to check on with someone.

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  30. Anna says:

    If you think that awareness about autism is bad in UK, try Africa.

    Here, someone who has autism is the same to the public eye as someone with Down syndrome, and saying you go to a psychologist is like saying you’re a mad serial killer, I’m never going to try getting a diagnosis here, maybe when I’m older and get to go abroad, I’m still 20.

    Great post by the way, it made me cry, I am a medical student and you just made my dream to open a clinic specialized in autism and Aspergers syndrome.

    Your site was the beginning of my journey for diagnosis, thank you so much for reading my mind, and saying the things I long feared to say.

  31. Sarah says:

    rom what iv read and related to me on this site, knowing where or when to start a conversation is frustrating. I always found myself talking and no one getting a word in edgeways or majority of the time just not talking due to the crippling anxiety. Lost in a world where i knew i had many ?’s in my head. My mother died 9 month’s ago. My mother who i could always trust to give me ‘the right’ specific answer to the crippling ‘?’ Over and over again as couldn’t possible ask or talk to anyone else. I was told i was a drama queen/odd/erratic/ too sensitive/ immature/ a copy cat/ nosey you name it….this shaped my mask and lead me to believe i had some sort of personality disorder growing up.

    Its taken her death to ALL experiences pre and post death to gain the answer to my “?” This ? Was knowing i was different. Not knowing what it was until i started to relate to Service User’s of a charity of my latest job but never being able to make that connection. I know now due to the spectrum. Its taken 24 years from ‘day dot’ to discover why i couldn’t just be me. 4 suicide attempts and countless experiences where i can only believe i was sprinkled with luck in terms of the outcomes. Lost in humanity. I just couldn’t understand why i was hidden away and different. Countless melt downs, in controllable crying, confusion and frustration. Mother not to blame as during her “era” lay the awful stigma around mental health and given her instinct to protect. Although ASD isn’t a mental illness (my opinion) the worry it must have caused my mother is horrendous to even start to “imagine”. (Something i can’t get my head around). Anyway… (trying hard to keep to the point although uncertain what that is) i found myself approx 4 weeks in what some say was a ‘crisis point’. Only to discover after talking about the need to take my mask of, Aspergirl Rudy Simone was put in my path via her book and online ref’s. I can’t describe how it felt to FINALLY be able to relate to a female in terms of thought process/masking/fear of Bi-polar & split personality disorder. Then shortly after discovering this website. I have my newly dear best friend to thank for being part of this… (whatever it is also). He believed in me (first non judgemental, sensitive, kind, loving and respectful human being I’ve ever met). I battled with my head and used all the resources to find the courage to blurt it all out to my physiatrist that i self diagnosed with ‘buts’ told him MY sensory stuff/ confusion of emotion and copy catting to people watching to shutting down cause i coukdn’t explain to number links and art to just having obsessions over stuff i had to fix . He listened to my doubts and sent me away with more references to ASD in Female Adults. Knowing id “tear apart and link” to then return with a solution to “?” So, after doing the diagnosis test (which was so important to know is tailored to Females’ past and present life) and sensory stuff/ learning process/ social interaction. He then formally diagnosed me with ASD and provided references to support. Has referred me psycology and taken me off the two of many anti depressants and anti phsycotics medincations. (They only sent me to sleep). I can remember the outcome of having psychology as a young aducanand being told “you have this need/want to get things right”. From there my war paint (make up/ endless hours of doing my hair to pesific outfits/nail and OCDing to provide what would allow people to tell me i was stunning bla bla bla. It was all materialistic chemical shitstorm(s) ruining my skin, hair and more importantly innocent animals and planet earth. Putting my opinions on humanity aside… i knew i was being a “sheeple” but didn’t like it!! So slowly adapting to coming out my organised routine to feeling free and trying hard to be me. Me was someone who obsessed of my appearance/thoughts/job/fitness regime… but i wasn’t even doing it all for me. Trying to chase “happiness” but being trapped at every avenue. So i guess iv finally answered my ? But what now…? Diagnosis is helping other people understand me. Do i stop the habit of always having my hand in my pockets and making an exit in social situations..? Thoughts of everything from family genetics and hisorty to numbers and the need to be self emplyed. Its chaos at the moment that needs to be organised chaos. Female,28 still wandering around aimlessley… peace!

    • Sarah says:

      Think im dyslexic also. I’ll work that one out also… tbc

    • Anna says:

      I can relate so much to you Sarah.

      My mom and sisters were the only reason why I even bothered to act ‘normal’ in front of others, I’ve always known that my family was only trying to protect me by forcing me to act like a NT, so they are never to be blamed. If I didn’t act right, people will start saying things, it doesn’t bother me but it bothers them, the only people in the world that love me genuinely.

      I thought about suicide for the first time when I was still a kid, but I never tried to commit it because 1: I’m a religious person(Muslim) , and 2: I realized that my death will only make the people that love me sad and those who hate me happy, so why do it? I’d rather survive and get on their nerves!

      Having an epiphany rarely happens, so when the pieces finally fell together it made feel at ease like never before.

      Peace to you Sara, and I hope you can get over all the problems you have in you life soon.

  32. Elly says:

    Reading these posts, as well as other info on women with aspergers is like fitting two jigsaw pieces together – it’s clicked. This is why I’m the way I am. In some respects I find it comforting; in other respects quite scary. As a teacher, I’ve worked with a lot of children who have an ASD or Aspergers diagnosis, as well as many who display behaviours which align with these ‘conditions’.

    Several colleagues have ‘joked’ that I’m on the spectrum and / or have ADD or ADHD but I always rejected this (and in my head) because I could function appropriately when I had to.

    Reading the table of traits I saw things which definitely described me but I had no idea they were associated with aspergers.

    My life has recently fallen apart (unrelated really to how I am, although had I known who I was, I would not have remained in such a questionable relationship for 15 years). Realising that I most probably have Aspergers worries me that I won’t be able to sort myself out and have the life I want – I want friends, I want to love and be loved, I want to be efficient and good at my job and I always thought that one day I would manage to change and be better – I can’t see that happening now.

    I’m a private person but sometimes feel an overwhelming need to tell close people how horrendous my last year has been. I also feel the urge to see my GP and get an official diagnosis but then I worry that it would stop me from changing jobs in the future as applications now are subject to medical questionnaires. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression so maybe another diagnosis wouldn’t make a difference?! Has anyone had experience of this?

    Sorry for moaning – I just feel a bit rubbish and this self diagnosis has confirmed my feelings that there’s not much hope.

    All the other posts sound so brave and whilst I relate to the feelings and behaviours, I can’t relate to the positivity that comes through in most of them.

    • jayne says:

      Hi,
      I think most people with ASD can relate to how you are feeling. You were born with this ‘gift’ and so whether you have an official diagnosis probably won’t change things. For me I wanted to know, solely so I could stop beating myself up about how I perceived my world. I too work in school but found teaching too overwhelming so became a TA. It can be difficult in the workplace because you expect that your colleagues will be more understanding and knowledgeable about aspergers than maybe the average factory worker. This isn’t usually the case. I went through a phase of feeling totally isolated and paranoid at work and to be honest there have been people who have seen my diagnosis as a green light for teasing. But it has made me so strong. I am the same person I was yesterday and will be tomorrow. I have a gift that makes me special. I am amazing with kids and no one else in school is loved by them as much as me. I am just like them: enquiring, energetic, enthusiastic for learning, fun, silly, childish, intelligent
      and live in the now. I climb trees with them, play with lego. All my friends are 4-11 years old and so I’m never on my own. As for job changes, I always put that I have apergers syndrome. I want my employer to want me for the gift I have and not tolerate me because I have a condition. Be happy always. I have a theory that NT people can sometimes be negative towards you because they want to live in the carefree and simple world that we live in.
      Look carefully and you will find at least one genuine person who cares.

  33. Lisa Caroline says:

    I am so glad I just stumbled across your website! I’ve had the worst Asperger day I could imagine and was looking for info on how to better deal with it. I will be 48 years old tomorrow and didn’t know I had Aspergers until I was 40. I’ve never been officially diagnosed but one of my step-children has Aspergers and he and I are so much alike that I could actually be his mother. My husband also has Aspergers but he learned to cope with it so much better than I ever did. I’ve learned to cope better over the years but still have occasional Asperger melt-downs and will alienate people unintentionally. Anyway, enough… thank you so much for this website! I will be spending a lot of time reading it! ~L

  34. collette says:

    Hi All,

    My goodness this is such a touchy, interesting and completely under researched subject. I un until recently did not even know the full extent of female aspergers syndrome. I stubbled upon it around four day ago and was shocked, truly shocked that I did not know anything about this. I am the kind of person that I there is something about which I am a little unsure of I study it to the endth degree. So in 5 days and 10 hours sleep I have just about accessed all reputable information I could find as well as blogs, forums etc. And there is is a vast amount of confusion out their both from self diagnosed individuals (I am referring to mainly females here) and professionals such as GPs, general Psychologists. >y own GP when I first brought this to his attention bluntly and repeatedly stated (in our ten minute session) I would not put you on the Aspergers spectrum. You don’t have to repeat it every two minutes I heard you the first time. I felt extremely patronised but completely undeterred.
    Although I could go on and state that I consistently score around the 38 mark for the online AS tests and that I answered yes to all but one on the ‘traits of female with Aspergers’. These are truly secondary to the almighty weight that has been lifted and how everything just seems and feels so much clearer. More than anything I have something now that I have never experienced in my life before and that is ‘HOPE’. I know I am different and always will be, buts thats OK because now I know it is not just me that was looking at this world with complete confusion and sheer disconnection from the people within it. However there need to be far more research and exposure on this subject as I would never want another young girl to live 35 years not knowing what is wrong with her and always feeling that she is on the outside looking in, that she is alone and defective and unlike her peers. That it is ok to be different and that actually there are many girls/women like you who can help and support.
    So now I set off on the long journey like so many to prove my case and If by reading all the wonderful posts here I know it is a long road. However it will be worth it and time I believe will help a great deal as I discuss it with my family and old friend that I have from my School days. (although not friend anymore) I know they will be happy to give their input. Because they care but they just can’t be my friend anymore. (for all the obvious reasons).
    So I finish this post by thanking ‘Life on the spectrum’ for being a fabulous resource for all those interested, questioning and advising. Keep it up.

