Autistic in plain sight

I’m an introvert, though I think this has been made painstakingly obvious and redundant to mention given my lack of frequent posts about going places.

I relish in the mostly-quiet zone of everything. Rare is it that I think aloud or feel a need to hear another’s voice.

Our Easter family get-together is Sunday. There will be a lot of people here and, for some reason, the stress of making the house look great in the days leading up to the dinner party. I don’t understand why I should worry about people forming opinions of me based on what does or doesn’t look great in my room, because I was raised to not go into someone’s room uninvited or allowed. To me, it’s black-and-white: no one should come into my room without my permission; moreover, even if they have it, they shouldn’t care whether they can bounce a coin off my bed or it’s untidy for their liking. It’s a bedroom. It’s going to look like it’s lived-in.

But I digress.

There are things my allistic counterparts lust from me which I cannot give. They may be blinded by their own stereotypical assumptions of what an autistic person “looks” or acts like, but it is during these get-togethers my autistic identity couldn’t be more obvious.

I know I don’t fit in. I’m the weird one who sits at the table, eating quietly or staring off into space. Sometimes I message friends to help pass the time. I don’t understand the need to touch or be touched by others like they do, or how an adult can feel comfortable sitting on another adult’s lap—how they handle even the slightest tensing of the person’s butt cheek on their leg and are still fine with that extra sensory input of a whole other person.

I don’t join in on the smaller discussions, because I am not going to interrupt and try to be heard, or try to explain how they’re technically wrong about something even though I want to, because I know how annoying it is—but I know, more than I know it annoys people, my perceptive and logic and reasoning will be seen as irrelevant and wrong. Because you cannot introduce new ideas to people who wish not to know or hear them, or explain why/how change is required for the world to progress, or contradict the traditional and stereotypical factors in favor of truer facts to people who support old ways and ideas and facts, rueing in ignorance.

So the one cat who had a disease because the vaccination hadn’t yet been created, which resulted in the blinding of a child, creates an ill-conceived myth that pregnant women who are around cats will have blind babies, or perhaps Deaf babies if they’re around them more, as if that’s the worst.

And then…then I realise things for what and how they are: why is it that my able-bodied, privileged counterparts feel so dominant and entitled to having everyone like them? There is no “meeting halfway”, something I’ll touch on when I can articulate it better later.

There is only “my way or the highway”.

Wish me luck. 😓

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Comments on this post

I don’t understand adults sitting on each other’s laps at a family reunion. I have sat on my husband’s occasionally, but not at a family gathering!

It’s not just romantic couples, but cousins and sisters, too—young adults, but still. It’s not necessarily a matter of whether it’s appropriate, it’s just something I don’t understand others being okay with from a sensory input POV.

‘Twas also a get-together. My paternal family has a lot of them.