Lisa D. (chaoticidealism) wrote,
Lisa D.
chaoticidealism

Sometimes I Wish I Weren't Autistic

Sometimes I wish my Asperger's didn't cause all these hang-ups. Sometimes I meet autistic people who desperately want to be normal. I used to think that being normal, being "one of the girls", was important. Sometimes I still get annoyed that my life seems so uncertain, and that so much of this uncertainty is  tied in with autistic traits that make me such a mismatch for the rest of the world.
There are whole communities of autistic people who don't mind being autistic or even prefer it; a majority of the parents of autistic children would say that their kids are loved and their childhoods are decently happy, despite their autism. And not all of those autistic people are high-functioning, either. Autism's caused me trouble; but it's part of my life, part of my personality. Why not be proud of who I am? Why not, at the very least, accept it and work my life around it, rather than banging my head against it?

Yeah, there are times when the thought pops into my head: Life would be better if I were NT. When I get passed over as a job because I couldn't impress the interviewer; when I get stuck in the middle of the room trying to figure out what I was trying to do; when I can't memorize formulas; when I can't recognize my friends... But it seems like, the second after I think, "I wish I didn't have Asperger's," my mind comes back with, "But this is who you are; you wouldn't be yourself without it." And, of course, if I were NT, I'd still have problems; just different ones. Life involves problems for everybody, whether they're due to a bad romance, a stressful job, or a neurological condition.

It's possible to be happy and autistic. All those people show it's possible. And it's also possible to be unhappy and neurotypical. The grass is always greener, they say... It's a metaphor that means that what you don't have always seems better to you than what you do have; and the point is that it's better to learn to appreciate what your life is now, rather than to try to get something that it isn't--especially if that something is impossible or not, in the long run, worth it.

You're not settling for second-best if you accept yourself as autistic. Take it from somebody who knows both what it's like to hate yourself and then to finally accept yourself... No matter how impaired you are, no matter how many people are prejudiced against you, you make it worse when you are prejudiced against yourself, and it gets better when you decide to accept yourself--impairments and all--as a worthwhile person with a worthwhile life.
Tags: autism, identity, quality of life
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