I’m Grace, and I’m autistic.
I was diagnosed at 35, but I always knew there was something…off…about me. As a kid, I barely managed to make any friends and I spent almost ten years as my schools’ designated target for bullying (yes, more than one school). Everyone seemed to look at me like I had two heads. Things that everyone else took for granted were a big deal for me. People called me “oversensitive” and questioned my intelligence.
I got in trouble for stimming in school, I fought with my mother over uncomfortable clothes and terrible textures, I refused foods I couldn’t stand. I was lectured, insulted, and publicly shamed by various teachers when I didn’t conform with the rest of my class. I was alternately yelled at or ignored by my parents when I was distressed or having a meltdown. And through it all, I never had the words to describe what my problem was – I couldn’t explain it to anyone.
Now I can.
My goal with this blog is two-fold. First, I want to offer solidarity and encouragement to other autistic people. I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out how to live in this world while being the way I am, and I think I’ve learned some things worth sharing. I can definitely blow some stereotypes out of the water!
Secondly, now that I’ve found ways to describe my experiences, I want to help parents of autistic children understand. We don’t need to be coddled, but we do need to be understood and respected. I can’t say for sure what any other person experiences, but I can give some insight into how the world looks from our side.
A little more about me:
I didn’t finish college, but I’m a member of Mensa. I guess I’m kind of a poster child for being 2E – I’ve got the IQ but not the functionality, impeded as I am by ADHD, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and who knows what else.
Social interaction has always been a mystery to me. I don’t seem to understand the rules, and I’m terrible at small talk. I learned my basic social skills in my mid-twenties, mostly from Old Hollywood movies.
I’ve been married and divorced, I’ve held jobs from librarian to office drone to massage therapist to stripper to tech support, and I’m not ashamed of any of it.
I’m an autistic adult – I work and date and cook and pay my own bills and love my stepdaughter. It’s not an easy life, but it’s more than some people think I should be capable of.
So let’s talk. I’ll be honest with you about my struggles, my workarounds, and my pet peeves. If you want to ask me questions, go for it! If you want to share your experiences, that’s great, too! I hope you find something of value here, wherever you currently are on your path.