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Updated: Aug 18, 2023

“Congratulations you’re not a muggle”

“Fucking excellent, how do I sign up for Hogwarts?”

Unfortunately, my diagnosis as having Asperger's didn’t come with a train ticket that departed from Platform 9 and ¾.

This post documents my experiences, rebelling against the label of “autistic female”. I have been on an odyssey to discover my authenticity and remove all the masks that I’ve carefully crafted and worn in my lifetime. I think this will resonate with muggles (non-autistic people) or non-muggles (autistic folk) alike as the voyage of self-discovery is one that we all must weave at one point in our life if we wish to grow.

You're a wizard Harry!

Like any story of transformation, my calling card was a delightful mix of heartbreak, work burnout and lockdown. I was, what you might say, a little bit disenchanted with life.

I found myself in the clinic of my osteopath, Steve (a fellow Aspie who I shall forever call Magic Hands, a brilliant man who is savant - he can see energy, incredible), when he looked at me deadpan and told me “you’re not a muggle”. I had no clue what he meant. We spent the rest of my appointment doing an online multiple choice autism quiz…I scored 28/30 on the autism scale. Interesting.

I decided to have an official diagnosis with a clinical psychologist, and lo and behold Magic Hands’ diagnosis was confirmed. I have “High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder”.

The way I played as a child was a key factor in my diagnosis. Apparently, obsessively collecting things and not really playing with them was a very autistic trait; Mc Donald's happy meal toys (it was the 90s and I was fat), Barbie, Beanie Babies, Crystals, the list goes on. Other slightly autistic traits of mine included:

  • A need for rules and structure e.g. when eating a pizza, the cheese had to be eaten first, crust last

  • An unusually good memory for factual information

  • Slightly obsessive specialist interests that were very different to my peers

  • Prioritising structure and factual learning rather than being sociable

  • Interpreting and using language in a literal way – never ask me what I think a poem or a song lyric means

  • Pattern recognition – I can see patterns in everything. Unfortunately, the stock exchange never became a specialist subject

  • Heightened sense of touch - natural fabrics are akin to nails down a chalkboard – linen, wool, cashmere cannot come near or touch my skin

  • Aversion to unnatural light – I had to sit under a table at work to avoid the overhead lightbulbs

To find out that I was Autistic was not a really surprise to me, but it was to everyone else (apart from my Mum). My masks have been excellently crafted. Over my lifetime I have exerted a huge amount of effort, time and energy into learning how to exist in a manageable way in my social world. I appeared to be a confident woman who could cope with anything life throws at her, but beneath that façade was a bunch of rules and processes that I needed to adhere to just to be able to socialise with others.

Home Schooling

Receiving the recognition that I perceive the world differently to most people was useful, although my rebellious mind intensely disliked me having a label, and as ever I refused me to be put in a box.

I couldn’t work out how to apply to Hogwarts, besides, I was probably a little too old at 32 to be accepted. I had to teach myself how to “unmuggle” (unmask).

This triggered a journey of self-discovery and exploration. A journey to find out what really makes me tick. A journey to explore, exploit and embrace my uniqueness. A journey where if I was being “a bit autistic” and controlling about something, I had to force myself to completely out of my comfort zone (even though every alarm bell inside me was screaming). I had to find my magic powers.

Lesson: Spiritual Science

My exploration had one very important overarching specialist subject: spirituality and esotericism. Forget rabbit holes, I was jumping down a wormhole with this one.

I started to meditate as a way of calming down and getting out of my mind. At the beginning I could barely manage 5 seconds, but I soon got the hang of things and was entering blissful states of consciousness. I even studied to become a hypnotherapist with the sole purpose of deepening my transcendental journeys.

Magic hands had introduced me to Energy Healing. I obviously had to understand how and why this “woo woo” stuff worked. I became a reiki master, was initiated into a form of Balinese energy healing, learnt about shamanism, crystals, tarot, sacred geometry, BioGeometry, numerology, astrology, energy manipulation, sacred power spots, the list goes on.

