I am Myrthe, I’m 47 years old and I live alone with my cat. I like reading, walking, being in nature, photography and at times I also like to write. I like to develop myself, gain new knowledge and applying it right away.
I work part time as an assistant archivist and I am currently setting up my own business.
Transferring knowledge is a common thread in my life: through writing, training and workshops, coaching, teaching, training colleagues and learning new skills. I now make use of that to improve current knowledge about autism and to make the world more autism-friendly, through training, advice and coaching for people with autism and for people who deal with autistics.
From an early age, it was clear that I was gifted. But I always felt that that wasn’t the entire story. Ten years ago I came to the conclusion that I might be autistic. But I lived abroad and therefore did not go after a diagnosis at the time. Three years later I was forced to move to the Netherlands. Shortly after, my suspicion was confirmed and I was diagnosed with autism; I was 39 at the time.
I am good at keeping an overview of things, seeing and applying structure, solving problems and I have a good sense of language. My autism means that I struggle a lot with crowds and noise. I get tired and overstimulated very quickly. Social contact also takes a lot of energy out of me. I need to schedule adequate rest and recovery time. Long walks and sleeping are the best de-stressors for me. Walking and the quietness of nature also help me to calm my thundering head.
I am proud of myself and my perseverance. That despite everything I've been through, I'm still here. My autism diagnosis has given me a lot of peace of mind, self-knowledge and self-confidence. I know how I am built, what I need and what is important to me. I have learned to indicate my limits (usually) and above all: I know that I’m worthy, that I am perfectly fine the way I am.
My tip for people with autism is: learn to recognize and indicate your boundaries. That's not always an easy task, but it's worth a whole lot.