Autism: A Love|Hate Relationship

I see posts “I love being autistic” and “I hate being autistic”. Quite often (almost all) do not say why. Being autistic, I want to to know why. I want to know why about everything :). I will try to give you some whys about my feelings on the topic. Why do I love being autistic and why do I hate it.

I love the sensitivity - for me walking from a warm carpet to a cool hardwood floor is intensely erotic. Feeling the grit of concrete scraping my feet as I skip along the sidewalk while smelling the Ancient Guardian’s pipe smoke is exciting in ways I cannot make words for. The bark of a tree scratching my hands while I climb  makes me shiver.

And I hate the sensitivity. The fear that has no basis when I see sudden flashes of light. The rage when a fluorescent light flickers. The need to hide from fireworks displays that I know are miles away. The meltdowns from a flashing image on my computer screen.

I hate that I cannot make mouth noise without major effort because I do not think in words. That I cannot say what I think because there are no words for the smell of Baby’s breath in the morning when she forces a kiss on me before I’m even awake. That I cannot tell her how it feels to me.

I love that I think in experience. That every time I think of Baby’s greeting it includes the feeling of her weight pressing down, the smell of her breath, the image of her face, the feel of her skin on mine. That every mention of something becomes an experience (once I decipher the words). That reading of climbing a tree becomes the feel of bark, the smell of pine, the stickiness of sap.

I hate that when I get annoyed it becomes a flaming forest fire of rage.

I love that when I get pleased it becomes an erotic delight that makes me shiver.

I hate it when I do not understand words. There is no “I love” to go with this. I cannot think of a good side to not understanding mouth noise. I don’t even get a break from not hearing it - I have to hear it and deal with my brain trying to make sense of it and failing (like hearing a language similar to your own but not the same so you constantly try to translate and fail).

There are some logic things my brain does behind the scenes that I love - but they are behind the scenes and I haven’t been able to describe them. They are useful enough that people hire me to do computer work in spite of the cost of making places safe for me, so they must be good things.

Overall, I would not recommend being born autistic. It’s not a horrible fate, but it’s not the best option. An elf in a forest in a land with dragons, and knights in shiny armor, and wizards of great wisdom would be better. Choose that.

There are things about being autistic.