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What My Autism Has Given Me

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My disability is what makes me, me. It is like an invisible cloud all around me. This makes understanding people hard and social activity frightening. It is a bear that chews my confidence towards myself and others into little pieces the size of fireflies in a bear’s paw. Other days it is the firefly, guiding me in the dark and showing me ideas where others see nothing. It is also a hungry monster, wanting to be fed by simulations, electricity, and moving pictures that hold no value. Yet at the same time it can be a hungry scholar, wishing to devour all the knowledge that books possess and learn as much as possible.

My disability is an anxious warrior, longing for negative conflict while other times it is a monk, looking for nothing but peace within solitude. Sometimes my disability is a subject of ridicule, for being strange and unsettling to those who do not understand. Other times it is admired by many for what it helps me to create. My autism makes things everyday teenagers do seem impossible, as I do the incredible through art in their eyes. It gives me the ability to see through time, but makes me long to live in the past.

My “Special Gift” is also a difficult one to handle; I have both learned much and lost many things due to it. Lost is the sense of normalcy from a young age; gained is an entire universe of my own design, my ability to take words and create something rare and beautiful. Those without imagination, however, sometimes find my worlds built upon words to be “pointless” and “childish” and even “worthless.” My autism makes interacting with these kinds of people unpleasant for both parties involved. My passion for what the people my age generally enjoy is a mere ember, but for the many worlds I create, it is a roaring inferno of joy and passion.

My autism has drawn me to dark and frightening things, but now in this day it has led me to history and to people who respect my gifts. It has taken much courage to finally say that I would not be who I am today without my precious gift of being unique.

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Thinkstock image by Quantiumpix.

Originally published: October 3, 2017
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