So Nattily at Notes on Crazy is doing this Point, Counterpoint, Actual Point series, which I think is a great idea. And I have had all these little thoughts sneaking at me telling me that I am lying about actually being autistic and all these things that point against it. And I've been making up this list of ideas and thoughts and reasons for a long time and wasn't really sure what to do with it, but this seemed like a wonderful format. So I thought this would be a good idea. So here is my contribution.
I am autistic.
I can't be autistic because...
- I love holidays! Many many many people don't seem to, for understandable reasons.
- I hate videogames. I just find them non-interesting, loud, and loud, and loud. And also we were never allowed to play them/own them growing up, so maybe I just never started in by the necessary age. (All the socializations/meet-ups for autistic adults in my (home) area seemed to involve video games).
- I am not always bothered by fluorescent lights. I live in a very environmentally friendly house and my father is obsessed with lighting. (We get some sort of light every year for Christmas) so my house has always had CFL's. I thought that was just what lights were. (Although sometimes when the fluorescent lights are panels like in some classrooms, they flicker and hum. But not all the time, so I am not sure.
- I love fireworks and lightning (such pretty patterns!)
- I have a boyfriend and friends.
- I was never horribly bullied (I was mildly bullied, but not frequently or really with all that much effort. I think I was usually just ignored.)
- I care about my personal appearance when I go out in public (because it's a rule). (Am I successful at actually being presentable... not always, probably. But I do CARE.)
- I love grocery store shopping. (Usually. Although the actual process of getting to stores not so much.)
- I wasn't diagnosed until after I graduated college. Surely they would have caught it earlier in my life if I was really autistic. (And even now, I'm not really "officially diagnosed", but no one even thought of it until I did as an adult.)
I have a habit of overgeneralizing. I read all these lovely people (there's a whole list of them on the sidebar). And then if I see general trends, of anything, things people all seem to do that I don't, or things that I do that they don't, or hobbies or activities, I tend to worry.
And any time I perceive that anything I do is different, I feel a desperate need to justify it completely to everyone else around.
And it's silly.
It's something I shouldn't do. (Because it makes me stressed and sad.)
There is nothing about being autistic that says I have to love videogames. There is nothing about being autistic that says I have to hate holidays.
And things like these are almost always little things.
Little, tiny, specific things that don't matter much.
So I should stop worrying and just be.
(but it's hard)
Sometimes I just need a friendly reminder to myself about this.
That it is ok to be different.
I've spent so much time worrying and trying so hard to fit in to a world that I don't fit in to, that now that I think I may have found one, the old habits still kick in. Everyone else does x, so I should too. Or at least pretend. Normal people do x. Normal autistic people do y.
I can be different from the internet autistic people, and still be autistic. I can be different from the meet-in-person autistic people, and still be autistic. And I can certainly be different from stereotypes of autistic people and still be autistic. Because I am different. That's why I am a different person than they are.
Conclusion: I am autistic, and that is ok. (Actually, that's awesome.)
Labels: autism, autistic?, fitting in, me