That is one of my favorite words you know. Discombobulation. Confused.
It’s exhausting to me to be aspie/have asperger’s/ASD (I test, for what it matters, high on the scale of female traits for ASD diagnosis, meaning I’m more autistic than aspie.)
98% of the time I adore my brain, I love how it stores and retrieves information. I love it that I rarely forget anything and I love my nigh eidetic memory. I enjoy my gift of words and my ability to transport my readers into a different experience for a short time. If I could choose to be neurotypical, I’d choose to remain neurodiverse.
When it comes to being social though, that’s where it gets bloody exhausting.
I can fuck up the simplest social interaction and turn it awkward, in seconds it seems.
If I’m trying, for instance to share an experience I’ve had with someone I respect and like, 50% or higher chance that it’ll be perceived wrong, because of how my brain works.
I won’t even know I’ve fucked up until later, when I lose a friend or have offended someone or I get called out for something I didn’t even know I’d done wrong.
Sad thing is, half the time I still, even after getting called on something, won’t understand, intrinsically, what I’ve done that offended.
I can file the information away in my computer like brain and avoid situations like that in the future, avoid the people involved, but I won’t ever really understand it. I can and do sincerely apologize when I fuck up, it happens, I’m human. Even when I’m trying really hard to get along and function in a society made up of a majority of neurotypical individuals, I still screw up. I apologize, try to learn and move on as best I can.
That doesn’t mean I’m any less confused as to how and why something went wrong.
1 in 68 children are identified as having some form of ASD. I’m going to round that figure out to being around 1 in 50, because I know a lot of parents who are in absolute denial about their children having ASD because of social stigma. (That’s personally know, so I’m guessing it’s widespread.) That means that at least 1 in 50 adults is on the Autistic Spectrum.
Most adults know at least 50 people, can you look around you in your life and identify which ones are on the spectrum? No?
I talk about it a lot on my blog, but most people in my life deny I’m ASD, despite diagnosis, because I pass so well. Because I have excellent coping mechanisms learned through tons of trial and error. Because I’m intelligent, I hold a job, I’m a parent. I’m not what the social stigma of ASD says it’s supposed to be.
1 in 50. Do you know who around you, in your life is struggling every second of every damned day just to understand the way the rest of the world thinks and functions? Who feel such massive emotional pain when they can’t?
Who gets their heart broken, repeatedly, by fucking up socially? Who rarely if ever sees themselves in fiction, and if they do, it’s often wrong?
Who wonders if today, maybe, might be the day they finally say fuck it to trying to fit in socially and becomes a hermit? It’s looking awfully nice today, for me.
Why is it always the Neurodiverse who have to learn to navigate around those who are Neurotypical? Most of us with ASD have pretty clear rules that we’re happy to communicate to others if asked.
Don’t lie to me: I can almost always tell and I’d prefer a harsh truth to a social lie. I find it incredibly disrespectful to me as a thinking, feeling person when I’m lied to.
Don’t embarrass me in public: If you have a problem with me, address it privately if at all possible. There’s history here of being bullied and tortured for not fitting in as a kid, and it’s a common thread for ASD people. Calling me out in public on anything, calling attention to me = a PTSD reaction for me. (I’d hazard to say to a lot of people with ASD have this reaction, especially adults). It’s incredibly unpleasant, terrifying. Please don’t do this to me. I’m accessible. My email is public, my DM’s and PM’s are open for this reason.
Don’t break a promise to me: If you promise something, deliver, if you can’t follow through, apologize. I take words literally, words such as oath, promise and honor mean something concrete to me.
Own your own shit and don’t put your issues on me: It’s not my fault that I’m wired differently and I don’t understand a neurotypical person any more than it’s their fault that they don’t understand me. I guarantee that I’m at least trying, it’s the only way I can survive as a person with ASD in a largely neurotypical world. Can you say the same? Are you trying to understand neurodiverse individuals? Do you apologize if you fuck up?
If the answer is no, maybe think about that?