Precocious

The other day my kid talked about an idea they had, that they thought was clever. I agreed, it was this kind of idea that was unconventional but solved a problem really well, so yes, very clever. The word my kid used for clever was a term that in our first language sounded… yeah, what? How should I describe it?

It was the kind of word that I used a lot as a kid too. The kind of word that made adults call me “precocious”. And at this moment, I realized that the burden of being called precocious is something that my kid will carry, just like I did. I want to protect my kid from this but I really have no idea how.

Why is it a problem to be called precocious? To me, it was humiliating because it pointed out that I was different and didn’t fit in. I didn’t personally care that much about fitting in, but adults made it very clear that you have to make an effort to fit in, because otherwise your life is ruined. This word also pointed out that adults saw me as inappropriate and that my intuitive communication might in a way be advanced but socially so very wrong.

The other day I found myself using this word, but in my first language, and it made me so sad. I don’t know if “precocious” carries the same connotations in english as in my first language, but in my first language, it’s an allistic interpretation of autistic communication. I feel ashamed. I will never, ever use this word about my kid or any other person again, because I don’t want anybody to grow up feeling so ashamed of themselves as I did.

 

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I need to put all my autistic fragments together to a whole me

I’m searching for my autistic self.

I can feel myself as autistic fragments. Many, many autistic fragments.

These fragments don’t match the narrative of myself that I learned growing up.

As a kid, I never new the narrative of the autistic adult.

I need unity, I need to feel whole.

I need to put all my autistic fragments together to a whole me.

 

I’m not a puzzle to solve.

Not a riddle, not an enigma, not a conundrum.

I’m an autistic person. I’m an oppressed person.

The elusive image of myself as autistic comes from your oppression.

I need unity, I need to feel whole.

I need to put all my autistic fragments together to a whole me.

A first step towards getting help to deal with my trauma

Content: trauma

 

The other day I started to listen to Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski. When I came to the part about trauma I was thrown into  a very specific emotional space that I have no words to describe. I fall into something dark and scary and the level of fear is horrible.

Because of this reaction, and because of a couple of other things that has happened recently, I did what I have avoided for so long. I took a first step towards getting help to deal with my traumas. I contacted a psychologist and asked a couple of questions in order to find out if she is the right person to help me.

Ever since I did this, I’ve been feeling so ashamed and one minute I hope that the answer will be no because I just want to burry this deep down again. This is followed by me checking my email over and over for a while and hoping that I will get the opposite answer.

One thing that I hadn’t really thought about is that now when I’ve started to put this emotional mess into words in a conversation with somebody else, it feels like I can’t go back. I’ve been craving comfort and safety for a very long time but since I’ve never really talked about it with anybody, it’s been possible to push it back under the surface.

Now, I don’t know what to do.

I do know that if I’m ever again going to try any kind of counseling or therapy, it has to be with someone who understand power and opression. It has to be with someone who understands LGBTQI and disability. It has to be with someone who understands autism, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and harm caused by healthcare.

I suspect that I’m asking for something that doesn’t exist.

I can’t be close to anyone who isn’t actively working on dismantling ableism

I realized something a while ago, and by now it’s finally clear enough to be articulated:

I can’t be close to anyone who isn’t actively working on analyzing, understanding and dismantling ableism.

This isn’t a rational idea based on moral or principles, nor is this something that I’ve considered pros and cons and then made up my mind about. This is simply the most accurate description of the dynamics in relationships.

My life is permeated by ableism. In almost all everyday situations I’m reminded of that I’m marginalized and that the society I live in barely think of me as human and certainly don’t value my existence. When I eat a meal, take a shower, interact with people – all those situations are so filled with the reminders of ableism. As a severely, chronically ill person with a number of disabilities who can’t leave my home and needs assistance with a lot of things, ableism is always there. When I’m harmed by healthcare because of the lack of accessibility or when I let my assistant schampoo my hair and out of fear don’t dare to ask her to be a bit more gentle, I’m reminded of the power structure that’s called ableism.

Since ableism has such a strong impact on my life, I think about it a lot. I’m working with my own internalized ideas, I’m deconstructing my fear and shame and I’m reading and learning as much as I can about different experiences. Because the thing is, that being disabled isn’t a protection against ableism. I grew up in this ableist world and I’m just as affected as anybody else by the core values we’re fed with.

So what happens when I interact with someone who isn’t reflecting on and questioning ableism? Even though that person doesn’t mean to, they always hurt me. Yes, always. They use ableist slurs, they talk about the world like disabled people don’t exist, they forget that I can’t walk in stairs or talk on the phone and the most hurtful of them all: They invalidate the fear I feel as a disabled person, because they refuse to see how this society is treating people like me.

I know that people don’t necessarily have bad intentions when they do this. However, I’m not ever again going to open up to people and let them know what I think and feel when they will pat me on the head and ensure me that everything is going to be fine, when that’s obviously not true. Never again.

Dear Life, Dear Pride

Dear life,

I’m so sorry. I’m sorry about everything that could have been, but never happened. I’m so sorry that I fooled myself so hard.

It’s summer now, meaning that I’m reminded of the LGBTQIA community that I’m not a part of anymore, because I got too ill and too disabled. Not that being ill and disabled is something that makes me less queer, not at all. But being the way I am, needing what I need, means that it isn’t possible to be a part of neither Pride nor an LGBTQIA community.

I can’t physically be at a Pride festival, because I can’t leave my home. I don’t participate in community discussions online, because the little energy I have, I need to spend on other things. Most of all I can’t openly identify with my queer self, my past, my desires, because I have to stick to the straight narrative to survive. Yes, it’s about survival. I’m in a place in my life where my existence is depending on me putting up a straight show.

This means that every summer, I cry when I see pictures from different Pride celebrations on social media. I cry because I’m reminded of that what I thought was my space, somewhere were I belonged, has turned out to be something else. Something that isn’t for me.

Dear Life, I’m so sorry that I failed you. Dear Pride, I’m so sorry that I’m not proud.