I am normal, just ask me

For 21 years, I truly thought that I was just like everyone else.  So many people on the spectrum who aren’t diagnosed as kids spend their lives wondering why they’re different.  Not me.  I never realized that other people didn’t lose speech, couldn’t communicate half of what goes through their minds, or had meltdowns all the time.

And, truth be told, I still feel just like everyone else.  As far as I know, I don’t look different.  I don’t think I sound different.  I’m not aware that I think differently.  I like perfectly typical things like swimming, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, clothes and shoes, and animals.  So really, it’s a struggle for me to remember that I’m different.

But how different am I really?  I know we’ve been through this, so I won’t repeat myself at great length.  When it comes down to it, I love my friends and family, I want to make a place for myself in this world, and I want to change things I find wrong.  I want love, acceptance, and companionship.

Most adults on the spectrum feel a bit (or a huge) of an “aha!” moment upon reading about autism for the first time.  I felt nothing, other than maybe a “that’s nice.”  I had so little sense of myself and who I was that I didn’t even recognize myself in a description of me!  Leigh talked me through it and helped me to see… and now, I guess I do see that I fit the criteria…

But I still feel normal.

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