So often I, as an autistic person, am told I must not let my autism define me.
I am told I can’t call myself autistic, but rather a person with autism, as otherwise my autism is the only thing about me.
I am told I must remember I am more than my autism, and that I must overcome it.
Stop, seriously stop. Being autistic defines me, and I don’t need or want your pity, I don’t want your inspirational words about overcoming autism, I want you to understand that being autistic defines me and its ok.
You see I have always had an autistic brain, essentially I have been autistic my whole life. Everything I have done in life is as an autistic person.
Every choice I have made, everything that fascinates me, the things that intruige me, the things that confuse me, and distress me have all been done as an autistic person.
The way I process the world is done with an autistic brain.
The way I can scream in pain because air is agony, the way I hear the fridge humming (and wish it would shut up!) from the next room, the way smells cause my head to feel like it might split open with pain, the way I can see or hear details that others do not, and the way a weighted blanket can be so calming. All because of my autistic brain.
The way I flap when excited, and happy, or the way I flap, and squirm when distressed, the way I fidget, the way I ask questions, and want to do all the quizzes whilst living at The Tower of London. All due to my autistic brain.
The way I can remember exactly when Anne Boleyn was executed, but can’t remember to eat, drink, wash, change clothes, or take my meds. Yep you guessed it, all down to being autistic.
All the social difficulties, and anxieties, my struggles with communication, the fact I often cannot speak, and the way I misunderstand so much, because I am autistic.
You see I am the way I am because I am autistic, not because I have overcome it, not despite it, not because I have refused to let it define me.
Everything I do in life always has been, and always will be as an autistic person.
I am who I am because I am autistic.
So yes being autistic defines me, because you see it affects, defines, and influences absolutely everything in my life, and everything I do.
I don’t want your pity, I don’t need you to tell me that being autistic is not the only thing about me (because I am well aware of that) I don’t need you to tell me I am more than my autism.
Being autistic defines me, and is who I am, and that is absolutely ok.