I almost put my fist through a car window while delivering pizza and broke down crying because I did something autistic in front of a customer post-diagnosis. My denial of my diagnosis was very strong prior to that moment. Realizing that I can finally admit that without cringing in shame is proof that I have gained some perspective since then.
My 5 observations are:
A) My acceptance is a process and path unique to me
Believe me when I say acceptance was not from A to B. My acceptance was from A to 7 to a ? to doing donuts around the Batman symbol a couple of times and finally reaching B in reverse. Some days still feel like that day with the car window. Others are nothing like that. Just depends on the day.
B) My diagnosis fixed nothing about my family dynamic.
The ideal outcome I wanted with my family and my diagnosis had its throat cut by the harsh reality. I’m still misunderstood. I’m still reluctant to talk to my family about my autism. Nothing changed. The only family that gives me any support are the ones who always have.
C) Knowing is half the battle
I did “get it” from that because it fits. A lot of trouble I have right now is simply because I didn’t put in the work to keep myself informed. Keeping myself knowledgeable about what’s going on and constantly asking questions has great power to me.
D) I was not expecting to be a self-advocate
I just wanted to get my life put back together and move on when I first found out. I never wanted to advocate anything. But sitting on a panel one day made me realize that I go through a lot and that my perspective could help myself and others.
E) I am not alone
Early in my post-diagnosis journey, I assumed incorrectly that there was no one out there who could understand me. The following years have proven me very wrong. There is an understanding about autistics among autistics that I didn’t know was possible. For that I am truly grateful.
- The Enormity of Being Black and Autistic: On self-hate and social media — June 25, 2020
- The Patterns of Injustice that Lead to the Loss of Black Lives — June 1, 2020
- A Black Autistic Man Reflects on the Murder of George Floyd — May 28, 2020