Hey humans, NeuroRebel here and this week, I am going to speak from the heart when I share with you why, in April, it’s important for us to remember that Autistic people are not broken. So please stay tuned.
Hi everyone, there are a lot of new people here over the past few months.
I I’m really grateful, and also blown away, by all of the new people that have been joining across the various platforms. Thank you so much for joining me.
For those of you who are new, I am a late discovered Autistic adult. I didn’t know I was Autistic for the first 29 years of my life.
I was diagnosed Autistic at the age of 29, when I was going through Autistic burnout.
I’ve already done a few videos, and discussed this topic on social media in the past, so that’s a whole nother topic we won’t dive into, but it was something that led to my Autistic discovery, late in life.
Even though I didn’t know I was Autistic, leading up to learning I was autistic at 29, I knew I was different.
The thing about being NeuroDivergent, when you are in the world of neuro-typical people, if you think you’re neuro-typical, like I did… us late discovered folks, who don’t have any idea about NeuroDiversity and NeuroDivergence, or that we’re NeuroDivergent until late in life… we go about life thinking we’re neurotypicals.
We are comparing ourselves to neurotypicals and we are setting the bars in our life based on neuro-typical standards.
That means this burnout, that I mentioned earlier, can be common for NeuroDivergent people, because we’re not pacing ourselves correctly if we’re not taking our NeuroDivergence into account.
I was often setting myself to impossible neuro-typical standards, unfairly to myself for many years, when I didn’t have the information that I was Autistic.
I didn’t know I was a square peg, trying to squeeze myself into a round hole, and I was damaging myself – the peg.
Even before I knew what autism was, I was masking my autism, because subtle messaging from people in the world around me, told me that those parts of me were unacceptable.
If I would have a weakness that other people around me didn’t understand and they thought that’s easy. It’s so silly that you can’t do this. Why can’t you do this easy thing?
I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do the easy thing. I really took to heart that I couldn’t do the easy thing.
What must be wrong with me that I couldn’t do these easy things?
I didn’t understand that my perception and my experience of the world was very different, so the things that were easy for other people weren’t necessarily going to be easy for me, or that it would be okay, because there were things that were easy for me that also weren’t so easy for other people.
I had also been exposed to cultures where it was championed that you could suck it up and take things and figure things out and not complain and not ask for help and be completely self-sufficient.
This is really unfair, when you realize all of the sudden, that you need to ask for help, especially if you’re going to try and ask for help with something that most people take for granted and wouldn’t ask for help with.
In these systems, weaknesses are often thought of as problematic, and that makes it hard for those of us who sometimes need a little help, or adjustment – flex to the environment.
It shouldn’t be shameful to ask for help. Everyone needs a little help sometimes with something or another at one point in their life. Nobody is truly. Independent. We’re all interconnected in humanity, and in life and in business, and the world. So this notion of complete independence is a fallacy.
I found out I was Autistic because I was burnt out, and in health crisis, from pushing myself to be something I wasn’t and couldn’t, and shouldn’t have been, trying to be.
I was masking, camouflaging -just trying to blend in and not make too many waves.
Trying to blend in was suffocating me.
I was really miserable and sick. I didn’t feel like I had the freedom to be myself or express myself, or even trust myself to make judgements anymore.
I was in a really bad place when I figured out, finally, that I was Autistic and that’s been, you know, almost four and a half years ago now.
We’ve come a long way from it, and I’m still on this journey to figuring out getting my life back on track.
That moment was the eye-opening moment, where I realized, “Oh my gosh, where did I get? So off track in my life? Where did I lose myself and my authenticity? And how do I get that back?”
That was the, aha, crisis moment that I had when I found I was Autistic.
Those of you who have been here with me for awhile, may already know I am also a Queer Autistic adult.
So to NeuroQueer with you, for a moment… I am always comparing and contrasting and examining the parallels between my existence as a Queer person and a NeuroDivergent person.
There are many ways I see that these things are similar and they actually intersect.
For example, as a Queer person, I have come out of the closet many times in my life. Technically, this is me coming out of the closet again, to any of you who are new and didn’t know I was a Queer person.
“Hi, I’m a Queer person!” I’m coming out of the closet to you right now.
When you’re Queer, you are coming out of the closet over and over and over again to every new person you meet, really.
Because it’s something that you have to choose to disclose or not. So if you are choosing to disclose its, Oh look, here we go, coming out of the closet again.
Being Autistic is very, very similar and, with being Queer, not living in the closet, and having pride in myself being Queer, because it is not something that is a choice. It is how I was born.
I am Queer. I was born Queer and will always be Queer, get used to it.
Same with being Autistic. It’s not a choice.
I’m choosing to disclose something to you and I don’t want to be ashamed of the fact that I’m Autistic.
I’m an Autistic person. I’m here. Let’s get used to this fact and move forward. Shall we?
I think it’s common knowledge, at this point, that shame is not good for the human psyche, especially shame around things that people have no control over.
That’s why, as a Queer person, we have Queer and Gay Pride and Pride Month and all of these things to say it is okay and not shameful to be Queer.
And with Autistic people, there is Autistic pride month, to say it’s okay and you don’t have to be ashamed, of being Autistic.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of messaging from society to be ashamed of things that we have no control over.
I was in a downward mental health spiral when I figured out I was Autistic at the age of 29.
That information was the last piece, that I needed, to shift myself into a new way of thinking about myself.
Many Autistic people will struggle to think about themselves in a positive light, especially as society continues to say that they should be ashamed of being Autistic or that Autistic people are weird or need to be fixed, in order to fit into society.
We need Autistic people to be able to have pride in themselves. I needed to have pride in myself, in order to be okay as a human being.
I’m here to tell you you’re not broken. You don’t need fixing. You’re beautiful, and amazing.
Stop listening to those people who just want to sell people things based on the idea that Autistic people are broken.
We’re not broken.
Those opportunists should be ashamed of themselves.
I know April can be a very intense month, if you are an Autistic human on the internet. So cheers, we are making it to the end.
This is the last video I’m putting out this month.
I am so grateful for each and every one of you, for hanging out with me.
If you have a suggestion for an upcoming video, go ahead and drop that in the comment below, because I am always looking to do videos on topics that you would like to know about.
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As a special thank you, those subscribers did get an access to this video in mid-March. Although it was released to the public at the end of April.
I shot this video on March 8th. Believe it or not, I try to stay ahead of schedule. Sometimes I shoot a lot of videos in advance.
It’s my little secret. Don’t tell anyone.
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Whether you are subscribing, sharing, commenting, or just hanging out, I’m grateful and glad you’re here.
I will see you next Wednesday.
Bye humans! .
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