Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Autism Is No Excuse, but It Kind of Is.

If you are friends with me in person, on Facebook, or have interacted with me online, you might be wondering a few things.

For one, why am I talktative sometimes, and then suddenly seem to be ignoring you for ridiculously long periods of time? Or in some cases, drop off the face of the earth by disabling my Facebook?

And why do I decline video/voice calls and requests to hang out? Or say I will, but then change plans or never get back to you?

Why do I fail to follow through if I dare to make promises?

Here's the thing: I am not being a jerk.

I do not dislike you. You are not annoying.

I don't do these things because I want to purposely hurt people.

Yes, I do realize the consequences of my actions, and that whatever I do will inevitable affect people. I will take responsibility for that.

Just remember though: I am Autistic.

This isn't an excuse for everything. If I wrong you, I will apologize. I will try to make it right, and if I do not meet your expectations, I will distance myself so I won't cause you trouble.

I do not expect everyone to accept me; not everyone can handle me. That's okay.


But I do want to explain myself, in relation to being autistic. Because autism is a big, big factor in most aspects of my life:

  • I suffer from constant information overload.
    • Scrolling through Facebook on a bad day is paralyzing
    • Overhearing conversations can be aggravating
    • My unread emails give me a headache
    • Advertisements make me angry
  • I am overwhelmed at least 50% of the time (or more).
    • I've had to call in sick, skip school, and miss fun activities because I would peel off my face otherwise.
  • I have multiple, complex psychological problems that interfere with daily functioning and relationships.
    • Simply getting ready for bed or for class is psychological hell
    • Starting an unfamiliar task or homework assignment can make me cry
    • Worrying about unanswered questions wastes many of my hours


These things torment me. They distract me from doing what I really want to do, and from supporting the friends and family I love.

I try my best to be a good friend. I don't purposely seek to offend. But I might say I can't hang out, or not reply for ages, or not pick up hints, or say all the wrong things... I cannot ask you to not take it personally, because some of you inevitably will. But I do want you to remember that I don't do it on purpose.

I love you, and I care about you. I just cannot process life efficiently enough to show you.


4 comments:

  1. Please try some medical marijuana. It could change your life. CBD might help too, as might THCA.

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  2. Very good. I wish people could understand these things. They don't see a disability so they assume I should be able to be "normal." I always end up making things awkward and have panic attacks worrying over things. I'm getting to a point in giving myself a break but I always end up alone.

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  3. I take it that the image there would be an example of information overload?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed! It's about the same for me, so much to process that I get confused.

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