So... I was having a chat in the staffroom with the only other person present a couple of days ago, and I was talking about my two kids, their autism and the challenges that's causing towards the end of term, with excessive tiredness, and pressure around school plays/carol concerts as well as general Christmas anxiety (am I going to get the present I really really want?). In my defence, the day before had been very tough, and had resulted in a big row between myself and dh, and I was feeling quite vulnerable.
But at some point in the conversation I realised that I was getting carried away and was about to start talking about my own autistic traits. I did mention one before I caught myself and got up and made myself a cup of tea, and changed the subject.
I'm going to blame a cup of caffeinated coffee I'd had in a meeting that morning, caffeine has a very powerful effect on me, making me hyper, sociable and very chatty. This is not a natural state for me, and I find it difficult to control once I get started. I know that when you stop taking any kind of drug and then have a little, it has a disproportionately strong effect, same with alcohol and cigarettes. I've been off the caffeine for a few years now, and generally feel better for it, but visiting people can be difficult. It's hard to bring your own decaf teabags out without looking rude!
For quite long periods of my life now, I forget about my aspie status, and start to believe I'm quite normal, then something suddenly reminds me. My big struggle at the moment is with my self-limiting preference to spend time alone, at the expense of my family, and especially my kids. I feel so guilty when I come home totally peopled out and just want to sink onto the sofa and watch TV without talking to anybody. I am trying harder than ever to do better at being a parent even when I'm shattered.
This is the stuff that's floating around my head when I'm talking about my family, and if somebody asks questions and shows an interest in the autistic side of things, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to actually talk about it in real life, and not on Twitter (lol) that I get carried away. Especially because it's a huge special interest as well!
In the end, I have to remember that not everybody has my best interests at heart. I need to protect myself, because once I get out of that closet, there's no getting back in, and the consequences are unknowable.