How Being Autistic Allows Me to Keep It Real


All my life, I have only known how to be one person, and that is myself.

Being autistic makes for seeing the world through a unique perspective. I only know how the world looks through my own eyes; thus, the only way I can describe it is how it naturally occurs to me. I wouldn’t know how to put on a mask if my life depended on it.

The way I respond to my environment is natural. I see the world for what it is to me, which is in black and white. Reading between the lines isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Therefore, I can only see what’s in front of me, point blank.

With me, what you see is what you get. I don’t understand hidden motives, so I have none of my own. Since I’m real with others, I expect them to be the same by default. I’m learning that this isn’t always the case, and that I need to sometimes put my guard up.

I’ve always seen the good in people. Innocent until proven guilty. I now realize this carries potential dangers, because of my own learning experiences. I can still look for the good, while putting up a shield against the negative. The trouble is, I don’t always see the negative until it’s too late. I’m getting better at it, but it still takes work.

The good thing about being this way, though, is that my true friends are just that: true. They’ve seen the real me, and because they appreciate me at my best and worst, I know they accept me. I don’t ever have to pretend I’m someone I’m not around them. I also feel that honesty is the best policy. After all, it makes life easier!

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Thinkstock photo by Rick Balou.

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