Monday, July 3, 2017

The Curious Case of Autistic Impostor Syndrome

When I first learned I have autism, it felt like a simultaneous blessing and a curse. As I have previously wrote, I spent most of my childhood feeling like an outsider due to things I couldn't control and figured I was slowly going mad because no one would give me a straight answer of why I was the way I was. So it's easy to imagine that the news of my diagnosis was a huge relief in the sense that all my questions were answered. It was, but it also came with the cost of learning that I was not and never will be "normal" because of all the challenges I had. And with not being "normal", my life would always be harder than most people's.

In spite of this, I'm often told I'm a "success story". I made my way through school being fully mainstreamed into honors and AP classes, graduated from college in four years, and received a Masters in Social Work from a prestigious university. I have a good steady job where people appreciate my contributions and have made headway into participating in the disability community of Los Angeles. I live on my own, I don't excessively struggle with money management, and I have good friends and family I can depend on. At the risk of sounding arrogant, it does seem like I am a "success".

So why do I constantly feel like I'm barely keeping it together and what I do isn't nearly enough?