Everyone has their own list. After an argument with my husband, I would like to delineate my 10 things I want you to know.
1. I am not mentally ill. I get so tired of being treated like I’m mentally ill. You don’t need to worry about my mental health. I have a healthy ego.
2. Do not be condescending. Besides not being mentally ill, I’m also not cognitively delayed. I can understand English. Nothing makes me resentful, like someone speaking to me like a 2-year-old. If I ask for clarification, don’t repeat the same sentence over again, only more slowly.
3. I have issues with verbal communication. I understand the written word much better than anything verbal. If I don’t understand, I may ask you to write it down or send me an e-mail. I sometimes will have issues with communicating with you. If you don’t understand what I am saying, please ask me to clarify. Also if I change the subject, or start talking too much, gently tell me.
4. I can read people better than you think. Even though, I sometimes have issues with social situations. I know when I’m being bullshitted (sorry for the rough language). But I know when you are trying to keep things from me, I know when you are being mean, like I said earlier, I’m not dumb.
5. Yes, I’m sure I have Aspergers. I have been diagnosed by neuropsychologist, the diagnosis was also confirmed by another psychologist. Please don’t armchair quarterback my diagnosis. And no, I’m not on any drugs, and no I don’t need anti-depressants, ADHD medication, and yes, I am capable of taking care of my children, and NO I DON’T NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF MY DIAGNOSIS. I have been dealing with this for 37 years, if you know Aspergers and you know me, you know that it’s probably an accurate diagnosis.
6. Please don’t harangue me about having children. I didn’t know I had Aspergers until well after my children were born. In fact, I was diagnosed about 4 years after my son was diagnosed with autism. I did not knowingly bring a child with autism into the world. It’s not 100% certain that my son’s autism was caused by me, because my husband’s sister also has 2 children on the autism spectrum. Furthermore, one of my child is typical.
7. I cannot speak for anyone else with autism. This is particularly for those with autism, and some caregivers/organizations, who say they speak for other people with autism. You can’t. You can’t speak for me, you can’t speak for my children, only I can speak for myself and my children.
8. Please don’t apologize. I am not sorry I have Aspergers, you should not be sorry either. It’s challenging, but guess what so is life. I’m not in mourning, I’m a happy individual.
9. I am entitled to my opinions. I lost a friend last year, because she didn’t realize I had these things called opinions. When I make friends, I tend to adopt their style, the way they talk, and even some of their opinions. After we separate, because it’s bound to happen in the military, I revert back to myself. Just because you didn’t realize that my opinions were different than yours doesn’t mean I am not entitled to them.
10. I’m actually quite happy being me. Sometimes I will perseverate on negative things, but in general, I am happy. I’m happy with who I am. I am happy, and I try to look for the positive in things. Right now, I have the deployment Murphy’s law striking at our house, and even though I share what is happening on Facebook, or online, does not mean I’m unhappy. Shit happens (again sorry for the language), no amount of bellyaching and whining is going to stop it from happening.