Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

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My Asperger’s assessment is now only 2 weeks away. Oh, how I wish it were today.

I hate waiting for anything. When I was waiting in line for immunisations at school, I passed out because the waiting was too much for me. The injection itself was nothing.

I’m notoriously good at seeming like I’ve forgotten about things – particularly important things. It’s usually not memory loss but a coping strategy I’ve unintentionally developed over the years to keep me from living in a kind of permanent panic about any forthcoming events.
I block them before they block me, I guess. I don’t want to be crippled by the impending stress they will be sure to cause me. I’ve even stopped entering things on the kitchen calendar if I don’t want to think about them, and my husband has learned not to talk about things that I’m likely to be dreading.

But this blocking of events and stopping myself thinking about them in specific detail only does so much. It takes away actualities and can often stop me running a preview in my mind repeatedly of how things might go; the denial helps me to stay in the here and now but it doesn’t take away the fear, the uneasiness and the apprehension. My guts started rolling the minute plans were made, and despite trying to carry on I am on edge and getting edgier the nearer we get to an event. It seems I can get wound up about something while thinking of entirely different things and concentrating on something I usually enjoy.

It’s 7 weeks since I first started my investigation into my possible Asperger’s assessment and 6 weeks since I began discussing it with my family. It’s only 5 weeks since I emailed all the psychologists I could find in my part of the country, and only 4 weeks since I booked my appointment for my assessment. It’s not been long at all but it seems like longer. A lot longer. It feels like a kind of sentence. I have been trapped in a weird bubble where my head is not the same, my communication with others is not the same and yet I am carrying on as usual. Well, trying to. Unfortunately I’m not really quite here. I am locked in a kind of pre-assessment hell that no one else can share. And I know that whatever happens after it – whether it be the outcome I want or the outcome I don’t – it will be difficult. There will have to be processing and adjustment whatever the psychologist says. I not terrified, I’m not scared, but I am nervous as hell, worried about the whole day, and however much I concentrate on other things and block, block, block, the sense of impeding somethingorother is always there.
I’m drinking too much wine at night. I’m eating too much. I’m biting my nails more than ever, and I’m bumping into things more than ever as if the house has suddenly shrunk around me. I feel each and every day is picking on me and that inanimate objects are playing practical jokes on me. I’ve put on half a stone and I’m waking up frightened of beginning each new day.

I keep asking myself why I’m putting myself through this. Was life easier just being a social misfit with a growing list of concerns about the way I deal with life? Well maybe the not waiting for an assessment bit was easier but I need answers. And the answers I’m finding on every page of every book I read about autism are looking increasingly like the right ones.

Cynthia Kim, in I Think I Might Be Autistic, writes:
“…an ASD diagnosis as an adult … changes everything and at the same time I’m much the same person I will always be. The difference is now I’m struggling less with myself.
The self-knowledge that I’ve gained through the discovery and diagnosis process has helped me accept myself as I am and identify the types of changes I’d like to make in my life.”
And that’s exactly why I’m doing this.
Cynthia Kim can be found online here: http://musingsofanaspie.com/ She’s interesting to me because she was diagnosed at the age of 42, and I am 44.

Unfortunately as the day draws ever nearer, my fear grows that a psychologist will disagree with my self-diagnosis, and that worries me immensely. Then what?

I’m waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about how I’m rearranging my head, my history, my daily life, my future. The Asperger’s label is my golden ticket to make sense of it all. What if I don’t get the golden ticket?

Fourteen days to go, and counting. Although I’m nearly through today so I guess I can call that thirteen days and fourteen nights now.

This afternoon I said to my husband, Richard, ‘I miss you.’ And I do. I miss not being so completely wrapped up in this bubble.
I can’t wait until it’s all over.




6 thoughts on “Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

  1. Rachel, what an eloquent and heartfelt piece of writing. I wish you well whatever the outcome of the assessment. Living as much as you can in the moment isn’t the same as denial. Try to see it as accepting there are things you can’t control and that ‘catastrophising’ in advance doesn’t offer any protection. I’m a fine one to talk it’s taken me to age 57 to be able to take this view and I still have my bad times. Be strong when you can and take a timeout when you can’t. All the best.

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  2. I know what you mean about the anxiety bubble, I’ve been there, actually am there & although you try to get on as normal, it’s like a charade or an out of body experience, you can’t quite keep yourself pinned down. I recently watched a video of a woman with Aspergers, and both my husband & I (independently) recognised me from the way she described how she dealt with life. My eldest son has been diagnosed so it’s going to be a pertinent question to ask of myself. Normal life and interactions can be such an effort. With my son, it’s been great to get a diagnosis due to having some explanations and services (tho’ as a teenager he doesn’t want to identify with the diagnosis.) Of course the psychological community is constantly changing it’s parameters and labels so you may be diagnosed or be a borderline case or have some other name put to your experience. I hope that what you receive with either a diagnosis or subsequent advice will be of support to you in bolstering your sense of self, stability and satisfaction in your own skin. I know I want to feel that it’s okay to be this way, perhaps that’s all you need. Sorry if I’m being presumptious. I’m not sure if I’ll go as far as diagnosis but I know there’s a particular shape and set of limits and strengths to being me, and it’s not always easy within those parameters. All my best to you in this, will be looking to see how you get on xx.

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    • Thanks, Alison. You’re not being presumptuous. You’re very kind and thoughtful. And the very best to you to. I want to say more but I feel all worded out right now 🙂 xxx

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