I have always loathed speaking on the telephone; it causes me severe anxiety. And I have enough anxiety just speaking to people.

A few weeks ago, I was forced to make a phone call. The call was transactional in nature, a discussion with the bank (I suppose with a banker) about a loan application. We’d been provisionally approved but were ready to make an offer and needed to commence full approval.

After I hung up from the call, G said “why are you so rude on the phone? He’s trying to help us!”

I was shocked—I had been polite (I thought), monitored my tone and been light and breezy (I thought), I didn’t know what I’d done wrong.

About a week later as we finalised the documentation and received sign-off, I had another conversation with the same person from before. I was even friendlier this time, and I thought, I’m nailing this being nice on the phone thing this time.

And when I got off the call, G said, “why do you do that? Why are you so abrupt?”

I tried but I could not stop the tears. I had been so sure I’d improved, been pleasant, friendly, definitely not rude. And here I was, finding out I’d failed again.

When I was a teen, I had one person I spoke to on the phone. A friend I still have to this day. My parents often made me answer the phone or make calls due to my fear—i suppose they were trying to cure me.

But having heard many similar things about the way I speak, the way I address people and the tone of my voice for most of my life, I started to google.

Cousins, their kids, and others in my immediate family have been diagnosed with autism over the last 20 years.

So I searched for a specialist assessor who works exclusively with adult women and now I am on a wait list.

Last night, unable to sleep after my mother left, I came across a site that has a self-diagnostic test. Despite some problematic language, the test has a 97% accuracy rate when self-administered.

I answered all the questions, and while I waited for it to score, I wondered how I would feel if I scored close to 65, which is the minimum score that is suggestive or indicative of possible autistic traits. Especially if I scored between 60-65.

But. I needn’t have worried. My score was 159.

Addendum: I have taken an additional four quizzes today and tested above the threshold in every single one.

It makes so much sense. So. Much. Sense.

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