I Have Asperger’s and I Read Your Comments Too

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I Have Asperger’s and I Read Your Comments Too

Panel 1

[Image] A woman with short brown hair, looking upward and placing her finger on her temple.

[Caption] I have a host of mental differences, including Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Panel 2

[Image] A series of images with accompanying text. First, two hands, with open palms – “Gestures.” Next, a pair of lips – “Facial expression”. Next, a series of exclamation points and question marks – “Tone of Voice”. And finally, a man with a finger on his mouth, looking thoughtful – “Social Rules”.

Man [thought bubble]: To hug or not to hug

[Caption] I think of Asperger’s as being without social language: I don’t always get the cues.

Panel 3

[Image] The back of the woman’s head. She is facing a crowd of silhouettes.

[Caption] Because of this, it’s hard to make friends.

Panel 4

[Image] The woman, off to the side of a crowd, of silhouettes at which she is looking. The silhouettes are all facing each other. None are facing her.

[Caption] I used to daydream about what I would give up for friendship. I felt like I would trade everything just to be accepted, liked, loved and valued. Anything to not feel so alone. But what I want most is to be worthy of friendship, just for being who I am.

Panel 5

[Image] The woman facing another woman with long hair and bangs. The long-haired woman looks upset, and her hands are raised expressively.

[Caption] I have my strengths. I can empathize well if people open up to me.

Panel 6
[Image] The short-haired woman sitting in front of a crowd of silhouettes, holding an open book. She is smiling. Bookshelves in the background indicate she is in a library.

[Caption] I’m great at telling and understanding stories. Books will always be on my side.

Panel 7

[Image] The short-haired woman sitting in front of a computer, with her hand on the mouse. One the screen is the headline “Autism.”

[Caption] It’s a struggle, but I’ve found a way to function. Life hurts, but I want to live, and live well. I try to get as much information as I can, and research autism to learn more.

Panel 8

[Image] The computer screen. The sub-headline reads “Topic” and six sections show six different forum posts.

[Caption] But what I read hurts.

Panel 9

[Image] The computer screen, now zoomed in so the text on the screen is clearly visible. The 6 posts read as follows:
? How do you know if your child with autism loves you?
Autism horror stories
? Why isn’t anything working? I want my son back.
! I can’t go anywhere with my children, and I can’t get a babysitter who understands. I feel like I’m in prison.
How do you get out of the house?
My daughter will never be independent. I worry about what will happen when I die. Who’s going to take care of her?

[Caption] I find stories of family members of people who have autism, and how they are affected.

Panel 10

[Image] The short-haired woman holding her head and looking distressed. She is looking down on a faded reproduction of the forum posts, which are larger than her.

[Caption] It’s rarely the person who has autism that tells the stories. People like me are treated as objects of inspiration and burden. We don’t mean to inflict pain on those who love us, but we are the center of their pain. And caretakers should be allowed to express their struggle too…

Panel 11

[Image] Closeup of the short haired-woman, in profile, looking distressed and sad.

[Caption] But it hurts reading these stories.

Panel 12

[Image] The short-haired woman, in her chair in front of the computer. She has her knees pulled up to her chest, and her arms are wrapped around her legs. Her eyes are closed.

[Caption] I might not be “normal” but I’m human. I read. I feel.

Panel 13

[Image] Closeup of the short-haired woman. Tears are streaming down her face.

[Caption] How could they think that none of us would read this? Pages and pages about how my very existence is a burden? I listen to your stories and all I want to do is make it better, be better. But I don’t know how to make you happy.

Woman: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being me.

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I have a host of mental differences. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I experience emotions more intensely than my peers. But the diagnosis that I most identify with is Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

I think of Asperger’s as being born without Social Language. By social language, I mean mostly non-verbal communication (facial expression, gesture, tone of voice), but also social niceties, like small talk. Social language gives context to spoken words, and reveals others’ emotions. Because my knowledge of this language is so uncertain, I’m constantly second guessing myself, trying to pick signals I barely recognize and follow rules that I don’t know.

I think I cling to the diagnosis so much because it speaks to the loneliness and isolation I’ve felt so often. There were plenty of years when I had no friends. I used to play this game in my head: What would I trade to have friends? The natural beauty my mom said I had? My singing voice? My math skills? My ability to walk? My ability to read? Use of the left side of my body? The right? Sight? Hearing? Anything to not feel so alone. It was a stupid game. I felt like I would trade everything just to be accepted, liked, loved, and valued. But you don’t get to trade, and what I wanted most was to be able to have all those things…without having to change a single thing about myself.

