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Poppet
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.

Edited by Poppet

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Nesf

Personally I'm in the closet about the whole thing at the moment, I don't have the courage to tell people because I fear their reaction to it. I'm also self-employed and I don't know how my clients will react to such news, I fear that they'll decide that I'm not competent in my work, or not want to associate with me. If they know me and accept me as I am, I see not reason to mention it, I don't want to risk upsetting this balance because my livelihood depends on it.

 

I often really wish I could just tell people, though. It would be a huge burden off my back.

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L Lawliet

I unfortunately struggle keeping things about me to myself when I think it will some good to tell others. I tend to tell people when I want to tell them but eventually I end up telling everyone because it's exhausting to remember to tailor your stories and personal experiences to leave out your big secret. It was the same when I was hiding the fact I was attracted to women as well as men. Remembering to say "he/they/them/my partner" instead of "she/her" when referring to my exs was so tiring and made me hate myself. I know it's not quite the same as ASD but similer in terms of coming out.

Some say I'm brave for telling people about my Aspergers but honestly I think I just get caught up in the moment and just do it without thinking. Although I will say I'm happier for everyone knowing than I was before I told people. I think you should never have to lie about who you are and it's a shame that we feel we have to. But sometimes temporarily staying in the closet can be beneficial in some aspects.

Depends on your situation and whether you think telling people will hinder your future prospects or improve it. But keeping your identity to youself can be so damaging to your self esteem I think it's best to be honest where you can :)

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roxie_buttons

 

 
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 ... 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!"...
 

...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?

 

 

This!   Yes, me!   :P

 

Getting diagnosed was such a light-bulb moment for me, and having struggled with cause-less depression for 10 years it was such a relief to finally understand why.  I told my parents before I was officially diagnosed, because i was really sure of my self-diagnosis.  My closest friends (all two of them) also know and i'm currently deciding whether to disclose at work.  I'm lucky in that i work in a school with colleagues and managers who have experience of ASD and because it's a faith school the whole ethos and atmosphere is really caring, so i'm hoping for understanding and support if/when i do disclose. I still have reservations due to a bad past experience, but the urge to do it is almost overwhelming.  

 

I am a sharer too - i was always quite open about having depression even when the cause was a mystery, because i believed (and still do) that the more people are open about mental health issues, the less taboo the subject becomes, and the more informed people are the better you interact with each other.  

 

I kind of want to do a big reveal on facebook in a similar way to another Asperclicker, because i'm quite proud of being an Aspie in a way - there isn't anything wrong with me, finally, after all these years of confusion and unhappiness, my brain is just wired a little differently.   :D

 

I can't advise you what to do really, because i don't know your personal circumstances and what works for me won't for another.  I would say however, that you are right in thinking you should tell your siblings more privately, and I do like your idea about disclosing on Autism Awareness day  B)

 

Once your family is told , the rest of the world really doesn't matter - you could hire a sky writer if you like!  Or not tell another soul...

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L Lawliet

This!   Yes, me!   :P

 

I kind of want to do a big reveal on facebook in a similar way to another Asperclicker, because i'm quite proud of being an Aspie in a way - there isn't anything wrong with me, finally, after all these years of confusion and unhappiness, my brain is just wired a little differently.   :D

 

I can't advise you what to do really, because i don't know your personal circumstances and what works for me won't for another.  I would say however, that you are right in thinking you should tell your siblings more privately, and I do like your idea about disclosing on Autism Awareness day  B)

 

Once your family is told , the rest of the world really doesn't matter - you could hire a sky writer if you like!  Or not tell another soul...

I wish I had disclosed on Autism Awareness day :P I told family first, then boyfriend, then a private message to close friends, then facebooked everyone recently. Disclosing on Facebook was scary but I got good responses. Some people shared my link to raise awareness and I got a private message from a friend at college saying he had it too. So in general the response was awesome :)

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Whoknows

Well, look at me. You might be my contrary. No one knows who I really am, but you come out as you are, without fear. There's a difference. Even if I'm true to myself, all you've seen of me is as certain as the words in these posts. If it's real, it's up to you to judge.

 

Someone here might know me, but still, a screen and our words split us from what we really know as true.

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Poppet

Personally I'm in the closet about the whole thing at the moment, I don't have the courage to tell people because I fear their reaction to it. I'm also self-employed and I don't know how my clients will react to such news, I fear that they'll decide that I'm not competent in my work, or not want to associate with me. If they know me and accept me as I am, I see not reason to mention it, I don't want to risk upsetting this balance because my livelihood depends on it.

 

I often really wish I could just tell people, though. It would be a huge burden off my back.

I hadn't even thought of how a self employed person would fare after disclosure. I'm a freelance artist and I run an online shop so you raise a good point...

 

I unfortunately struggle keeping things about me to myself when I think it will some good to tell others. I tend to tell people when I want to tell them but eventually I end up telling everyone because it's exhausting to remember to tailor your stories and personal experiences to leave out your big secret. It was the same when I was hiding the fact I was attracted to women as well as men. Remembering to say "he/they/them/my partner" instead of "she/her" when referring to my exs was so tiring and made me hate myself. I know it's not quite the same as ASD but similer in terms of coming out.

