Before I knew I was autistic, I thought we were the same and our experiences are shared. I assume you share my thoughts and feel my pain yet I was confused and frustrated because I felt so different but no one could tell me why. How could you not think like I do? How could you not know this will hurt? How could you not hate noise like I do? How could you not enjoy the things I like to do? Why am I different?
But now I know we are meant to be different. Because of autism, I learn that we are not the same and why should it be? Instead of asking why am I different, why should we be similar? Some of us are meant to be assholes. Some of us are meant to be rude and inconsiderate. Period. I stop taking things for granted because we have different needs. I used to think you’d think like me without realising we were different and that empathy is to put myself in your shoes. I now learn that it is not enough to put oneself in someone else’s shoes, I’ve got to try walking in that shoes, that is the essence of empathy. You might not be autistic, probably a neurotypical or perhaps neurodivergent, I give you the benefit of doubt. I come up with reasons and excuses to accommodate diverse needs. I put up with your small talk because I know this is your source of energy. I forgive that when you are engaging in your special interest, you cannot read the signs that I’m disinterested. Perhaps you have a fear of loneliness, it would be cruel of me to deny your social needs. It takes a strong person to cope with silence and it would be too harsh a punishment for you. You are so fixated in your own world, you fail to realise that everyone is different. I can’t blame you for that because I was once the same.
Before I knew I was autistic, my frustration was due to not understanding why I was different. Now my frustration is due to not understanding why we are expected to be the same. Thank you autism for broadening my perspective. Thank you autism for reminding me that we are meant to be different and we should therefore be more accepting, considerate and tolerant. Thank you autism for teaching me to be a more empathetic and sensitive human being. Thank you autism, you might not make me a happy person but I’m a better person because of you.
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