When I was a child I did this thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learnt the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can’t be flexible with my thinking. That is the one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change and see things black or white especially when it comes to learn.
I think it’s really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable then a boy. That all the boys got away with not getting noticed there for less social pressure. I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regards to social and communication which suited me perfectly.
Now that I’m an adult I find it a bit more easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can’t seem to focus on the rules. There are times when stressful factors cause me more brain power than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it’s so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it’s constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.
Since being a parent I have learnt that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.
I first it’s lovely when my children where new born as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my child has started school last year I noticed that there’s a hell of a lot more interaction going on.
Me being an autistic parent does affects my self esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate, especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning of other people.
I think one of the hardest and upsetting things is when people don’t see you as an individual but some sort of invalid because you’re autistic. They don’t look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware exactly what is happening, I just I don’t have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.
It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can’t give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don’t have to worry about the social things. The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and what not.I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. I have also learnt to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do them tasks because it’s too upsetting at times to have to face the discrimination against me. I think that’s one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn’t heard and again that familiar Outcast feeling appears.
Cheers for reading X