Welcome to the second anniversary interview where I interview loved ones about my Autism diagnosis! To read more about why I’m doing the interviews, check out the first interview (linked below).
The interviews will be with:
1) New friends: Anniversary Interview 1: New Friends (link opens in new tab)
2) A high school friend
3) My wife: Anniversary Interview 3: My Wife
4) My parents: Anniversary Interview 4: My Parents
Then, I will share my reflections on the experience. Enjoy!
Note: These are all people who have been actively trying to learn about Autistic people and how to better interact with and support us. Please be understanding and forgiving of anything like using person-first language (“person with autism”), using functioning labels, or anything of that nature. All of those being interviewed are being gracious enough to agree to put themselves in a vulnerable situation, and I really appreciate that. Thanks!
High School Friend: “Billy Bob”
Note: My friend has asked to use a fake name in this interview. True to her hilarious nature, she has chosen to be called “Billy Bob.” I want to thank her for stepping up to do this interview and agreeing to be the solo interviewee this round!
1) What were some of your initial thoughts when I told you I might be Autistic?
Billy Bob: When I first heard that you might be Autistic I was kind of surprised and shocked only because I had no idea about most of the things you’ve been going through. Although you did share some things that were happening in your life, I wouldn’t have guessed that Autism could be a factor.
2) You’ve known me for a long time. What did it feel like to find out how much of myself I had (unintentionally) been hiding from you?
Billy Bob: So kind of similar response to the question above with being shocked and surprised. I was also sad to know that you have been hiding this for a while and didn’t share with friends who care about you, but I could also understand why you didn’t share sooner.
I can only imagine how hard it was to be going through this newfound information by yourself or with only a few people aware. I also know it is not easy to open up about personal things. It is hard, scary/nerve-wracking, personal, new to you, and you’re still trying to process and understand it all.
3) Looking back at me in high school years, what kind of things make more sense to you now?
Billy Bob: Well, I know we didn’t talk too much in the beginning of high school and it wasn’t until we were in summer gym classes together that we really started to speak more and become friends.
I always thought it was cool that you were in choir. I admired people who could not only sing, but also have the guts to perform in the school plays and color guard. I think we really bonded when you asked me to read the book you began writing. Reading and writing were always things you loved to do since I’ve known you and it hasn’t changed because now you’re writing your blog!
So looking back you were still reserved kind of like you are now, but not as much as before. With Autism, I know it must be hard to openly talk to and be around people so being reserved like that makes sense now. You also have always enjoyed music and I think it was a way you could escape from social interactions without even intentionally knowing it.
4) What kind of positive changes have you seen in me in the last year? How have I grown or changed?
Billy Bob: I have seen so many positive changes in you, not only this past year, but since I’ve known you. Since opening up about your Autism you’ve been able to share a part of yourself that you were afraid to share (which, like I said before, you have every right to be nervous!) Like I stated earlier it is not easy to open up about something that is new to you for the fear of being judged, not understood, etc.
I’m so grateful that we’ve become closer every year of our friendship and still continue to become closer. And we’ve learned a lot about each other and our similarities by continuing to talk and by even playing that silly Facebook quiz game (the one where we had to guess each other’s responses lol).
Also having the courage to start a blog to talk to the world about what you are going through is amazing. I don’t think the Sara in high school would have done that so I’m so proud of you for coming so far. And you even spoke on a podcast, which was fantastic and also a new experience you’ve conquered! So keep it up because you’re making wonderful positive changes. ☺
5) What do you think about Seeking Sara? What kinds of things are still unclear to you? What would you like me to write about in the future?
Billy Bob: So I think you already know this but I think Seeking Sara is wonderful. It is a great way to express all your new adventures and everything that you’ve gone through in this journey of life. It is also a great way to showcase your photography because I really like your pictures.
You’ve been able to explain what you are going through so as of right now there is nothing unclear for me, but if something comes up you know I will ask lol. And keep writing the content that you have because I cannot wait to read more! ☺
A huge, huge thank you to “Billy Bob” for being so gracious and agreeing to do this interview, especially alone! You are fantastic!
The next interview will be with my wife! Stay tuned for that next week.
Thanks for reading!
[image description: A picture of yellow flowers with a big white rectangle placed on top of it. Text on a blue box reads, “Interviewing A High School Friend About My Autistic Self.” The words “New Friends” are written in yellow while the rest is written in white.]