For Autistic people like myself, the feeling of wanting to be included can be so overwhelming.
I never got invited to stuff outside of school. A lot of that was because people thought I was weird, and it wasn’t fair. Hearing stories of how other autistic people felt socially awkward or isolated during school motivated me to become an advocate to try to make a difference for the autistic community.
I could ask these 3 questions to understand if anyone ever felt the way I did:
- How many of you walk into school every day and wonder if anyone really cares?
- How many of you wonder whether you’re watching the right shows, if your clothes are cool enough, or if you are listening to the right music to relate to anybody?
- How many of you have ever been hurt when you found out about a party or social event you were never invited to?
I remember back in high school, an old classmate told me to try and stop being autistic for like 5 minutes, and that really made my blood boil.
In college, a group of people wouldn’t let me hang with them because they thought I wasn’t enough. I love to play video games, and I do tend to get a little overcompetitive sometimes. I know I can be annoying, and sometimes I don’t realize it, because that’s how I am.
I’m not ashamed of it. It’s the real friends who will forgive that and remember that we all just want to be loved for who we are— not because we’re different, but because we’re human.
Don’t you just get tired of going out of your way to prove people wrong when they tell you you’re not enough of something or whatever?
There could even be groups who don’t accept you when you aren’t a certain way even if they’re autistic, too, and that’s just as bad.
Also, most of us are tired of feeling like or being afterthoughts like I feel sometimes. We feel forgotten, pushed aside, and are treated like background characters.
We want people who actually like us, want to talk to us, hang out with us, and put in as much effort as we do. Most are tired of wondering or game guessing as well. I care about people, but it hurts if they don’t care about me in return and just string me along.
What most people should learn is that even if some autistics struggle more than others socially, there’s no one way or right way to be autistic—or to be anything. There’s just you being you.
Maybe I am awkward, goofy, and intense, but I’m just unique. I wouldn’t change it for anything.