During this journey, I have had so many people tell me they didn't think I had Aspergers. I "function" well, I do talk to people, I'm not a total hermit. But I do prefer to be alone. My world is fine lol. In my own little world, they all know me here. :P
Inside, I knew better. I had too many symptoms. I had too many things inside my head that supported my claims. I did the research. Number one on the list of things to do after diagnosis was to read two books: I'd already read them. I know. Lol. I've already studied this all out.
I know they say not to self diagnose, but I'd someone tells you that you have, say, hypothyroidism, you google it right?
I've watched movies about Aspergers. I've read books from aspie authors. I've read the more "clinical" complete guide. All before I was officially diagnosed.
I even read a book on Aspergers and girls which I already talked about. The biggest problem is most people considered with Aspergers are men. An like heart attacks, Aspergers differs for women. It just looks different. It's unfair that we have this idea of what Aspergers looks like, but that's typically what it looks like in men.
Anyway, point is, people I know really didn't think I was at all autistic.
As I've talked to people after my diagnosis, I know nothing about me has changed. I do find myself making eye contact with people when I am talking, but ONLY if I have known that person practically my whole life. So family members might not have noticed eye contact especially because I do have short tendencies in maintaining eye contact with family.
I do PREFER to look elsewhere and I cannot control the fact that I still do look away.
I'm calling this familiarity: the fact that I'm completely familiar with someone an I feel relatively safe with them. My head tells me it's ok and almost that it's an insult if I DON'T give them the eye contact they should have in conversation.
Unfortunately this doesn't necessarily mean my mind isn't wandering, or that I'm not thinking about their hair or face instead of what they are saying.
I probably shouldn't have said that!
When you have Aspergers in school, you do "learn" what kinds of things get you tortured and you tend to avoid doing those things. For example, there are things that I believe can be categorized into repetitive "tics" that I just simply don't do when people are around. There are also things that people might not notice, like any time my hands are free, I'm probably picking at my fingernails. It doesn't bother anyone else, and they usually aren't looking at my hands anyway. But I would consider that repetitive and obsessive.
As I said though, you learn what behavior gets you laughed at and you learn to hide it.
Those two things alone are long topics. But they belong together because they both give the outside world the idea that everything is perfectly neurotypical.
I consider the majority of my symptoms to be inside my head. Not in the "it's all in her head" way, but in the way that it is more that I'm thinking about how awkward I feel, desperately trying to figure out the sense in saying things that don't need to be said ("It's so hot" - Yes we all know it's hot. Who needs to be told its hot?), or the question you don't really want the answer to ("How are you?" "Fine" VS "How are you?" "Well I'm not so great you know....") or the games that people play, especially girls, while they are communicating. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I'm not going to read into something that is said by someone I don't know really well. I'm going to take it at face value. All those little "cues" to conversation that I just don't "get".
Anyway. Kinda a disorganized post. But I'm posting from my phone and it's harder this way.
But no more hiding it. No more wondering why those who know me best miss the signs. :)