Autistic Brain (Living as The Sober One in A Drunk World)
At 33 years of age, on the spectrum, I finally feel I will be able explain, in a way that makes sense of course, what the brain of a person with Autism thinks/feels like.
Yes, specific to me, but I'm sure many autists can relate. Why does my brain function/think the way it does? Is there something wrong with me? Or is there something wrong with society? **for lack of better words, I am going to use 'you' and 'society' as the two words to separate a-typicals (you) and neurotypicals (society).** Let's be honest. Nothing is actually wrong with anyone. We all have our own perception of reality & that's really what this comes down to. However, I do believe that society causes their own drama, their own pain, their own suffering. Autistic people have to live in this world, functioning with society because majority rules, the way they(autists) choose to live in order to 'fit in'. This is why we (autists) are asked to conform. This is why we are asked to take social skills classes, etc. But why? Because we are honest/forthcoming & candid (as society would call it)? Because we have a different way of processing things functionally that makes sense to us? Regardless of whether structure is an important part of our life. So what?Because when we choose to do it our way, we are either wrong or are insulting your intelligence somehow because we are asking questions to understand. Most autists are "why people". We seek to understand, simply for the knowledge. Questions don't mean combativeness, it means seeking to understand.
Stop, take a step back & refer to my original statement: 'Society causes their own pain, their own drama, etc.' The best way for me to describe what I mean is to put this into a theoretical of drinking.
We all, autistic people too, live in a world where everyone is drunk. Everyone knows what it is like to be drunk. It feels good, we are stumbling, slurring our words, and we can all communicate with one another because we ALL speak the same language. We are all on the same 'playing field' so to speak. Sure, some drunks might be aggressive, some might be a little obnoxious and funny, and you know... you always have the ones who are overly emotional. They may not all get along but overall, everyone understands one another because they are drunk, right?
One day, the autistic person decides not to drink anymore. You sober up, you feel good. You feel things you have not felt in a long time. (This is because you had learned to conform & therfore you were drunk, but being sober, you are back to your authentic self). You have lived so long being drunk, you almost forgot what it was like to live sober. Masking & meeting the need of society for so long you forget who you are at your core and it exerts a lot of time and energy, it takes days to recover sometimes, just like a bad hangover. We see how wonderful life really is, and see things clearly.
Now, the autistic person is excited to let everyone know who they really are and also wants everyone else to stop drinking. Maybe they will become their true selves too. This doesn't mean they are autistic but just their true selves. We all accept one another if we are all drunk or all sober. (Speaking the same language). So, you try to tell the others to stop. When we do, this comes across to society as odd, indifferent and they do not like it. We are ruining the party. (This is equivalent to disrupting the social norms of life when autistic people ask for accommodations, or when we communicate in a way that seems 'odd or indifferent' to a neurotypical). You try to explain that some people drink and some don't and that's ok, but it's more clear on the sober side (it's a brain of more openness and accepting of others, where you aren't creating your own dramas and suffering). Society then chooses to shun you because you are no longer 'fun', or speaking their language, not the life of the party. You are the sober guy at the drunk party and aren't making any sense. This is equivalent to society saying 'You either take social skills classes and conform if you aren't gonna drink and "pretend you like being drunk", or you conform and get drunk and act like us because majority rules."
So, what do you do? You feel you have no choice but to sympathize with them (society). Truth is, you used to be drunk at one point in your life, so it's easier for you to relate and conform to their way of life than to expect society to ever understand your sober way of living. But can you really be upset at them? It's not societies fault they don't understand. They know no different. Will they ever become sober? Will they ever accept us? Will they even try? Everyone else is drunk, so why bother?.... majority rules! Conform or mask.
I hope this has somewhat helped. Don't get to bogged down into the details of drunk and sober. It's a metaphor and I'm not indicating neurotypicals are drunk people and don't get things. It's simply nothing less than exactly what I stated (oh the irony)....#Autismbrain #autismconform