Adulting: Defining Your Identity

As an autistic person who spent a great deal of their adulthood living under the same roof as their parents, I was never able to have a sense of who I was without my parents having some involvement, however as I am spending time being independent, I am developing my own identity.

As one who spent a great deal of being someone who had a life mostly connected to one of my parents, I rarely had the opportunity to experience what it was really like to even know and have what I wanted in my life. As there were some initial challenges in this as with what comes with having a sense of personal freedom, I eventually better grounded myself in who I truly am in a balanced state of mind.

With this is the ability to properly regulate yourself and manage your own thoughts. In the beginning this became a challenge and not being fully medicated did not help this. As I was able to get back into rhythm and eventually learn the skills needed in how to manage what was too much of an interest and when versus when not some interests do not fit into the hierarchy of the independent lifestyle, things became better around the fact that I became happier with my life. 

For someone who is an ‘helicopter parent’ to their autistic individual, it can be hard to allow their person they support a chance of autonomy or allow them to do things that may seem a little unorthodox in a world that is not totally controlled by them as the family member. They may not also see that if there is potential seen and by keeping the person they support in having the opportunity to have their own life in any way that they can, it is like trapping them in a world that they can be trapped in.

I must encourage when one does try to figure out who they are or the life that they want to live that practical safety and common sense is a must and should always be a priority when trying to see what things work for you as an autistic person. Not everything may go the way it plans or you may need extra help in finding what things in life are important to you and the things that you like versus dislike.  There still should be an emphasis on things that make you well like life-sustaining remedies like medication or other wellness regimens. 

It is also imperative to understand that just because you are an adult that you cannot get out of everything just because you do not like it. Having discussions with those that support or care for you especially in your challenges or ways that obligations can be managed is paramount in making a life that is very much not made for a neurodiverse population. Autistics are oftentimes seen as a population that is lazy and does not want to engage in certain things. However, the neurotypical world does not see what the same thing looks like in the autistic lens. They are two very diverse ways of looking at the same thing and this too can make things very challenging when making a commitment to something. 

Everyone has their own way of learning and defining what they want and do want to be in their life. There may be some setbacks and challenges for autistic individuals that are sometimes cumbersome. However, with a solid grounding and hard work in defining what a life looks like for you, you can define your own identity, flourish and excel to your maximum potential.

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