I found out that I had Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 25. It wasn’t because I went to the doctor for a professional diagnosis, and surprisingly, it wasn’t a surprise. I wasn’t devastated by the discovery — I was relieved to know that there was a name for all the quirky and sometimes irritating behaviors that formed my character.
Asperger’s Diagnosis Did Not Ruin My Life
I had been married for less than a year, and already it felt like my relationship was falling apart. I was constantly fighting with my husband, who is the sweetest man I’ve ever met. In my mind, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, so whatever we fought about must have been his fault. Then I started noticing a pattern to our arguments, and I began to wonder if I was the common denominator.
I had heard of Asperger’s Syndrome, but I had never really learned anything about it. The idea popped into my head, and I entered the term into a search engine and found a comprehensive list of symptoms for Asperger’s in adults. To top that off, I learned that Asperger’s in women was an even more specialized area. My heart leapt as I read through the information.
Taking an Asperger’s Test Answered Many Questions
Almost everything on the list of Asperger’s symptoms matched up with things I had done or felt since I was little. I found an extensive online Asperger’s quiz that was supposed to be close to what the doctors use, and even though I didn’t need to look at the results to know the answer, I scored extremely high.
When my husband got home that evening, I apologized to him for all of my bizarre behavior. Then I showed him the list, and he burst into tears. “Oh my god,” he said. “That’s you!” To my relief, I saw that he was excited to have an answer too.
Adapting to Life With Asperger’s Syndrome: Not an Easy Road
Everything changed from that point. Now there was a reason for my constantly changing obsessions. There was a reason for my lack of desire for human contact. And there was a reason that I so strongly identified with an idiosyncratic theoretical physicist on television. And now that I knew that reason, I could begin to work on my Asperger’s characteristics that absolutely needed to be worked on to save my marriage, and my husband could begin to adjust his mindset to be more patient with me.
Community Support for Asperger’s is Crucial
But knowing the name for what was wrong with me wasn’t enough. Continued searching through the internet led me to discover a treasure trove of online communities full of people like me. Talking to these people was absolutely essential in beginning to be okay with who I was. Some things can be changed, but there is no cure for Asperger’s. Some things you just have to learn to live with and even embrace, and finding others to communicate with has allowed me to make leaps and bounds.
If you’re reading this because you just received that diagnosis, just know that this does not change who you are. Different is not bad; it’s just different. However, educating yourself will definitely make your life — and the lives of those closest to you — a lot easier.