Everyone already knew…

Djembes [photo: Barbara]

Recently I was at my queer pagan camp, where I have been going for years. As usual there were also djembés and some of us started playing the drums. Usually that doesn't bother me, but one of the drums had a high pitch that hurts my ears. So I took some distance, and one of my friends asked if that has to do with my autism. Autism?! Which autism??

It is only very recently that I have been exploring the possibility that I might have autistic traits. A psychologist confirmed to me that this might be the case. In my mind, the conclusion translated as: "It will depend on the person who will be testing you whether or not you will get a diagnosis." That was about a year ago.

I had completely forgotten about this, because in everyday life I don't suffer from this autism, whether present or not. There are bigger inaccessabilities in society, which I run into much harder! For example, see my column "Big angry - I'm fed up!"

But for this friend it was apparently perfectly clear. When I asked them how they thinks I tick the 'autism box', they were able to explain that very well. For example, I am a bit stricter in my opinions than most other people. Now I can see it from this friend's point of view, I do understand the conclusion.

A few days later I shared this rather strange experience to another friend at the same camp. After my story, they looked me in the eyes and said: "I thought you knew." Also this friend has no doubt that I fall into the category 'autism'. We have known each other for 15 years now, and in all that time it has never been an issue. So much so, this friend apparently never saw any reason to even bring it up.

Now I am not normally one to rely on the judgment of friends or acquaintances. Too often (pre)judices play a role, I have experienced several times. But these friends are different. With these people I am sure they accept me entirely, with all of my parts.

And therefore this year I come home not only with beautiful memories of a wonderful holiday, but also with a new diagnosis. It just feels a little weird I am the last to know I have autism…

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