Personal Stories: My Journey Navigating Life With Autism
Growing Up Without Knowing I Had Autism
My name is Margaux, I’m 29 and I reside in Greater Vancouver, Canada.
Growing up, I always stuck out like a sore thumb. I was bullied each and every day and had a very rough life at home.
At a private, community, religion-based elementary school, my peers were not so accepting of me. I was ridiculed frequently, and asked “Why are you so weird?” or “Why are you so different?”. I never had the answer. As far as I was concerned, I was just me.
I cried multiple times daily, the dread of going to school, the sensitivity from harsh words I recieved and the terror of being screamed at by one of my parents when they arrived home in the evening. I always felt anxious and like I was walking on eggshells. It was something i’d much rather forget.
I started seeing a registered psychologist each Friday. I received a proper diagnosis of Anxiety, ADD, Depression and she mentioned I had sensitivity to sound. I was always pulled out of class to be put in a smaller, remedial environment, about 4-5 students with one special education teacher. The kids would have a field day with us when we were carefully ‘extracted’ from the mainstream environment and subsequently put back afterwards. Each day was a traumatic experience and it carried on in to high school. It wasn’t as severe, but it was still very detrimental to my mental health.
A Diagnosis Was Finally Made
Fast forward plenty of years: I’m an Adult now. I sure don’t feel like one. An internet ‘bully’ of mine once said to others that she thought I have Aspergers. The more I looked in to it, the more it actually made sense to me. Autism, actually.
I did online tests, I read character traits and suddenly it all came to light:
THIS IS ME!
THIS IS WHO I AM!
I couldn’t believe my very eyes. How did this diagnosis get missed, especially by a university professor (my childhood psychologist) who my parents were paying HUNDREDS of dollars & it was supposed to be for my benefit?
PSHHHT. My benefit?! UM, I believe if I had the diagnosis as a Child, there would have been much, much more resources for me to have accessed.
I did my research and found a Psychiatrist at a local university who specialized in Autism assessments. I got my family doctor to refer me. The wait was 6 months, but when I finally recieved the call that I had an appointment… Well, I was slightly relieved and slightly anxious.
August, 2017: My Mom was required to be there. She was with the Psychiatrist for 2 hours and I was with him for 1 hour, directly following. He had me read a book and do other tests, as well as have conversations with him.
He welcomed my Mom in to go over the results, he said I was DEFINITELY on the spectrum. FINALLY. A DIAGNOSIS! My Mom was in tears. She couldn’t believe it.
I’m an Artist, I’m a Writer, I dabble in YouTube videos, photography, vegetarian cooking and baking. I love my two cats and travelling. I’m texture sensitive. I’m light sensitive (flourescent lights can disappear for all I care), I’m sensitive to smells, I can’t stand tight spaces, I love chocolate, the 1960’s, 70’s, thrifting and retro things.
I don’t have much of a social life. I’m a recent hire at a worldwide Coffee Shop chain and I’m learning to be a Barista. My learning curve is a unique one, I’m a visual learner and need directions to be repeated. I love my family very much.
Raising Awareness for Autism
I run http://www.navigatingjourney.com
My mission is simple: I want to bring awareness to autistic causes and showcase venues, products and experiences for my followers.
Won’t you join me?
Shared in partnership with yoocan