I haven’t got Asperger’s, they’ve told me, because I’m too social. I understand what others think too well. I’m not impaired enough. I’m not on the spectrum. No, I don’t need help.
This has happened before, and it keeps happening. And it will probably happen for as long as I interact with NT people… the rest of my born days, no doubt.
People tell me I can’t possibly be on the autism spectrum, because I’m too empathetic, too socially engaging, not sensitive enough, too “normal”… too much like other people, to be neurodiverse.
What they do not — cannot — see, is what goes on inside.
- How much it hurts — HURTS! –– to be in my skin.
- How painful the sound of my car is, when it “beeps” as it locks.
- How painful the sun is, when it glints off the chrome of passing cars.
- How my skin feels like it’s peeling off my bones, when someone lays a hand on my arm.
- How I explode silently, internally, when things mess up, or I hit a breaking point.
- How I manage to recover from an awkward moment and pipe up with a quip that dispels the discomfort.
Nobody knows this.
And I can’t even begin to explain it to people.
Because I learned a long time ago, how to take a hit – and keep going. Get knocked down, get the wind taken out of my sails, get slammed, ridiculed, pushed away, stomped on, ignored, attacked…. all of it… and keep going.
Just keep going.
Without letting on that anything is wrong.
I seem fine. I act fine. I fit in. I blend.
I stim in private. In silence. Rocking behind the curtain of the shower, when I am the only one around. Hands in my pockets, where no one can see my fingers rubbing the tissue into shreds.
I am the architect of my own solitude.
But what other choice do I honestly have?