Being me

A year ago I gave a presentation about mothers on the autism spectrum at the National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference. I had never spoken in public before and it seemed to be well received. I wanted to write up my presentation for others to read which resulted in this blog. I chose to blog anonymously because I believed that being open and public could complicate my life in ways that I wasn’t ready for.

I was particularly worried about my colleagues and clients and how they would perceive me as an autistic person. Because, let’s face it, most people don’t understand autism. I also know that the more open I am about being autistic, the harder I find it to mask, and the more my autism shows. Massive structural and cultural changes at work meant I was already struggling, and I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to expose myself while already suffering with high levels of anxiety.

Six weeks ago I resigned from my position, and today is the start of a new chapter in my life. For the last 18 years I have worked in the criminal justice system, in what was the probation service, a profession which always prided itself on strong values and a commitment to justice, but which is now largely privatised and profit-driven. I am in the fortunate position of being able to take a break from working and spend some time finding a way to bring together my skills and interests in a way which is meaningful to me.

My name is Paula Sanchez and I am autistic.Β 

15 thoughts on “Being me

  1. Dear Paula

    I’m very happy to know your name and mine is Katharine. I’m a married mum of two teenagers. Following my diagnosis of Asperger’s last August, I have negotiated my way out of a job in the public health sector and finished two weeks ago. I too am taking time out to decide what will be best for me work- and otherwise in future. I don’t have a blog but wonder if I might have the opportunity to contribute occasionally to yours or someone else’s (on a guest basis)? Like you, I hope some of my experience might also be useful for other people to hear about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Katharine, it’s good to know I’m not alone in taking a leap into the unknown! I have no plans to have guest posts but there are other blogs which are more collaborative, or you could start your own πŸ˜‰


      1. Thank you, Paula. That’s a really helpful suggestion – do you (or others reading this) know of any collaborative blogs? Thank you for raising awareness of the issues and challenges faced and good luck as you continue your very courageous journey. Katharine

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Off the top of my head you could approach Anonymously Autistic and Aspie Under Your Radar. There are others but I can’t think of them. WordPress makes it easy to blog/follow but if they’re not on here I tend to keep an eye out on Twitter.


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