I am about as autistic as they come.  

solitary figure standing alone with fractal designs in the sky around them

Autos = Greek for “Self”.

-ism = word-forming element making nouns implying a practice, system, doctrine, etc

Autism = extreme practice / system / doctrine of the Self.

Self-referencing.

Self-consulting.

Self-absorbed.

For me, that’s the only — the only  — way I can effectively create. And think. And live.

Other people’s input is fine for them to offer, but it’s for them. Not for me. I cannot abide having input from others into what I’m doing, while I’m doing it. Every now and then, I’ll make an exception for works that are intended for a wider audience. But the works I create for myself, and for the sake of creating — totally, 100% Autistic. and that’s absolutely perfect.

Balance… balance.

The danger, of course, comes from my developed way of relating to the rest of the world. I know I am different. I have no desire to conform. So, I keep myself to myself, and I meet others where they are. I model my behavior after theirs, when we are interacting. I meet them as they are, where they are. I walk through a foreign world, a stranger in a strange land, and very few people have an inkling that there is more to me than what meets their eye and ear. I speak a million “languages” fluently, and I “pass” as neurotypical with the best of them. I master their modes, which are not difficult to mimic, and I speak to them in their own vernacular. So we can meet, interact, and part ways without undue friction.

When in Rome…

I don’t do this because I’m afraid. I don’t do it because I have a gnawing need to fit in. I don’t do it because I’m ashamed of myself. I do it out of respect for the relationship, the connection, the interaction which becomes larger than the two of us and sets the stage for other interactions they have with the world. It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than them. And it’s important. Because this is how peace starts — at the place where I know I am so much “enough” that I can check myself at the door and put myself at the service of the interaction, the connection, the humanity of the situation.

I am completely different from what most people think I am. Everyone has a different “version” of me in their heads, whether they know me in person, or they know me online. It’s not because I have no solid identity of my own. It’s because I have such a strongly solid identity, that I can put it aside for the time I’m interacting with others, for the sake of the interaction. For the sake of peace. I’m not neglecting myself. I’m seeing something larger, something brighter, something more valuable than just satisfying my own need to be seen and accommodated.

I have my limitations. I have may disabilities. I have my challenges. But in those times when the situation calls for strength, I can find that, too. And let that take the lead. Because it’s needed.

I am completely different from what most people think I am. And that’s fine. Everyone sees and experiences what they need most, so who am I, actually?

I’m autistic. I am completely self-referencing in all the most important ways that make me who and what I am. And that’s no more  “disordered” or “pathological” than being a native Spanish speaker in a small town in northern Wisconsin.

Yes, I am treated differently. Yes, I am sometimes seen as too different for comfort. But that’s simply because nobody around me speaks my native language — not that I am any less intelligent, any less capable, any less human, than all the native English speakers of a certain dialect who never bother to learn my “language”.

I am a refugee in the midst of allistic neurotypicals, every time I leave the “home” of my inner world to interact with the standard-issue world around me. I am an expat, a changeling, a foreigner… a bit of an intruder, to be honest.

But unlike so many, I can always return to my “home”. The safety of my mind, my heart, my inner world which bears to resemblance to the ugly, hateful, divisive creation of individuals who are so desperate to prove to themselves that they matter and they exist, that they will destroy everything and everyone around them, just for a fleeting instant of relief from their own self-imposed misery.

And to that home I withdraw. I haven’t been doing that nearly enough, lately. I’m starting again. This weekend was a beginning. Re-training myself to retreat… to know when it makes more sense to fall back than to engage. Protection, pro-active protection from a world created by people who don’t care if everything goes up in flames… so long as they can believe they’re right.

I’ll be back. Of course, I’ll be back. But I’m also learning the value of postponing that inevitable resurfacing.

So there is something of me left to resurface.

3 thoughts on “I am about as autistic as they come.  

  1. Liberty of Thinking

    It’s barely 7am around here, and MY life seems again worth living it MY way, after reading your thoughts. We might share some (collective…) mind, as my past 48 hours revolved around the same ideas about the value of living MY life, MY way, even to the extent of floting my comfort bubble around on this truly wrong planet. Realising that for ME, my own SELF is not “just” a collection of individual characteristics, but a perfect world, opened a whole new chapter in the sometimes painful process of liberating myself from the slavery imposed on me, to attempt pleasing my surroundings, the people who claim to see the bigger picture, but miserably fail to see other people as vital details of these pictures. I see the absolute value of the SELF, which is not only a person, ME, but also a place which I can identify as “within” where I can find MYSELF. And I absolutely agree with your critique of the NT world, it’s just hard to realise that this world still acts as a trap unless a ND finds their way back within themselves. And yes, interaction is important for all the practical reasons, but it should be MY choice, not my chain…
    May I reblog, please?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Liberty of Thinking

    Reblogged this on Aspergreatness – Liberty of Thinking and commented:

    Realising that for ME, my own SELF is not “just” a collection of individual characteristics, but a perfect world, opened a whole new chapter in the sometimes painful process of liberating myself from the slavery imposed on me, i.e. the attempt of pleasing my surroundings, the people who claim to see the bigger picture, but miserably fail to see others as vital details of these pictures.
    I started to see the absolute value of the SELF, which is not only a person, ME, but also a place which I can identify as “within”, where I can find MYSELF. And I absolutely agree with the writer’s critique of the allistic world; it’s just hard to realise that this world still acts as a trap unless the neurodivergent finds their way back within themselves. And yes, interaction is important for all the practical reasons, but it should be MY choice, not my chain…

    Liked by 2 people

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