Some say I'm brave for telling people about my Aspergers but honestly I think I just get caught up in the moment and just do it without thinking. Although I will say I'm happier for everyone knowing than I was before I told people. I think you should never have to lie about who you are and it's a shame that we feel we have to. But sometimes temporarily staying in the closet can be beneficial in some aspects.

Depends on your situation and whether you think telling people will hinder your future prospects or improve it. But keeping your identity to youself can be so damaging to your self esteem I think it's best to be honest where you can :)

Really great point about keeping your story straight. I honestly think that's where the stress will wear me down eventually and I'll disclose... I suck at lying (like really lying, not just easy white lies) for the same reason. I forget what I said, I mess up the details, I forget who I told. In the end, after so much time has passed, I tend to just come clean and let the chips fall where they may... It's so much less exhausting to just be yourself.

 

This!   Yes, me!   :P

 

Getting diagnosed was such a light-bulb moment for me, and having struggled with cause-less depression for 10 years it was such a relief to finally understand why.  I told my parents before I was officially diagnosed, because i was really sure of my self-diagnosis.  My closest friends (all two of them) also know and i'm currently deciding whether to disclose at work.  I'm lucky in that i work in a school with colleagues and managers who have experience of ASD and because it's a faith school the whole ethos and atmosphere is really caring, so i'm hoping for understanding and support if/when i do disclose. I still have reservations due to a bad past experience, but the urge to do it is almost overwhelming.  

 

I am a sharer too - i was always quite open about having depression even when the cause was a mystery, because i believed (and still do) that the more people are open about mental health issues, the less taboo the subject becomes, and the more informed people are the better you interact with each other.  

 

I kind of want to do a big reveal on facebook in a similar way to another Asperclicker, because i'm quite proud of being an Aspie in a way - there isn't anything wrong with me, finally, after all these years of confusion and unhappiness, my brain is just wired a little differently.   :D

 

I can't advise you what to do really, because i don't know your personal circumstances and what works for me won't for another.  I would say however, that you are right in thinking you should tell your siblings more privately, and I do like your idea about disclosing on Autism Awareness day  B)

 

Once your family is told , the rest of the world really doesn't matter - you could hire a sky writer if you like!  Or not tell another soul...

Yes, sharer definitely describes me! Haha. I completely agree about the benefits of erasing stigma and the taboo feeling surrounding mental health. I really want to start having a part in that and I certainly can't do that if I'm in the closet still...

 

I wish I had disclosed on Autism Awareness day :P I told family first, then boyfriend, then a private message to close friends, then facebooked everyone recently. Disclosing on Facebook was scary but I got good responses. Some people shared my link to raise awareness and I got a private message from a friend at college saying he had it too. So in general the response was awesome :)

I don't want to pry at all, but generally how did you disclose to close friends? Did you make light of it and just mention it matter of factly in a short little message? Did you give them info about it, have a heartfelt sit down?

I think that's the one I have the most trouble with in terms of planning it out. I can think of different ways to tell my siblings, and even in telling the whole of my social network, but telling friends whom I consider to be good friends but not friends that I talk to on a daily basis (like my husband) is much trickier to me... I want certain people to know first, but I have no idea how to breach the subject, especially if we're pretty close but not like best friend close... Ugh. So intense!

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L Lawliet
I don't want to pry at all, but generally how did you disclose to close friends? Did you make light of it and just mention it matter of factly in a short little message? Did you give them info about it, have a heartfelt sit down?

I think that's the one I have the most trouble with in terms of planning it out. I can think of different ways to tell my siblings, and even in telling the whole of my social network, but telling friends whom I consider to be good friends but not friends that I talk to on a daily basis (like my husband) is much trickier to me... I want certain people to know first, but I have no idea how to breach the subject, especially if we're pretty close but not like best friend close... Ugh. So intense!

 

Well my best friend was the first one I told because I was having a bit of a worry about the whole thing and I txt her because I was upset. Probably not the best way to tell someone but she did comfort me and make me feel better which was nice.

 

I told my other close friend over a drink. She said so whats new with you and I said "well...quite a big thing actually..." :P

 

The rest of my friends I sent a private message to specific people on Facebook. This was my message:

 

"Hello all!

 

Right, to keep things short and sweet, I’ve been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. I’ve been having assessments since September and they are now coming to an end. I’m letting you guys know just because there are some things I’ve always struggled with and being that you are my friends I think it’s for the best that I tell you.

 

I’ve linked this page. It explains things in quite a bit of detail so don’t worry about reading everything, but if you just give it a scan it gives you an idea of what I’m all about. The video explains things really basically if you don’t want to read the whole thing but obviously it makes it easier for me to explain if you've already had a look at it.

 

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/autism-and-asperger-syndrome-an-introduction/what-is-asperger-syndrome.aspx

 

I don’t have everything as it’s a spectrum disorder, so traits present in different ways (especially in girls). I’m honestly happy to talk about it or answer any questions so please ask me. The girls I work with are treating it like an elephant in the room and it’s really awkward! So please do talk to me about it.

 

Other than that, I hope you’re all good! See you soon.

 

Lots of love x x x x x"

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the-commander

people wont except you for who you are thats something you have to except about life. you either hide in fear or fucking rebel but you cant live your life like a normal person really. none of us can. 

 

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Bruce

Whatever a "normal" person might be....

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