Hey, everyone. Yeah, it’s time we have some real talk. I have two things I need to get off my chest today.
First, I’ve been reading Aspergirls by Rudy Simone. I haven’t done the ‘sit down and binge read until the book is finished and then the overwhelming reality of it being over sets in’ thing with this one. It’s been more of a ‘sit down and read a chapter or two at night and contemplate life’ sort of book. I’m not even to the half done point yet, but I wanted to say this.
I’m not fond of Simone. I think she over exaggerates the victimization of females with Asperger’s and Autism. Then again, I don’t really feel like I have much room to criticize her on it because she seems a bit more socially aware than I am. I say this mostly because I have a hard time telling when I’m being bullied, if I even notice it. She mentions PTSD and anxiety issues a lot. I can agree on some of those points in her personal narrative throughout what I’ve read so far.
Putting her opinions aside and focusing more on the stories and problems that she and the others mentioned in her book have, I have never, ever, in my entire life, felt the way I do now. I’m reading this book and I’m going “I have that issue. I’ve experienced that. Oh my various heathen gods, she could be writing about me.” For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m not alone.
Now, I know I’m not alone to begin with. I know there are others that have experienced my problems in life. There are others who have worse lives than me. There are others that have the same diagnosis as me and others that think I have the same diagnosis as them. People who think I’m a certain way because of the “I’m awesome” front I put up.
To be completely honest, even though I fit the symptoms and could sit down and agree “yes, sure, this Asperger/Autism thingy fits me, I guess”, I saw it as nothing more than a label to put on me because people get tired of my bullshit. “No two Autistic people are the same”. “Everyone’s problems are their own”. “Everyone is unique in their own special way”. Yes yes, I get that. I took those things a bit literally.
I thought that it was basic social idiocy on my part. My inability to see through other people’s eyes. The sensory issues. I thought those things were what made me Autistic and those things were unique to me. That is, to clarify, no one could help me because I’m the only one with these issues so I have to deal with it myself. Obviously, there was some sort of miscommunication and lack of awareness on my part to reach this conclusion. I mean, it was depressing. I felt as though I were stuck on an island surrounded by people who could swim and they wanted me to swim, only I had no arms and no legs. If I tried to swim, I would only end up drowning. Does that make sense?
But reading this book. My problems aren’t the only problems of their kind. Loads of other people experience the same sort of shit I do. They experience it and they’ve learned to cope and they know how hard it is to keep remembering to cope. It’s like there are suddenly people swimming who also have no arms and no legs and they can help me learn to swim. I’m not some sort of oddity who is hopeless and helpless and doomed to failure. I’m learning that Autism is just a random label they slap on people who don’t fit a certain mold. It’s an actual neurological thing. It’s becoming real, less of an abstract.
I’m reading this book and realizing there are people who understand me and who I understand. Not just in the “I knew you were using sarcasm and idioms right there” or “x+y=z” sort of understanding. I’m talking the deep understanding of how another person thinks. The girls in the book, I feel if I were to meet them in real life, we’d be able to have verbal conversations without the trouble that I’ve always experienced. I feel like I can finally connect with people and understand in a way I never thought I could. It’s almost like a switch was flipped in my head and now I just have that understanding. I am not alone. I honestly want to cry because it’s sort of overwhelming.
The second thing I wanted to talk about was that I sat, thought upon it, meditated upon it, and finally came to an answer. I think I may have some control issues. When there is a lot of conversation going on around me, I have to try and steer it towards a subject that everyone has to take turns discussing or it’s too much for me to handle. It’s not fair to other people that I go “this is what we’re talking about today because fuck you, I said so”. It’s not put that way, but I’ve noticed that I tend to be louder in groups than with individuals. I think it’s because, if I’m louder, others will not be so loud to me and I can control my audial intake. It’s flawed logic and I’m willing to try and let go of that a little bit.
Likewise, I argue with Charon a lot, even though I know there’s nothing to argue about and I’m arguing just to argue, because that’s when I can control the conversation. It’s hard for me to think things up on the spot with her because she makes me think, so I often become contrarian so I don’t look stupid. It’s not really effective. It’s one thing to debate, an entirely different thing to argue.
Well, that’s the thing for today. I’m going to force cuddle my cat because it’s supposed to start storming in a bit.
-The Sarcastic Autist