getting to this late. not angry or necessarily very hurt. merely…contemplating.
wishing my life was easier is not synonymous with wishing i were not autistic. in fact, for me, these two wishes are antithetical.
they have not always been. but they are. and they must always be. because i have spent many, many years feeling angry at who i am; because that is what my world and my life have taught me to feel. to wish that i were normal so that i would feel less pain. but to wish that i were normal is always to feel pain. how could it not be? it is impossible for me to wish i were normal without feeling pain at that wish. only those who are not autistic can believe that a wish for normalcy is a wish without pain.
for me, it would simply be to replace one pain with another; to feel pain about who i am instead of feeling pain about how i am treated, and how i struggle.
my pro-neurodiversity stance is not a parade of happiness, nor a doctrine of inflexible positivity. it is the fragile and heartfelt belief that it’s the world that needs to change, not me. because that, for me, is the only wish that truly is a wish for an easier life.
This may be my favorite picture of myself ever. It is my first birthday, and there are lots of people around. But I am standing in a corner, wearing a yellow sleeveless dress, holding a bunch of blue, green and purple balloons and staring up at them like they’re the most fascinating thing in the world. Because balloons.