Editorial: A failure to communicate

Kip Wallace over at Medium.com has an excellent post (poem actually) about the difficulties Adults with Autism face with communications. Mainly that people want you as an adult to coherently verbalize the feelings that simply can’t be put coherently on the spot whether from panic (immature, grow up), sadness (oh, boo-fucking-hoo) or simply a lack of words (just spit it out already).

However, if you’ve been through my archive, you’ll know that I often I face issues like that in my own life. The problem is: even if I can “spit it out” (and assuming they can understand me), these same people as a rule do not care:

“Oh, YOU have ‘problems,’ huh? Pfft, I have a wife, three kids AND a full-time job. What the fuck do YOU have? Oh right, NOTHING.”

Note in the parenthetical above, I said “assuming they can understand me” which means most of the time I don’t even get that.

You see, I was non-verbal until the age of age of four (with doctors at the time saying I lacked the “intellectual capacity” to ever speak) yet, now that I actually can, seemingly every time I try to talk to someone since becoming an adult:

I often get cut off before I can say anything to have them yell at me for “not answering them” (because obviously I CHOSE to have an Auditory Processing Disorder) or simply told to “shut the fuck up before I punch you,”

IF they “let” me finish my first sentence, I get either: “Hahaha, isn’t that adorable? Now get lost,” or “I don’t understand you, so whatever fuck you.”

However, on the somewhat rarer occasions when they let me finish AND understand what I’m saying, they’ll usually repeat everything I say back to me VERBATIM (which is generally a sign they aren’t really paying attention), and then invariably get pissed off at me for not saying: “wow, you are a genius! I would literally have NEVER thought of that if you hadn’t mentioned it to me.”

Sometimes it’s enough to make me wish I remained non-verbal. At least then, I wouldn’t have to put up with this shit all the time. No, then they’d really want – no, demand – to hear what I have to say…just so they can smile reassured that I really am “stupid” (which, for the record, I’m not) and I need to “get help” – preferably someplace really far away so they can pretend I don’t exist.

Oh right, that’s what they do now (how dare I ruin their otherwise “perfect” world), but I can’t tell them that because my brain isn’t wired for speed. Heck, it took me over 3 hours just to write this simple post – just imagine how long a “snappy” comeback takes.

Maybe, as my dad likes to remind me, if I just “tried harder,” this whole “communication” thing would get easier. A nice sentiment, but something tells me it isn’t true…

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Categories: Autism, editorials, ramblings, sensory processing disorder | Leave a comment

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