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What Life Feels Like to Me as a Woman With Asperger's

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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.

Originally published: December 18, 2017
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