What Life Feels Like to Me as a Woman With Asperger's
From a 30-year-old female perspective, this is how it feels to have Asperger’s syndrome for me personally:
I’ve always been naïve and gullible.
- I am not a good liar and do not like to lie;
- I struggle to understand the concepts of manipulation, vindictive behavior and disloyalty;
- I find it difficult to know when I’m being taken advantage of; and
- I feel misplaced and isolated in the world, like I’m from another planet.
I’m a deep thinker.
- I analyze my existence, the meaning of life, and everything continually;
- I am quite intelligent but don’t know how to utilize it;
- I prefer non-fiction books and love documentaries; and
- I often tune out and get lost in my own thoughts.
I feel the need to escape, even my own identity.
- I escaped reality by having imaginary friends growing up;
- I escape by developing obsessions and interest in specific things;
- I escape in words and patterns and have a huge interest in writing, grammar and word origins;
- I escape by playing the same music over and over and analyzing lyrics;
- I used to imitate people on TV and in movies growing up; and
- I am a social chameleon and often take on the personalities of the people I’m around.
I have trouble making and keeping friends.
- I felt very different to my peers as a young girl;
- I tend to make friends with younger women or older women rather than my own age;
- I can come across as narcissistic and/or self-absorbed, even though I’m really not;
- I have a tendency to overshare; and
- I monopolize the conversation at times and don’t mean to.
I really struggle socially.
- I prepare myself mentally for social interactions and practice what I’m going to say;
- I try hard to hide my social confusion/anxiety by overcompensating;
- I struggle to make and keep eye contact with people to whom I’m not extremely close;
- I feel as though I’m always trying to communicate “correctly;”
- I misinterpret questions and requests, requiring more clarification than usual;
- I take things literally and am always the last to get jokes;
- My sense of humor seems a bit quirky or odd to others;
- I have difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others;
- I have phone phobia and find it difficult to know when it’s my turn to talk, especially on the phone;
- I don’t like it when people are earlier or later than agreed or drop by unexpectedly;
- I require a large amount of down time or alone time to recharge;
- I fear other people’s opinions, criticism and judgment of me.
I have sensory issues, anxiety and attributes of OCD.
- I am highly sensitive to textures and sounds, etc;
- I feel overwhelmed by visual stimulation or crowds;
- I lack coordination and often bump into things, developing bruises that I can’t recall;
- I am very easily frustrated;
- I often have anxiety about a sense of impending doom;
- I usually dread upcoming events and appointments;
- I need to compulsively clear my notifications/unread emails;
- I like to balance my checkbook and categorize, count, organize and rearrange things;
- I get upset and confused when my routine is interrupted or changed;
- I can memorize number sequences and dates very easily; and
- I really like making lists.
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Getty image by Lolostock.