First and foremost, a warm hello to everyone.
I'm 51 years old, female, and I have been plucking up the courage for some time to perhaps find somewhere like this where hopefully I might learn from others and also others might benefit from my experience. It is to my wonderful Better Half - and best friend - to whom I owe the fact that I am now able to sit here and paralyse all who read this with this surpassingly boring overview of my life.
I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome 10 years ago (I also have impairments in executive functioning), after a lifetime of experiencing difficulty trying to fit in but failing catastrophically, often without knowing why. When I was about 3 years of age my parents received for me a verbal diagnosis of classic autism, as I had speech delay, was extremely anxious, and was so hyperactive that I could barely sleep for more than 2 hours a day, as well as many other traits and idiosyncrasies, some of which I still have.
At age 4 I suddenly seemed to 'get better' and the powers that be saw fit to place me in mainstream education, albeit being placed with children younger than myself until I was 9 which guaranteed that the bullying which had begun from when I was 5 would continue right through my school life. Although my cognitive functioning was tested frequently, and my social functioning constantly monitored, no one intervened and there was no support for my parents, who didn't know what to do with me. On the whole it was a very punitive environment in which my failures were noticed more than my talents. I was constantly being told to 'toughen up', as I was very timid and sensitive.
Fast forwarding past an undistinguished school life, self harming which started when I was 15, a series of unsuitable unskilled jobs in which I was bullied, history of various mental health problems, two suicide attempts, and presently about to make another effort to squeeze myself back in through the revolving door to my local mental health services, it would appear, judging by what I've been reading on this forum, my experience of life on the spectrum is not uncommon.
Oh, there I go, blethering on and on again! Sorry for rambling on, which I have a tendency to do. There is much more that I could say, and I hope that any experience I can share might be of help to you.
Kindest regards, Jo.