I know you see things disproportionately when you are a kid or teen, but to me, things always felt like they were harder for me than for everyone else. Almost as if others knew something I didn't.
I had a lot of sensory difficulties when growing up that nobody else seemed to experience. From issues with food, clothing, and textures, to loud noises, bright lights, and unexpected touching. I would often miss jokes or social cues everyone seemed to get almost instantly, and I would always be too afraid to ask for an explanation. My emotions, when displayed in public, were out of scale. I would cry and crumble myself to pieces for the smallest of things, or get angry and upset over situations that weren't precisely that bad. Making friends was always a dreadful experience. Every time I found myself attempting to make friends, it was as if they were speaking a different language I was. I had friends in high school, but we would stop talking to each other a few months later or whenever Summertime came. Or if we were a group of three, the other two would become best friends, and I would be left out. Most friendships lasted me a year or so. They would get bored of me canceling on them all the time, or I'd say something accidentally hurtful, and they'd get mad at me.
I spent years trapped in an endless cycle of being misunderstood by the people around me and being unable to understand them.
As years went by and I got older, I went from feeling like I was on the social periphery of everyone around me in my teens, to be invisible in my late twenties. I realize now, I was trying to mold into something I was never meant to fit into in the first place.
To find out you're autistic in adulthood, it's quite a realization. Almost an epiphany, actually. At first, you feel lost and, at times, saddened. There's so much to learn from yourself, so many behaviors to unmask, so many blank spaces to fill; it's overwhelming. But as time goes by, and you read about other people's experiences, you revisit every incident, every moment, every action and reaction of your past self, and you start to see yourself with different eyes. In a different light.
When I started reading the work of Autistic people, it was almost as if someone had been watching my life from afar and had written about it. It felt like a warm hug I didn't know I needed. Things were so accurately described that I cried while watching You-Tube videos and reading comments on Instagram accounts of Autistic folks. If it hadn't been for them, I would've never considered Autism as an explanation for my struggles.
After spending 27 years of my life feeling misunderstood and like I had no place in the world. I started my Instagram account out of my wish to share my experiences and be THAT person for someone else.