  35. Willow says:

    Thank you for your posts. It is helpful to hear all of your different perspectives. I want to add something to the discussion about “is Aspergers real”. I have recently been reading some brain studies and gait studies relating to aspergers and I have been surprised to discover that people with aspergers often (I don’t know the percentage) have an unusual gait, holding their arms differently and swinging their arms less (or not at all) while walking. I have also been struck by research that talks about what parts of the brain are affected in aspergers and how this affects behavior/social interactions. It helps me to see aspergers as a “physical” thing and not just a subjective assessment based on societal norms. It has also beeninteresting to read in some of these recent brain and gait studies that aspergers may be distinct from high functioning autism, even though the dsm currently lumps them all together.
    I just mention these things in case anyone else might be helped by burning about the physical aspects of aspergers that show up in MRI studies and gait studies.
    I am writing this on an iPhone, which is always difficult for me. Please excuse any typos or incoherence. I just can’t see what I’m writing very well!

    • Alison says:

      I have undiagnosed aspergers and am 46 .On the subject of gait,I always walked with my feet turned outwards until I was around 8.My dad pointed this out and got me to practice ‘straighter’ walking. It worked and I rarely walk that way now. I am slightly ‘off balance’ and am safer on a three wheeler bike rather than 2. Incidentally, dad was definitely autistic, his father slightly & his grandfather definitely. My brother has those traits as well.

  36. jayne says:

    Difficult day. It’s took me two years to get a diagnosis of aspergers and four months to come out and tell a collegue at work, only to be told by him again and again that autism doesn’t exist! And, well ‘ we’re all a bit autistic are we not? ‘ What can you do?
    It’s hard to fight against ignorance and doubly hard when you work in a school where there are some kids like me walking around! I was lost for words. Sorry I had to vent………..

    • Seth says:

      My daughter is nine years old. I’ve spent countless years trying to put all of this into a picture. I’ve always described her as “well, you just have to know her.” I’m a male nurse, that is obviously uneducated in autism, and I’m not sure if I was in complete denial or just didn’t know what to search for. Someone had mentioned it years ago, but before she reached elementary school, it was difficult to really add all of the pieces together. I have so many questions, especially for older females that have grown up with this. I am relieved for a Diagnosis, but again, have not handled her tempertantrums or emotions the correct way and for that I feel constantly miserable. I can now see the struggle in her little heart and I want to go about this the correct with her future in as much of a bright light as I have always pictured. Regardless of outcome, I want her emotions to be handled the best way possible. So this is where I begin :) I would love to hear anything, or if you are able to read this maybe we can start conversations out from the beginning and move on as I have millions of Q’s.

      • Dee says:

        My heart goes out to you and your precious little girl, mister. Do not feel miserable, you did what you knew best. I have read your words through my tears and I am happy to learn that there are parents (especially dads, since mine has traumatised me) who are willing to meet their little girls halfway. This is a good time to start minimazing the damage the world could inflict on her. Great for your and for your little’s heart. You will not regret it. I believe AS is medicine for the world, healing. You will learn infintely from your daughter, if you are willing to pay attention… she most definitely has great understanding and unconditional love in her soul, for you and for your past “lack of understanding” or better, awareness. The struggle of a little girl (and later woman) with AS is real and great, but greater is her beauty and goodness. I am open to answer any questions you might have. God bless.

    • Amanda Cook says:

      I have read all of this with interest. I recently went for a diagnostic interview but found it quite difficult to explain myself. I now, after reading all of this realise that the reason I keep breaking down and crying is a meltdown ( frustration through not understanding and becoming increasingly more adamant that I am right- which I think I am). Also I feel so much better now knowing I may have it than not knowing anything about it. My life has been terrible really, I always was worried about why people seemed to go off me quickly, I was told it was the way I talked to people but I really did not know that I had said anything wrong- it was the truth to me. Now after having been in trouble with almost everyone, I know why. My son who is now 28 was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 21. After that I became more and more aware of my own traits which I did not even know were different to everyone else. Then I began to suspect it. I told my boss what I thought after she told me I was being insubordinate and she said ” I got rid of one of those last year”. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to like anyone just for the sake of them liking me.

  37. Ros says:

    I am in a bit of a state over this – I’m sure the diagnosis fits, but I’m just too scared to ask my GP. I scored very highly on the online test and it just made total sense to me. I have a great career, and ironically work in mental health, but so much of what i read has just made utter sense. I am terribly clumsy at social interaction – I have said the ‘wrong’ thing so many times and I have always had acquaintances rather than friends – I seem to irritate people, I obsess over certain things. My current partner suffers because i constantly want to know what time he wants me to make dinner (he’s very laid back). I have always done ‘repetitive’ movements – my dad told me once (as a child), “for goodness sake stop rocking”. I think I may be typical of women who may have the diagnosis in that I seem to have ‘learned’ ways to manage some aspects, yet I feel awful about the number of times I have (evidently) bored people witless by going on and on about myself or things that interest me. My parents always found it very funny because I’d read the phone directory in bed at night (I was and always have been a dreadful sleeper). I struggle to multi-task, as I prefer to just focus on one task at a time, which I find difficult at work. i hate using the phone. I don’t know if this makes sense to anybody? I once mentioned to a friend who is a mental health nurse working with children that I felt that maybe this was the diagnosis that seemed to fit me and she just laughed and said “well yes….of course!”. I am even now worrying that I have written this badly and blurted it out. Does it sound like I am barking at the right tree?

    • Hollie Benjamin says:

      Hi Ros,
      just came across this (hope you read it as it’s been a while since you posted) and I strongly identify. My daughter has been diagnosed with ASD and ever since then I can’t help but keep thinking ‘I know I’ve got it’… It would explain most of my life. Why I never understand if someone is winding me up for a laugh. Being told I am so sensitive. Avoiding the headmaster in my daughter’s playground (for no other reason than to avoid social interaction) and being the only mum not chatting to another person whilst waiting to collect my daughter. I hate using the phone and permanently leave it on silent (accidently on purpose so as to avoid answering calls) and when I do eventually talk to someone on the phone I pace around the house relentlessly as if on a march as my anxiety levels go through the roof. I can’t talk to someone if the tv is on, and I find it unbearable having two things on at once (if kids are watching tv in living room and husband puts on music in the kitchen). I was interested in psychology when I was younger (and studied it in the hopes of finding out more about how people think) and have spent most of my life ‘studying’ people to try and work out answers about how ‘normal’ people think, to no avail. But when you said about the phone thing, it struck such a chord with me as everyone I know has no issues with owning or answering a mobile phone.

  38. Nicole says:

    I fear sometimes that when/if I get tested that they will say it’s all in my head, just as two therapists have said so far. The more I read stories like this, the more I know in my heart this has to be me.

    I faked my way through life until the age of 18 when I realized I didn’t want to be whoever they were. They being the people I latched to so that I could have friends. It’s been lonely and scary at times. It’s really been heartbreaking.

    I never thought anything of it until the age of 27 when difficulties prevented me from having a productive life. I didn’t know how to communicate this. For one thing, it would reveal the not so normal side of myself. That I had a hard time when working like doing multiple things at once and needing specific instructions. When I finally said, “I think I have Aspergers,” my therapist said I was only weird b/c of anxiety.

    Now, I want a diagnosis, but I’m scared because maybe they will say I’m just stupid and slow… I fear that without proper help I’ll be homeless. I don’t even know where to get support if it’s not Aspergers. I took an online test and scored pretty high… One therapist even said it’s just me and information overload…

    • Michael says:

      Just wanted you to know that someone read this. If you want a diagnosis then I believe that is what you should do. The advice seems to be to seek out someone with experience in autism. Normals have as much difficulty understanding those with Aspergers as those with Aspergers have understanding them.

  39. Pingback: I think I am an Aspie | just add tea

  40. traci says:

    I love this and relate very much. Recently, age 45, just took an AQ test and scored 33

  41. Peggy says:

    If I’m honest I find that I want friends but only up to a certain point. I’m afraid they’ll make too many demands on me and interrupt my routines. I only want to have friends when it’s convenient for me and when it fits into my schedule. That’s probably why I don’t have any close friends. Duh! I even find myself putting the brakes on if someone starts to get too close even though I have been nurturing the friendship. What a conundrum! What the hell do I do?

    • Torey says:

      I had a very hard time with this as well. The problem was that I had/have a couple other diagnosis along with the asperger’s syndrome. Becoming close with anyone is completely uncomfortable but sometimes it is completely worth it. Try it sometime.

    • Lyn says:

      That’s me too, all you can do is muddle on and you’ll find that you really do care much less as you get older!

    • traci says:

      Wow. I recently said something similar. Often, all my life really, I’ve felt sad and outcast and never could make good friends. When I did, I couldn’t keep them. Inevitably, I’d find myself offended by some thing they did to exclude me or not treat me the way I demanded and all my life have expressed my thoughts and feelings to people, rarely to find them receptive; more often defensive and angry. Over time, I concluded that most people were selfish and mean and dishonest. I truly only within the last couple years have come to realize that the extreme brutal honest way that I operate is completely not what the majority of people do. When this time, I really felt like I was so much more evolved and authentic and why on earth does everyone play games and why don’t people just say what they mean exactly. It hit me like lightening that complete utter open honesty is simply not what “normal” people do and no one, (or few), appreciate it in me. The words lacking tact, intense, TMI, loud, motor mouth, intimidating, inappropriate, and asshole have been directed towards me. Several, including my mother, and very intimate boyfriends/husband’s have said, I’m the only person in their lives who could bring them to such a level of anger and frustration and wanting to hit someone.

