Yesterday, as I was scrolling on Twitter, I came across a thread where it’s basically like, “See how many of these symptoms of autism you might have” and I was like “Oh, ha ha, fun” thinking I’d have like two or three, because I’m a nerd.
I have all of them.
I have this strong urge to tell you a story about this, to line up all the evidence and lay it out in a neat and convincing order.
Hopefully you can see the humor in that.
The worst part is that all my arguments with myself about it reveal to me that I have some pretty deep-seated ugly believes about people with autism. I can’t be autistic because I’m funny. I can’t be autistic because I have friends. And a social life. Kind of. I don’t make people uncomfortable, except, you know, every conservative in the state. I have a good life. I’m happy. Blah blah blah. On and on.
And then there’s the ugly hollow feeling I feel when I think “Oh, this, me, is what people wish didn’t exist.” Followed up by, “oh, no, because I’m one of the good ones.”
That’s pretty ugly. But it just keeps bubbling up. I guess I’ll see for how long.
So, on the one hand, I don’t feel any different than I felt earlier in the week. I can’t really see how knowing this might make any difference to my life. Like, I don’t think I’m suffering from it in any way. But also, I’m very fortunate to be able to arrange my life to suit me. That may not always be the case.
On the other hand, I have some existential vertigo. Like, oh, is this why x happened that way or why I’ve always felt y? And that’s not fun.
And I do wonder if there’s something I’m supposed to do now? Like, if things seem okay, do I need to try to get an official diagnosis? And this one is really hard for me–can I trust myself to know if things are actually okay?
The whole thing is weird and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Which, yes, also on the checklist.
Which, I guess, I also dislike: finding out that all my charming quirks, which I believed were unique to me and made me special are actually common enough to be boxes to check off.
I’m going to read at the Third Man 10th Anniversary this afternoon and I need to be my charming and witty self, so I’m going to try not to dwell on this.
But dwelling on things. Or, you know, obsessing over them. It’s my way. It’s also on the list.