The whole concept of passing as neurotypical has captured my imagination, of late.
It’s more than just passing, though. There’s more to it.
And it occurs to me that, perhaps… perhaps… I’ve worked less at trying to fit in with other girls and women and hew to the NT female norms, than I have worked at staying just invisible enough to keep out of sight of people who will punish for not being normal enough… for causing trouble.
Those people can include:
- parents – my own and others – they can be so invested in making sure kids conform to their standards
- other girls – who are the arbiters of what is good and right behavior / interests / priorities, when you’re a kid
- other women – who pick up the adult version of what other girls do when you’re young
- authority figures – who are charged with keeping people on the straight and narrow, so society functions per usual
- bosses – who are charged with making sure you’re productive and a good team player… or cutting you from the team, if you’re not
- employers – who may have protections in place for people like me, but don’t always back institutional props with understanding & support in the ranks
- police – who are charged to serve and protect the dominant social paradigm
- insurance companies – who get awfully antsy if you’ve got a “condition” that could prove expensive over time
- medical providers – who all too often (for my liking) have “a pill for that” and don’t invest the time in actually understanding my real needs
I’m gender non-conforming (GNC), so I’ve never actually blended that well with other women. Then again, I haven’t always been 100% GNC. Privately, yes, but not openly. There have been many, many years in my past, when I did fit in fairly well (thanks in no small part, to the unwillingness of others to see me for what I was).
And the root cause for my attemps at compliance, I think, has really been about not wanting to be punished.
Because I got punished a lot as a kid — for things I didn’t realize I’d done. I was “disobedient”, “defiant”, “beligerent”, but that was news to me… especially when I was a little kid.
As I got older, I alternated between not giving a damn and doing what I pleased and actually being all the things that I was told I was… and trying like crazy to NOT be those things. Always wondering, have I done it right? Am I going to get in trouble? Is someone going to be offended by me? Am I going to be punished for something I didn’t know I did?
Blending to get along with others is one thing.
But blending to just stay out of trouble and not draw attention… that’s something different.