My Monkey Brains
Some of my earliest memories are of me standing on edges.
Edges of playgrounds mostly. Edges of groups of people. Edges.
Watching. And totally not getting it.
I have always thought that I experienced this level of isolation because of my home life and subsequent depression, which you can read about a bit more here.
That was just part of the story.
Only at the age of 43 have I been able to finally put the rest of the story together into a cohesive whole that not only makes sense but makes my entire life better.
Like many women on the spectrum, for a long time I thought I was broken.
I was diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety disorder.
I lived accordingly.
I assumed that my inability to fit in, my inability to maintain normal social relationships in jobs, my inability to understand large picture versus details...my many inabilities, I assumed, were due to a depressed and anxious brain and that was that.
I learned that the little bit of happy I felt here and there was just going to have to do.
Then I returned to dance at the age of 40.
My entire life changed and I wanted more than just a little happy once in a while.
But my confusions also increased: If I loved dance so much, if dance were truly my life's path, my purpose on this planet, then WHY was I STILL having such issues with getting things done day to day, with dealing with people, with overstimulation of my senses to the point of pain?
Over the past few years, my partner, who has a background in education, has been helping me figure out how to organize my brain.
These monkey brains are not easy.
They also are screamy delightful...but not easy.
We started to notice a trend in her research and in the things that were helping me: it was all from the autism community.
So it was that not too long ago, it all clicked.
Knowing my brain like this has changed my life in ways I cannot describe in this short "about me" post and thus the blog.
There are too few adult women's voices out there discussing this. Too few of us showing what it is like for us -- and it is so different when compared to men, who have been the focus for far too long.
I have spent my life exhausting myself by "passing" as neurotypical, and when we figured out what was going on, what was really happening with this brain, my partner said something loving and important to me:
"You can be as weird as you want!"
Yes. I can be the "weird" I have always felt but not allowed myself to express.
But how? This is another issue I want to explore here: what is autistic culture and what does it look like to live true to your brain and not continue the agony of pretending to be something else?
I am passionate about neurodiversity so if you are looking for a cure, you won't find it here.
If you are here to discover your unique, screamy monkey brains, then welcome. Join the conversation; be your weird.