Welcome to Finally Knowing Me.

I started this blog in December 2016, initially as a way of disclosing to friends that I had, in August 2016, discovered I was autistic. Until that time I’d been totally unaware of my neurology, and had not, as many late-diagnosed autistic adults do, suspected for some time that my way of perceiving the world was in any significant way different from that of the majority of the population. The discovery that I was autistic came as both a huge shock and a great relief, and has utterly altered my view of myself and of the world and of my whole life.

The blog is still evolving, and I’m still coming to terms with my new identity and the challenges and opportunities that come from this new knowledge. I’m also still learning about autism and trying to understand how I can use that learning both to improve my own life and to help others who are in similar situations to me. I also hope that I’m able, in some small way, to educate those who are still as unaware about autism as I was until very recently.

As the blog has grown I’ve been trying to find ways to make it easier to navigate. There is now a list of posts (with links), which I try to keep as up to date as I can, and links to recent posts can be found to the side / at the bottom of any page on the blog. I’m also continuing to work on the tags and links and so on when I can – in addition to learning about autism I’ve also learnt quite a lot about blogging over the past year!

To find out how I discovered I was autistic, the best posts to start with would be The Background, followed by The Discovery, which were the first posts I wrote. Other posts that seem to have been particularly interesting to people include: Further Reasons (some of my ideas on why it took so long for me to be identified as autistic), Various Feelings (which gives an indication of the sort of impact the discovery had on me), Circles (in which I start to process some of my childhood memories and discoveries), The Wonderspouse (which explains my marriage), The Other Realisation (which explains another discovery that has been really important to me), Speech Levels (in which I discuss how spoken language works for me), Career Snake (which chronicles what happened to my life in the workplace), and An Announcement (one of the shortest but most important posts, which I made on the day I was officially diagnosed autistic in February 2017).

I am still in the process of writing up the assessment which led to my formal diagnosis, although there are posts that describe some of the challenges that arose on the way to that diagnosis (not least a disastrous first assessment, which left me injured and suicidal). Once I have been able to write everything up and sort out all the various posts connected with my diagnosis I’ll find a way of linking them together and post it here. That’s still very much a work in progress.

The blog as a whole is still a work in progress. My work on autism is still a work in progress. I have over 30 books on the subject, some of which I still want to read, some of which I want to read again, all of which I want to work on and consider. Maybe I’ll manage to produce something properly useful myself at some point – I don’t yet know. For the time being this blog is what it is – often chaotic, sometimes rough, and frequently variable in style. Some of the posts are typed into my computer while sitting at a desk with my best academic analytical mind in play, but some are typed into my phone through tears in the middle of the night. I go with how things are at the time – for now I have no choice because my head is still working it all out.

I should also add a Content Note for the entire blog. Some posts deal with mental illness and distress, suicidal ideation, self-injury, and other potentially distressing topics. Please go carefully if you are vulnerable, although I try, where possible, to put warnings at the start of posts that might be especially difficult and dark. There might also be occasional language that some would regard as “strong”. I have tried to be as honest as possible here, and sometimes that honesty involves dark and difficult thoughts.

However, my autistic life also has moments of beauty and humour. If you want something lovely, do read The Magic Spot, and if you want something a bit daft, then A Silly Tale might amuse!

Thank you for reading.