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  1. Hi. I've just come back from the hospital (nothing serious), where I was totally confused and therefore, late for my appointment, because I had to park my car. I'm inexperienced in driving and cannot understand instructions on the phone very well (I did stop the car to talk on the phone of course). I need to physically see things to understand. So, they told me to go somewhere, then told me it wasn't possible to park there anymore, then told me somewhere else which put me in the wrong place because I didn't understand properly. 3rd time, I parked in a place I thought was possible. Then on walking to the reception, getting lost inside this massive hospital, I get to reception of the clinic, and they tell me that I can't leave the car where I left it! After even more confusion and events, added to my physical disability, I finally lost it and told them..."apart from my physical disability of M.E. and feeling so tired, I have a form of Autism and need instructions to be very clear, otherwise I get easily lost". I didn't shout, but I was clearly anxious and worn out. I feel guilty about mentioning it. I was only diagnosed last month. Because I don't outwardly do stereotypical things like repetitive movements, and don't seem classically autistic, I feel like I am using it as an excuse. That is the emotional side. Rationally however, I was every bit within my rights to mention it, because I am not able to multitask and understand instructions as well as them. I even had to walk around for 20 minutes trying to find out if it was possible to leave the car park, because there was a huge piece of scanning equipment attached to a truck trailer, blocking my exit, and the only way out had "No Exit" painted on the ground, so I had to get out the car and check with someone. To them it was obvious that I could break that rule and go out the no exit route, but I wondered if there would be cameras, if there would be immense danger (it was exiting on to a cross-road) etc etc, because I can't judge very well about when it's practical to break a rule and not to. Should I feel bad about mentioning my Autism when having difficulty with directions, and practical functioning in public? I honestly do feel a NT wouldn't have had as much problem as me just now, but then feel that maybe I am just a bit dumb with some things (no offence to my Aspie/Autie fellow beings). What do you think? Do you ever mention it when frustrated or unable to function in public? How do you feel about it?
  2. I was diagnosed with ASD earlier this year, and it has literally been a life saver for me. Everything in my life is improving since the diagnosis and I feel like I'm getting a second chance to live by having this new understanding. I'm married, 26, and live with my husband about 15 hours away from the rest of my family (parents and two siblings). He obviously has been with me throughout the process so he knows everything. I recently confessed the diagnosis to my parents as well, through letter/package, and they took it really well (although we definitely still have some talking to do since they've basically not acknowledged it since then, but that's another issue).I have yet to tell my siblings, parents-in-law, or most of my friends (in real life or online). I know a lot of people will make light of the coming-out decision or say something like "you don't have to tell anyone, just don't worry about it and only mention it if it's relevant", but that's easier said than done for me. I guess I'm the sort of person who has never swallowed my feelings very easily. I keep quiet a lot of the time, yes, but when it comes to straight forward questions about myself or having to interact with someone, I don't lie. I am honest about just about everything, and I am open about just about everything. So this whole "don't mention it unless it comes up" thing is very hard for me sometimes. Of course, I can just not mention anything. BUT most of these people who don't yet know are online, on my social media profiles, following my blog or my IG or my YouTube. Not mentioning this HUGELY life changing event on any of those internet worlds has been very draining to me. I almost feel like I'm sneaking around and being dishonest or just not true to myself... I honestly feel the strongest urge to just sign on to everything and post "Hey everyone I'm on the autism spectrum, in case you didn't know. Have a nice day!"... I'm sort of kidding, but not. I know doing something like that would be hugely inappropriate for some relationships (like my siblings for instance, they should probably know before others, but telling them feels so awkward and potentially disastrous). And I know telling everyone I know could just be hugely inconvenient for the rest of my life (having people either disliking me, being annoyed with me, feeling sorry for me, being scared of me, thinking I'm less than, I can't even fathom all of the different negative reactions I could get by telling any and all).I know full disclosure to everyone in a public way has huge drawbacks, but I feel that nagging tug at me every single day now... How do I decide how to disclose? Who to disclose to? When?Getting this diagnosis, for me, was mostly about getting back in touch with my true self and letting myself breathe free and be me. So holding back SO much from SO many feels like the antithesis of that releasing freeing process I'm trying to nurture within myself... I just don't know what to do about this tug-of-war. Does anyone else understand these kind of strong impulses to expose your ASD? To come out of the closet about it? I can't pretend it's not terrifying, but it's exciting at the same time... It definitely isn't going to be easy for me either way, but what's the best way? Being eaten alive by this secret or opening myself up to vulnerability? Also, I have been considering the advantages and disadvantages to telling my siblings soon and then coming out online on autism awareness day next year (April 2nd in the US). That's 6 months away so it might be just enough time to prepare myself but not so long that I feel I can't handle the wait... Any thoughts? If anyone has any advice, warnings, or personal stories to share that might help me figure this whole thing out, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
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