A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie
Makes Her Way
(blog originally kept at WrongPlanet.net)
The Road from Here to There - Part 14
The Spill -
Yes, There Is Good In the World
Composed on December 16, 2011
If you can get through this first paragraph, good stuff is coming shortly after. But I woke up really angry this morning, thinking about how it seemed that the determination had been made, before I ever even set foot in the door, that I would not be assessed for autism, even though I'd made clear on the phone, in writing, and then at the first appointment that I was going there for that express purpose. I was told in advance how many appointments I would have, and it was confirmed by the psychologist at the first appointment. He also laid out what the appointments would entail, which had been determined in advance. Given that no time was allowed for relevant questioning, that I was given no time to really explain anything, and that my concerns were summarily dismissed, it seems the psychologist not only never intended to assess me properly but that he also was determined not to be given any reason to consider even the slightest possibility that I might have even the most mild form of autism. Had I known it would go this way, I wouldn't have bothered. All he did was cause me distress by so stubbornly not performing the evaluation I was there for, waiving aside my concerns as meaningless, and then following that up with insult, stereotypes, misjudgement, prejudice, and the continuation of my state of limbo regarding whether or not I'm actually on the spectrum. The harm this has done me has become apparent in the misery I've experienced since then. This is not about whether or not I got the diagnosis I thought I would. This is about the process being badly done and the conclusion drawn being tainted with odiously ignorant bias, so that the result can't be trusted. My preoccupation with this business has begun to disrupt my life in increasingly noticeable ways. And although my friends don't know what's going on, I'm certain they've noticed something's wrong by now. I'm having minor shutdowns and becoming overemotional more publicly now, in spite of my efforts to keep this to myself. Who knows what kind of drama they think is going on?
I almost couldn't make myself face going out of the house to get my hair cut this afternoon, but I did it anyway. Now I'm so glad I did! The stylist who cut my hair has done it several times before. Last time I was in, I was still going through the assessment process, but she didn't know anything about it. I was already feeling the strain, but I didn't tell her what was happening. This time, I was so afraid I'd be edgy and moody that I apologized for it in advance. She asked what was wrong. What with it getting late in the day, and with the weather having been gloomy all day long, I didn't want to drop all this on her, and I said as much. But she said, "Aw, come on!" And that was all it took. I spilled. The whole story came right out, from all the way back at the beginning, with my conversation about my father with my sisters and my resulting decision to find a place to assess me, to my current state, post follow-up appointment with my doctor. It's a good thing I asked her to stop the clippers when I told her about the gay "cross-dressing" part, or else I might've had a chunk shaved out of my hair! I mean, she really reacted to that! As it turns out, she'd noticed I'd been "a little off" at my last visit, and she'd been wondering what was wrong. In the end, her support of me was abundantly clear. She said she thought that psychologist ought to be dealt with and maybe be put out of a job. She brought up the idea of legal remedy, but I don't feel at all prepared to pursue anything like that. However, it did give me the idea that I should probably go to the local gay alliance, if for no other reason than to see if they have listings for gay-friendly psychologists in private practice who might take Medicaid. Maybe going to a clinic was the wrong approach. Also, the alliance might be interested to know where not to send someone looking for help.
By the end of my haircut, I was relieved at having the burden of keeping this thing so much to myself lifted, if only with just one person that I see briefly and infrequently. I was very satisfied with my haircut, feeling it was actually the best one she'd done for me to date. I told her as much, and it made me happy to say so, as well as to know she enjoyed the compliment. I also left with some idea of how to proceed into the future, in order to get the answers I need. This turned out to be kind of a trial run for telling others, and she felt I'd handled it pretty well. So, with a next step in mind and a positive experience of revealing what I've been holding inside for so long, I now feel ready to talk to some of my friends. I've come to realize they're either going to act as friends when I tell them ...or they're not. And then I'll know where I stand. If they're with me in support as I struggle through this thing, I'll have them to rely on, and that will really help. Otherwise, I need to know I won't have that, not just sit around worrying about it. Besides, if I really respect their friendship, I ought to give them the benefit of the doubt, not just let my fear make me assume things will go wrong. After all, they've known me for quite a while by now. Would I have continued being friends with them if I'd thought they weren't good people and that they wouldn't come through for me when I needed them? Do I think they would've continued being friends with me if they'd thought of me as dishonest, deluded, or just inclined to create loads of unnecessary drama? So, the question is no longer whether or not to tell them. It's when and how.
When my girlfriend got home, I told her all of this. If you've been following my blog, you're well familiar with her outstanding support by now. Seeing that I'm now ready to talk with our friends, she's behind me about it, just as she was behind me about waiting when she knew I wasn't ready. I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love...
I won't say my faith in there being goodness out there in the world was destroyed by what transpired prior to this point, but I think I'd forgotten about it. Today I was reminded. I have hope and a sense of direction again. Bless the hairstylists of the world! Who knew a simple haircut could do me so much good!
The MindWithoutWalls Asperger's Syndrome Assessment Blog:
A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie Makes Her Way
© 2011, 2012
Blog Entry List