Growing up autistic in a non-autistic world often meant feeling perpetually alone. Once I knew I was different, I felt separate from everyone else and nothing would ever make me like anyone else. I felt no one would ever understand me, much less help me shed my shitty self-esteem. If no one else was like me, how could anyone "get" me? And no matter what I was ever told by anyone, I felt that being autistic was akin to being lesser. Being autistic meant being more trouble to everyone else. And worst of all, being autistic was wrong.
In other words, I really, really wish I knew about neurodiversity a lot sooner than I did.