A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie
Makes Her Way

by MindWithoutWalls
(blog originally kept at WrongPlanet.net)

My Asperger List

A List of Reasons Why I Suspect I May Have Asperger's Syndrome
(or Possibly Some Other, Related Issue)
by Lynx Gallucci

Revised June 8-19, 2012

  I'm revising my original list so that I can clarify my concerns and describe as accurately as possible the characteristics that have given me reason to be assessed to find out whether I might have Asperger's syndrome or, if not, whether there might be some other reasonable explanation for the difficulties I've encountered over the course of my life. In the past, I'd always thought things I'd been through in life were the causes of all my troubles. But I've become dissatisfied with this explanation. It only works in part, leaving many unanswered questions. I've come to see that, while my original assumption may be correct, there's nothing about bad experiences and circumstances that somehow retroactively precludes a person's having been born with a brain that functions differently from that of other people's. This understanding has been the opening through which I've been able and willing to look at other possibilities to fill in the gaps.

  Some of the things on this list are things I've become more moderate about, as a result of either age or improved circumstances. Others I've learned to consciously overcome to some extent, in one way or another, by force of will. Over time, I've learned in life to do, in some way, many things I couldn't before; compensate for many things I still can't do; mask or disguise many things I can't compensate for; hide outright many things I can't mask; and work around many things I can't do anything else with. If all else fails, I can sometimes make a bad situation seem less bad by doing something like making a thing I've said or done look like intentional humor. Even if it looks like my attempt fell flat, it sometimes still makes it less bad. But sometimes nothing works, and things just are as they are. I would even say that there are times when things I've struggled with seem more difficult than ever. And, although I have found that being down or stressed can contribute to my difficulties, I've had them often enough when not having those feelings to know I can't simply explain them away that way. Instead, my varying levels of inability to accomplish or handle certain things has been the cause of much frustration, embarrassment, sadness, and anxiety.

  I should note that understanding my troubles as potentially being Asperger's related has mostly given me a sense of peace. It makes my life make sense and lets me naturally feel less judgmental both towards myself, because it means these things are not the result of moral failing on my part, and towards others, because they have also been frustrated in the past by what they haven't been able to understand. If no explanation was previously available, how could any of us have known how to handle things any better?

  I'd also like to note, however, that some of this process has been difficult for me. I've dredged up a lot from my past, and some of it has brought back to mind feelings of great embarrassment. Prior to this, I'd thought of myself as a person who, though certainly flawed, was healthy enough at this point in my life not to suffer much in the way of shame about myself. I now realize this perception has been the result of putting certain things out of my mind. Revisiting these things, as a result of asking people who've known me in the past to provide their recollections of my difficulties, has disabused me of this notion. And so I must say, in the midst of my attempt to collect enough information to get my assessment done properly, I'm really struggling with this thing I thought I was free of until so very recently. This is hard, and I often feel very aware of how alone I am in it. I also sometimes feel as though I've deceived the friends I've made in more recent years by hiding and disguising things about myself. I'm sort of starting to consider myself not to be the person I've represented myself to be and to worry that, if they knew these things about me, their feelings towards me might change. I've told some of them a little about what's going on, and I have mostly found support so far. But they don't know the full depth of my issues, and I don't know how much of what I'm telling them is believable to them at this point, anyway. I especially don't want anyone to think I'm making excuses for myself. I know some people might think I'm looking to have something wrong with me, and they may be wondering why I'd want to burden myself with a label and what I'll do if I can't "have my way" on this. They may not understand that this is about already knowing something is wrong and just wanting to get a better grip on what it is so that I can move forward better in life. I'm uneasy about facing people's judgmentalism on this. I don't look forward to anyone telling me, "There's nothing wrong with you; you're just weird." On the other hand, I sort of dread having someone find out what's going on and then hearing something along the lines of, "I always knew there was something wrong with you."

  This list is not exhaustive, nor can it be. It is, however, quite lengthy, because I couldn't decide on anything I was comfortable leaving out. So, perhaps it might better be described as exhausting. It currently deliberately includes both things that may be related to Asperger's and things I'm sure are probably not but that may be helpful in determining if something else might be behind at least some of my issues.

  All that being said, here is the list, as it now stands: