From the U.K.: I’ve been diagnosed with “Asperger’s Syndrome”. It’s been a label that’s been stamped on my personality. It’s something I know I have, but never been clear exactly on what it is. When I was younger, certain traits and tendencies were more evident as a child. Which raises the question: Have these evolved into other “aspie” traits and behaviours I’m not consciously aware of? It’s know I have but unable to clearly and consciously identify any character traits associated with the condition.
One thing that’s crossed my mind as of late: am I in denial of my true self? As I have grown up, I’ve never been able to identify with myself. Who am I? I’ve speculated, wrote, illustrated, and spoke aloud to myself on so many occasions trying to figure out what’s going on inside my brain. It’s as if I have a case of serious brain fog – I lack clarity over any thoughts and beliefs. I’ve been going through life trying to make sense of all the nuts and bolts yet I’ve hardly taken Asperger’s into consideration. It’s as if I have I don’t even have a diagnosis so to speak; and no knowledge of Asperger’s. The weird thing is, I know that I have it.
I’m unable to look at myself from the outside-in; and because of that I find it hard to identify with myself. I cannot pinpoint the mental equivalents of my day to day behaviours in life. I cannot see how is Asperger’s influencing my behaviours. It is not plain for me to see! I would like to be honest with myself – in every way I can find possible. I would like to get to know and acknowledge my strengths and weakness, as well a weird character traits. By doing so I can learn to be happy and comfortable in my own skin. Let’s say I’ve acknowledged low self esteem, I can be honest and open about it.
Each individual on the spectrum has different character traits and tendencies that affect AS individuals in varying degrees. Maybe it’s becomes of the fact AS is a spectrum condition that it’s difficult see where my mind is. I would LOVE to explore the depths and mysteries of my brain. I would like to unravel everything that’s in my brain into a story that explains EXACTLY why I am in this moment and only this moment.
A: Thank you for writing. It’s not at all uncommon for people who are diagnosed as adults to find it confusing. Three things will be helpful.
- Start reading: The books I would most recommend are: Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate by Cynthia Kim and Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger’s and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers by John Elder Robison
- Find a therapist who specializes in late diagnosed autism spectrum disorders. It is likely that it would be very helpful for you to talk to someone who can help you sort out your past — as well as your present.
- Explore support that is here at PsychCentral. Click on “Find Help”. Then go to “Forums and Support Groups”. Register and go to the forum for Autism and Aspergers. People from all over the world ask questions and get answers and support from others who are dealing with the same issues.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2017). Identity Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/04/26/identity-issues/