Thinking Autistic

Being asked how I feel to be Autistic is, with respect, a question that I can’t answer. 

How do you feel being non-Autistic ?. 

The thing is, I don’t think that people understand that my Autism isn’t a life decision. It’s not like I woke up one morning, threw back the curtains and announced to the world, “You know what! Today is the day I’ll be Autistic!” 

My autism is as much part of me as my nose, my lips, my eyes and all my other strangely and disturbingly shaped body parts!. I had no say in them and I had no say in being autistic. 

I don’t think autistic. I don’t feel autistic. I think and I feel without ever giving my autism a second glance. I don’t double check whether an emotion or a viewpoint meets autistic criteria. Is that emotion typically autistic ?. Is the view one that depends on my autism ?. No, I just get on with my life and the views and emotions I express are my views and emotions, as natural to me as no doubt yours are to you. 

My reactions, good or bad, sometimes neutral, are instinctive. I react to whatever outside forces are in operation at the time. But I don’t stop to register the fact I am autistic first. 

And I don’t think about it afterwards. 

If my partner watches a soppy film with lots of subtle emotions and kissy cuddly bits and it goes over my head as she cries and tells me how beautiful that was, then my reaction, one of bafflement, a “why are you crying ?” And thoughts of “what on earths going on here ?” are me expressing, in the moment, how I feel. I am not conscious that my feelings about the film need to pass a test to be considered an autistic response because I’m just expressing, without thought, my feelings. 

I don’t sit there asking myself whether that was a normal response. After all, my partner might have acted abnormally. It’s a matter of perspective. 

So I don’t think autisticly. 

I think naturally. 

So, how do I feel being autistic ?. I feel genuinely, passionately and entirely normally. 

Because…. Isn’t that how everyone feels ?. 

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