autism discovery & relationships

transcript for youtube video

Okay so im ally from Allison the human on Instagram, today I am gonna record some videos with my partner kella. Come on in.

Kella: that’s my cue

Ally: okay so were going to be talking about our relationship but also how that has looked surrounding my autism discovery and my autism diagnosis and autism acceptance.

Kella: lotta autism

Ally: so yeah, kella do you wanna give a little background of how we met?

Kella: yeah, we met via tinder and ally messaged me saying “omg”-wait wait you said “im in awe of you” and then I left you on read for six months

Ally: okay I was also busy for those six months FYI I had other people I was dating

Kella: I left you on read for six months and then I like I got into a space that I was like just like you know I could really just you know, like do the whole damn thing, like you know a relationship whatever. So I went back through my DMs and I found you and I was just like oh my god you’re so pretty how did I forget about you and

Ally: and you sent me a corgi umm corgi video

Kella: so you knew that I liked dogs, yeah because swarley was swarley, your pup

Ally: yeah my whole tinder profile was pretty much me and swarley

Kella: exactly so I was just like okay, so shes really cute, I cant mess it up, let me just send her a dog emoji and I did and apparently it really worked

Ally: and you didn’t make me have any small talk with you, we made a plan for a date and then we didn’t talk except the day of our date we were both really late to it, somebody was much later than the other person but

Kella: oh yeah I hate small talk

Kella: I don’t know who just said that

Ally: that’s a really useful thing that I think neurodivergent people have a hard time with in dating, is small talk

Kella: oh yeah no I skip it

Ally: like I hate that I always hated that

Kella: I was just like “hey so I hate small talk” I straight up was like “I hate small talk, do you wanna like set up a date and then well talk then?” And then honestly that takes the pressure off of a date too

Ally: because yeah I don’t wanna text you I wanna speak to you

Kella: like if I already talked to you about all my things then im gonna get to the date and then not have anything to talk to you about

Ally: yeah

Kella: but it was a really great first date and weve been together ever since and I put a ring on it

Ally: yeah, you don’t um, nobody seeks a kella, you kind of aquire a kella and the kella never leaves

Kella: that’s what my friends say, and my fiancé

Ally: um okay so, kella what do you think, or what do you have to say about my- how it was for you when I discovered I was autistic?  I think it- I would probably say that was around December of last year so almost pretty much a year ago now since were in December. I mean I realized it, I was starting to tell some friends,

Kella: is that when you realized it?

Ally: yeah that’s what im saying, when I first discovered that I was autistic

Kella: but did you discover before you had- no you didn’t

Ally: no no no no no I had my full burn out break down like after I discovered it, that was a fueling piece of it, but my diagnosis; so remember I started working at the hospital and I was like “oooh I see all these similarities with these kids”  we talked about it, we decded or I decided like “oh im not going to tell anyone, im not going to tell my parents im not gonna tell my friends like people around us just wouldn’t really get it and then I ended up telling like Breeshey and a few of our close friends I mentioned it to

*dog noises*

Kella: ugh that’s our dogs, mojo! Swarley! Leave it leave it

Ally: so that was kind of December-febrary ish and then in end of February and beginning of march is when my burnout, breakdown, extistential meltdown all kind of came to a head. …. That was fun

Kella: um I guess that like storyline does make sense and that timeline makes sense but for me for some reason I didn’t remember like I guess that it was, its not like, you started thinking about that

Ally: I thought about it for a long time before I shared it with you, not that long but,

Kella: also I think its important to note that December was a critical time when you started like mentally and physically started tanking. And there was like a lot of symptoms going on and it presented itself in so many different ways. And it was it was actually really scary as your partner it was a really scary time for me because you know you were like you were every few hours you were throwing out something new that might be going on with you

Ally: I was because I was going through and I remember I was doing a lot of body scans at the time because I was starting to get all those physical symptoms too, and like mentally I felt all over the place so I felt-  in the morning I would be doing something like “wow kella you know what I just realized…” and then by the afternoon id have a completely different affect, and a completely different realization

Kella: and it was, yeah, it was like so you were all at once it felt to me, um you went from a partner who was masking the whole time

Ally: and I was so “productive”

