I first started this journey about 3 months ago. When I first started learning about Asperger's/HFA in adult women, so many things started to make sense. So many things I had been feeling my whole life suddenly had a name. I think I have been much more accepted so far than many other women. Out of the 7 people (excluding a counselor) that I've told so far, all were supportive and agreed with my findings, and 5 out of the 7 went so far as to say that they suspected it before I ever said anything. I've gone to 2 counseling sessions in this time period and the counselor was not dismissive of my concerns, but not yet 100% sure that she wanted to give me a diagnosis. So, officially, I am somewhere in diagnosis limbo at the moment.

When I first started making these discoveries, I felt like it was a GOOD thing. There was suddenly an explanation that made sense for so many of the things that had bothered me for so long.

However, more recently, I've started to feel shame about these things. The biggest realization for me definitely had to do with executive functioning (though it was not the only realization). Since learning about this and recognizing how it affects me, I've started researching ways that I can try to help myself. One of them was to start using a planner.

So, I've started using a planner. It's not easy. Sometimes I forget to put things in the planner or check them off when I'm done. However, I've been pretty proud of myself so far. Then one of my friends posted a picture of her daughter's chore list. Parts of it look really similar to parts of my planner. Her daughter is in elementary school. That's when the realization hit: some of my skills really are at the level of a child. I'm almost 30 years old and I need a list to remind me to do basic things like make the bed.

This is complicated by the fact that I was previously in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship and my ex used to frequently call me a child or say that I was like a child. I've already made the realizations that many of the times he abused me were because of aspie-type things about me: executive functioning issues (especially related to cleaning), issues with verbal/spoken communication, his complaints of my lack of empathy which I 100% could not understand at the time (I'm a very empathetic person, but it turns out that I sometimes have trouble communicating this in a way that is satisfactory to NT people). At first, making these realizations helped with some of those old memories. I was able to see that he was abusing me based on something I had very little control over and that, contrary to what I had thought for years, I was not some horrible person and the way he treated me was not my fault.

Yet, now, he is being proven right. I really am like a child in some ways, and it makes me feel shameful. Like I am a burden on my husband. Like no employer would ever want to hire me and that my friends would pity me and not want to be around me if they knew how I can struggle with what, for most people, are incredibly basic tasks.