All month long, the various Autism blogs\Facebook feeds have been posting about symptoms and behaviors I’ve never exhibited to my knowledge – including the fact that people with Autism have perfect memories (at least I think that’s what it said). Yes, as I said before, I am sensitive to loud and\or high pitched noise and I jump whenever strangers touch me, but I never required full bodied tackles and\or special restraint mechanisms to keep from hurting myself or my siblings (sorry, I know it’s a very real part of the spectrum, but I refused to watch said video).
The story I saw today was about the sheer fatigue of going out into the real world and trying to act remotely “normal” in a world that is not designed for us. It’s loud, bright and will gladly leave you behind if you fail to match its arbitrary pace…
For instance, I could never study in the Richter Library because as quiet as most students tried to be, I still couldn’t concentrate on my reading (which was already difficult since I was initially co-diagnosed with both ADHD and Dyslexia back in high school) due to the sounds of typing, printing and even on “quiet” levels there was still the noise of multiple pages flipping (“the stacks” had an awful echo), the inadequate lighting and the distracting odor of musty books slowly fermenting in the oppressive Florida humidity.
Thankfully, the material I write these days doesn’t require long trips to “the stacks” (though it probably should). Heck, I’d rather AVOID most of my material all together, but somehow it keeps finding me anyway. Particularly when it ruins once enjoyable experiences for me, for instance, I can’t sit down to watch a movie without a middle-aged white woman turning around, slapping me HARD and growling at me menacingly…for having the audacity to have a cold during a movie.
Yep, I can’t even THINK of movies without associating it with someone ASSAULTING me because I woke up that day and said “you know what, I think I’ll be SICK today” kind of like I when I “decided” to have a teenager slam into my car in 2007 (which is odd since it was brand new, the first car I ever owned AND the loss of it permanently ruined my life). Did I mention, that accident almost cost me my life… oh, yeah, it did: my car, my license (which I was SOOO proud of getting), my insurance AND every single job I’ve interviewed for since (as asking about my “car” is the easiest “ice breaker” in the world, c’mon who ISN’T proud of their car?).
I have not gone anywhere since I started writing this story two days ago, and reviewing it now only makes me think of countless other things, many of which I long hoped I’d forgotten about. Yeah, I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I suddenly remember an argument from 20 years ago?
Yep, it is now 10am, and I haven’t even left the apartment for the day, yet all I want to do is go back to bed…