Allowing Myself to be Autistic

I don’t flap.

At least that’s what I’ve told myself for 20 or so years. (For those of you who don’t know what flapping is, it’s basically waving your hands quickly in up and down motions- often out of excitement and sometimes accompanied with jumping up and down.)

Until recently I believed that flapping was not normal. It simply was not something a person did if they were capable of living a normal life. Now, before you get upset or call me insensitive, try seeing it from my perspective.

The majority of my life has been dedicated to figuring out what is seen as normal so that I can blend in and maybe eventually be accepted. Anything that the majority of individuals don’t do in public is abnormal. And I try to avoid anything in that category.

So I have never flapped in public. (Public being a loose term that to me means any human being in the area or that could potentially see me.) Meaning essentially that I used to never flap because I shared a room or an apartment and there was always the possibility of someone seeing.

Well, after about 20 years, I can happily say I flap. In fact, I flap so much I almost worry that one day I’ll do it in public. But maybe by the time that happens I’ll be okay with being autistic and I won’t mind allowing myself to show that side of me to others.

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7 thoughts on “Allowing Myself to be Autistic

  1. That’s cool. My advice is to flap all you want even in public. Trying to force yourself to be someone you are not doesn’t usually make you happy, it make you self-conscious. Enjoy who you are, rather than who you think others think you should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s definitely going to be a process for me to get that comfortable with people. But baby steps… Maybe one day I’ll be comfortable enough to flap when my family is around, and then maybe with certain friends, and then maybe I can get to the point where it just happens naturally no matter who I’m with.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My son (who is 11 now) has always used this method to help release tension. There is a few amazingly sweet kids at his school who started doing it with him at an assembly one day when he was anxious about all the people and the noise just to help him feel like he wouldn’t be laughed at over it. (I love those children so much for that – so young and yet so understanding). My hubs and I thought it was a great idea so now, when we go somewhere as a family that Colt finds a little overwhelming, we all do it together. Sometimes in the parking lot of the grocery store, sometimes right in the isle. lol! We get the strangest looks but I’m so happy to be able to show him that it’s okay to cope and do the things he needs to do.

    I’m glad to hear you’re giving yourself permission to do something that helps you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Bumbi flaps a lot and if people stare at her when we are in public I start flapping too. She ends up laughing at me and I am sure the onlookers do too, but I don’t care. There is nothing wrong with doing it in public. Sometimes you just have to be yourself. 🙂

    Like

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