Born Autistic, Always Autistic, Even Prior to My Diagnosis

I would like to say something about my Autism Diagnosis and my social issues. I did not suddenly become Autistic on the day that I was diagnosed (as an adult). I have been Autistic since the day that I was born.

I was very well aware that I did not “fit in” well with most other people. I sometimes even told people that, even though I am polite and know to say “please” and “thank you,” my social skills are “poor.” I knew that I didn’t understand the social rules, no matter how much that I tried, and I admitted to having “bad social skills” to people before my diagnosis.

You know those scenes in movies and on TV where people go into a bar by themselves and go up to the bar for a drink? That was not me! I would never go into a bar unless I was with a friend or co-worker. I would never go into a place like that by myself. It just didn’t happen. It still doesn’t happen. I need to have someone that I already know to cling to, in order to function in that type of social situation.

I have always socially blundered along, accidentally offending and alienating people without any clue as to what I was doing wrong.

Now, I am disappointed to report that even though I have been diagnosed with a social disability, and I am known to be Autistic, people still don’t understand these things about me.

Even people who claim to understand Autism expect social perfection from me. Sorry, I am not wired that way and I am never going to be socially perfect. I can try really hard, but, I often blunder about making a real mess of things.

I sure wish that my loved ones and friends would understand my social skills disability and cut me some slack. It is frustrating that they seem to hold me to some impossible high standard based on an invisible social rule-book that I don’t have access to and can’t understand nor measure up to.

Unfortunately, many get offended at my every little mis-step and then they go on the attack, or withdraw without explaining it to me. It makes navigation of the social world that much harder for me because I suddenly get attacked for the delivery of my message and the actual message gets lost in the noise about how it was said instead of getting back to the core matter at hand. Sometimes they simply fail to reply and that leaves me lost and confused as to what the heck went wrong. Silence from others is so hurtful to me.

Please accept that I am well meaning and kind, but, I am socially clumsy and I am very likely to say or do things that don’t always fit the “hidden social norms.” Please accept me as an Autistic Adult and adjust your expectations accordingly. Please assume that I mean well even if I do make some mistakes. Thank you.

Categories: Autism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Born Autistic, Always Autistic, Even Prior to My Diagnosis

  1. I absolutely love and appreciate this post! Thank you!
    I will be sharing widely!

  2. Julie L

    Love this!

  3. Mahalo (Thank you) Julie L! =)

  4. Hi Aloha
    I am so thankful for these comments. I heard, in the months after my diagnosis, that I had suddenly become more autistic and even that I was using my autism diagnosis as an excuse. This may’ve appeared so, but it wasn’t so. I had always strugled, just had avoided my struggles by not partiipating socially.

    • I understand Astrid, Also once you have been diagnosed, you don’t feel like you have to keep on trying so hard to fake being so-called “normal.” You are more likely to allow yourself to be your true self instead of a poor copy of someone else’s expectations. What they need to do instead of criticizing you, is learn how to support and accept the real you. =)

  5. Sandy Kinnamon

    Steve you are all kinds of awesomeness! When I see you come in a forum, especially where people are being irrational, and inject all kinds of wisdom and honesty. You are one of the most refreshing people in my life and I am glad Autism brought us together. If people are misreading you, it totally is THEIR problem. You are one of the easiest people to communicate with. ((Steve)). Some of us think you are quite valuable. 🙂

    • Mahalo (thank you) Sandy! You are very kind. I try to help out when I can. Some people just won’t be bothered to really learn about how to understand and support Autistic people. They continue to expect Autistics to do all the work. That needs to change. They need to do some work too. We need Autism Acceptance, understanding, and support. Simply reading the links that many of us share and listening to what we have to say would go a long way toward repairing these communication problems.

      My diagnosis is not some kind of an excuse for bad behavior. It is an explanation for the issues that I have always had. It is something that should be helpful. A little effort should be made by the people around us to learn from us instead of always telling us that we are wrong. They need to presume competence. They need to presume good intentions. They don’t need to assume that we are trying to intentionally offend them. If they learned more about the way we think, then they would have a much better chance of understanding us without conflict.

  6. Reblogged this on Walkin' on the edge and commented:
    Honestly, a little understanding goes a long way.

  7. Pingback: Appearing More Autistic After Diagnosis | Blogging Astrid

  8. My mother told my fiancee when i introduced her “he’s a bit odd, but he doesn’t mean any harm”. Sums me up really.

  9. Thank you so much for your clear and honest post about Autism and NT people. Your experiences mirror many experiences felt by people with ASD.
    I got my dx last fall. I did it for myself not to justify my lack of social skills. My family is angry about it and don’t believe it. The people who you would expect to be supportive including my therapist prior to my dx.

  10. I actually used to go to bars now and then in my early twenties. I had a virgin cocktail and after drinking it, I left alone again. So this is how it works or fails too. ^^
    Nonetheless, being grown up does not save you from getting into peculiar social misunderstandings. It even makes them more hurtful. 😦

  11. “Impossibly high standards” is nothing short of the truth. While the thought occurs to me that you might think these to be “the same as those for Normal people,” (normal being THEIR preferred term…) did the thought ever occur to you that you’re not being expected to merely act (and everything else) as if you were Normal – but to actually do everything a Normal person does BETTER than Normal?

    As if you must not merely hide every trace of ‘autism’ – but then go far beyond the behavior of mere Normalcy, and actually become a perfect mirror of each and every ‘Normie’ you encounter?

    In short, you must become a ‘societally codependent’ narcissistic extension, an object that exists solely to provide his Normal OWNERS with unconditional worship – worship manifested by rapt attention, unquestioning obedience, perfect mind-reading ( of the clairvoyant kind) and denial of all ‘selfish’ desires so to better serve your Normal masters.

    That is exactly how I feel much of the time. I was formally diagnosed a few years ago in my late forties.

    Thanks for writing. It really helps answer the omnipresent ‘societal gaslighting’ when one knows “it isn’t just me.”

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