Over the past few months, I have been experiencing overmagnification of fears. A trait of autistics that we always may do something wrong and live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. This prevents us from being our true selves and always wondering if we are going to get in trouble for something that we will do something wrong.
Twenty years ago, this week, I celebrated “graduating” from a residential treatment facility, or RTF. It felt like a group home, but if my parents didn’t want the best care for me, it could have resulted in me being placed in a group home for life because of my behaviors.
Many times all that an autistic person wants is to for someone to understand them and accept them forwho they are
Autism is a spectrum, meaning it has a spectrum of features. One of these is communication. One cannot have the ability to communicate without assistance and likewise individuals such as myself can be very articulate, however we are all classified as being autistic. Although it may not seem as such, I sometimes struggle with communicating socially with the less articulate because I am indeed socially awkward.
Writing this on Easter Sunday because I am bored really puts things into perspective how fortunate I am. We are over a year into the pandemic, when work and my day program shut their doors for almost three months. While some of the activity during that initial time was completed virtually and I along with the majority of the world was introduced to virtual platforms like Zoom, Nothing replaces the old-fashioned way of meeting person to person in methods such as day programs and part-time employment like I do.
We have to sometimes have the encouragement that we have to set our own standards of what that needs to be and ourselves have the inner confidence that it is indeed what can be acceptable and what you can accomplish.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany. While I WANT to adult, I HAVE to put forth the effort to want and need the changes and the responsibilities of being an adult. For the majority of my adulthood, I have shied away from issues in life because they may require me to put my “big boy pants” on and fight them. Oftentimes, for me, anxiety is a big player in the game of adulting that really isn’t a game, because I just revert back to my immature self and refuse to deal with the issues at hand, because I personally know they are going to be unpleasant and scary for me to tackle.
I personally have witnessed the victimization and trust be compromised in not only autistic individuals but individuals both with and out mental and neurological health conditions. It, along with the awareness of those that we as autistics do not know, must be given the proper skillset in learning just what is appropriate information to share with others and what is not. Also, we must be aware of what is a safe to do and what me be skeptical and may result in us being victims at a moment’s notice.
Oftentimes, I feel as if this topic has to be an integral part of autism acceptance and awareness as if not properly managed by the autistic or it is managed with a unique coping mechanism, it can result in a perplexed perception of what an autistic person does.
We must realize that no matter what negative comments come across that we as autists should be valued as a person who has a voice, intellect, and can comprehend what is going on around us. We must also realize that we are worth more than those negative voices come across at us and lastly, we do not have to do what others ask of us if an any way it doesn’t seem right or normal to us.