These are some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made.

Autism may not play a complete role in any or all of these, but it is a significant factor. As a rather late-diagnosed ASD person who didn’t have the best support or models as a child, it’s probably made this more difficult. However, if nothing else, I’m persistent, and, that of course is on this list.

  1. Believing for twenty years that my parents would listen to me when I said they needed to address some problems, or there would be more problems in the future with their children.
  2. Believing that my parents would listen when my siblings confronted them in various ways about how they treated us in the past and continued to in the present.
  3. Believing that people in my family would be more willing to go to therapy because I was willing to go on my own.
  4. Not accepting my father for who he really is.
  5. Not accepting my mother for who she really is.
  6. Letting other people, especially my parents, “walk all over me.”
  7. Assuming other people know what I’m talking about, especially if it is supposed to be funny or sarcastic.
  8. Assuming others don’t know what I’m talking about and saying too much.
  9. Forgetting other people don’t think like me, only long enough to be smacked back to the reality that I don’t think like them.
  10. Being persistent, or, perhaps I should say overly persistent.
  11. Overanalyzing the over-analysis of my overanalyzed analysis over analyzing over-analysistic tendencies to think about something too much.
  12. Believing people will change their minds if I just show them the evidence.
  13. Believing people care enough to go get therapy or get help of some kind.
  14. Allowing other people to make decisions for me when I could have myself.
  15. Not being able to convince people when I do need help.
  16. Thinking people will understand my intentions even when things don’t work out.
  17. Believing people will be more forgiving since I think I’m forgiving of them.
  18. Trusting the wrong people, but not ever knowing for sure who the wrong people are.
  19. Not knowing for sure when I require help.
  20. Not stopping the COVID-19 Pandemic, so I could get my diagnosis a few years sooner.
  21. Having unrealistic expectations of people; not knowing what realistic expectations are.
  22. Seeing patterns in people but forgetting they don’t extend to infinity, i.e., not everyone may react in the same way to what you do or say, even with a large sample size. I know that, but occasionally, I forget.
  23. Feeling overly protective of people who don’t need protecting.
  24. Trying to be too helpful (there is a note on my 1st-grade report card about this. I dug it up as part of my ASD evaluation. Yes, I have all my report cards back to first grade. Why wouldn’t I? When I was five, I probably knew I’d look at it again. I also have every paper I’ve written since my fourth grade one on the brain, of all things.)
  25. Not understanding that my communication style is more harsh than intended.
  26. Not being aware that I sometimes come across as blaming someone when that’s not what I meant. And, sometimes I’m just processing an event, and that can include a “shotgun” approach to allocating actions to people before I have a definitive conclusion.
  27. Allowing past trauma to influence present situations.
  28. Not understanding what people are actually saying to me.
  29. Not being persistent enough at times with people to get clarification.
  30. Not figuring out someway to get off electronic devices when I need to be sleeping . . . Oops, it’s 1:20am now. That’s OK, it’s peaceful when the canines are asleep.
  31. Worrying about . . .
  32. Not being aware that I’m talking too much.
  33. Trying too hard to fit in because I think I’m supposed to.
  34. Wanting friends when I’m not good at being a friend.
  35. Upsetting people and not knowing why until it is too late or much later.
  36. Having trouble not being upset with myself forever when I’ve upset someone.
  37. Thinking if I can just make it another week or two, I’ll be OK, and nothing will go wrong.
  38. Feeling guilty about things when I did nothing wrong. (I was trained to feel that way.)
  39. Not discovering weighted blankets and sooner.
  40. Putting too many expectations on any one person.
  41. Panicking when something small happens, especially with people.
  42. Defending people and getting hurt in the process.
  43. Believing phrases like, “Everyone loves you,” had any real significance.
  44. Not getting outside more.
  45. Not being able to be less annoying to people.
  46. Feeling worthless for no good reason.
  47. Thinking anyone would actually care about my diagnosis.
  48. Not realizing some people may take advantage of my diagnosis.
  49. Not standing up for myself more or doing so at the wrong time.
  50. Letting other people control the narrative of my life.

. . . and many more.

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