Thursday, May 30, 2013

Square Peg in a Round-Hole-World

This heteronormative, neurotypical society was not made for someone like me. Me, gay and Autistic. I am a square peg trying to live in a round-hole-world, and yet the more I try to squeeze in, the more I feel that I am losing parts of my own soul. I live on the fringes, because in this society the majority gets most of the privilege and the minority is marginalized. I feel like the "Other". Where is there is a place for me?

There are definitely beautiful and special things that come with being on the Autism spectrum. I believe that Autistic people possess gifts that many neurotypicals lack. We are the guileless ones, the genuine ones, the ones who hope for the best and believe the best about everyone. We are the sensitive ones, who feel the pain of others (humans and animals) in ways that are ineffable. I am not denying the gifts that we have.

But there are definite challenges, and these challenges are made all the more difficult because support and accommodations are not easy to acquire. Because I am a minority. Because this is a neurotypical world. And therefore, there is a lack of understanding, and where there is a lack of understanding, there is a lack of assistance and support.

The older I get the more I feel that ASD really is a "pervasive developmental disorder". The older I get the more I feel developmentally delayed, in the social, emotional, and executive functioning realms. What makes this more frustrating is that intellectually, I am gifted/advanced. I'm smart. I know a lot of things. I've had a good education. Sometimes when I talk to people, I sound like a wise old sage.

Because of my intellect, and because I know the expectations of this society, I know what I should be capable of doing at my age. I know that I should be capable of holding down a full time job. I should be able to live independently, cook meals for myself, and do the required household chores. I should be able to go through the needed steps to apply for graduate school. On a social and emotional level, I should not be feeling/acting like a 14-16 year old.

As you will observe from my last post, I work very hard to present as "normal" (i.e., non-autistic) in most of my everyday interactions with people. But this does not translate to everyday life and functioning. I can't always fake it that well. Yet because I can act normal at times, and because I'm smart, people expect me to be able to keep up and do the things that {they think} I should be able to do.

I'm expected to be able to function like the majority. But it doesn't work. It's not working. I'm at a crossroads, a new stage of life, and I should be going out and getting a job and making my mark on the world. But I'm stuck and trapped and scared and lost. I just can't keep up. It's too hard, and people just don't understand that.

Tonight I'll sing my songs again
I'll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me
In shades of mediocrity 
Like emptiness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me

:: Simon and Garfunkel, "Homeward Bound"


  1. I also understand this. It comes in stages- I say that to comfort. Sometimes you will feel very "normal" and capable and other times you will feel this way for the majority. Esp the first few years of re learning about yourself or having the info more prominent in your mind. I think the very real isolation comes during this time more. But you are not alone. You have more friends than you know. And you are more worthy than you know. I know this sounds so cliche but give it time. It does not get better- I do not want to give false hope- but what does happen is that we adjust and adapt- its a slow process but it happens...and these extremes even out a bit more. A bit. Sometimes you will feel ageless and other times a certain age (younger or older) All I can say in the end- Is I am right there with you:)

    1. Thanks friend. Your words are comforting. I feel like I really knew my place when I was in college, but now that I'm finished and expected to enter the real adult world, I'm floundering. It's just not working. Three of my younger siblings already have full time jobs and they're doing great at it. I feel like the loser sibling. *sigh* I'm just not ready for this stage of life. It came too soon. I still feel like I child who needs to be cared for. >_< I know this stage will pass...but I'm stuck it in it for now and so it feels like I'll be here forever. :/ *sigh* Anyway, thank you for all the support you give to me. your friendship is invaluable.


Thank you for taking the time to share your words with me. You are so Valued.