We live in a world that was made for extroverted allistic people, and for autistic people trying to fit into this world is exhausting.
Society has a habit of boxing people and then forgetting them. I think ironically sometimes it is autistic people who also try to stereotype autistic people because they see the world through their own lens and then believe this is a one size fits all. This shows lack of self-awareness that every human being is unique. Many make the mistake of thinking everything about them is an autistic trait and to share it as one to educate others to model their behaviour on.
I use identify first language because being autistic is an inherent part of my identity and frames a lot of how I need to live to thrive in a sensory triggering world. Being autistic isn’t separate from myself, so it’s impossible to separate from that as it is part of my identity thus an integral part of me. It makes clear my neurology and defines my state and how I see the world around me. If I wasn’t autistic, I would not be the person I am, so it does define me and will have a significant bearing on how I live my life.
We all have our own personalities and purpose in life. Our autistic traits will shine through our personality, and shape how we present in life which will also make us all different from one another. I am quite different to many autistic people I meet online and many of them don’t even get me because my perspective on life is quite divergent to theirs.
I also don’t relate to many of the ‘autistic people are like these statements’. I think it’s better to own how we present as an autistic person as ours rather than project them on to others. However, sharing how we present can help others understand themselves because it may inspire them to dig deeper in understanding themselves better rather than trying to find themselves in other autistic people.
Autistic people do not have superpowers and the term superpowers is an over-the-top term for strengths in life. Its a hyped-up term that shouldn't be used for anyone. Superpowers relates to marvel comic books and superheroes, and this nonsense has become perpetual on social media to convince people this is what makes us stands out, when its not real. This superpower concept projects we must have superpowers to be worthy, which is harmful to autistic people who believe it.
Identity means different things to people. For most identity is, who am I and what do I want my future self to be. That incorporates many things such as appearance, personality traits, memories, qualities, relationships, beliefs, values, uniqueness, and sense of self, thus how they see themselves compared to others. Then there is social identify such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, religious beliefs, and spirituality.
As soon as we identify ourselves in other’s we lose ourselves. When we stop looking for our purpose in life it finds us, and we don’t get to live that life by following other people’s rules. We must be present with the journey we are taking to understand who we are and what we came here to learn, experience, and understand.
For autistic people discovering who they are can be very challenging because it requires them to unmask the many years of heavily masking who they are for acceptance in the world. It’s not that it isn’t hard for all people, but more that autistic people mask more heavily to hide their autistic traits from others. Some have been masking their autistic traits for decades, so the process of unmasking is a challenging journey.
Many autistic people have carried shame from early in life and have taken on labels and stereotyping to seek acceptance from others. Acceptance doesn’t have anything to do with wearing labels. Calling ourselves these names has more to do with the emotional reaction to how society has badly treated autistic people.
Even though autistic people may share traits they are are also diverse with their own unique traits and qualities, and all have their own experience and expression as a person. We don't discover ourselves by looking for an identity in others or follow the trends and boxes people like to put us in. This path only takes us away from ourselves and will later likely fuel more anxiety as these illusions are realised.
Telling people you're not alone isn't support, its a platitude and we do walk our paths alone. However, those who support us in walking our own path do help us and those who do not are best distanced from. Other autistic people may have empathy for other autistic people because they they understand the struggles in daily life autistic face everyday. However, they do not walk in their shoes so cannot know what they are experiencing or feeling just because they're also autistic.
Living a meaningful life isn’t about having false glamour's about ourselves to make us feel special. It only creates an illusion of what's real and fuels more pressure in autistic people to mask their true selves which isn't real. It creates sensory overload, anxiety, and meltdowns. Following our own hearts allows us to discover ourselves and be who we are with more self-acceptance, peace and understanding.