Discovering you’ve been disabled all your life at 47

I’m going to be unpacking what it means to be me for a long time. In large part because everything just about everyone else ever told me about myself was wrong. They were wrong. And now I have the language for it, they were ableist. They saw the effects of my hidden disability and assumed the very worst about me. Innocent until proven guilty, unless you’re an autistic woman without intellectual disability.

I’ve had a lifetime of micro-aggressions thrown at me. It’s no wonder I have a laundry list of mental health problems, to the extent that most of them are now considered de facto disabilities all of their own under the Equality Act 2010.

The clinical psychologist who assessed me said that these were normal expected outcomes of having lived so long with a disability that the people around me have refused to accept. My ability to pick up on social cues may be impaired, but my flight/fight/freeze response is normal. When you ostracise me, when you bully me, when you force me to comply with neurotypical behaviours because you don’t want me to be autistic, you trigger those responses. When you tell me I have just to ‘suck it up’ and ‘try harder to be normal’ while traumatizing me, you create recurrent depression and panic disorder and self-harming and agoraphobia and….

Just because I have an autism diagnosis it doesn’t make me less human. The golden rule is that you should treat others how you want to be treated. Why do people think that only applies to neurotypicals?

I could hate the world. I don’t. But I also don’t like it very much right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: