Submitted by: bluejacky.xanga.com
This is a comment I wrote to an invitation from autisable.com to submit a story about autism, knowing someone with autism, dealing with autism, etc.
I’m autistic. I’ve worked very hard all my life to pass for normal. It’s excruciatingly difficult. I’m one of the lucky ones, on the high functioning level, but started off a ~really~ difficult child. I was strongly forced as a child to pretend to be normal, so I have kept my real self hidden most of my life, not realizing I shine like a beacon to everyone around me anyway, because I’m ‘weird’. In spite of being socially deficit and difficult to be friends for long with, I got a degree, got married, raised kids, and held jobs. I learned only in the last 3 years I am one of the really lucky ones, not only surviving without any help, but slowly ‘waking up’ to understanding and being able to learn beyond my limitations.
I started my own blog last year at bluejacky.xanga.com during Autism Awareness month, and over the year have had many referral hits from search engines for topics not openly discussed on the internet, or even in person. I noticed that many people with autism either don’t care to get technical and tell everyone about themselves, or it’s just not in their nature to tackle something like this head on. I have been gifted with language usage (as opposed to prodigy math skills, like some), and I can easily whip out 10,000 words in a short time. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find comparable context for my experiences with autism, so I started sharing my life on my blog.
On my blog I tackle many issues, everything from the media witch hunt on autism to the taboo of self stim. Aside from my ‘aspie’ articles, which are grouped under a navigation button called “aspie stuff” for easy reading, I also decided to ‘be myself’ about everything else in my life, looking at marriage, chronic illness, and many other things through aspie eyes. Once in awhile I’ll run into another blog that sort of goes into a little detail on living with autism, but for the most part, it seems to me that being autistic or having Asperger’s is so controversial right now, and so much negative attention in the public eye to either fix it or prevent it, who in their right mind (pun, ha) would admit to having it? From my own point of view, that’s a form of genocide or eugenics! I don’t *want* to lose who I am!
*I* am autistic, and I’m NOT BROKEN. I survived not being ‘normal’, and I’m emotionally healthy, according to psyche testing and my psychologist. Yes I have my ups and downs, yes I drive other people around me crazy, but I no longer feel guilty for or apologize for that. I was born this way, it’s NOT a disease, and I think we’re reaching a point in human psychological history where we need to examine Tolerance in Mental Diversity.
I have so much to say, and I would love to allow autisable to help me say it, but it’s a lot of work transferring all my articles to a new blog. I’m going to make this comment a blog post and submit the link so my autisable blog that stands as a door to my xanga blog. I would love to see people WITH autism start coming out of the closet here on autisable. I’m not alone. We grew up as difficult children, we became the freaks and geeks of this generation, and those of us who have managed to break through and learn to really communicate might really surprise you. I hope this works, I hope it helps, but we have to be patient. It was a big step for me, and I’m sure it will be for others.
In one of my articles I compare autistic people to horses. People who know how to handle horses well are able to get the best ouf the horse. People who simply ‘break’ them and mold their instincts to fit a pattern of acceptable behavior only wind up with dull witted broken horses.
I’m so thankful autisable is here to bring all the different viewpoints together- parent, child, grown child, autistic parent raising more children… I see autism as a social deficit and autonomic nervous system overload FIRST, as a problem for other people *second*. I was expected by a rigid parent to adapt beyond my challenges without addressing the challenges, which is quite a feat in itself. I sometimes imagine the life I’d have now if I’d had more adaptive parents, the heights I could have reached. I am so thrilled that we are reaching a point in our human history where we can come together and discuss these things like this.