If I don’t get officially diagnosed with autism, then I can accept that. I will be relieved if I have it and I will be surprised if I don’t have it. If I’m not autistic, then perhaps I’m just one weird chick. I mean, it would be very convenient if it was confirmed that I’m on the spectrum, and it would ultimately make my life easier.
If I knew that I was on the spectrum, then I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not conforming to what everyone else does and says. I wouldn’t try so hard to act normal. I would be more free to be who I truly am. That would be bliss.
If I don’t get an autism diagnosis, then I will settle for being a “depressed, anxious, shy, awkward, artistic and reclusive” person. Oh, yeah, and intelligent, as well. I can’t forget the most important part, can I? I will settle for being a reclusive and awkward person who can process reams of written information in a small amount of time and remember all the details. I will settle for being a human filing cabinet who likes to daydream. I will settle for being a creative loner who likes to bake and read books. I don’t mind being weird.
Hear that world? I don’t mind being weird. I actually prefer it, you know? I don’t care if I don’t fit into some box. I don’t want to be accepted if it means having to pretend to be something that I’m not. I prefer to be side-lined, brushed-off, ignored and avoided. Great. It gives me more time to do the things that I really want to do.
If I do get my autism diagnosis, then I will be selective with who I tell. I know that there are going to be friends who won’t want to believe it. (not that I have many friends) But that is up to them – it’s not my job to convince people of something that they don’t understand.
One good thing that could come of this is that I could probably use an autism diagnosis to avoid having to work in paid employment for the rest of my life. All I would have to do is mention my diagnosis at a job interview and voila; job opportunities are going to disappear before my eyes, just like magic. This prospect is strangely appealing to me.
Let me explain: I have never, ever liked working for other people or been accepted nor felt comfortable in the work-place. When I was young, I desperately wanted to be accepted and liked. I bent over backwards to try and do well in my place of employment, but I never fit in. I just wasn’t one of them; I was awkward and I made people feel irritated. I was an inconvenience, but they kept me around. I think they mainly kept me around because I was so exploitable, if you want to know the truth. I would do all the crappy jobs that no-one else wanted to do. And I kind of made myself ‘invisible’ while I worked.
I was a woman, I was young, and we live in such a misogynistic culture, anyway. I was always expendable, like a lot of women are, except that I was even more expendable, because I was different. In most jobs I’ve had, my employers just didn’t notice nor care about how I felt or how I was struggling. Sure, I never told them, which I admit was part of the problem. The few times I did speak up (about bullying, sexual harassment, being underpaid) I was made to feel that it was my fault, and my problem – and in the case of complaining about being underpaid, I was simply fired.
So, I won’t miss having a job. I took no particular pride in ‘having a job’ for the past twenty years or so. It was just something that you had to do, in order to get by. I would much rather be at home, painting and cooking, reading and gardening. If I can do something at home that will earn me a small income, then I will definitely pursue that. At the moment, I think I would like to go into cake-decorating.
If however, I have to live off unemployment benefits for the rest of my life, then so be it. It’s not a lot of money, but I already have everything I need.