      So often, when I needed emotional support, I found myself alone and in those times I yearned for close friendships but like this states, otherwise I don’t really desire to have someone expecting much from me. I can be extremely thoughtful but it’s draining to think of being expected to do certain things or talk or listen endlessly. I am good when I’m rattling on about something but rarely find anyone else has much to say that I really have interest in.

      • Melissa says:

        Oh my god Traci, I have tears streaming down my face even now as I type this. I have been so clueless trying to understand what is going on with me and trying to have any shred of hope that I have better options than suicide. I finally googled adult aspergers and eventually added “in women” when I started to see that there were so many male stories that were so much “stronger” whereas I am apparently highly functional by society’s standards.

        Traci, I’m babbling but basically you have stated exactly everything I am feeling and I was certain at this point that no one else could ever relate to how I feel. Cuz that’s how it’s been when I try to articulate my true self to others. At best they say it’s depression (been there, done that and I knew it wasn’t the full story) at worst they tell me I’m an asshole or “just being difficult”.

        I’m sorry for rambling (sigh, women and the cult of apology) I just am so overwhelmed. Mental health is a big taboo in Malaysia and especially if u don’t have much money. Moreover I’m actually incredibly cynical of diagnosis and DSM-IV type of stuff cuz I question if we really need to be in these narrow boxes? But I also do feel like I’m drowning and no one even notices…

        Any thoughts would be welcome. Thank you for listening.

    • Arabella says:

      Some people think they have mild autism/asperger’s. Not necessarily. For example; reading about the main characteristics of a person with asperger’s, I could easily think of myself as someone having mild aspergers because I share some of the personality traits of those people (such as you described yourself). On the other hand I don’t have quite a few of the other personality traits typical of an aspie at all. I recently took the Myers Briggs personality test and the result was INTJ. That description is much more fitting to my personality than aspergers’s. I think you should take the test too because you are not necessarily an aspie. Choosing to hang out with people only when it suits you doesn’t make you an aspie, you are just probably introverted and too mush social interaction drains you. I am the same.

      • alice says:

        Arabella – I’ve been so confused thinking maybe I am on the spectrum which is why I found myself on this site, but your comment absolutely struck me. I’m INTJ too! I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test a few times and it always comes out as that. When I took some of the Aspergers tests it was difficult to answer several of the questions because I really wanted to just answer “well it depends”

      • Libby says:

        Um, Arabella. 1) people with aspergers might also score an INTJ, those tests have nothing to do with aspergers though they cab be pleasantly illuminating in themselves, 2) it’s dangerous to diagnose someone via a comment thread.

    • Jeanne says:

      I’ve been the same way my entire life, Peggy, so I understand exactly what you’re saying.

    • Libby says:

      Hey there Peggy, personally I’ve managed to find just a few very close friends who 1) are of the odd and introverted themselves so they totally get when I ask for space or disappear for awhile, in fact they do it themselves and 2) because those relationships have become so strong, like family (I am not partnered and I don’t have children and my family of origin is much harder to deal with than my friend family, which all allows me some extra space) that I find, when they really need me, for some emotional event (I have a friend currently in the process of breaking it off with an emotionally abusive man) I’m much more likely to make space for them when it disrupts my routines. I think what I’m saying is, if intimacy is something you feel is missing in your life, set boundaries, explain what they can expect and not expect from you, allow only people in who get you, and keep the group small. I don’t know if any of that is helpful. I imagine it could be similar to how I handle relationships: completely bewildered by them and pretty much avoid them. But I do hope you find what you need.

  42. jayne says:

    Hi
    I found your website whilst attempting to find myself. You all gave me the courage to see my GP about a formal diagnosis. Something I had been contemplating for a very long time. I had self diagnosed for almost 15 years. I had to wait nearly 12 months for an appointment but last week I was finally told I had aspergers syndrome. I always knew I was different but couldn’t quite figure out why. At 47 years old it’s a long time to wait but I guess I got there in the end. It took the psychiatrist one hour to explain what I had wondered about for what has seemed a life time. Don’t ever give up being who you truly are. x

  43. Mansi says:

    Each and every word resonated with me. I could relate to everything that you have mentioned in your post. It’s overwhelming to know that I am not alone.
    I self-diagnosed myself as an aspie after reading that some other people on a site had it, and took 1 or 2 online tests which proved my diagnosis correct. Surprisingly, I felt relieved, “Finally an explanation!”. But I haven’t been able to confide in anyone. I’m scared to. Also, because you can’t rely on just tests. It’s getting easier for me to find myself now.
    Thank you so much for this post!

  44. Daphne F says:

    Where to begin? So yesterday I was talking to a friend on Skype when I randomly made a strange noise. This was not the first time I had done so, but as I was explaining what “motivated” (can an action be motivated when no thought goes towards doing or not doing it?) the sound, she said it sounded like stimming behavior. She is an Aspie herself and has before said that she thought I might be one. We talked some more about other potential stimming behaviors of mine, and I read more on Asperger’s and it was like ok that sounds like me, that sounds like me, that sounds like my mental state as a kid. When we were done, I felt like I had possibly found a part of me that I hadn’t known was missing. I have other conditions that make me stand apart and which, for lack of a better word, has been used for a purpose. I doubt if I could get a real diagnosis if I tried since, while everything fits, some of them fit on an internal level and others I have managed to only allow to come out when with close friends or when alone. But the freedom of knowing that even if I would not be accepted into the community, there are people out there who would understand some of my thoughts and actions that I have learned to do when alone only is freeing. I thanked my friend. Like I said, she had suggested it before, but this is the first time that she gave me reasons why. Had she been here, I would have hugged her. She’s my best friend for a reason. I know I wasn’t very descriptive, but I just felt like I had to write /somewhere/ where people may know what I am talking about what any diagnosis can feel like official or not. I am a grown woman almost graduated from the university. Because my other conditions include things like epilepsy and having had a dozen+ surgeries for various reasons, I had not even thought about many of these aspects of my personality/behavior as issues. I had hidden them to the best of my ability and had other problems to deal with. I do not need treatment, but it is like now I know something about myself that I didn’t before and it explains anxieties and problems and things that have made me, me since kindergarten.

  45. Jp says:

    So, with the strong up-tic in diagnosis of children with spectrum “disorders”, coupled with all of these adults realizing, it is time to accept us as a new “normal”.

  46. Katelyn A says:

    I’m 14 (almost 15) and suspect I have Aspergers. I am right now not in school and have been seeing many doctors and therapists who have diagnosed me with anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, and ADD. I’ve come to the conclusion that I think I have Asperger’s syndrome. I’ve been researching for almost a year now and I fit perfectly with the diagnostic criteria. When I first suspected that I had it I told my mom who said no you don’t have it. She was very apprehensive to the idea that I may not be perfect, but now my anxiety level has peaked and I have no social life so I don’t know how she thinks I’m perfect now. I’ve been recently debating whether or not to bring it up again. I Know that this is the correct diagnosis for me but I’m nervous to bring it up. Should I? If I should how do I go about talking about it. I feel that if I get help now, I might be able to get better or at least gain more tips on fitting in, since I understand that Aspergers is a lifelong diagnosis. Please help!

    • Leigh Forbes says:

      As you’re anxious about raising this issue with your mother, I would speak to a trusted adult – perhaps at school, or a doctor, or another family member – about your concerns. You’ve done your research, and you deserve to be listened to, without other people’s issues getting in the way.

      When you do speak about this – and this bit is hard: try very hard to keep your tone and body language calm, and not let any frustration or resentment show (or any other extreme emotion), as this will give people an excuse to reject what you say. Try to stay calm, and present all the information you’ve found in a balanced way. Try not make accusations about other people (which can trigger arguments), just state your concerns and how all this makes you feel (which no one can argue with). It’s worth writing it all down before hand, and/or practising what you want to say.

      I wish you the best courage and luck.

  47. Dave W says:

    I don’t know quite where to start. Perhaps here: I love my beautiful, darling wife more than I can ever say. We have been together for 32 years exactly. On this day 32 years ago, 8th March 1983, my lovely lady and her five children came to live with me in my bachelor house near the sea, and there began what I know have been some hard, hard times for her, and difficult, sometimes heartbreaking times for me.

    If I could go back in time and change things, such that we didn’t ever meet, or didn’t ever live together, or such that we only ever knew each other briefly, would I do that? Would I choose a different life?

    I can answer in a heartbeat that I would always choose my wife. It feels as though the universe has somehow contrived to bring us together and roughly speaking, to keep us together. Selfishly perhaps, I wouldn’t change things even if I could. My own life has been so much the richer for knowing her than surely it ever otherwise could have been.

    My wife is an Aspie. No question about it. For 25 years or so I didn’t even know there was such a ‘condition’. I only knew that her stated reasons for getting upset, angry, frustrated or suicidal didn’t make sense from my own limited perspective as a ‘normal’ and rational human being. I only knew that I was always held to blame; I was always the bad guy. I was always the one who would come up with the clever answers, or questions, which were designed to make her feel that she was in the wrong. I hadn’t realised that the reasons she gave for her anger or frustration were often just a cover for the things about herself that she didn’t understand, or couldn’t admit to, even to herself. Her outbursts about some so called ‘ridiculous’ situation, or set of circumstances, or argument which she could not tolerate, were often a mystery to me.

