It should have been Liverpool Pride a few weeks ago. I miss it. I miss seeing people being energised by their community. I miss being caught up in that celebration and dancing around town taking photos.
“They’re autistic now.” My worry when someone learns I am autistic. “You never used to be autistic. Why are you now?” 😮💨 I haven’t suddenly been converted or turned. It’s taken me 40 years to understand myself through hearing others experiences, wondering, and reading.
40 years. It’s a failure in the education system to see my difference as a strength rather than a problem. I always knew I was different. I remember seeing goth kids and thinking they were so cool but I lacked the confidence to go near them. So I stayed with my computer where I was safe in code.
These thoughts about myself stayed with me and had good hearing. They would notice things in tv shows, books, podcasts, plays, etc. They would hear something and latch on to it. Later I would read about what they heard and wonder. “Is that me?” I would only wonder though. I never had the confidence or true understanding to believe it was me.
This is why I am so passionate about telling my experience. I want others to read it and see themselves in me. I hope they find the confidence to question and figure out their identity without it taking 40 years.
I didn’t turn overnight. I can’t be put back into a bottle and be non-autistic. I’m not changing. I’m finding my footing. I’m gaining my confidence which is something you maybe had as a young person but I always lacked. I have it. I finally have it. Don’t stop me now.
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