This is Oliver!!. 22 years old
The entire piece is in Oliver's words from his personal experience and has not been altered in any way.
A little side note.
I understand that within this piece there will be some triggering and pathologizing language. Oliver is 22 years old and spent his entire life seen as a "Condition." He is on a Journey.
Please be kind.
I would like to publicly thankyou Oliver for writting this beautiful brave piece and I hope it brings the recognition you deserve as an inspiring autistic person. You are not a "Condition" to be "fixed."
Over to Oliver!!
So it’s officially “World Autism Acceptance Month” and I felt I had to jump on here to say something because I’ve for a long time been constantly trying to raise awareness as much as I can to others and family members on and offline just because of how much I and other people with this struggle and to show that others don’t get it, what they don’t see and how many people daily fail to understand me and other individuals who are autistic and it’s painful to go through every day, every autistic person’s experiences are different but can be very similar including the traits I and other autistic people have because of the condition itself and seeing what other people have experienced and it’s hard to live a daily lifestyle with different things which effects us because of this condition.
It’s a constant pain of feeling like we have to hide who we really are to look like we fit in socially and into different standards with today’s society and with neuro-typical people who don’t understand when a lot of us feel like we don’t as every autistic individual struggles differently but this is what I really struggle with without people realising and knowing. This also includes feeling like we have to live up to other peoples expectations and trying to prove ourselves to be successful but could struggle in knowing what to try and be successful and to thrive in, this is one reason why employment for autistic people can be so hard because of anxiety levels, the way things are and how it’s not suited to how it helps them considering as to why there’s only 22% of autistic people employed which is straight facts as to why I hate us being misunderstood and ignored and just shows the lack of effort!
Also I’m writing all of this to put you guys in my shoes from an autistic persons perspective and how they go through their daily life with this condition and to open others eyes to show how much acceptance is needed without any stigma when opening up about this.
Being autistic feels like a second identity to me like how (for example) Peter Parker hides he is Spider-Man, without opening up to others about it as I’m afraid nobody will want to listen when I’m having to constantly mask my own feelings, emotions and true self just for others to either not take anything personal or I don’t want them to think I’m coming across as being selfish without considering their feelings too as my brain works and functions differently, because of this and I do think differently without feeling “normal” about it.
Ive been a self comparable person at times simply because I’ve thought of the capabilities others have which I can’t and don’t have, I’ve never been much of a self believer to do many things without overthinking, being anxious/nervous about of what may happen and the different outcomes, I’m self conscious about being who I really am and what I am since nobody appreciates or seems to find the good in people anymore and it seems like the hardest task in the world to prove it to others since they don’t believe it and considering what society is like nowadays and how people treat others and I’ve been treat awfully in the past and it makes me even more self conscious about being autistic and to why I’m sensitive yet. people say I can’t take a joke, yet sarcasm and how a joke can be taken is hard for us autistic people to understand what’s serious and what isn’t.
It also seems like I have to prove something to others to show I’m a good person to try and fit in and be accepted which I feel I don’t because of my characteristics and traits, also because good people are taken advantage of and are very overlooked today, even if I was to open up about what’s going on behind closed doors and why I’m not happy. I’m afraid I’d be mocked and judged highly by my own friends and other peers too because of certain things and I’m having to hide these things because of it, there’s many reasons as to why I love being on my own away from others and somewhere where I feel safe inside and out so I don’t have to go out and face the world every day with a hidden identity which I’d be afraid people would mock me for due to how much of a lack of awareness this has and that it’s tiring to do the same thing every day without others realising how much strength, anxiety and energy I have to have to do this when others have no clue.
People even say I hide it very well, this is because I’m so used to living with the constant fighting and struggles I have to try and battle with and that I keep everything bottled up for the sake of others which leads to worse things and for me to be afraid to give myself out there to the wrong people who will go against me and tell others about me or judge me and make me look like a dickhead for opening up to those people.
All I just want to be happy, feel loved, accepted, understood, to find myself and to feel honoured to be among a community of people who value me for who I truly am without facing the fears of having the exact same opposite thoughts every single day, I’ve even imagined because of how insecure I’ve been because I’m autistic and of the lack of understanding, awareness, respect and value I’ve felt off others but I also don’t want to have to take my frustrations and anger I have inside, out on the people who haven’t done anything to me.
The fact I’ve had to and chosen to turn to an Autism services referral to get support and to help me with this truly feels an only option to keep pushing on in life as well as the same constant things I’m obsessed with as it’s a form of escapism and passion for me hence why I post, watch and do the same things as a stim to try and keep me happy and not having to give up which I feel like doing and for the people who actually accept, understand and value me for me.
They say Autism is a superpower and a blessing but it feels like a curse what’s been cast over me since birth because of how much I’ve struggled in life in so many ways, how much I’ve been through and how I’ve had to come to terms with what I have to go through every day which breaks me. The only times when I feel truly accepting, loving and valuable of myself and of this condition is during world Autism acceptance week and on my own birthday hence why I prefer those occasions to Christmas and other special times which leave me with so much anxiety, constant things happening and the amount of unpredictability makes me incredibly nervous for a rough time period. Unpredictability even when not knowing what’s happening when making plans with people really makes me anxious due to the amount of it, simple things like that can have a big effect on an autistic person.
I’ve been through enough in my life to say that I’m tired of being a brave individual and to fight through this alone, I don’t want to give any pain to the ones I love who I’m not sure all of them love and value me back and that’s what worries me as I don’t want to force my time, love and efforts into the wrong people when thinking or at least trying to convince myself that they’re the right ones. Plus the way people throw the word “autism” around like it’s meant for people with it to be taken the piss out of and to describe undiagnosed people with it just makes me furious considering nobody has a clue what we have to go through daily and nothing makes me more mad and makes me feel insecure about having it which makes it even worse.
Being autistic has made it so hard for me to maintain as much friendships and relationships as I can as I’ve found it so difficult to find out who my true friends are and who is actually there for me, personally it’s mainly for me about those who value me the most and who is worth sticking round for as I’ve wasted time on the wrong people and it’s the worst thing since you can’t get that time back, even my insecurities about having autism this has even made it hard for me and I’ve been very hesitant to get to know people, even when it comes to dating whether someone will love me for me and for being autistic in the end or will not feel weird or freaked out around me because of me having this.
They say your past makes you stronger, for me at the same time it makes me traumatic hence why I feel so much and value my emotions more being autistic because only I feel I’m the only person who values my own feelings even when I value others feelings and nobody values mine, plus my past is one of the main reasons why I take things seriously when they might not be and it’s also a trait I have because of being autistic what people simply have trouble understanding.
This was just an insight to give you guys a few ways on how everyone as a society, as a community should and could understand us with this and who have to face the struggles of being and feeling different to give us a somewhat reassurance we’re accepted for who we are and why we are the way we are and for these reasons as a lot of autistic people have very similar experiences and traits to me but doesn’t mean to say every autistic person is the same with struggles of their own compared to mine. Thank you for reading, I appreciate you guys for taking the time to do so, Oliver x.