Just Starting

I have been writing this blog for a long time. I have been living with autism (aspergers) for a long time. I have been learning how to seem normal for a long time.

What I haven’t been doing for a long time is learning how to be autistic.

It might seem strange that I would need to learn to be autistic since I have autism, but it’s the reality. I have learned to suppress everything that comes natural to me. I have learned not to stim in public, not to have special interests or at least not talk about them like I want to, not to have meltdowns around others.

And in all non-autistic circles, this is all a great success. I am high functioning. I am as close as you come to “cured”.

But… In autistic circles, I feel like a failure or at least a novice. I don’t know how to allow myself to be autistic. I don’t know how to be comfortable with being autistic. I don’t know if I even want to be autistic.

Is there a middle ground? Can I be autistic and normal and different and perfectly me all at the same time? Do I have to choose between living an autistic life or living a lie? Is that even what the choices are?

Like I said, I’m just starting to learn how to be autistic. But it is overwhelming sometimes. I thought learning about autism would make me feel less alone, but in some ways I have felt more alone.

I’m just starting… Just starting to try to find my place in the world. Please be patient. Please be kind. I don’t know where I’m going and I’m just starting a journey to a destination that I’m not even sure exists.

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10 thoughts on “Just Starting

  1. I know very little about Autism, I know you wrote a great post and one that should be on the locally. I can’t live in the darkness and sunshine at same time. The extra stress I would think is hard if trying to walk the journey alone. Why do you feel okay (perfect) with one crowd. Why do you feel different friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have Bipolar Disorder. We challenges may look different but we are both human. That is what you should expect from everyone.
    You are very strong to keep looking for way to bring the two worlds together.
    🙂
    M

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      • We all have our challenges, some work them out others don’t. It takes a determination and unconditional love from someone special. I had drug problem, abuse from both of my parents, at times I felt there was no way but down. My grandparents loved me, didn’t like what I did but they never stopped loving me. It was thru their love that helped me gain confidence. You sound like a young woman who is finding her way. Just don’t sacrifice who you are, figure out what you’re core beliefs are and don’t sacrifice to suit anyone.
        Take care and keep in touch.
        Melinda

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  2. What a fascinating observation. I’d never thought of this before. I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel you should need to cloak yourself behind this mask of ‘normal’. It would be far simpler if those around you had instead given you the space and freedom to be unique instead. But I know the world isn’t that simple, isn’t that grown up yet. One day maybe. Great blog. Ned.

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    • Possibly the strangest thing about how I feel is that no one ever told me not to do things. No one ever told me not to flap or not to stim or not to talk too much or anything that would make me stop doing those things. I just learned from experience. I learned that people look at you strange if you do something they don’t do. I learned people get bored and disinterested if you talk about something that doesn’t excite them. Somehow I just learned that everything about me caused problems and I stopped.
      Now I’m starting to learn that it’s okay to be different, but it’s hard to even think about starting again because I have been stopped for so long.

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  3. We’re all trying to find our place in the world–Autism or not! It’s great that you have learned how to manage stimming, etc. when appropriate but also remember to be yourself and follow your heart and intense interests. I believe there Autism can be seen as a gift rather than a disorder. Find how you can use the unique parts of yourself to make a difference. Hugs!

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    • Thanks. I am slowly learning to accept and appreciate autism, but it is a longer journey than I expected. And more lonely than I imagined. It seems that most people who post things are either on one extreme or the other. I feel like I’m forging my own trail because I don’t affiliate with either side, and it’s hard to not feel connected to the autistic community but also know that no one else can fully understand.

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