While many of the intersections of autistic and female in my life have been social, there are undeniable physical intersections too.
The arrival of adolescence brought with it hints of what it would mean to be an autistic adult. My first real meltdowns. My first experience with depression. My first confusing encounters with physical intimacy.
With nothing to compare those experiences to, I assumed they were a normal part of being a teenager. Everyone said that being a teenager was hard. I couldn’t dispute that. It didn’t seem necessary to look beyond the explanation of “this is hard for everyone.”
That would become a theme. Pregnancy. Breastfeeding. Postpartum depression. My body’s reaction to birth control pills. Countless books and magazine articles assured me that these things were no walk in the park. Not knowing that I was autistic…