Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on January 3, 2022. The video’s public release will be February 16, 2022.
Hey humans, Lyric here, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Wednesday programming. It’s great to have you all here. I’m so grateful for you.
This week I’m going to be talking about some of my interests as an Autistic Person that were deemed air quotes “inappropriate” by adults around me.
If you’ve ever heard that sometimes Autistic children “may have interests that are not appropriate for their age or grade level.” This would be me sharing my experience of that. If you are at all curious, please do stay tuned.
The first of these air quotes, “inappropriate interests” I had was in reproduction, just in general: plants, humans, animals. The fact that you could spawn more, of something, and how that happened. Sea horses, how they do their thing… like all of that, like how cells divide. Like I was really into the science-y aspect of that, as a young person.
Uh, but as a teenager… when hormones came into the picture that interest in sex… became more of an interest in SEX, if you know what I mean.
That did get me into some trouble growing up, and was not the kind of thing you could talk about with your parents. So a lot of discovering and learning on my own, especially because here in Texas, we have abstinence only sex education, which is not very helpful sex education, I didn’t even have very good sex ed.
I really, really, really would’ve loved to have good sex ed, and information about safe sex, but instead, they just showed us horrifying pictures of sexually transmitted diseases, and told you stories about what would happen if you got pregnant, and how it would ruin your life.
And didn’t really give you a lot of information that was really useful and helpful about sex, for teenagers, which is unfortunate.
Another one of my interests, that started out, seemingly innocent enough, but spiraled into things that would get me in trouble later in life, with adults, was, I was really interested in plants, and the healing properties of plants- alovera.
What plants could do to the human brain- cannabis, mushrooms.
I was really interested in the magic of plants… from a young age, which, eventually, got me into trouble in, one first, because it led me to Paganism, and Wicca, and witchcraft, which that in itself is not a bad thing, but what was troublesome about that was growing up here, in the Bible belt and being into that, was something that was deemed inappropriate by adults around me.
Christians around me, my very Christian family, my mother, I’m sure, believed I was going to hell, if I didn’t change my ways.
It was definitely a topic that caused lots of arguments in our household, that I was turning away from the church. Which is not uncommon for queer youths to turn away from the church, because if you’re queer, and you’re going to church, you’re constantly told that you have unpure unholy thoughts, and that you are a sinner, and all these bad things about you, from a very young age.
When I found Paganism, and Wicca, and those things. It was much more open to me, much more accessible to me, and more in line with all of my interests in just the magic of the earth and nature and, all of those things that Can be provided by the earth.
So that was an interest that got me into some trouble, especially as a teenager, because of societal expectations, not because there was anything wrong with these things that I was interested in.
Being very interested in plants meant that, as a teenager, I was also really interested in the effects of things like mushrooms and cannabis on the human brain.
I’ve never tried mushrooms. I’m actually very afraid to try something like that, because I don’t want to have a loss of control. I’m a bit of control freak. I don’t want to be disoriented, but I’ve always thought it’s very fascinating, the things that they’re doing, studying those properties.
And I was interested in these things, in middle school. Being someone who was a very sick kid, who had a lot of neurological issues, seizures, stomach aches, migraines, IBS.
I was very interested in watching what was happening in California, with medical cannabis, and all of the different things they were discovering that it could potentially be helpful for… in Texas, when I was in middle school.
Now Texas is not a place where these types of things have been de-stigmatized, at all.
In fact, even having a small bit of that in your car, and getting pulled over is likely to get you thrown straight in jail in Texas. So being interested in that, as a young person was very heavily stigmatized.
Not, not a very good thing for me to be interested in, here in Texas, because of the environment. So that was one that, definitely, had the potential to get me in a lot of trouble, because I was interested in something “not appropriate for my age”.
Another interest I had, that some would consider “not appropriate for my age” would have been reading adult books, that were, definitely, not intended for children because I was a hyperlexic child, and I am still a hyperlexic adult.
As a child, this meant I was reading books, like Stephen King, the original Bram Stoker’s Dracula, not in modern English, also, the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles… lots of books that would have been deemed “inappropriate” for someone who is in second, third, fourth, fifth, through seventh grade to be reading, but that was my reading level.
There were probably some concepts in there that went right over my head, without a doubt, but I was, I was interested in vampires for, for a long time.
I thought I was a vampire, when I was a little kid, cause I was so sensitive to light. I read Bunnicula when I was really young and it made me really interested in vampires. It’s an old book, so cute though. There was a whole series. I digested them. I’ve still got my copy somewhere. Couldn’t let it go.
The last of these in “inappropriate” air quotes, interests that I can think of, for now is being 11, 12, 13 years old, and being really, really into human psychology and looking back, I still know exactly where this comes from.
This comes from well before that. I was into animal behavior and animal psychology.
I’ve always wanted to understand animals better and I think they’re much more intelligent than humans give them credit for, because they don’t use words.
I love that we’re starting to give dogs ACC devices. Look it up, it’s all over Instagram. I don’t know what you’d search for. Maybe dog ACC. Hunger4Words is one, with Stella, that I love.
I’ve always known dogs, want to tell us something and I feel like people aren’t listening to them, so I’ve always wanted to talk to animals, since I was a young kid.
That evolved into. Like I wanted to understand animals on this deep level. And then eventually I wanted to understand people too, because I felt very much like an outsider among other people.
I didn’t understand other people. They were such a mystery to me and so stinking confusing to me, as an undiagnosed undiscovered autistic person for 29 years of my life, not knowing I was autistic. I didn’t understand why there was this disconnect between me and the other humans in the world.
I didn’t get it. I was searching to understand and so studying psychology, at 11, was my way of trying to make sense of the people around me. Which a lot of people would think, that was an inappropriate interest.
When I was 13, I thought I wanted to go to school and be a psychologist, but, by that time, I had already been in school for so many years, and I had been so traumatized by the public education system, that I couldn’t even imagine going to continuing education for that many more years, to be able to get that psychology degree.
I was just in survival mode, trying to get out of school. I couldn’t, I couldn’t keep going. I was already done. I was done by the time I was 12, but I had to make it until I was 18.
So yeah, I gave up on that dream. Never lost the interest, though.
Thank you so much for hanging out with me this Wednesday. If you’re still here, you stayed through the entire video, I’m very grateful for your time. I know that is precious.
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I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week. I will see you next Wednesday. Bye.
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With gratitude, – Lyric