    For instance, I only realised relatively recently that her disapproval and annoyance that I might still be vacuuming my flat when she arrived, was actually because of her agitation at the noisiness of the operation, and not as she would always imply, because of the disrespect I was showing by not being ready for her on time.

    She once spent a whole afternoon three steps behind me when we were out walking, because I was wearing white shoes with black trousers. (I know, who can blame her.)

    She was practically suicidal recently when the trauma of having to go out with me and buy an outfit to wear at my nephew’s wedding, was followed by the additional trauma of our travel arrangements having to be changed (with only 2 or 3 days notice), and us having to leave home for the wedding a half hour earlier than previously planned.

    So why write all this? For sympathy? For recognition of my fortitude and perseverance? To show how clever I can be with words? She will say all these things if she ever reads this. She will say that once again I am trying to put her down, this time to the whole world. She will be beside herself that I could ever say the things that I have said and propagate such lies and untruths, and she will take all this as proof that I do not, and never have really loved her.

    So why write all this? Well really, just to say that since I began to understand the depth of her suffering, and the reasons for her anger and frustrations, our whole relationship is not quite as fragile as it once was. Since she started to accept, just a little, that she might have certain sensitivities which are not common to the whole population, there is some hope ultimately, I believe, of a less troubled journey through life for her, and a less troubled relationship with each other for us both.

    What I really want to say is this. Embrace the difference. Understand the difference. Love the difference if you can. It’s a part of who you are and you should never hide it, or make excuses for it or try to to disguise it. Never try to cover up the true reasons for your distress. Rather shout them from the rooftops (if you can bear the shouting). Let everyone know, particularly your partner and those close to you.

    My wife is a lovely, lovely person. She is hilariously funny a lot of the time (I mean, in the way a stand up comedienne can be funny), perhaps because she has such a different take on things. She is often extremely observant. (She once recognised a childhood friend she hadn’t seen for decades, by the shape of her ankles.) She is sexy, strong willed, generous and devil-may-care most of the time and I love her to bits. I loved her before I knew what made her tick and I love her still.

    What I’d like to make clear, is that it’s a hundred times easier being with her, now that I can see the whole picture. It’s a hundred times easier to let go of the false deductions, the maddening and consequent false accusations, the verbal abuse and the false logic knowing where it’s comes from and why it’s there.

    If you want to improve your life as an Aspie, share what you know about yourself with those close to you. Don’t be afraid of saying something like, “Look! It’s an Aspie thing, ok! I can’t stand white shoes with black trousers. It makes me feel uneasy.” Keep saying how it is.

    You might be surprised at how much latent understanding there is out there. Share what you know and give us all a chance!

    • K says:

      Thank you Dave. I am struggling with what I believe is Aspergers, and trying to maintain a relatively new relationship–one which I fully believe will last as your has, if I don’t mess it up. It is reassuring to hear things from your perspective. I was in many bad relationships over the years which made me weaker as a person and more desperate to appear “normal.” Communication and acceptance is key. It’s something I’m trying to work at every day. I wish you and you wife many more years together!

      • Dave W says:

        Hi K, and thank you for your response. I think you’re right, that communication and acceptance are key.

        Initially, if you are the one who most clearly understands your own limitations and capacity, most of the ground breaking communication will have to come from you. If you have become adept over the years at disguising or covering up the true reasons for the ways in which you act or react, then it might be that your partner doesn’t even suspect that there is anything ‘different’ about your sensibilities.

        There was a time when I didn’t have a clue that shopping, and particularly January sales and the like, filled my wife with mortal dread. I love the sales. Twice the quality for half the price! What’s not to like? I was in heaven. My wife, on the other hand, was in hell. The noise, the crowds, the decisions to be made, the different colours and patterns, the dressing and undressing and trying-on of clothes … it was all way too much for her. I know now that a half hour in Tesco or Asda buying groceries, on a quiet day, as long as we don’t look at too many new products, is about her limit. Maybe twenty minutes.

        If I’d only known. We’d no sooner get to the shops than she’d want to go home, or she’d need to go off and find the loo. If only I’d known about the mortal dread, about the possibility of overload … things would have been different, as they are today.

        As it happens, things couldn’t have been any different for us, because my wife didn’t have a clue either, about what was going on. She couldn’t ever have explained her situation to me, (beyond saying that she’d had enough) even if she’d wanted to. For the most part she still can’t, but slowly she’s beginning to understand.

        On the other hand, for you, I believe, there is a great opportunity. Learn and understand as much as you can about what makes you tick, what you thrive on, what gets you down, and what tears you to pieces. Then you have to accept yourself for who you are, and communicate to your partner what you know. Easily said of course,

        But know this: you can’t mess it up. You might not accomplish what you hope to accomplish, but if you try to be honest with yourself and your partner, then you can’t mess it up. You can only do what you can only do. The rest, as they say, is up to the Gods. The only way to mess up is not to try.

        So, thank you K for your good wishes, and I wish you a splendid future, come what may.

        • Alyssa M says:

          Dave,
          I read your posts. I sympathize with your situation. I believe myself to be an aspie, or barring that, at least on the austism spectrum. I personally have never had any problems with crowds, shopping, or the holiday rush, but what you describe sounds very much like my response to math. The anxiety, the dread, the making excuses for it to be over right after starting. I’m not sure about your wife, but I start shaking and crying if I try to force myself to it for very long. I turn into a gibbering mess. When people try to understand why, all I can tell them is that I just don’t why, I just can’t. All I can say is that it’s not my thing… That it causes me anxiety. People don’t understand and its almost impossible to explain.

    • Rosred says:

      This is a beautifully written sentiment. I believe true love must be like this, with or without a diagnosis. There must be quirks, challenges, and deep wounds that all get in the way of the easy road that we once thought would be laid before us if we were only luckly enough to fall in love. In the middle of it all (for you two do not sound done yet) there must be the realization that this chosen life together is worth all the great trouble.
      I do not really know what is means to be an Aspie. I am only now (at 35) considering the possibility for myself, and even if I accept it or get diagnosed, I do not know how that knowledge would ultimately change my life. I do, however, hope to look back on a life of cohesiveness with another as you do. Will my husband one day regret or relish that he was with me? Will I stop feeling guilty that I am not a “normal” woman, with whom he could have been dealing with average problems? Am I able to give my children a “normal” upbringing? That last thing is especially brutal to think about. I feel like an especially loving person, although there are times when I can easily turn off– usually at the end of the day when I am tired and the noise gets overwhelming.
      It is hard to know what is normal.
      I wish you much luck with your relationship and thank you for sharing your perspective.

    • Aurora says:

      I want to take your comment and show it to my husband.

      I am 38 and was just diagnosed with Aspergers this week (along with anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and depression).

      My husband and I have been together nearly 14 years. I have always had such a hard time explaining myself to him. It is made especially hard since writing is my primary form of communication (I couldn’t connect my thoughts into words until my late 20’s for anything important) is writing.

      So often I want to tell him why I get so upset I fall apart at things he does (leaving the cupboard doors/dishwasher open, coming into the kitchen when I am in there, the order he makes egg sandwiches or kraft dinner – I am allergic to both, and sometimes can’t handle them at all – making uturns or sharp turns when driving, changing an ingredient even to another brand when he is cooking for me…)

      He responds as if I am being unreasonable – meanwhile to me such things are so “loud” I can’t ignore them, can’t turn away, can’t focus on something else. I know I am not like other people. I just think, if only I could express how big these things are to me – how real the pain of walking into a room where the doors that are supposed to be closed are open – how nauseous and attacked I feel when the taste or texture of my food is different than I expected… If I could only explain these things to him, he would be understanding instead of offended.

      I know it isn’t his problem, but these things are so huge to me, and I don’t believe it would be that hard for him not to do them if he would understand instead of being offended.

      I am not trying to attack him when I say something about these things – I am trying to get these things to stop attacking me.

      Thank you for your post.

    • Dorothy says:

      Dave: Thank you for your beautiful letter. I wept as I read it because I finally understood how much my husband of 24 years truly loves me. I could not have come as far as I have without his unending compassion and love and support for my ‘weirdness’… I am 59, and just learning about my own AS … He read your letter because he wanted to know why I was crying and couldn’t talk – and told me ‘yeah, baby – that’s it’… Thank you.

      • MH says:

        Dave, not only do I thank you for that lovely testimony, but it made me feel all the more ‘warm-fuzzy’ for feeling as though it may as well have come from my relatively new, neurotypical partner (nearly 7 months together at time of writing). I’ve been through the ups and downs of coming to terms with the fact that he will never be able to (nor does he want to) give me children, having been there done that, but when I realise the extent of his patience and unconditionality with my Aspie traits, ohhhh my. Can’t go throwing this one away, or ever taking it for granted ♥

  48. Stacy says:

    Thank you for the article. I am 50 and just this year had the “aha moment” that I have undiagnosed Asperger’s. I saw myself in a student that I’d realized has undiagnosed Asperger’s. The painful awkwardness of social interaction as a child came back to me. The “weirdness” of autistic traits that set me apart from other children. I’d worked so hard over the years to hide it and had been mostly successful, but it had continued to cause pain despite my efforts. Part of the pain of my 15 year failed marriage was my husband’s constant harassment of my odd traits and social ineptitude. At one point, he told me he couldn’t take me into public because of it. An adept social manipulator himself, he found ways to gaslight me by exploiting my weaknesses like surprising me and changing things around to make me feel ill at-ease and distracted. He complained that I had no sense of style and insisted that he pick all my clothes. It took me a long time to realize I was being psychologically abused, but I finally left. It wasn’t until I realized that I have Asperger’s that all the pieces finally fell into place. To a certain degree, he was right. I am different. But that’s okay, I can accept that. Knowing that it’s a diagnosis helps put it into perspective, to answer those who think it’s just another unnecessary label. Instead of a bunch seemingly unrelated traits that I have (depression/anxiety, OCD, tactile sensitivity, social and physical awkwardness, laser-like concentration, high verbal and math skills), they are part of the same package. It gives a starting point for accepting, understanding and coping with it.

