A Glimpse Out From A Mind In An Iron Mask
Autism is not a straight road and never have I been asked what it is like to have it, though I have been treated differently.
That is because I have told few for fear of this. And why should I? I wanted to, but the way in which people are influenced by movie media led me to hide it so as to not be treated the way screenwriters and directors have incorrectly portrayed stories of people living with ASD.
No one knows enough, nor does anyone understand it perfectly. So-called governing bodies of the spectrum crafted a set of symptoms and ideals to help others understand and dissect what they feel it truly is. But it is not that simple. It is different from what they claim it to be, as it changes from person to person. For me, out of it, spawned a twin brother – OCD, further complicating living conditions. The one time I disclosed my condition to someone, I was called a ‘spastic’, to which I retreated back into my mind with a label I was to stitch into my skin.
Every Tom, Dick and Harry is an Ethan, India and Carlos. The similarities of everyday people are astonishing, concealed through fascias of names and camouflaged aesthetics. In the end, I become untrusting of new and old faces, willing to continue throwing myself at the walls of bad experience, believing interactions that follow might be different instead of litigiously examining the prospects of a potential bolus interaction. People, their names and likes are like URL’s masking website address numbers.
Feeling left behind is a commonality amongst those on the autistic spectrum. Heightened anxiety. Heightened everything, like a spider’s web receiving transmissions of sudden vibrations from a human footstep nearby. But, all-the-time. I sometimes pinch myself to appreciate blood is still in my veins, a type of husbandry to awaken from betwixt periods after the solstice of self has disembarked without revelation, which is a comforting part of daily life. A little like readjusting or reloading myself in a simulation I am not quite ready for. But it can mostly feel in vain and often a tiresome chore.
Remembering a state of being can be as crucial and as a utilitarian as brushing your teeth. Hence, pinching. But also, breathing and walking. The mindfulness of a daily walk helps to grind some negativity out of the way I am feeling and helps me to understand my place in a world where everyone feels out of place. Or at least, that’s what many think. But from my observations, it is the idea of feeling out of place fathered through a symmetry of the background noise of billboards and predictable advertisements, puncturing the screens of mobile phones that make them feel as such. I resolved this issue easily using a trait of my autism. Not caring. Not giving a s**t. Although my empathy trickles into what I love most and those close to me and my obsessions, a lack of it can unknowingly be an advantage at times. And that is where I called it a day on social media.
One less stress in my life. One less vector of disappointment, one less thing to unbalance my scales. But I still cannot escape anxiety, or any anxiety at all. The adverts didn’t get us. The neurons did.
The best analogy I have heard to describe how it is to live with ASD is, imagine you have arrived on another planet teeming with intelligent life. How strange would their culture be?