I wrote this on April 4th last year and the rest of April apparently exhausted me so much that I completely forgot about this post until today. I’m keeping the language the way it was when I wrote it so it’s accurate for April 4th, 2017 and not necessarily for right now.
It’s been a few days since I made my unexpected disclosure on Facebook and I have many thoughts about the aftermath. I’m trying to corral them a bit, but they still might come out disjointed.
I’m still happy I disclosed ❤ I still feel more whole and complete and myself than I did before. I’m posting informational links, videos, and photos with subtle ongoing disclosures sprinkled throughout for anyone who wasn’t following the upsetting comment thread.
Oddly enough, I’m not even sad that it happened the way it did.
Despite the distressing nature of the experience, now I at least have a good idea of who might actually be listening to me vs making up things in their head about what I’m not saying.
Now I know what those people think about me and other Autistic people when I’m not around. Because I wasn’t fully around for the first part of the discussion – only part of me was.
Once I was fully present in the conversation, most of those people just disappeared into nothingness. They’re still on my friend-list and I hope they’re following along with the things I’m posting for April, but there’s been a very obvious and telling silence from them ever since I disclosed.
Others tried to explain that the reactions would’ve been different had I disclosed from the beginning.
This makes no sense to me.
Prior to disclosing I used the Autistic author’s own words to counter some of the more ridiculous claims by the allistics on my list who had completely missed the point of what I’d posted. The author’s words might as well have been directly from me because I might as well have been the author and I was using another Autistic’s words – that much was known by the allistic people in question.
When that author’s words were twisted, discounted, and ignored – those were also my words being twisted, discounted, and ignored.
As soon as I disclosed, it was all silence and “well, we didn’t know!”
I do not believe it should have mattered for them to know or not. Either they’re willing to listen to Autistic words or they aren’t. It shouldn’t matter whether they’re my words or someone else’s.
Honestly, I wonder if what they meant was, “We wouldn’t have said those things where you could see them if we’d known you were one of them.”
The things that were said were horrifying to me. Resistance to acceptance of Autistics as full human beings. And why should I be upset? They were only discussing the article! They hadn’t known I “didn’t want a discussion” until I clarified that I only wanted discussion about what the author had actually written, not what was unsaid yet presumed.
So, setting boundaries and requesting that we discuss the actual article was seen as “not wanting a discussion.”
They didn’t even see any reason why I’d be bothered by them reading the most astonishing non-existent things into the article. For example: The author had clearly stated they were not saying something and yet a lively discussion of how the author had meant that exact thing was apparently considered totally appropriate and not upsetting at all!
But it was upsetting. Discouraging too.
There are times when my life just seems to stretch out into infinity of always having to deal with sensory stuff and the ridiculous communication assumptions that allistics are constantly making no matter what I say 😦
My tone is only clumsily controllable by me and they hear that first. No matter how many times I remind them. They always forget. So, I keep reminding…. but it’s like toothbrushing. A chore that I’ll have to do forever.
A tiring, annoying, painful chore.
But if they listen to and accept me then I’ll do my best to accept them and their shortcomings (such as incorrectly making assumptions about things that aren’t said).