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Autistic burnout

October 17, 2019

 

Autistic burnout is part of the ebb and flow of our neurotype.

It is very real.

This morning I've seen two things that have left me feeling unsurprised, but have given me great examples of the damage done to people who are different to them.

Someone has felt it necessary to come onto my page and tell me that my burnout is a perception and not a reality.

They have also said that autism is not an excuse. Not an excuse for anything.

I've also seen in my feed this morning, a video made by someone whose content I found really valuable.

But this time, the topic of their talk was around stress being a choice; a perception.

Oh man.

Disability is not a perception. It's a reality.

And 'perceptions' such as the two I've outlined above are both ableist and abusive.

Sometimes this is one of the greater challenges around being autistic.

"Appearing" typical. Because THAT results in people having expectations of autistic people to BE non autistic.

Dismissing stress or autistic burnout also tends to be accompanied by this belief that if we are shown compassion or acceptance, we won't ever do anything for ourselves again.

"Don't be too soft on them, they'll expect it every time".

We so easily overlook that autistic burnout originates from DOING.

The more we DO, the more we burnout.

I don't need pep talks or encouragement around being non autistic.

None of us do.

In fact, many of us are DOING a hell of a lot.

Public speaking, running businesses, speaking, writing, consultancy, running workshops and programs and engaging in tours.

Here's the double edged sword, when autistic people do well, more is expected of us.

When we need down time or space, more is expected of us.

Autistic children are put through therapies in order to be more.

And then when they show up in the world as autistic adults who mask (appear to 'be more'), they're told they're not autistic or that their support needs aren't real.

Sometimes there's no winning.

Are we looking for pity or sympathy?

No.

Empathy in the least (you know..that thing we autistics are said to not possess?)..

Acceptance and understanding.

Autonomy.

Is it that hard, really?

End of rant. Be back in a few days when my AUTISTIC BURNOUT has run it's course.

Solidarity to my autistic siblings.
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Image: Roman Sakovich

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