  49. Britney says:

    I gave birth to a boy who would turn out on the “spectrum”…
    Never in a million years did I ever want to admit that I was most likely the genetic link to all his differences. One day while watching a video on children with asperger’s, There was a woman who spoke of her experiences as a child and adult it brought me to tears.. I was a trembling mess! For once in my life, I was smacked in the face with my own denial… I am on the spectrum, too. I am much more stereotypical than my own son.
    And in that moment I realize I need to seek out my own diagnosis, I felt like I finally knew why I tried so hard, and never had anything to show in my social interaction.. I always made great first interactions to giving some weird thing away that repelled other people. I have been lonely for so long, only having my mate, children, and mother for friends… Now I feel I am on the path to truly understanding and accepting myself for who I really am.
    Thank you for this post! It is nice to know I wasn’t the only one who missed the diagnosis for so long.

  50. Lucy says:

    You don’t know how much this helps me. I’m 29 and finally accepting I am not ‘normal’ and have been so. I spent my younger years in and out of the child mental health services without anyone picking up on any diagnosis because I learned a long time how to work social cues and hide who I was.

    I now realise it’s because women on the spectrum deal with the condition differently and do learn how to interact but never ‘feel’ it. I’m going to print that quote out and keep it with me.

  51. Megan says:

    I have to say I found this whole website fascinating. I am fairly certain I have aspergers, and it helps me so much to be able to identify why I am the way I am. I am in a relationship that has been through hell and back, My husband doesn’t understand me, can’t communicate with me, can’t stand me half the time because I can’t think things through to save my life. I don’t understand verbal commands and get them messed up when given to many at one time. I forget simple things all the time, hell I forget big things all the time as well, I lie to keep from getting in trouble and it’s immature at best, I know but I hate confrontation to my very core. I find it difficult to stay organized for long periods of time, and when I do organize my organization system doesn’t make sense to any one but me. I am very distractible, sadly. I just want to know how the hell to communicate with my husband, it’s getting worse the older I get, I am 27 now, I shut down, don’t talk/ literally physically can’t speak during an argument if I get too worked up, especially if he is yelling at me, I close off and just try to forget what is going on. I have stupid make believe stories fill my head constantly and my poor imagination while highly active and creative is not always a good thing. I would honestly rather be by myself on a deserted island half the time than be around people, but I know I would miss them because I do want friends and I do like being a friend. it just sucks.

    I am relieved that I found a site that understands me better than I understand myself tho, it helps so much!

  52. Jamie says:

    I don’t know why everyone suddenly wants to label themselves with Aspergers. Does it make people feel better to be part of an online community with other people who have felt socially marginalized? I teach in a university and know many people who seem more normal than I do, and we’ve all had conversations about feeling social discomfort, not fitting in, etc. It would be very odd if we all had Aspergers rather than what is much more likely–that social discomfort is part of the human condition.

    • Leigh Forbes says:

      Autism is not a label people get to choose :o)

    • Abbie says:

      Autism/ aspergers is not just about a bit of social discomfort though is it?

      It’s a range of sensory issues, for example I can’t actually hear what someone is saying if the light in a room is too loud, or if more than one person is talking.

      Not to mention the obsessive behaviours, the fact I can’t look someone in the eye without it hurting and a whole range of other issues that seriously affect wellbeing and mental health.

      Saying aspergers is just people who are a bit socially awkward is quite ignorant to be honest. Plus getting a diagnosis as an adult is hard, it’s certainly not something you can just decide you are because your social skills might be a bit lacking.

    • Barbara says:

      Social discomfort isn’t the problem, Jamie. The problem is not understanding the unwritten, unspoken, apparently totally changeable rules of social intercourse. Not really being able to fit in at all unless the person we’re with is interested in making an effort. There’s much, much more.
      And besides, since the traits exist in different configurations and intensities, maybe some of you DO have a couple of traits? They’re all just idiosyncracies if you only have one or two traits.

    • Aurora says:

      I think it is a matter of a whole lot of people who have spent their lives knowing they are different, fighting and failing to be normal, and always trying to find out why.

      For me, I have spent a lot of time researching psychological disorders (I had foster children for a while, plus I have a strong interest in this) Aspergers is the only thing I have ever researched that answered for all of these challenges I have experienced through my life.

      I can tell you that there has not been one person in my 38 years of life who thought that I was “normal”. I didn’t talk to people until I was in my 20’s (and hardly even then) I communicated through writing, though even that wasn’t often shared as a child. I didn’t play with other kids. I didn’t participate in class until college level when people would get upset with me for how often I commented on what was being taught (to clarify what was being said by relating it to my own experiences) I struggle with all social relationships – even with people I have known for 15 years. I have multiple and very strong sensory issues. There is so much more.

      I don’t think it is some “popular diagnosis” – and in fact I would say as one recently diagnosed I really don’t care about anything popular. I never have. What I seek is truth, and what feels comfortable, and something to explain myself to others so they can understand me.

  53. jane says:

    I recently took my daughter to be tested for Aspergers. After about 5 minutes the consultant, although still talking to my daughter, began trying to make eye contact with me and ask me a bit about myself. After about half an hour he turned to me and said No, your daughter doesn’t have Aspergers. How are you coping with yours?’ I was a bit taken aback but it did kind of confirm what myself and my family had recently been thinking. Since the consultant was a professional at recognising Aspergers I took that as all the diagnosis I need and the relief of not being ‘weird’ is immense. I finally feel as if I can be me and if people cant accept me, Aspergers and all, then i don’t want them in my life.

    • Anna says:

      I agree with Aurora and Jane. It is about people who felt all of their lives being different, not fitting in, not being accepted, and struggling in life with many various immense challenges unlike anyone else, searching relentlessly for ways to fit in, be like every other average person and to have average life. And I agree, that after wasting life looking for ways to be liked and accepted and wanted as a friend, after learning about asperger traits, I have gone through list of my contacts and with new found love and acceptance for me I ended many relationships w frenemies. I am so happy to be so unique special and that I am the one who is normal unlike. To me it will never be normal to behave like most oif the world behaves under false labor of ‘social cues, social norm, social rules’. Read on Earth Angels and Asperger and learn it is us who are pure and normal as we don’t live on autopilot of average. If majority of population wld be aspergers the truth will be spoken always and the honesty wld be the norm. Egos, egomaniacs, selfishness, war, ……all of that would not exist. All humans would be like angels-kind, giving, loving, accepting, empathic, caring and nurturing. With learning about asperger I finally fell in love with myself and love myself million times more then then ever in my half century long life. Look to latch on positives – we are unique and we are special and we are normal, other are not!!!

  54. Jo says:

    Thank you for this post and the previous comments, it is so good to be able to understand why I have found it so difficult to “fit in” all 50 years of my life. Is there any way of getting a diagnosis without going through your GP?

    • Anna says:

      Jo, use common sense and deduction and synthesis instead medical diagnosing. Explain yrself to yourself by knowing about asperger and what descriptors of asperger describe you but consider are you the one who is defined by official diagnose or are you just explained by what they say is description of asperger. I chose to explain myself to myself via knowledge about asperger instead being defined by what is said to be asperger. I see no evidence anywhere that asperger gets an individual more accepted, more understood, more liked, more helped. There is many traits of asperger just ad there are people with many other traits. Look to learn what makes you, you. And find ways to love and function as the best you are and can be. Ask do you need stamp of medical certificate to say who ate you. I chose I do not need label and do not need being pigeonholed, singled out, or given a group bname to who I am to be then treated as any human should be treated – with respect and unconditional love. I have love for all people but choose not to like all those who are of impure hearts and minds with no clear conscious. Hopefuly you will find ways to accept yourself instead of seeking to have label to be accepted by others. Once when you will feel good about who you are and what makes you you, then what others think of you (including medical professionals) won’t matter to you any more. Your new found respect for you will trigger respect in others.

  55. Lil Jo says:

    Thankyou for collecting so much information.
    I spend most of the time feeling so sad. Most of the time I literally feel like I am drowning especially at work. I just don’t understand other people and additionally i cant make sense of my own feelings and behaviour either. I have been treated by my GP for anorexia, depression, and stress but not once has anyone considered that I may have Aspergers. I am focused, introverted, can have sudden emotional rages and taught myself to read at a very young age. The more I read the more I am convinced that I have Aspergers. Does any of this mirror other peoples experiences ?

    • Susan says:

      Sounds just like me. That doesn’t mean you have it, obvs, but look at http://www.help4aspergers.com for two very useful charts. One is about females in various situations and the other compares them to males. It’s clear why we aren’t diagnosed often.

  56. Andrea says:

    I don’t think people with aspergers lack empathy. I think we are far more empathEtic then most NT people. I think what makes us appear rude comes down to two things…one is we hate “faking” how we feel about another person. I don’t think NT’s care more about what someone else is saying, I just think their better at faking that they care. The second reason I think is because typically we get hypercocues on a topic and we are concerned with the facts of the information being put out, and it makes no sense to us why we have to be sensitive to someone’s ego when we are discussing facts. So we can appear rude when perhaps he reality is that we just aren’t as affected by our egos as NT are.

    • bonnielou says:

      So true. We don’t lack empathy, but we hate “faking” how we feel, and we’re no good at lying. I’m 72 yrs old self diagnosed AS and have a 5 yr old granddaughter diagnosed autistic.

