Invisibly Autistic

I made a Facebook page called Autism Spectrum Disorder Acceptance, hoping that many of my Facebook friends and family would “like” it and learn more about ASD. But I was wrong. There are many people in my family who refused the invite–that is hurtful. They will continue to be ignorant about autism. Oh, believe me–many are. The things I have heard are unbelievable. “Oh, you’re not autistic. You just have Asperger’s,” for example. I hope you know that Asperger Syndrome is part of the autism spectrum, dear reader.

Just because you can’t see my inner world, doesn’t mean it’s not dramatically different than yours. You have no idea how exhausting it is just to accomplish daily tasks. And I’m a single woman. I can’t imagine having anyone else to care for.

I’m so glad I’ve been able to network with other advocates online, otherwise I’d be doubly frustrated.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s more difficult (in some ways) being more articulate and having less visible, stereotypical signs of autism. I have a flat affect most of the time (sign), chew on a stim toy in private, have a strange nose twitch (sign?), have a lot of trouble with eye contact (sign). But other than that, I’m probably just seen as shy or maybe even mean, since I don’t make many facial expressions.

Sometimes I forget what the fight is for, and I have to remember it’s not just for my selfish desires. Educating people can do a world of good, even if they’re not in your own family.

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6 comments

  1. Well yes, got a similar response really. (My parents? No, Mum died from cancer nearly thirty years ago, but she would have wanted to know and Dad died nearly twenty years ago after catching that deadly superbug in hospital.) One of my brothers just groaned, and that was the last he ever said about it. The other brother lost his temper and refused to accept it, whilst my two sisters sort of accepted it but it’s difficult to tell. My daughter however accepted it, and has been far more patient and understanding with me since the diagnosis, and surprisingly my ex-wife too is more patient and understanding with me on the few occasions we meet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Family isn’t just DNA. My one and only friend is not related to me. Just one person who can go through life with you is so important. Most of my relatives didn’t speak to me at my mom’s funeral 2 years ago. The ones that did are the ones I call family. I felt the love of my friend, who couldn’t make the wake but was with me in spirit and so supportive over the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have OCPD, and when I found out, my mother’s response to my diagnosis was very confusing for me. I got a sort of “Yes, we’ve always known something was *wrong* with you” (so why didn’t you get me help?!) paired with “But maybe you don’t really have a mental illness, and you’ve just been breathing in local toxins” (seriously?!).

    I know how hard it can be when the people you love don’t seem to accept that your diagnosis isn’t separate from you; it’s a part of you. Thank you for continuing to do the work of being an advocate regardless!

    Liked by 2 people

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