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5 Hidden Things I Deal With as a Person on the Autism Spectrum

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When people look at me, they see a regular person just like them. Many people think I’m just like them when we first meet, but I’m not. There are a lot of things I deal with that the average person doesn’t see.

The first thing I deal with is sensory issues. My eyes are sensitive to bright lights, especially the sun. When I’m outside, I wear a cap because it keeps the sun out of my eyes. My ears are sensitive to sound. Loud noises bother my ears, especially the sound of babies and small children crying. When I’m in a room and there’s a lot of noise, all of the sounds run together. If someone is talking to me and there’s a lot of noise or other people talking, I have a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

The second thing I deal with is not knowing what to say sometimes in a social situation. I can talk on and on about business or sports, but when it comes to other subjects, I’m lost.

A lot of adults enjoy talking about their kids and their mates, but I can’t contribute to their conversations because I don’t have the same experiences. I don’t have kids and have never been involved in an intimate relationship and don’t have an interest in those things.

Some people enjoy talking about other people. They’ll look at someone and assume things about them, but I have a hard time doing those things. I will joke and play around with people, but my only intentions are for fun, not to hurt others. I find it hard to assume things about people because I know how it feels. People pass judgment on me all the time and assume things about me that aren’t true.

The third thing I deal with is developmental delays. I like cartoons, games, toys and hobbies that kids like. I can take care of myself, but the hardest thing for me to deal with is the subject of relationships. I enjoy people, but I see them as just people or as friends. It’s hard for me to deal with the fact that people will find me attractive and have feelings for me. A lot of people are flattered when someone flirts with them, but I find it creepy.

To me, a female is someone who is like a mother, grandmother, sister or an aunt, and a man is someone who is like a father, grandfather, brother or uncle. Males and females are all the same to me. I enjoy their time and companionship and that’s it. No matter how alluring a person might be, I don’t feel attracted by them.

The fourth thing I deal with is inner pain. As a kid I dealt with abuse and neglect in the home. Then I went to school. Sometimes I struggled with school work, and other times I was picked on or rejected by my peers. There were people who thought I was an odd child and people who knew I wasn’t being treated right and didn’t do anything to help me get out of my abusive situation. I would love to erase all of my past memories from my brain, but my autistic brain has stored them in the back of my mind. I can remember everything that happened to me from the time I was 3 years old. Certain events and things I see cause me to relive my past mentally.

The fifth thing I deal with is feelings of emptiness. Growing up in an abusive home, I never got to feel the love, support and closeness most people get to feel. My peers viewed me as being, so I spent a lot of time at school sitting alone.

As an adult, I know a lot more people, locally and online. I appreciate and enjoy all of my friends but they have their own lives to live and their own family support system. I try to keep myself busy, but most of the time, I end up doing things alone because most people I know are too busy to spend time with me. There are times I will go somewhere and see families together or a group of friends having fun, and I get that empty feeling.

When a person has differences, sometimes they just need a support system to be there for them.

Originally published: August 2, 2016
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