      • Elly says:

        I totally understand about the faking. I will try most things but I can’t fake how I feel about people – I can’t even look at them sometimes if the have hurt me in some way.

  57. Besley says:

    I can definitely relate to the pretending, however for me it’s not so much to do with fitting in but simply lacking to the skills to identify and express myself otherwise. Thanks for this post it was both touching and important to read.

  58. Steve Darrow says:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful website and comments (I read them all). I am a 52 year old man who has been married to a woman with Aspergers for 13 years. My wife accepts herself as being an “Aspie” and we are able to talk about it frequently. I asked my wife this morning “Do you sometimes forget yourself?” And she said yes. There is more to talk about here but what I was attempting to understand is whether she gets so busy “doing” things that she forgets that she is a woman with Aspergers and has needs/wants outside of being hungry, thirsty etc. I found myself riveted to the comments about “pretending” and trying to fit in. Early in my marriage, before we knew she was Aspie, I was aware that she copied word for word what I was saying and attempted to claim the idea/thought as her own. She frequently took what I said and then used my sentences with friends claiming the statement as her own. I understand that this was one of the ways that she was trying to fit in with me (and with friends). Thanks for your words here. Very encouraging and helpful to a spouse.

  59. Kathy Anon says:

    And yet another inspiring and insightful piece. Thanks again, ma’m ;). I am also a mother to a gorgeous 2 year old boy. He like mommy, also displays autism-spectrum symptoms. I would to ask, do your children display anything? Would make for a fantastic article. If you have any advice for parenting with Asperger’s it would be greatly appreciated from my end. I would have to concur with your take on the expectations placed on women by society and the social adeptness with which we manage to carry ourselves, despite being riddled with issues. It still doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle just because we can hide it better than asperger men. Even with non-autism affected individuals, women are more emotionally intelligent than men. This is no surprise to me. Within the given population (either non-autism effected or autism effected) women will always be the more evolved gender (I kid, I kid ;).) We women are supposed to understand everyone’s innermost thoughts and concerns, no questions asked. We are supposed to be supreme nurturers alway inviting and initiating any form of intimacy. Tough luck if you don’t “naturally” fall into that mold. Society will be your worst nightmare and getting compassion from others is like a distant and unattainable dream. Anyhow, as usual women get ignored (unless they are directly effecting men) (just like in the general population.) It’s all about men and their issues. The reason people pay more attention to men is because they are more suseptible to violent tendencies. Plain and simple. Been the case since the dawn of time. It still doesn’t make it right and I pray readily for a cultural shift in the most drastic way. We women need to speak up, make ourselves be seen and heard. No one will pay attention to us if we don’t MAKE THEM. I don’t encourage aggressive tactics but instead moreso an assertive approach. Remember ladies, you get more with honey than vinegar. How to go about acheiving this, I have not the slightest clue, (so aspie of me.) Maybe start with a letter to your commander in chief. Go right for the head honcho. We musn’t waste anymore precious time being misunderstood and mistreated for something we have no control over (our brain wiring.) God bless my fellow misfits! ;D

    • Lesterre says:

      Oh Kathy Anon, everything you’ve said is so true, especially the bit about women being ignored, unless directly affecting men really hit the nail on the head.

      I’m the youngest and only girl with three elder brothers. Looking back, both my father and youngest brother were on the spectrum, but growing up in the 70s these things weren’t really known about.

      But my father’s mood swings and my brother’s traits and sensory issues were taken seriously, I had to hide my feelings and sensitivities as they would be given short shrift. And I still feel angry about that. It’s only recently that I realise that I’m on the spectrum. A lot of women are late diagnosed.

      But the reason more men get taken notice of is because of their violent tendencies. They make people sit up and take notice – unlike being the “good girls”, that most women are brought up to be.

  60. penny says:

    Very interesting and helpful.

  61. rosi n says:

    I tbink my daughter in law has aspervers. It has been so difficult with her, she has done and said so many rude things. She rarely sais thank you, she is possessive of my son a d their children . She is aloof, only says hello if she feels like. But sbe also has goodqualities, such as she is a good mum to her children Sbe prefers aadvice fromtext books, she avoids talking to people in shops and can, t understand why friends of mine ask her genuinly , how are you, she does not understand they might be genuinly interested in her. In the earlydays when she came to our house my son and her used to play card games or board games. We were never asked to join…and we found this behaviour strange. Rightly or wrongly we thought she was ot interested in u. She does not do this anymore but she rarly participates in discussions we are having as family,
    She totally lacks compassionor empathy yet she expects tbis from others.When our family pet had to be put down she just walked out of tbe room when my son cried, never showed any compassion we found this hard, as hen her mother, s family pet died she spoke of how hard this was for her and her family. I want to get on with her, what do I have to do? Any ideas anyone?

    • Susan says:

      Aspies feel emotions very intensely but don’t show them easily. The behavior you’ve described as “rude” was only rude if it was intended to add to your pain. An Aspie works hard at preventing emotional overload–we are, or at least I am, much closer to the brink than neurologically typical people are. It’s very hard to engage socially when you’ve got a combination of narrow interests, read a lot, and have to participate in social exchanges that make no sense and seem to be so important. I can’t say whether your daughter-in-law is an Aspie, but I can say from your description that you can’t see what she feels, and she can’t say what she feels. Maybe others can help with this.

      It’s also important to know how much the people in her family make up her world. An Aspie doesn’t take to the notion of “extended” family–people not in her immediate, daily circle, who know her and understand her needs. Being judged by strangers is hard, and she may already know that she’s going to be judged harshly. Other people will assume she’s normal, and expect things from her that she doesn’t have.

    • Lorraine says:

      Hi rosi n, how can you say your daughter in law lacks empathy, then later on say she has good qualities and is a good mum to her children. To be a good mum wouldn’t empathy be part and parcel of that? You have contradicted what you are saying about her and these could be some of the reasons why she doesn’t communicate as the ‘rules’ keep changing. Meaning when you want her to do things how you’d like her to do and she doesn’t its frowned upon and you see all the negatives; when its the other way around she’s seen as rude. How about stop mirroring yourself on to how you’d like her to behave and react if you were in her shoes. See things from her perspective and then you’ll get to understand her better.

  62. Liza says:

    This whole post made tears come to my eyes. Both my Mom, and my uncle/her brother have Asperger’s – undiagnosed, but they seriously could be spokesmodels for the syndrome. I figured this out years ago, but it was only recently that I started putting the spotlight on myself, and on my friends. And today I took the test and scored 148. The tears came to my eyes when I realized that I went through so much suffering in my life, I am 50, when an early diagnosis could have saved me a lot of grief. For most of my adult life I struggled with severe depression, and various anxieties which kept me from being employed in regular jobs. Had I understood that there were REAL reasons for why I was living my odd life, then I would have felt more at peace with myself and my life. In my 30’s, after over a decade of obsessive study of “self-help” strategies, a 3 year journey into Islam; I convinced a psychiatrist that I was manic-depressive, and was given meds. These meds didn’t solve my problems, but complicated them. Months into taking my meds – I had a drug-induced manic breakdown. I got off the meds cold-turkey. And figured I was better off with the devil I knew, than the devil I didn’t. For years, I was worried that I would go “crazy” like that again, and started to conscientiously creating a life to heal myself. But I never quite figured out how to “fit-in” to society. I just found other “odd” people with whom I could relate and would accept my wackiness. But generally, I have developed the ability to “fit-in” with people. And I actually do have really close relationships to my friends, whom I suspect are somewhere on the spectrum as well. But there is ONE thing that I really need to question. Most of my friends are men, and they are fairly socially savvy, as well. Is it at all possible, that there could be two types of Asperger’s? One that might be more socially adaptive, than the other?
    I really think this is something that should be investigated, because if it is true, I think there are MANY people, both men and women, who would be in the spectrum.

  63. Thelma says:

    my mother has aspergers. she thinks woman don’t like her because of the way she dresses but she doesn’t realize that the things she does and says are rather rude. she simply doesn’t pick up on social ques when she is upsetting someone with what she’s saying to them. or overwhelming them when talking too much. its unfortunate because she isn’t trying to be rude and just wants to get along with everyone she meets. she has a hard time understanding other womans feelings and that they may have opinions different than hers. she gets offended easily they don’t do what she tells them to do like follow her vegetarian diet and feels like she is helping other people by trying to convince them to follow her lifestyle.

  64. Amber says:

    Thanks, a really great post. This is all really interesting for me. As a 21 year old, I’ve had various mental health problems,diagnoses etc. since being a child, with little success of treatment. However, recently, I have begun to notice that a lot of the anxiety, frustration (often seemingly irrational) and general confusion/panic etc. are related to environmental factors: light,sound, tapping…

    Looking back at being a child, there are so many things that make more sense if fitted alongside these traits. It makes me realise how many things I have really learnt to cover up, namely social anxiety, strange obsessions, OCD like tendencies and very high emotional and physical sensitivity.Even now, I form strong attachments to people, ideas,ideologies?

    I don’t know if there are genetic traits associated with being aspie but thinking about it, both my parents and other family members seem to exhibit some traits-sometimes a lack of empathy, lack of social interaction, ending relationships quickly etc.

    I am much more socially active than both my parents and can be rather empathic but I am slowly becoming aware that a lot of this is performance. I’m not 100% sure where to go from here but will perhaps make a GP appointment soon.

