Sunday, May 29, 2016
So many autistics don't even know what our real personality is.
Like, we know who we are as people, we just don't know how we're supposed to express it.
I have had to navigate different ways of expressing it until I found one that was a mix of "I can pass as NT" and "this feels comfortable and natural enough that either I've just gotten used to certain mannerisms or maybe this is something like what I'm supposed to be like."
But I still can't even tell when I'm running a neurotypical "script" all the time anymore because I do it so reflexively and so seamlessly now. I don't even know when I'm being "real," or as real as I can be, and when I'm just blending in. I can't tell the difference anymore.
I mean, sometimes.
It's just hard. It's just so second nature.
It's just so seamless.
"I wouldn't have known if you hadn't told me, you're not like any other autistic person I've ever met" isn't a compliment. Noticing the ways in which I am autistic and celebrating them for surviving would be a compliment.
Acknowledging what I am instead of trying to minimize it would be a compliment
But I minimize it so well myself, don't I. Seamlessly.
A classmate, in the bathroom at my college, told me she hoped she hadn't offended me. What she hoped hadn't offended me was when, in class that morning, she had answered my "I'm autistic" with "I know, I could tell."
I told her it makes me happy when people notice.
Very few people notice.
But I minimize it so well. Don't I?
*I know I don't pass 100% of the time in 100% of the ways. But you have to talk to me for a long time, or multiple times, before you notice it by my social skills. My faux pas are far fewer. I've gotten better at hiding how little I still comprehend about social situations and people behavior. I've gotten better at keeping quiet "as an NT" instead of communicating as an autistic. I've gotten better at faking just the right things. Covering. I can pass as a talkative NT. A talkative, excitable, enthusiastic, eccentric NT.
My willful, proud stimming, anxiety, coping skills and difficult time doing lots of things without help are what give me away. But socially, in conversation, I can pass if I want to. Most of the time. Mostly who picks me out is other autistics or people who know tons of speaking autistics. (also, I can have an entire "conversationally passing" conversation while stimming up a storm as I talk and emote and gesture roughly like an allistic/NT.)
**that was the longest footnote ever
***I'll have a follow up, of sorts, to this post at some point. Technically, I've already written most of it. I wrote this, all of it, in the last like half an hour or so.