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.