I sometimes feel like the black sheep of my family…my immediate family, anyway. My oldest sister, Caroline, works for IBM as a consultant and my youngest sister, Abbey, is a nurse extern in Philadelphia. They both live in Philadelphia and have their own places. Me? I am 28 years old, looking for steady work, and am still living at home with my parents. Look, I know my work in the Autism community is invaluable, but I do not feel fulfilled with that. I want a “real” life, outside my parents’ house and my agency. I dropped out of college and Abbey and Caroline both attended Drexel in Philly. Caroline graduated and Abbey is close to graduating. I tried college, but it didn’t work out. I feel like I am just more “annoying” than anything to my parents. We argue a lot. My mom and I are close, but my dad and I get on each other’s nerves all the time. I want to work and have a steady income outside of Social Security. I want to live on my own, or with Allie the love of my life. I am the only one in my family with a diagnosis of Autism, so I feel left out in that sense, too. I am not bitching about my diagnosis by any means, but I can’t be the only one with a diagnosis of Autism who feels maybe misunderstood. I am the only one in my family with legit health issues, that I know of. I have metal in my body in the form of a pacemaker and a sheet of metal and screws in my arm. I feel everyone in my family, especially my Uncle John, are really protective of me due to my Autism diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the concern, but I think I can fend for myself on some fronts. If someone is getting on my nerves, I don’t need someone to stick up for me. I am perfectly capable of defending myself with smart-ass comebacks. On the other hand, there are situations I do need some help with. So I do have a supportive family, sure, but I have to wonder if it is because of my diagnosis. I feel I am successful in the advocacy regard, but in other ways, I feel left out. I feel like the black sheep of the family. I want to know other peoples’ opinion or outlook on this. Does anyone else, especially people on the Spectrum, feel “left out” or like and outsider or “black sheep” of their family? As always, thanks for reading!