I had the privilege of working with a psychiatrist who taught me how to detect autism spectrum disorder in a person. Since then I have pondered over each symptom as if it was a branch on a tree. What I was diagnosed for is how others perceive me if I reveal myself and just am who I am. That made me realize that as a child I grasped what my surroundings disliked and that dislike was really symptoms of my normality. The result has been that I have used all my energy trying my very best to not show anyone who I really am. When I have failed in my quest I have faced serious accusations and consequences.
My thoughts about myself has always been that I am stupid, not understand anything about things I encounter. Other people became gurus knowing truth about life while I was a bystander totally unaware of what took place around me. There has has been a deep desire to actually understand and be a par taker not a bystander. What I did was that I detected what is described as symptoms of autism in today’s diagnostic manual and tried to change my natural reactions to what I perceived to be acceptable ones. This has taught me something new about myself. That could only have been done by someone observant, analytical and intelligent.
People are trying to come up with creative ways to make autism sound as something equal to having a slightly different personality. The truth is that it’s more like having a different system of roots. When I show any sign people suddenly cannot communicate with me any longer, ignores me and dismisses me. If I want to belong I need to adapt. Every time this happens I am reminded of a friend who said “Lotta, it’s okey to have a diagnosis but it is not okey to show symptoms.”
If you tell me you have autism and you are not showing symptoms only tells to me that you have come up with strategies to cover it up to survive. I am well aware that life requires modification from all of us as we are all unique. However, it is important to know that a modification created by non autistic makes it more complex for me to understand. This world is predominately occupied of non autistic people and the rules that govern our mutual interaction is created by that group. Those rules are basically non spoken and something referred to as “things you just know”. Conflicts and problems occur between people without autism so of course there will be more problems adding another way of perceiving practically everything. We differ greatly on the autism spectrum and non autistic differ likewise on the non autistic spectrum. Of course it is a challenge for all of is when we interact with one another.
I strongly believe you would find it exhausting, terrifying, depressing and utterly confusing to live in a world created by autistic individuals. How would that effect your behavior and the way I would perceive that behavior In you?
How much I try not to be autistic and how much you try to convince me that you can’t see I am autistic doesn’t change reality. I can cover it up and you can deny it but the truth still remains. My roots will become branches with leaves that eventually will show. Those leaves will have the same gens as my roots. Our rots have different colors, but doesn’t that just make it all more beautiful?