Lesson: Geography

It didn’t take me long before I decided to quit my corporate job. I just couldn’t force my fingers to tap on a keyboard anymore, no matter how much force and concentration I applied; this new world of possibility I was uncovering was too fascinating. I was offered a sizeable bonus from my company to stay, but I couldn’t be a robot anymore. I knew that there was much more to life than working at a desk for the next 50 years. With a lack of other options, I quit my life and went travelling on my own.

My greatest fear; that of the unknown, was being vanquished head on.

My blossoming spirituality was the catalyst for places to explore. I visited sacred power spots (Egypt, Peru, Bali, Mexico, Morocco), fascinated by the country’s cultures and ancient magical traditions.

I travelled from place to place with absolutely no plan, following signs from the Universe (repeating numbers was a particularly useful omen), invitations from friends, and BBC weather reports. I had to talk myself down numerous times from sheer panic at my lack of organisation.

Lesson: Psychology

I spent 3 very intense weeks with my friend in Bali (a gifted and decorated psychologist). She tore apart every single one of my “isms”: my lack of self-esteem, my negative outlook on life, and my absolute need to control everything. I wasn’t even able to choose what to eat for breakfast. It was the hardest 3 weeks of my life. I’m sure it wasn’t a party for my friend neither.

I learnt that you could be in paradise, but if your mind was in the way, then you’d never be able to see the beauty. I had spent my life trying to control my outside world, I had to learn how to control my mind so that it would stop controlling me.

Like the great Rosicrucian initiates before me, I became conscious of every single thought, feeling and action. I could observe how my thinking was limiting me. Any time anxiety came up, I was able to objectively understand the who, what, why, how, when, where about it. It was exhausting but necessary.

Lesson: Dance

I hosted an ecstatic dance in Morocco. I spent a Sunday morning sober and on the middle of the dancefloor. It was terrifying but I did it!

I even danced in the middle of a tourist train to Machu Picchu with a man dressed as a colourful devil (no video evidence is available unfortunately).

End of Year Review

All of these experiences allowed me to grow. Looking back, I didn’t particularly enjoy any of it at the time. It’s not like I was having a nice beach holiday. I was facing each one of my fears head on. I was fighting (and it has been a fight) to remove the reins that my rigidly thinking brain had over me.

I've come a long way, but I'm not perfect. I still get angsty when people say one thing, but mean another. Eye contact still feels a bit weird and forced. Every social gathering (whether with friends, strangers, or family) always has a planned escape route. I’ll probably never wear natural fabrics other than cotton. Food combinations and eating order rules are still firmly in place. I am only human! I am just now very aware of all of my quirks, and that self-awareness is the greatest gift.

I am a completely different person. I learnt how to trust myself and the Universe. I realised that I am unique, and beneath all the control, were a lot of super powers waiting to be unleashed:

  • My brain has an uncanny ability to assimilate so much knowledge. I can now fully appreciate it's operating speed and power

  • I am extremely energetically sensitive: I can perceive and feel other realities and energies

  • I can sense what someone is feeling. It is why I get so confused by people because everyone lies, mostly to themselves

  • I have an incredibly accurate intuition; my mind had been just blocking the signal making me confused and second guessing myself

  • My innate brilliant pattern recognition means that I can read the Universe there are patterns everywhere: people, places, history, not just in numbers. Life, it turns out, is very predictable

  • I have a very strong willpower; I will achieve anything I set my mind to (as long as I'm interested)

  • I am a fantastic host: I will know what you want before you do

I still get exhausted around lots of people, but I can protect my energy using powerful visualisation techniques. My magic skills are evolving as I learn more about energy manipulation. I can make myself invisible in a crowd (difficult but not impossible when you’re a lot taller than the average and wearing bright blue).

I’ve taken off the masks that were obscuring my vision and limiting my experience of life. I had to take extreme steps and extract myself from society and everything that was familiar to me in order for this to happen, but it was so worth it. I now appreciate my differences and my inner wizard.

I really didn’t need an official diagnosis. That first online test was enough to trigger a rebellion within me. It’s nice to understand that there are things that you struggle at that others find easy, but isn’t that life? We all struggle one way or another, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We’re all unique.


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