It’s weird how something as mundane as someone jokingly bumping into me can trigger a shutdown or a meltdown. Happened to me yesterday, while i was trying to maintain my “Neurotypical mask” at work.
This person kept ramming herself against me, because i told her that she represented an “obstacle” between me and the person i needed to talk to (i was trying to crack a joke like NT tend to do, in order to fit in a little bit better.). Needless to say, i wasn’t really productive after that.
I left my work crying, barely able to walk or to think, and i went to my bed for the rest of the evening, curled up, tired and yet unable to sleep. This kind of thing tend to happen to me at least twice a week, for the most mundane reasons.
Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, i often wish i could be stronger, more resistant. Yes, sometimes, i hate myself and i think of me as weak. Do I blame my autism for all of that ? Do i wish that my autism could just go away ? No. Absolutely not.
I blame society for its ableism. I blame this system for making me afraid to say the words “Please, don’t touch me like that, i’m autistic and it upsets me”.
I blame society for making me not being able to be upfront about my diagnosis, without risking to lose my job, my independance, my right to vote (i saw a documentary recently about autistic people in France. And yeah, one of them clearly stated that he was not allowed to vote…), my freedom.
Relatives of autistic people, ask yourself if the problems your autistic relatives are facing, and your own issues, are really due to their autism or if the real problem is the way society is shaped.
Society is putting a deep pressure on those who are deemed different (because of their disability, sexuality, skin tone and so on) and being “out” and proud about who you are and your difference is shameful and should be repressed, by society’s standards.
Support your autistic relatives. Help them. Love them. Try to understand them. And, most of all, listen to them, whatever way they’re using to communicate with you.
And you, my dear autistic readers, here’s a reminder to you : you’re awesome, you’re so strong to handle everything that society is putting up on us and you’re definitely worthy of love