Autistic Adults Picture Project
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Name: Ursula Stouffer
Interests, hobbies, obsessions, perseverations etc: Writing poetry, card making, leather stamping (dormant at present, but soon to be resurrected), knitting, sewing, photography, research (especially medical, and autism, and anything that catches my interest), reading (especially non-fiction), computers, audio production, following links on the Internet (it leads me to amazing discoveries sometimes!).
Year of birth: 1953, in Hamburg, Germany
Profession, area of study, etc: I learned to be an office manager (three of the most miserable years of my life were spent learning that). I was a stay-at-home mom until last year. Now that my youngest daughter is 13 (she is six years younger than the next one) I am baby sitting two little boys twice a week to have some money of my own.
Where you live in the world: Ontario, Canada
Marital status, # of kids etc.: Married for 26 miserable years, 5 kids (the oldest three are married), four grandchildren (they should count as another hobby)
Personal webpage url:
Comments: After knowing for more than fifty years that I was not like other people, and having been bullied and abused all my life for being different, I was finally diagnosed in late 2004 first with Tourette Syndrome, and then with Asperger Syndrome. Both of those (plus fibromyalgia, which I've had from age five, but was accurately diagnosed with in 2000) explain my whole, miserable life.

I have been hiding much of who I am for sooooooo long, it's a relief to finally know that I am not crazy (my husband claims I am mentally ill, but I know that he is wrong). I have never been socially acceptable, I am too blunt, I always say what I think and can't seem to stop myself most of the time. I finally have some friends now, who accept me for who I am. My husband still only loves me for who he wants me to be, and is still trying to change me to be 'normal', after 26 years. Well, I tell him now that I am normal, just different. Who is 'normal'? Everybody has their oddities. I now know that it's okay to be different, and I refuse to hide who I am now. I won't hide my tics any more, and I won't pretend to be normal any more. It's too stressful and leads to overload and eventually to meltdown.

I will now be me. I don't care if anybody else likes it, because I like who I am. I am autistic, live with it!

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