Every so often throughout my adult life I weighed the possibility of having autism. I always dismissed it as other explanations for my "weirdness" presented. I realized I was trans. I realized that my childhood was traumatic. And yet, doubts still remained.
The main stumbling block was that I don't really have any trouble understanding metaphors or sarcasm, which is one of *the* things that is supposed to be a sign. But then, I was an avid reader growing up, so maybe that gave me a head start on learning to recognize them.
I *do* tend to take things literally when they're meant broadly, or as examples rather than specific identifiers. And there's times when I *know* something's a metaphor but it sparks a connection in my brain so I bring up something related to the literal meaning, and everyone around me thinks I missed the metaphor...
(An example: My wife mentions that I may be figuring out more about myself as I "turn down the volume" on other, more obvious issues, making it easier for me to "hear" "softer sounds". A lightbulb turns on in my head as I realize that hey, I'm super irritated by tiny little noises that nobody else seems to notice until I point them out! And she goes "Well, yeah, but what I meant was...")
So if I've been masking for 30+ years to fit into a neurotypical world... who does that make me, really? I don't have any kind of sense of my own personality or identity.
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