Kella: yeah like you were a different person when we started dating and it was- like not entirely, but in some aspects

Ally: no I mean that’s a fair thing to say

Kella: sorry our dogs are distracting me just one sec

Ally: yeah go get swarles, if we hold swarley like a baby and mojo hangs out in here I think itll be okay

Kella: yeah for me, like because also at the same time that you like around the same time that you were discovering that youre autistic you also got a fibromyalgia diagnosis and stuff so like your body was just like exploding

Ally: everything was and yeah, and ive never in my life had- granted a lot of this comes from me not pursuing medical care I guess and like masking a lot of things and being like an “extreme” like in the sense of working out everyday type athlete all through college, but yeah like it was so weird because ive always been “healthy” right like ive never had a lot of huge health problems or ongoing medications or ongoing conditions that I was aware of for most of my life so to go from being like this overrrr productive, working two jobs um for a while actually because— did I meet you while I was coaching and at the school or just at the school?

Kella: you weren’t coaching you had just stopped that

Ally: but then I left, the school job was over, I was working in all the rehabs and then I was also —yeah – yeah so I changed from a super super super productive type a seeming (sporty), working out all the time to….

Kella: just tanking, it was immediate it wasn’t even just like a gradual phase it was just like a one moment you were “here” and then, like from my perspective, it was like one moment you were and then the next you just like tanked, and like with so many different symptoms like physical and mentally and so your autism presented to me as bipolar.

Ally: yeah

Kella: and like im really familiar with that like I work with kids who have bipolar disorder and what I was seeing from you were the same symptoms and so that, you know you were discovering that you were autistic and that opened a floodgate of like rejecting masking all of a sudden so I saw all of the things youd been holding back

Ally: but I was rejecting all that old masking but I was masking all my new thoughts of “ooooh is this whats happening in my head?” “oh is it this?” because at that time (kella says “rapid fire”) yeah it looked and sounded so manic, because my brain was like “holy shit, theres so many options I have to explore here like, what about this, what about this, what about this” and I was masking that to a degree, like I wasn’t sharing everything with you because you would’ve thought I was.. I mean I didn’t even feel sane in my own head in those thoughts and like those thought processes for a minute because I was like none of this makes sense. Is it because of “this” or because of “this”, and like what I was sharing with you only made me look more manic.

Kella: and it was hard too because like I come from a really trauma informed background, especially in work, and so–

Ally: yeah, if people- I don’t think you mentioned It kella, but kella works in residential psych in the highest level of care in the state of Oregon, with kids, so she, she knows.

Kella: yeah and I was, I was just really scared during that whole time. Like I had to take on a lot of roles that we had shared and divided equally, and roles that youre such a- you used to be such a type a person like you did so many things and so all of a sudden-

Ally: I pretended to be a type a person

Kella: yeah, but all of a sudden I really had to like step up as your partner and it was so, heartbreaking, to worry that like you were-

Ally: and we had only- so if were saying that all that happened in like December-february, right, we had only been living together since august. So we had been living together august, September, October, November, which and then December which is when we got mojo with a two day notice [a puppy] and then everything exploded and then COVID on top of all of it which made it so hard to access any of the stuff I needed

Kella: yeah and you you didn’t leave the house

Ally: ive been home since the end of February

Kella: still, but you didn’t leave the house for like months so it was me working and trying to figure you out, and you know like I remember you always being like “don’t look at me like that” cause I would look at you like with so much concern in my eyes, and you

Ally: and I could see what you were thinking

Kella: and I was scared

Ally: and I was also half thinking it and I was like but its not- like I was also seeing you know those warning signs of mania and things and like I saw them in myself, I was perfectly aware of it but I didn’t wanna-

Kella:  swarley is driving me crazy im just gonna capture him

Ally: yeah but like I knew that I was presenting as manic and all of those things but I knew that that was a better alternative to talking about all of the autism related and PTSD stuff that I was going through from growing up not knowing I was autistic and going through like “oh this happened because of this” or “this is why this is” and I was really sorting through all of those things, in a way that I, weren’t even complete coherent thoughts in my own head, so yeah everything that was coming off to you was manic and I was like “well this is better than sharing whats actually going on in my head” like for my own safetly mechanisms, but yeah it was a lot, huh swarles *pets swarley*

