One thought I have been trying desperately to quash of late is the gnawing doubt as to whether I actually fit in even amongst my fellow autistics. I have read all the blogs by other autistic people as to how they found the online autistic community and suddenly felt a sense of belonging: like they had come home.
It hasn’t been like that for me.
Yes, the community is awesome! Full of vibrant and interesting individuals, from whom I am learning so much. The problem isn’t you my friends.
It is me.
I see all these people full of passion for their beliefs and engaged in all their diverse interests and I feel lost. I can barely remember what my special interests are, I have no idea what my personality is, I can’t find within myself any sustained will to fight for a cause. I have spent the past 28 years trying desperately to squash my individual, autistic self into a neurotypical mould so I can look just like everybody else.
I have tried to dress like I should, I have tried to love what I should, I have tried to have the opinions I should.
I have tried to not rock the boat.
I have tried to be bland, I have tried to be beige, I have tried to be nice.
What does that even mean: ‘nice’. Really what does it look like?
Smiling? Agreeing? Complimenting?Submitting? All fine in themselves, but I think the key point to really being nice is that you do those things: ALL THE TIME.
Just take a moment to consider that. I am.
I am asking myself to do that all the time. Of course I have lost my identity! I have put not just my needs and wants, but my whole self, below everyone else; not on occasion, but the whole time. And now I am afraid of what will happen if I let myself out of this crippling box I have constrained myself to.
I might offend people. I might be argued with. I might be called names. I might be disliked. I might be ostracised.
But I might also lose this perpetual knot in my stomach brought on by the constant need to censor myself. I might be seen. I might be heard. I might be at peace with myself. I might be passionate. I might be joyful.
It’s a chance. It’s a choice. It is one I must and will make soon.