Why Growing Up Is Difficult As An Autistic Person
Part 1 of 3 My name is Anthony, I’m from Vancouver, BC Canada. I’m 28, but still that kid, childlike wonder in my heart. We have a little Peter Pan in our hearts, don’t you say? Yes, I heard there’s hilarious roasting between Millennials and Gen Z ha ha ha. I’m a Millennial kid, surviving the horror invasions of Generation Z. I can’t believe my generation’s getting roasted by the Gen Z kids on the block. No using the word adulting. No showing off Hogwarts houses. No 90s nostalgia references. What?! No references like YTV hit shows like Digimon, Freaky Stories, Uh-Oh, Stickin’ Around, or Hit List? No skinny jeans. No laughing, crying emoji. No saying, “I did a thing!” Why?! Oh the horror! The horror! Gen Z, you’ll never take me alive ha ha ha. Well, here’s a secret. I do have a soft spot for Gen Z—no hard feelings, ha ha ha. As age comes in the way, I know my generation soon is ending. No, the millennials are facing the apocalypse! Gen Z is invading the Millennials. Gen Z, wish you the best and make your mark. I’m curious about what you’ll bring to the world. YOLO! Is that the word? Did I say it correctly? Is YOLO part of Gen Z? Anyways, aside from the jokes, growing up is a huge bite for me to swallow. Sometimes the taste tastes bitter. There will be lots of obstacles. Growing up as a person living with Autism is not what it expects to be. Friendship is not always genuine. We lose our innocence as we get older. Nobody cares for you except yourself.
The epiphany from childhood to adulthood still plays an important role in my life. This is part one of it. How this epiphany affects friendship. When you’re a kid, you would think innocent and think the world is all sunshine and rainbows. When you’re an Autistic kid, we would get emotionally attached. Flexibility is hard to come across. When I was a kid, I remember all of my elementary school teachers were concerned about me spending time alone everyday. Don’t get me wrong. My teachers were all amazing and I love every single one of them. I still appreciate what they taught me. Of course, we are all humans and we all make mistakes. Just because you’re a teacher doesn’t mean you know everything and that’s okay too. We have to forgive our mistakes. Going back, they noticed I don’t have friends. I prefer to be alone. To me, I’m not bothered, but to them they were worried, especially my parents. As time went by, I became used to the idea of “having friends is great. It’s not good to be alone. Having friends is teamwork.” Because those teachings had implanted my little noggin, I took friendship seriously. I became used to it. During the years between adolescence and now, the friends I know from before outgrown themselves. Not all of them, but some. Some were the same and some were different. I wanted to say hi to them, but I didn’t hear from them. Some had moved on. They didn’t want to be friends with me anymore. Because you have Autism, what happens is because you internalize friendship, you may think that friendship is forever. Unfortunately, some people will backstab you, betray you, or even pretend to be your friend. Nobody told me earlier that it meant not all friendships to be genuine or forever. At that moment, I was shocked. It hurt me when I realized that. However, as an adult, I also realized I did too have a fading out friendship experience. Our fading out began when I was twelve years old. I used to hang out with a close buddy of mine back then when we were kids. We were childhood friends in elementary school. My buddy was very nice and fun to hang out with. We used to go to each other’s houses and play. We even had snacks together, watched TV, or played video games. My buddy was also my neighbor. I also learned about my friend’s culture too. My friend’s family is delightful too. They were such a heartwarming family. The time I found out my buddy moved away from Vancouver, our reaching out fades. In a moment of realization, I found out our friendship faded as well. Both of us had our own lives. Even though it faded, I am always grateful and always thankful for my friend and my friend’s family for having wonderful memories together. Those precious memories we had growing up meant a lot to me. Wherever my buddy is now, I wish my friend and my friend’s family all the best and with good vibes. I want to thank them for being my neighbors and for being so wonderfully kind and sweet. I’ll never forget that. How come as kids friendship is important but not important anymore when you get to adulthood? There was a conversation that made me shocked and confused. But, better to tell the truth than to lie. Two stories about friendship came long on pop culture news. In a pop culture interview on YouTube