Kella: yeah it was a lot, to be honest I was scared of you having an autism diagnosis, like I never told you

Ally: and I knew that because I had such a different experience with autism and understanding of it than you, because its my job

Kella: but I do, have an understanding from my work, and but just like, its one thing to work with that population and then another thing to accept that in either yourself or your partner, like I didn’t vocalize it to you but

Ally: oh and I knew that yeah,

Kella: I know you did, but like

Ally: because I had the same thoughts

Kella: I know, I know you did. It was just, I was searching for anything else,

Ally: and I think that is exactly what so many autistic people are met with and that’s what a lot of my family members and some of our other close friends kind of came up with too and like that’s you know like a normal part of a grieving process that is like adjusting

Kella: there was a huge grieving process

Ally: yeah and for me too and I think that that bargaining stage and denial stage kind of interchange with like “well it cant be autism because that doesn’t make sense and then that would imply that x y and z things that none of us want to handle are true.” And so then like bipolar or something else is-

Kella: honestly it would have been the same,

Ally: which yeah, that honestly like both things are valid and real things,

Kella: and hard to come to terms with. But, with that saying like obviously we went through that grieving period and we came out stronger because of it, like an autism diagnosis means that you have to change your life, like nothings ever the same, like you have to re think things. How I enter conversations with you, how I —-

Ally: how you get my attention!

kella: which is really hard because like I have ADHD so I come in like “mbaaaaaah” and youre just like “omg, I am so overwhelmed right now like go away”

ally: and Im just like please shut up. Its really fun.

Kella: so yeah, it was an adjustment period but like I love that youre autistic. Its who you are, it’s the things that like, you know everything that I love about you, so much stems from you being autistic and you being autistic complements me having ADHD super well. Were both neurodivergent, we think in a lot of ways the same ways,

Ally: we both let eachother interrupt eachother all the time and we can like keep our train of thought and just kind of go with it and talk over eachother and the were both like “yeah”.

Kella: “yeah”

Ally: I find that helpful because oh my god I cant not interrupt people

Kella: I also cant not interrupt people

Ally: andi cant not keep, er I cant – I cant not say something that I wanna say.

Kella: no you cannot.

Ally: okay so, I feel like we actually have covered the majority of what we wanted to talk about in this video, what else, what else do you have to say kella?

Kella: um, just that its been incredible to watch you be on this journey of self discovery. Its only been a few short months that you know since you’ve realized that you are autistic, like it hasn’t even been a full year

Ally: yeah its been a full year now I mean I guess right? So right now is pretty much a year right?— yeah it was December because I

Kella: god I keep on forgetting that its December, so yeah a full year now. But just watching you come into your own, understanding autism with you and with that that means like as a partner and also just seeing you flourish in this community and finding your place where, and watching you figure yourself out without masking, like you don’t mask anymore

Ally: no

Kella: and I love getting to figure out how to support you not masking

Ally: and you provide such a good- I don’t know if buffer is the right word- but buffer for that change when we hangout with friends and family, like I mean pretty much facetime right now you know when we interact with people that are so used to our dynamic how it used to be and how I used to be, kella is so good at kind of bridging that gap and prefacing things to people that

Kella: taking on the small talk

Ally: yeah, and like sometimes I love small talk like im obviously super social, but you know sometimes I just don’t care. But yeah and its like navigating what, in the beginning sometimes she would say things, like one day she told me I was perseverating on something and I was like “no, do not tell me what I am doing, ask me what I am doing” and so its like we figure out those things as we go and kella is really really really great at helping the other people in our lives understand that when Im not necessarily up to the task or when im just kind of you know, some days when Im feeling really sick or not up to things kella has had to take on a lot and I think shes done it pretty well, so im excided for us to make some more videos [kella said: “me too”] and kind of chat more about this but I think this is a good start right now for this initial chat and then maybe next time well do a live on Instagram so we can ask some or answer some more questions in real time.

Kella: that scares me, I like editing incase I say something weird

Ally: *petting swarley* oh but its just so cute when we have swarley…. Okay umm that’s it for this first one,

Kella: mmmmmmmm bye. 

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