Almost two weeks ago, someone challenged a fundamental assumption I’d held about myself.
This revelation has upended my world. Suddenly I feel wobbly, tentative, and not quite sure who I am.
I’m undergoing a massive shift in self-understanding.
As a licensed psychologist with over twenty years of clinical experience, I’ve considered myself an expert on matters of the psyche and personality.
Side note: Here's what the horoscopes are like with self-care. Post continues below.
My scope of knowledge includes myself.
I’m an avid believer in the power of therapy and have seen my fair share of specialists over the years. A few weeks ago, if you’d asked me if I think I know myself, I would have answered affirmatively and then described me as a “sensitive extroverted introvert.”
But two weeks ago, I saw a therapist I hadn’t seen in a while. She challenged my self-definition with something so stunning that I’ve done nothing for over a week except to try and take it in, to make sense of this piece of information.
I think I’m ready to share it now.
There. I said it.
Those two words have both transformed my reality and, at the same time, have scared the living s**t out of me.
What does it exactly mean to be autistic?
I thought I knew. When I hear that diagnosis, I imagined a young boy lost in his own world. He’s sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, spinning plates. He grunts and screams if anyone interferes with his repetitive play or tries to move him to another activity.
That’s what comes to my mind when I hear the word autism. I’d never imagined that someone like me — a formerly married psychologist with three grown sons — would be on the autistic spectrum.