Throughout my life, I have been all too deeply defined by my autism, at least in school. I have also gotten the awful feeling that over the course in my life, people have seen me as someone who needs to be looked after, or someone who must not be able to handle what other people think of me. Now more than ever I consider this to be a vile and offensive notion, mainly because this is the protective bubble that society has placed around me, giving them the carte-blanche to hide themselves from me, and treat me like a little kid.
I’m twenty-one years old, and I happen to be quite intelligent and articulate, capable of independent thought. I really don’t need people to tip-toe around me in the way that they do. In fact, I can tell when people feel something but don’t want me freaking out over it, so hiding oneself from someone like me is extremely patronizing. Worse still, if I don’t feel people are being entirely honest with me, this badly affects my mental state, and consequently my ability to trust people. By not being direct with me, people are doing more harm than good.
I think it’s comforting that there’s a good chance that I’m not the only one. Who knows how many young people with autism like myself are subjected to this sort of treatment throughout their lives? In this country, where conformity, naivety and the lie of innocence are all the range, this is quite likely. I think that there is still a protection bubble (which I refer to as the “veil of innocence”) that society puts around people with autism, and it’s there just for society’s own convenience. It essentially means that young people with autism can be sheltered from the realities of life, and it gives society has the freedom to treat us like little children.
How much longer must I endure the dishonesties of a hypocritical society that refuses to understand me as I am, as opposed for how I seem to be. How long will it be before I am no longer defined by my autism? Furthermore, how long will society keep on acting the way does towards us? These are the questions that, short of the possibility that something actually changes in the way we think, will be bugging me from now until the end of time.
Perhaps what really disturbs me is that some people think that being dishonest towards me might be in my best interest. Since when did concealment of the truth become a noble virtue? That’s the same nonsensical blasphemy that parents use to justify lying to little children, and it should be painfully obvious that I am not a little boy. I’m a man, a man with dreams, ambitions and emotions distinct from most of society no less. I do not deserve the dishonesty of those not ready to see that for themselves.
Throughout my life, I have only expected for people to be direct with me. In life, I expect almost everyone to be honest, from acquaintances to tutors, and from colleagues to lovers. I must ask, what world do I live in if I can’t get that just because I’ve got autism? That’s all have to say about this matter, and I have think I’ve made my point quite clear. In a world where anyone can be a liar on a whim, honesty is the only thing that counts, and if we can’t give each other that, then what good are we?