The April Autistic Debacle: Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month, Mark Rober and his celebrity laced telethon for Next for Autism, TikToker counter …
I promised I would shift my creative energies towards Autistic Advocacy. With that said, please enjoy this, the first episode of my new YouTube series, The Autistic OS. This episode concerns autistic social communication, specifically, in the area of social reciprocity.
When I began this blog and when I entered the social media landscape as Cornflower Girl, I did not set out to be an Autistic Creator. I did set out to produce content to which others could relate, which would, hopefully, facilitate catharsis for wounded souls in need of balm, like my own. I began creating content for online consumption long before I ever realized I am Actually Autistic. It all began with a novel project, which I have referenced from time to time within these pages, and while I’ve shelved that particular endeavor (for who knows how long?) it did play a necessary role in my personal evolution.
I too long wobbled along the tight rope between the will of my parents (which, let’s face it, is really very neuro-normative in nature) and my natural instincts. Before having children, the only victim of my deference was myself. Now, however, the stakes are higher. When faced with a choice to honor the will of my parents versus my own, I’ve historically chosen their will. As a parent, the choice to honor my will extends to my children. In other words, my will is to offer my children grace and mercy–to love them without condition. In contrast, the will of my parents is to have grandchildren that behave like little angels, to have interactions with their child (me) and grandchildren without opposition. Yet when a child is neurodivergent, behaviors often erupt, which closely resemble defiance or rebellion. When alone with my children, I mollify these behaviors through empathic response, but when my parents are around, I feel external pressure to hide these behaviors, or quash them, for the sake of my parents’ comfort. As you can see, the result is betrayal; first, of myself; next, of my kids.
To look at me now, it is obvious that I am an all around nonconformist, but I have not always been this way. In fact, my ability to give no f*** is a newly developed skill.
I feel as though I am caught up within the vortex of a whirlwind these days. Last week, I labored to prepare my kids for the start of our remote learning school year, and this week, we’ve begun. Yet, just after the first morning’s classes, my youngest discovered a boil on her gum, so she had to have an emergency tooth extraction this morning. What a way to begin an already strange and uncertain year!
There are parts of my personality and existence for which I’ve felt inordinate shame. These are things I’ve long repressed, pretending they were never actually part of my lived experience.Receiving my autism diagnosis has forced me to confront and scrutinize these. Today, I need to talk about meltdowns.
I am overwhelmed–but in a good way today. Still, overwhelm has me grasping for language I cannot adequately access. So, watch my vlog…
In undergrad, after I settled on English Lit as my major, my university experience greatly improved. Prior to this, I’d declared business as my major and my academic performance was shoddy, at best, in this course of study. Yet in Literature and Humanities classes, I outperformed all my peers and while I rarely contributed to class discussions, my teachers treated me like a genius after reading my written work.