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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

ABN 78 435 698 441

I no longer strive for your acceptance

March 5, 2019

Trigger warning
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Suicide, eating disorders, addiction, abuse, self harm.
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Recently while being interviewed, I was asked how my friends and family responded to my diagnosis of autism.

My response was that I didn’t know and I didn’t care to know.

I love my friends and family with all of my being, but here’s the thing..

I spent my life caring what others thought to a level most people, apart from autistics wouldn’t understand.

I dismissed my needs, made myself uncomfortable in clothing, in environments, amongst people, in situations that felt unbearable to me

To be accepted.

I starved myself, binged and purged so my physical being presented in a certain way

To be accepted.

I abused my body and my precious brain with drugs and alcohol

Damaged them

To be able to not feel

To be able to socialise

To be able to rid myself of the anxiety

To be free of the pain of difference

I have endured unspeakable things that I have never mentioned to anyone outside of the room of a professional

Things that will never be undone

To be accepted.

I have attempted suicide more times than I could count on both hands in both my primary and secondary years

To escape.

I self harmed

Hurt myself

Driven by hatred

Driven by rage

In all the worst ways

Unless you are me, unless you are autistic, then you can never grasp what it has taken to get here.

Autism isn’t just something incredibly beautiful and amazing.

No.

Autism isn’t just something built on deficits.

No.

I would never want to be any other way

But I have been disabled by it

Many times

Before I knew I was autistic.

Let me emphasise that:

BEFORE I KNEW I WAS AUTISTIC.

It wasn’t the autism that disabled me

It was the not knowing

It was attempting to ‘be’ in a world

That I so struggled to understand.

I have always known I am different.

A depth and intensity of experiencing the world

That I’ve only seen matched by other autistic people.

Being autistic is not an experience you can really relay to others

In a way that they understand

How can you have someone know what it’s like

To be so self hating, so self rejecting, so self loathing

As a child

As a teen

As a young adult

As a mother

As a daughter

As a sister

That you want off the planet.

DIAGNOSIS

Has changed my life.

It was my moment of relief.

After years and years of sitting across from professionals

Analysing my thoughts and feelings and experiences

Being reminded over and over and over

That I’m too intelligent

Too self aware

To be this troubled or disturbed.

People depend on outer presentations

Physical expressions, behaviours

To gain an insight into who someone is

How well they are coping
How intelligent they are

And none of what you see on the outside

Can be relied on

To see who I am

What happens inside

What I have endured

My life today is so, so very different.

I am so happy

Not as anxious

I feel free

So no,

I don’t care to know what others think or how they may have responded to my diagnosis.

Unless a person can hand you an emotional, spiritual, physical, energetic, mental experience of their human experience

And they can’t

Then we must never assume anything

All that matters to me now

Is that I know

I identify

I understand

That I am autistic

And my autism

Is what frees me
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Kristy Forbes
Autism & Neurodiversity Support Specialist
inTune Pathways
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Image: The App Whisperer

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