If you have read any of my previous posts then you will know that when I ask a question it is simply that. I ask a question because I don’t understand something and I would like help, support and advice. I don’t ask questions because I am looking for sympathy or because I am attention seeking. ( I’d love to have some positive attention,but it is not what I am seeking with this question.)
I don’t ask a question because I already know the answer and am trying to be sarcastic – that seems to be the speciality and the presumption of the muggle world – not mine. And, I can’t say this enough, it is not ever never rhetorical. What would be the point of that?
My uncontrollable honesty would tell you if I already knew the answer, and it certainly wouldn’t ask you a question as a game or trick. The other advantage of this honesty is my naive desire to learn and to be better. If I have asked you a question, it is because I want to know and learn and be the best I can be for you and for me. This means that I expect honesty in return and will never be offended by it unless it is intentionally cruel or untrue.
I have probably just answered my own question. Until my recent diagnosis and subsequent research I had no idea that everyone else didn’t adhere to my honesty in their way of living. I guess this is part of the problem, but I still don’t understand why it should be.
If I meet you at the bus stop or on a train, I will probably comment on something funny or interesting or even weird that is happening around us. I have thoughts and questions wizzing and whirling and will be hoping that you enjoy hearing them and will want to join in with your own thoughts and questions. Until diagnosis it never occured to me that you wouldn’t want to. I am never selfish. I will ask you lots of questions about you. And, I genuinely want to hear and understand your answers. I love learning about people, their lives, their opinions and their problems. I will listen without prejudice or judgement. I will empathise and sympathise and offer what I presume will be welcome suggestions and problem solving advice.
Until diagnosis and my subsequent reading and learning, it never occured to me that you wouldn’t want this and that apparently it is often totally unwelcome, unexpected and is one of the reasons that I will be rejected. Even worse than this is the fact that my research into my autism diagnosis has suggested that the ‘normal’ NTs will run away but that the more abusive variety may smell a perfect victim and stick around. What a crazy, contorted, totally ridiculous way to live. Someone is genuinely nice and kind and caring and interested in you and they are the weirdo? How did this happen? Why is this even a thing?
I realise now that I have encountered many users, abusers and narcissists. With disappointment and regret I can now understand so many of the friends that turned out not to be, and the family members that were there for the taking but left like everyone else when I wanted a little bit of giving to come back to me. I am going to write my next blog about autism and abuse. It is too scary and serious to be part of this.
I know that this will sound arrogant but I can’t really understand what is actually wrong or bad about me. For over 50 years I thought that I was confident and capable and that my friendly, interested, exhuberance would be welcomed and wanted. I blamed myself every time it wasn’t and tried to be a better person who might finally be worthy of a friend who would see me for who I am and would like me and stand by me no matter who I am or what I do or say.
Now that I have read about all of the rules and games that muggles seem to play and live by I am trying so hard to predict what they will hear and see and feel. If I am me then it doesn’t work, and if I try really hard to not be me, to follow their rules and play their games, then I am left even more exhausted, lonely and confused. I have written lots about the need for translation across the communities and I really think and believe and hope that if I could do this, it might just help. Maybe it is too late for me. I can’t go back 50 years and start again. But if writing and talking about this helps just one little girl to live her next 50 years without the pain and rejection, and without the confusion and chaos, then this will be worth it. The problem seems to be that lots of us in the autistic community want to care and learn and help but the muggles don’t understand or appreciate this way of being.
I sense that my writing is disjointed but I am hopeful that the pattern of my brain is something you might understand and so I’m going to resist the temptation to correct and contain it. This is probably a metaphor for me. If I corrected and contained more, maybe being me would be ok.