being on the spectrum | my experience with autism | age of sirene

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I have been entertaining the idea that I may be on the spectrum. My experience with autism was mostly suspecting my brother of ADHD and that was it. When he was old enough to realize how differently he handled things from neurotypical others, his new viewpoint in life became another layer of experience for me. Last year, before I went into therapy (for the third time), I started to wonder if I too was on the spectrum.

Isn’t it fitting to talk about autism in April?

Age of Sirene

It really started with writing Asena Spiros from Age of Sirene. Even more so, it was suddenly having existential depressive moments that fueled my thinking I have alexithymia. Then, my mind touched on being four years old and how I was already analytical of my surroundings then. I was still obviously a child and knew very few answers to my questions. However, I was asking them to myself and acted differently from other children.

I was unusually quiet and observant as far as my parents remembered.

I may have been five when I asked about my aunt and uncle having an affair, not knowing it was an affair of course.

There were non-typical things I did, but it was chalked up to being a child, temperamental, and as Filipino’s say, ‘mataray’ or stuck up. I was six.

Let that sit for a moment.

Can misunderstanding autism cause depression?

My therapist told me that I was masking (a term for acting or hiding emotional, mental, or physical unwellness) because of depression. I wasn’t depressed at eight years old, but I was very good at pretending ‘okay’ when I was not. I could hide wanting things very early in my years.

But it’s my depression. Sure.

Let’s say that it’s not. What if I became depressed because I try to act how others want me to instead of letting my natural self be? Just what if, right? For the sake of entertaining this line of questions, which my therapist would not even listen to, doesn’t it make more sense that depression was developed along the way? Or should I just accept that I’ve always been depressed?

It would be unfortunate if I had been born depressed.

If instead, I was autistic, everything in my life feels much lighter. Being unusually observant of others and acting according to their needs feels less of a burden and just me learning communication. Getting lost in my thoughts isn’t because I’ve lost interest in life, just that I get lost in them from time to time. It’s normal for me. It would be nice to finally have an answer to why I mimic others’ emotions. Maybe it may even answer why making connections and maintaining them can be challenging for me. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll explain why I fear men.

Suddenly, all these things that had been weird but normal are just normal.

Being on the spectrum would’ve answered my queries.

Unfortunately, I’m in my thirties. It’s not something that can be diagnosed properly anymore. They’ll always be lost in time and chances missed. Though, it would’ve been nice to have talked about it with my therapist instead of being told that I feed my depression.

The whole point of seeking her out was to help me with my non-emotions.

So, I continue to live with my depression. I welcome it from time to time and when it’s time to say goodbye, I let it leave. It is a routine we both understand.

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