Writing about my neurodivergence

For Autism Acceptance Month 2022, I’m posting about 26 different autism topics. No posts on Sundays.

Today’s topic and questions are from #autchat.

1. Do you do personal writing (blogging, memoir, essays, articles, tweet threads, etc.) related to your experiences as a neurodivergent person? If not, do you want to? Are there particular aspects that interest you?

Blurry background under painted bar stool

I blog about several of my neurodivergent (ND) diagnoses.

I mostly blog about my autism. I occasionally do post tweet threads and Instagram carousels about autism, and I do recycle that type of content into whatever medium it hasn’t been posted onto. I have Tourette Syndrome, but do not often talk about it.

I occasionally blog about dissociative identity disorder (DID), but it takes a lot out of me to do so on account of literally being the result of my childhood trauma.

I used to blog a lot about my mental health, namely major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. I don’t so much anymore because I feel like I’ve said all that I need to say about those topics at present. I also found a lot of people trauma-bonded with me over things, and I don’t want to partake in that anymore.

2. If you write or are interested in personal writing on neurodivergence, what do you find appealing or rewarding about it?

  • Posts about autism, DID and mental health bring people to my blog.
  • People are choosing to read (even if they’re hate-reading) and consume content about those topics by someone actually experiencing those things.
  • More blog visitors
  • People who relate!

3. What worries do you have about doing personal writing on neurodivergence? If you’ve done it before, what have you found difficult?

Diagnostic proof

Some people have emailed me asking for proof, dates, etc. of my diagnoses, which is extremely rude and patronizing.

Some people think that — because someone chooses to publicize certain aspects of their lives or people someone’s life is publicized by other people based on their career — they’re entitled to knowing whatever they want to know about that person. I have a feeling I know who some of these people were, but it’s still none of their business.

Invalidated by autism moms who think I’m high-functioning

While I would very much be considered a low-functioning autistic if I believed in autism functioning labels, people have often told me I have no right to talk about autism the way I do because I’m “high-functioning”.

It’s such an invalidating experience and completely ignorant of my personal experience.

There is so much I don’t share — and I just started sharing about DID more blatantly last year, which was the “missing puzzle piece” to so many of the stories I’d shared on my blog for ten years.

I don’t believe in functioning labels, but if you knew me offline well enough and had to pick one, you would not choose high-functioning. In fact, I have been repeatedly told I need to be under conservatorship.

Autism is a spectrum. Autistic people fluctuate between functioning levels way too much to be labeled as one specifically.

Professional repercussions

Considering I have a chosen/preferred name and can put that on job applications, and that I am keen to pursue remote work with the endgame being self-employment, I fear blogging about my neurodivergence will turn away potential employers and clients who view my stories as unprofessional.

It’s all fun and games on TikTok until your manager gets sent your funny TikTok about autism burnout or a hiring manager recognizes you from your executive dysfunction TikTok and decides that, despite your ability to finish projects on the cusp of deadlines, they will not be hiring you.

Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sounds like a lovely program, but employers will and do discriminate against neurodivergent individuals.

I wish I could make enough to live my life by just blogging about what I blog about, but I am beginning to think and believe it is impossible without filling my blog with sensory-disturbing pop-ups, auto-playing videos, and allistic click funnels.

Self-employment is the top recommended form of employment for autistic people, especially by autistic people who have went self-employed and experience less burnout because of it — but there aren’t many resources on how to do it. The top recommended method is to start a blog about a special interest that other people are interested in and to essentially grow it into a profitable source.

4. For people who have done personal writing on neurodivergence: what recommendations do you have for people who are interested in doing it? For people who have not: what questions do you have for people who have?

Anonymity is not frowned on in the neurodivergent community. We’re well aware that it may be safe for you to publicly write and share about your neurodivergence, and we accept whatever alias you choose to use.

Ultimately, what matters most is getting more of our own stories out there and dominating the stories written by people who don’t have personal experience with our neurodivergence.

If you’re worried about backlash from non-autistic/DID/[insert your ND here] people:

  • Instagram and TikTok let you turn off comments.
  • TikTok lets you choose whether people can duet or download your videos.
  • Twitter now lets you choose who can reply to your tweets.
  • WordPress lets you turn off comments.

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