I want to give you a hug because this sucks and earlier today I was thinking about an incident just like this. I *believe* I am also on the spectrum because friends and acquaintances some who themselves are, “aspie,” told me I probably am. I’ve avoided getting a diagnosis because I’m afraid of being told all the things you have by neurotypicals and because if I do get the diagnosis I’m kinda scared of being considered disabled.

You and I have *some* similar symptoms … I’ve got an eating disorder as well and interaction with other humans is exhausting. But I’ve also got facial blindness and it sounds like you have a few symptoms I don’t have. Because I actually have to smell or hear people to identify them I will usually tell people right away that I have facial blindness and tell them, “if you see me outside of this context wearing a different outfit you need to reintroduce yourself.” And my partner knows to let me smell him or wear an article of clothing I know is his if he’s meeting me somewhere in public. In that way I think my “disability,” is a lot more ‘visible’ than yours and so people have to take it more seriously and understand it for what it is.

With that said, I was also told by this absolute jerk that my ability to talk to him at all and the fact that I have emotions means I can’t possibly be autistic. I could have slapped him.

I wish I could give you a way around all this foolishness, but I can’t. If I do find a way of dealing with jerks I’ll let you know. It may involve Judo. For now I genuinely consider autism — particularly high functioning — as less of a disability and more of a superpower. You obviously have issues fitting in and getting people to understand how empathetic you really are. But you’re also super empathetic. Which is an incredible and valuable thing. For me I can smell and hear everything. So yeah, the neurotypicals don’t get us and can be super hurtful, but they’ll also never experience the richness of our inner lives. They’re boring and ordinary, but we’re weird and extraordinary.

I’m not you so I don’t know exactly what you’re going through but I kinda do. Keep writing. I think that might help.

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.

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