  65. Beth says:

    Not everyone judges their peers based on style, looks and who they have coffee with.. At 40 years old, if your coffee friends don’t have more depth than that, they need a label! Shallow works! I find that immature and snobbish! Avoid those people, whether you have Asp or not! They lack wisdom.. And character!
    I don’t mean to be disagreeable, but why must someone have ASD if they’re uncomfortable with people they don’t know, etc? Some people have low self-esteem due to how they were raised and/or treated by others, right? I have a child who was diagnosed with Asp at 6 years old.. Over time, she has matured and overcome many of her earlier childhood struggles. ( shes 12 now) She’s very social with people that she knows.. She simply appears shy with children she doesn’t know well! Nothing odd or different about that! She does judge herself way too harshly, but most children her age do.. I would give anything if I could convince her of how wonderful, beautiful and smart she is.. However, once she’s made up her mind, there’s no changing it. You know now it is, parents just don’t understand!
    She lacks creativity! I guess my point is, I can find 100 other children sans Asp with those same characteristics. People have similarities and differences! All people! You have the followers and non-followers of the world – Conformist, and nonconformist! I don’t understand why people feel the need for a diagnosis if they feel different.. I mean, everyone is different! Everyone is fake in public.. You don’t see many people picking their nose or farting in a public setting and if you do – that is someone who doesn’t care what people think! I say, great for them! IMO, everyone tries to put their best foot forward in public. Everyone is weird or different in their own way – away from the public! To me, my daughter is just like everyone else in that she feels different, yet, she wants to be accepted. I can ask her peers how they feel, and I bet they would give me a similar answer.. It’s a fact that every child believes they’re different and they’re being judged by everyone else! If anything, my daughter doesn’t have the ability to fake it as well as her peers.. But trust me, everyone is fake in public. Truth be told, if you wanted to you could label everyone you meet with something.. Depression, anxiety, Aspie, insecure, shy, narcissist, personality disorder, bi polar.. Everyone is different! You are not different from everyone else.- everyone is different from everyone else. Have the confidence to be yourself without a label! I’m not Asp, and I don’t associate with coffee snobs. I wear jeans and t-shirts.. I say what I feel! The only thing I avoid is confrontation. That’s how I was raised.. “Keep the peace”! Otherwise, I am me! I learned a long time ago that living to impress others made me unhappy! I know for a fact that people envy me for my ability to ignore the judgments of others! I’m sure they envy you too! I would take my kids to the pool in 100 degree heat and all of the other mothers were sitting in ‘stroke’ position on the side of the community pool, fully clothed. I was in the pool with my kids! I didn’t do that because I am different..! I did that because I am not going to A) neglect my children at the pool, B) have a stroke because I don’t want people to see my chubby thighs. Lol I know those mothers envied me for having the courage to actually enjoy the day. Altho’ I’m sure they all smirked and spoke poorly of me to one another! People are like that all over the world! Please don’t think you have Asp if you recognize how crazy they are.. Or because you could care less what they find socially acceptable. I think it’s crazy that dying in the heat is socially acceptable. Lol people judge you for what they dislike about themselves! Thats the truth! If someone judges you, it’s one of two things – they wish they had your courage to be themselves out in public.. Or they see something in you that they dislike about their self.

    • Liza says:

      I am curious. If you are so against diagnosis, why did you take your daughter to a doctor to get a diagnosis?

      My mother and my uncle/her brother clearly have Asperger’s, but they will never get a diagnosis. At this point, they could give a damn about what the world thinks – similar to your attitude. But me, its not that I am willing to twist my personality into a pretzel in order to “fit in,” but I am going to seek an official diagnosis because I want to understand myself better. I am 50, and struggled with depression since age 10. I can’t say that it was based upon Asperger’s entirely, but I think it could have been a contributing factor. Anyway, a diagnosis for me would really be a gift of knowledge – my closest friends are already “weirdos”, possibly fellow undiagnosed Aspergergarians … okay, Aspies … so it wouldn’t really affect my social life … maybe it would open it up. Have you sought diagnosis at all?

  66. emma says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am a 27 yo female. I have done in my life all the ”right things” that normal person is supposed to, went to right schools, married the right guy etc, etc… I have recently started to wonder whether I have this diagnosis. I have become such a chameleon socially, I have learned over years how to mask my oddness; to not to present my opinions directly, laugh only after others in the group do. Its a weird thing, I remember being 7yo, and thinking on the way from school to home that I have to create myself a mask, a-make-belief-me, to be accepted among my peers. That mask I carried way upto my university years, until at somepoint I thought its stupid and if people won’t like me I dont need to hang around with them. I always liked reading books and watching movies more than company of others anyways. I have done now RDOS test twice, space between approx. 3months, botH times different score, but high enough for ‘You are most likely an aspie.’ Thanks for posting. The more I read stories like this, the more I think I should get official diagnosis.

  67. Jen says:

    It is good for you. I have a step daughter that is diagnosed with Aspergers. She behaves like she knows everything and talks all tahe time. She believes herself to be compationate but would take all the space she could from her family and eat all the food regardless of anybody else. Nobody expects you to fit in and be normal. Maybe we just need the same as you – to be who we are and enjoy our normality and peaceful home surroundings.

  68. Lisa says:

    I’m just so bloody minded I’ve never bothered about conforming – its the rest who are out of step, not me. I’ve always hated social occasions, ever since I was a child and parties involved a lot of rowdy games and bursting balloons, so I just avoid them and don’t make any excuses. I do know that as I’ve got older I’ve got easier with social interactions but I do remember a time when if I saw somebody I knew in the street I’d go out of my way to avoid them because I couldn’t think of anything to say to them. Even now I get nervous if I have to spend a long time (say a car journey) with people I don’t know well and deliberately try to think up things to talk about in advance. Also I’ve never confided about my suspicions of aspiedom to even the closest friend because I hide it so well that they wouldn’t believe me or would think I was attention seeking, which is why I find this website such a relief.

    Anyway, thanks for reading.

  69. Stephan says:

    Thank you for this. I’m a male who thinks I may have Asperger’s, but I think I my symptoms may be closer to the away it presents in a woman than in a man. I can be social at times, but it’s very hard for me. Many people say they don’t think I’m socially awkward, but it’s the way I feel. I’ve managed to get a few girlfriends and the one I have now thinks she is an Aspie as well. However, I think it presents in her more like a male. I know it’s odd. The other thing is I’m an actor, so people think I must be an extrovert, but that isn’t me when I act. It’s like something clicks in me when I’m on stage that doesn’t click when I’m off. This is very helpful. As I just got insurance recently (I live in the USA), I’m going to find someone who may be able to diagnose me. However, this was very helpful for me, so thank you.

    • Lorraine says:

      As I read what you wrote, I think if you have another learning difference, for eg dyslexia, it helps a bit with the social awkwardness. Its like having a communication difficulty yet not having one at the same time. I’ve always found as long as I’m able to start off a conversation of interest to me I’m okay. As soon as it’s been hijacked, by several other people, I’m unable to follow and get my ‘two penny piece in’. I’ve observed other people’s behaviours for year’s. Those unlike us aren’t as observant as they make themselves out to be and think that by saying or agreeing to what we say is ‘doing’ – its not. Many don’t know how, just like us but are quite good at bluffing.
      I was diagnosed with Asperger’s at 50 and dyslexia at 48. It was my copying skills that got me through in life and seeing how things were done on a practical basis to know what I’m good at. If it wasn’t for a Head Teacher at a school I attended as a child who told me “You have a brain in there”, pointing to my head, I wouldn’t have thought otherwise. That’s what I always remembered whenever I attempted anything new as I’m not a starter, I’m a finisher. I magnified what she said and used that to encourage myself and pat myself on the shoulder. We deserve a medal. However, acting like someone else and not getting paid for the role :) certainly is mentally exhausting. Last year I decided “No more!” When I do things my way I’m less stressful, have no anxiety issues and I’m calmer externally, which is good. No one can tell when I’m in work what’s going on inside. It was after my dyslexia diagnosis in 2010, that made me look further into this as most people I’ve met with dyslexia can bluff and make things up easily, plus I was having great difficulty in work that led me to this discovery. I came upon this site after doing my ‘visitation’ on: “How can a aspie woman ask a man out in church?” :)) And, stopped by here. We are sociable – in a different way. :)

  70. Marie says:

    Thank you so much for demystifying Asperger’s from a female point of view. I’m 45 and in the process of self-diagnosing. The piece of paper from a formal diagnosis sounds tempting too, but mainly as a shield against/to connect with my family. Still have to think on that one.
    But the sheer realization of “I don’t have to pretend anymore” is so liberating, enlightening and blissful – and empowering – that I might just let things stand as they are. Indeed, when people around you dislike you because you can’t be the person they want you to be, time for some distance.
    Thanks so much for your testimonial.

    • Anya Jarvais says:

      Marie ‘when people around you dislike you because you can’t be the person they want you to be, time for some distance’.
      You are so bang on. This is, however, also why Aspies become isolated. We are extremely sensitive people (contrary to NT stereotyping) with different brain function, treated like sh^t by NTs in most cases just for being different. Those who try to appear normal (dress etc) I think actually get it even harder. Invisible disabilities make for unrealistic expectations of what that person can do… ergo judgement, treated like failure when we try so hard. But we get lonely, so we can’t help but try to blend in… catch 22.

      I for one am very, very observant of NT flaws in reasoning, hypocrisies, false arrogance, ego, lying (usually mismatch between words/action/body language). It is infuriating. And even when you try to be nice to them to make a friend, i.e. if you find one far less infuriating that the rest or you fall in love, or you want to help someone, time and again the bullying will start. The ‘mob’ sniffs out sensitivity as a weakness used for sport. That is the truth NTs don’t like. But it’s the same story again and again, in work, in school, in social life… we aren’t predatory enough, so we become sport.

