I realize I don’t explicitly discuss autism on this blog very often. It’s because I’m autistic; it’s an intrinsic part of my perception and life, as is PTSD, and my ongoing battle against depression. On my journey to becoming my best self, I encounter many allies who share their experiences and understand every aspect of my struggles. Some are also autistic, but many carry luggage with different labels.
I’ve learned to apply caution when inviting others into my world. It’s a painful, repetitive lesson. I’m aware of other autistic people who choose to be hateful while gleefully invalidating those who don’t have a formal diagnosis. (As if the medical community has even managed to produce definitive criteria that can pass a casual bullshit test.) I’ve encountered people with mental or physical illnesses who decide to be mean and spiteful to others for who and what they are; as if it’s something anyone can control. Their pain hasn’t yet taught them of its presence in the lives of all who live.
In hindsight, I’m always embarrassed by my naivetè. I admit I once assumed marginalized people automatically possessed a more profound understanding and compassion for those who also suffer. It’s brought me a great deal of pain as I recognize my mistake. Going forward, I hope to be wiser. It hurts so much to know there are people on this planet with whom I must guard my heart.
I still feel like a new member of the autism community, years after discovering the online fellowship: especially now that I’ve seen the pettiness and hatred spewed between members. The irony is particularly disturbing; autistic people who shun other autistics for being different than themselves in their challenges and experiences. 😲 🙄
I remember when I was thrilled to learn about neurodiversity and finally recognize my tribe. I’m sad to realize it’s not as inclusive as I once thought. I remember how lonely I was, and I didn’t expect alienation from fellow aliens. Nevertheless, I’m incredibly grateful for those who do accept and support me. I cherish the love and fellowship of others also journeying on the path to their best selves. It matters not to me what baggage or labels others carry, so long as they walk with kindness, compassion, and sincerity.
I’ve learned it’s easy to embrace diversity among humans. I celebrate it. It enriches my life, stretches my mind, and strengthens my spirit. The smallest bit of effort ensures I can relate to anyone I choose. No matter how we’re different, we’re all human. We’re all incredible individuals who decide what we will become through our choices. Thanks to those who help me grow. 💜
Thirty-three days until the Fleetwood Mac concert! (Performs the pre-choreographed dance routine.) 🙃✌🏽
Delayed P.S. I’m sorry I said money is the only god on this planet. It’s been eating at me ever since, but I only just figured out it’s also why I haven’t been able to sleep. I’m sorry. 💜