… because frankly they don’t believe it’s even possible.
I have a whole range of projects going concurrently — art, writing, publishing, web / app development, historical studies, home repair projects, nationally syndicated broadcasts, 9-5 high tech programs — each of which is deeply important and symbolic to me, and really places me in the world.
However, I can’t really discuss it with other people much (especially neurotypical / non-autistic folks), because they frankly don’t realize how much is actually possible, and they don’t realize how important this whole range of activity is to who I am and how I am in the world. They see it as a sort of neurosis, a compulsion, a sign that something is terribly wrong, rather than recognizing it means that something is wonderfully right.
Because I process, because I see things differently, and because I first said about understanding how things are put together before I commence, I can assemble and accomplish an amazing array of things, which most neurotypical individuals can’t even begin to fathom. And if I talk to them about what I’m doing, they can react with a combination of incredulity and disbelief and also insecurity. Among professionals, that can translate into pathology. And misdiagnosis. And prescriptions of meds that are supposed to “fix” me.
I have no wish to be more pathologized than I already a.m., and I have no desire to constantly try to convince neurotypical people of the fact that yes, it can be done, so I just don’t bring up my Work in conversation. The net result, is a deep and lasting sense of isolation in the world, a sense that I am underestimated and misunderstood, and that I could never be properly “estimated”, because it’s impossible for people to understand it’s me.
I keep so much out of sight, away from non-autistic people for the sake of self-defense.
This becomes an issue when seeking help from mental health providers, especially because they can never really build a comprehensive understanding what I am and what I do and what I am capable of achieving, because I am so busy protecting myself from the ill-effects of their insecurity, their disbelief, and their eagerness to pathologize traits about me which are pretty normal, even core to my personality and identity.
I live in constant anxiety about people finding out just how much I do, and how well I do it, because they cannot — will not — wrap their heads around what’s possible. And I have a hell of a time connecting with other equally driven individuals, because I just run out of steam. Battery low. In the red, by the end of each day I’m out there in the non-autistic world, making a living.
Will I ever be recognized for what I do — can do — have done?
Perhaps not in my lifetime.