Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm an autistic woman, out of closet; and I feel persecuted.

I am an autistic savant, and I'm a woman. I'm feminine, and autistic. This apparently makes me evil.  This apparently makes me a woman with no feelings, to be feared, to be persecuted for the way I am. I am an artist, a writer, an activist, a friend. I'm considered a daredevil in todays' times; whence opening up to expose things not only I am dealing with as an autistic person, and as a person affected with complex health issues. I feel a sense of purpose in doing this; it is not for simple attention getting motives. I don't' know how much more clear I can make that, and yet still, what I'm doing tends to be seen in a perverted, or even just fearful light. I am a loving mother, and an autistic savant woman. I've opened up, "came out of the closet" and now; I often feel like a target in a Witch Hunt.
It was proven by my childhood footage that I am autistic. The more I learned about it, the more I knew what the truth was. So I sought out a thorough review, by an experienced neuro psychological professional. After careful examination, my truth was corroborated by scientific method. I was filled with a mix of joy, grief, and rage, to learn the truth I'd always known deep down in my soul.

I read at age 2. I lined up dolls, stuffies and cars too, but in eloquent configurations rather than plain lines. I played with them by design..and I did play too, in my own way. They were all part of a scripted scene, in a fantasy world I had derived from different books and movies I'd watch and read, but I mixed them all together and made it my own thing. This is still imagination, be it in a precedented, perseverating fashion.

I spoke in full sentences with cleverly mimicked tones, only to apply them in the correct context, in order to get my needs met. The neuropychologist watched these videos and noted this. I had mega sensory issues, and i still do. It made me quietly, girlishly curl up, and shut down... or shut out into my own world of fantasy. With unicorns, rainbows and friendly fairies that understood me. Yes, autistics can play pretend. Yes, autistics are creative.

I had meltdowns, when I was little they were subtle because my emotions were up in the sky, I could barely execute them until I was 7, then I started crying like a 2 year old. My mother would say "what happened to you, you were so perfect? now you're acting like a baby" one word: Pervasive Development.

I couldn't execute my emotions when I seemed stoic, and apparently "perfect. When nobody could tell whether I even liked my birthday gift, and behaved toward me as though they felt I was horrifically and unacceptably rude, as a result. How much of a Princess I must think I am; because I couldn't show my emotions so much, they were too overwhelming that they had to be blocked, hovering above my head. But I felt them. Very much so. I care very much about people, and would constantly express how I wanted to "give the people on the street gifts and food." So this is "no empathy??"

Sometimes I didn't know how to cry, because it hurt so much I had to block or freak out. My body would shut down on me, I would not be able to even go to the bathroom sometimes.
I was smart enough to stay hidden. I was smart enough to feel it wasn't safe to expose my troubles...or they'd get me. Somehow, I knew. At age two. At age two!!

I injured myself in the bathroom. In the bathroom and on the top field at school, when no one was looking, I bit my hands. I have scars to show for it. Some subtle, white flecks on my hands. When I really wanted to cry but felt blocked and couldn't, I'd stretch my eyelids open because all I wanted to do was cry! Even if it was induced by too much air irritating my eyeballs, i thought, could bring on a real cry and get this junk out of me!! It began to work. This is how the tantrums at age 7, started.

My intelligence masked my deficits. When I appear "scripted" and speak with my female voice and soft features, i'm seen as some sort of calculated little dark witch, rather than a human being. Because I'm hyper verbal; hyperlexic. Do they even know hyperlexia is a trait of high functioning autism, and autistic savant? Can they not understand an intelligent brain of different wiring trying to cope in a world inhospitable to them? Can they not commend, support, and have compassion; instead of judge and attack? One day maybe, one day...

I am persecuted because I can speak eloquently well, like some are with the math, words are the strength of many verbose autistics. There's a dictionary in our brain. All memorized, via savant working memory drawn upon by a special interest in the meaning of words. It doesn't mean we aren't' still socially different, and may miss certain nuances. Society doesn't understand this discrepancy at all.

I can mimic the scripts of how to use my voice tone....all the way to elaborate conversations. Yet my in person behaviour is childlike, girlish. I have gotten passed off as stupid, or frowned upon as if my behaviour and demeanour warrants I must not know what I'm talking about. Society cannot fathom this kind of discrepancy, either, clearly. More research needs to be done, and awareness propelled for people like me to get a fair chance.

I have an intellectual understanding of sociology, albeit not an inherent one....but it's strong despite. However, rather than a performance of effort, because I care to try... I can be seen as a criminal manipulator! Especially because of the way I can look and present, which as a woman, society pressured me to do, whence I took the cues and introspectively trained myself. I trained relentlessly throughout life, with many bumps, bruises and full blown falls along the way... until I was polished enough to not get hurt. Yet I still get hurt, now because apparently, I'm too polished yet internally struggling with being allowed to, and wanting to, just be ME.

Well, on top of being seen as a "witch" to be persecuted, I am actually pagan... so I guess this doesn't help. It's an earthy spirituality, and I respect all religions and nature. Ultimately, this isn't Salem. Ulimately, this isn't Medieval Europe. This is 2014. But they haven't changed it seems. They still jeer, heckle and bring forth the rope...but, they do it in a different way. In a way where they make you think you're doing it to yourself....

-Rose Whitson-Guedes Au

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