When a medical professional tells me I’m probably autistic, I’m not surprised. I’ve suspected it for over a year now. This diagnosis isn’t even the main reason why I’m here. I’m in this office because my sister was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I think I might have it too.
I love things too much. I can pass through the world sarcastic and largely inexpressive for most of my day, but then I get home and consume the things I love with a covetous frenzy. I can watch a show and then read fanfic after fanfic about it, analyzing a five-minute scene and the actors’ microexpressions, trying to figure out what exactly they mean.
I am returning to blogging (hopefully on a regular basis) after an exhausting semester. Five days a week, I did the following:
- woke up and walked to the bus stop
- sat for hours in classrooms where the lights were too bright and I had to interact with people
- did intellectual work that added to my mental exhaustion from social interaction and an overstimulating environment
- took the bus and walked home again
And then I frequently worked a dinner shift after that.
Content note: This post talks frankly about ableism in a way that might induce anxiety in autistic readers.
Recently, I started a new job. I haven’t told anyone there that I’m trans or on the autism spectrum. I don’t like to have those conversations unless I feel safe and know I won’t be treated like an oddity or less of a person. Because I usually don’t talk about these identities of mine in public, I often hear things I don’t care for.
At this new job, I overheard a conversation between two coworkers where they were talking about a customer they didn’t like. One of them said, “Isn’t making eye contact just, like, basic human decency?”
And the other one said, “You’d think so, but…” Continue reading “Why I Suck at Eye Contact”