      NTs expect Aspies to be ‘normal’ like them, to go out in the world, complete education and work just like them. But they aren’t willing to lay off the singling-out, the bullying, the judgement, the expectations, to make that possible. And woe betide if the Aspie is also more intelligent than them, or better looking. Pure liquid hatred flows then…

      Anya, Treated worse by women but also some men. Attended 7 different schools due to bullying, uncountable work places, on second degree attempt (this time from home). Unfortunate enough to be IQ-intelligent and attractive meaning teachers always said bullies were ‘just jealous’. Not so! My life is cumulatively ruined. No confidence. Can’t go out. What a waste… I could offer so much to the world except I can’t set foot outside my bedroom door without aggravation. I swear, they can smell us…

  71. Samantha says:

    I haven’t been diagnosed as aspergers but reading more about it, like this page has made me feel so much better about myself. I grew to hate myself over the years cause I always stood out like a sore thumb. Even teachers in school thought I had something wrong with me and even my friends thought I was odd. I felt deeply that I just didn’t get why everyone thought I was so different and now I’ve just been so happy I could cry! I can’t hate myself anymore cause now I know the truth. I’ll get tested for the diagnosis eventually but either way it feels like I can truly understand myself now and I can’t hate myself for being who I truly am! Such a load has been taken off my shoulders!
    \(^o^)/

  72. Beans420 says:

    um. i am actually female, like i mean i guess. and also, like, 21 years i have existed here on earth. and mostly just wondering if being a virgin and wanting to stay so for life is a symptom of AS?

    • Brittany says:

      I can’t tell you the answer to that, but I can reassure you that you are not alone! I think you’d find many others just like you on tumblr. You should know these things: there’s a difference between your sex and your gender, and there’snothing at all wrong with never wanting to have sex. As long as there’s physically nothing prohibiting your libido, then you are simply asexual. You can find out more on asexuality.org
      I hope you find all the answers you’re looking for. Smile, because you are awesome!

  73. Note To Self says:

    Never ask a few co-workers to join weight watchers. What I pictured in my mind of having a few gals having a fun weekly lunch meeting, laughs, and losing a few pounds before the holidays must be socially inappropriate.

  74. Molly says:

    I’m 22, and for a long time I thought I merely had social anxiety coupled with selective mutism, but they don’t really account for everything. Only a few days ago I started wondering whether AS might describe me better. This article in particular relieved a great deal of my anxiety that I could never be “aspie enough”, because I like to think I’m pretty good at fitting in. I spend as much money as I can justify (and a great deal more time) on clothes, makeup, hair and skin care, etc, wondering if it’s “good enough” because I have few natural instincts to rely on. Growing up I’d take mental notes when peers did things that were socially awkward (and, as practice, how I’d have done/said it differently). By now I do this automatically, but typically I still find it easier to empathize with those who are obviously less neurotypical. Everything I know about what is or isn’t considered socially acceptable has been carefully cultivated through observation and imitation. I’m always afraid I’m violating unspoken social rules, which frustrates me because most are just so arbitrary. “Wear this not that,” changes year to year, and “polite” means different things in different parts of the world, so why is everyone so hung up on it? I still have a lot of research to do, but thanks to this article, I think I’m on the right track. Many thanks!

  75. Christiane says:

    So sad when you have to sum up all your courage to try meet somebody new, like for example a tailor down the road to shorten your jeans. All that preparations, weeks of not daring to, than driving around the place, calling her on the phone, realizing the lady is already getting upset with me on the phone, just because I am asking where can I park since there is a huge sign on her gate “No parking in drive way”. She impatiently lets me know there is a button I need to press which will open the gate, in a tone that sounds to me like she thinks I am dumb. I want to give up, but kick myself and drive around the block and back. Climbing out of the car, stumbling over some ridiculous small flower pots in the entrance. Starting to stutter when she asks me to confirm if I really only want them to shorten the Jeans for 2 cm. So I say I mean 2 inch. I know it will be too short. But I can not stand the embarrassment, so I leave it at that. Such is the life of an Aspie.

    It would be relief to be officially diagnosed, … but then again, the risk to be treated like an outcast or mentally disabled could have such bad effects on my life here in South Africa. People here simply do not know about this, so it is easier to be seen as weird, rude, eccentric … while you are trying your best to go the extra mile, be kind, caring and all …

    I know I am an Aspie through and through, RDOS said so clearly, fluent in 6 languages, never forget a word and can derive most words to their origin, but answer my sincere question of “how are you”with an “I am fine and how are you” I am totally thrown off my game and wont know what to say! And that although I had thoroughly prepared myself inwardly to listen to your rendition of how your day was or your week, trying to show empathy for your situation while desperately trying not to be irritated by the bird-like hair construction in bright red on the back of your head…. Unfortunately I married a pastor!!!! And let me tell you, in the Christian community it is so much easier never to even mention your Aspergers lest you might get demons driven out of you. Or be remembered as the “dyslexic”. I am daily thrown into an abyss of situations I would prefer never to face, so I had to do a whole lot of growing. Basically everyday is driving me beyond Saturn and back. Yesterday I didn’t recognize our youth pastor because he was working in a distance with a T-Shirt I have never seen him in and his hair was messy.

    If I know you from gym, I will NOT recognize you if we should meet at a concert somewhere. How horrible for a pastor’s wife. I train myself to remember people like others memorize Pi. It get’s difficult when your hair colour matches your skin tone. Oh yes my faith is helping me big time. God never called us to be fake and use phrases all day. I think? Haha. There is nothing wrong in being fresh and real. Is there? Unfortunately churches are often places where people pretend to be oh so kind when they are actually sharks. I read other things in faces. I read the things people do not want to say, not what they are trying to say I am thrown off by those flashes of oddly pulled mouth ends, weird lightning flashes and storm clouds in the air while the voice is raised high purring like a kitten. I can work with you one on one on a deep level, but it tires me beyond anything. Church bbqs and women’s events are hell for me. Nobody around me knows this, but it takes all of my love for God to work through it and try to look like I am not totally misplaced. The best church aspect to me is a neat, happy coloured, gentle, calm environment where you can sit and just breathe before God. Jesus came from outer space and he knows how it feels. (John 8:21)

    • Beans420 says:

      <3 <3 <3 hey, i didn't read all of that yet but it sure sounds like someone really actually loves you. <3 <3 <3 :D

    • Leigh says:

      Hi Christiane, I am so glad you wrote on this page! I am a Christian too, I’m 28 and have just had it suggested to me by the wife of one of the elders that I might have Aspergers. I find it a relief, to be honest, because I have wondered for a long time if I’m just crazy or if being able to remember strange and useless facts (like everyone’s number plates!) while being terrified of interacting with others – especially workmates and people in church – is a regular occurrence for others in this world too. After reading a few posts on this page, it turns out I’m not so crazy and it gives me clarity as to why I’ve struggled all my life to make friends, despite being able to use my high-functioning intelligence for other obscure concepts.

      I’m just glad to read your post because it helps me to remember that with the standard number of people in a church outdoing the number of people I would normally have the energy to interact with in a day, I don’t have to worry that I won’t remember facts about everyone and I can relax and just be honest and say, “I’ve forgotten”, because the stress of having to remember it all has made me forget! I have to think long and hard to plan what I’m going to say to someone, because I don’t want the conversation to get awkward and have to make a silly excuse like “I’d better see what’s going on in the kitchen”. And I totally get what you’re saying about being distracted by little things – like the breakfast that was left behind in the corner of someone’s mouth. (Hey, at least I’m honest and tell them!!)

      But even though I “get” God’s grace through Jesus Christ, I definitely find it hard to *really* get it. I have always thought that I have to try harder and care more and be more thoughtful, but it’s no wonder I’m tired because – that’s not the truth!! You are right, God does want us to be who we really are and not pretend. That goes for everyone, but it becomes so much more apparent when you become a Christian. After reading some of this stuff, I’m already convinced that I am on the spectrum, because I have had the suspicion for years, and everything is now being confirmed. But it’s just freeing to know that there are others out there who understand this and also feel free to admit it. Good on ya!!

    • Diane says:

      You might want to look up proposagnosia (face blindness). It’s not all that rare. And not uncommon in Aspies. It can occur even to a more serious degree than you experience. It’s a shame pastors’ wives are so often seen as pastor-extensions rather than individuals in their own right. Sending my best wishes.

  76. Amy Brown says:

    How do we survive in a world that tells us to be ourselves but rejects us when we are? Like any other human being, I would rather be loved for who I am than to just be tolerated

    • hanna tran says:

      I ask myself that question every single day! People always say just be yourself but whenever I do reveal my true self they think I’m a freak psychopath! I feel so alone even though I’m surrounded by so many people.

    • Tamsin Parker says:

      Absolutely.

  77. Barbara Jean says:

    Thank you for this very welcome article. I am so glad that somebody understands! :)

  78. Jean R says:

    Thank you so much for this! I can soooo relate to it! I am rather mature age now and only now finding out why my life has been as it has. Thank you again for this great article!

  79. Marilyn Rutz says:

    I know I have Aspergers and I never had a friend who I could talk to and have fun with until now. I have this problem that I have had all my life. Even though she tells me that I am her friend I still get scared. I tell her I get scared and she tells me that she will always be my friend. How do I quit getting scared? I want to be the best she can ever have. My husband said that he is happy that I have a friend cause I never had one like she is to me. Please help me so I won’t be still afraid to talk to her.

  80. johnj says:

    Great post, your line “I’ve spent so long pretending, I’ve forgotten who I really am” struck me quite forcibly as I have written the same thing recently myself, when I jotted down some thoughts trying to make more sense of them. I think many other men will know exactly what you mean as well. I no longer try to fit in, I finally had one failure too many. It’s a relief to not care anymore. I think you are quite right to dress and behave as you want. Best of luck to you.

  81. Hare says:

    Thank you so much for this post.

  82. Luna Lindsey says:

    What a touching post. Thank you!

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