I’ve been in therapy since I was thirteen. In therapy I learned a way around social language. I can talk about deep things fairly easily. I can listen to people talk about emotions and ask for clarification gently. I can understand emotions once people are really talking about them, once we’re past the superficial. I am training to be a psychologist because, when we’re all speaking close enough languages, I can empathize well. I also learned that I can tell and understand stories. Books will always be on my side.

I am currently pretty much friendless, but I have hope for the future. I am not normal, but I’ve found a way to function. Life hurts, but I want to live and I feel like I can actually live and live well.

I go online because it’s easier online, and I research autism because I want to learn more.

But what I read hurts.

I find stories of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers of people who have autism. The person who has autism rarely tells the stories. The stories focus on impairments, and how the surrounding family is affected. Even the awareness campaigns feel like allies and caregivers reaching out to more allies and caregivers. It does not feel like people with autism coming out to the world and trying to find more people like us, people who speak our language.

The stories I read often describe people who cannot speak for themselves. These voiceless humans are treated as objects of inspiration and burden – objects, not people. The families have suffered, and though we don’t mean to inflict pain on them, we are the center of their sufferings. It is understandable that we would seem – even to those who love us – as pitiful, as selfish, as lesser, or weak. It’s true that caretakers can feel this way, and they should be allowed to express their struggles too.

But it hurts, reading your stories. I’m human. I read. I feel. I function. How could you think that no one like me would ever read your stories? How could you think that we would never know? How could you think we wouldn’t get angry, reading about how we’re burdens on your otherwise normal life? How could you think that we wouldn’t feel ashamed?

I listen to your stories and all I want to do is make it better, be better. But I don’t know how to make you happy.

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32 responses to “I Have Asperger’s and I Read Your Comments Too”

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  1. Nadine says: |
    September 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! And it is true you never see the person who has autism side of the story! I work with children and teens and a large amount of the ones I work with have some diagnosis somewhere on the spectrum and I truly care deeply and do my best to try and help these children to find ways to work with these challenges. And I also work hard to educated everyone else around about what we called in college “people first language and way of thinking”(example the person before the diagnosis: it’s not he’s autistic, it’s he has autism)

    You are a very strong person and your story really touches me aswell as my coworkers who I shared your story with!

    Keep working towards your goals you are an amazing person and a great example and inspiration for those who share the same burdens 🙂

    • CC says: |
      January 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Actually, no, the autistic community prefers “autistic.” Please don’t try to remove us from our autism. It’s not a side dish. It’s how our brains are wired. It’s infuriating when teachers and “professionals” insist on this kind of language when literally every autistic I know doesn’t want person first language to be used.

      • Leisus H Christ (@LeisusHChrist) says: |
        January 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        Agreed with CC, I am Autistic. It is how I experience the world and is not an accessory that I can take off or leave behind when I want. It is an intrinsic part of my being and calling myself Autistic is accurate and empowering. Saying that I am “with autism” is actually offensive to me.

      • Kate says: |
        January 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

        My daughter does not “have autism”. That implies that it is some sort of disease or affliction, something that should be cured.

        My daughter is autistic. Although I often don’t understand what she is feeling, I love the way her brain works. I feel lucky to have my daughter in my life every day.

  2. Mony says: |
    September 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm


    I think it’s really great we all get to read this story. I have friends with Asperger’s and my fiancé has been recently diagnosed with it too. I see him struggling with social circumstances every day. We’ve had our rough patch when it wasn’t clear why he was so distracted all the time, it seemed like he didn’t care but when he got this diagnosis everything became so clear to me…. it’s not always easy living with someone who only empathises in a rational kind of way because he can’t really imagine how I feel…. we have fights from time to time, it’s inevitable, I’m not a very patient person either. But I’ve had to deal with social phobia and a host of other things, so most of the time I understand at least partially where he’s coming from. Honestly, even though it’s not always easy (what relationship is?), I wouldn’t want to change him. Having Asperger’s has its upsides too,
    So I just wanted to say, don’t give up, I know it’s hard to meet new people and make friends, but you’ll get there. I met my fiancé on the internet, so I think it’s a great place to start 😉
    Best of luck to you, and don’t forget, autism comes in many shapes and forms, so the people complaining might be talking about something entirely different.
    Glad you shared your story, I’m going to share this 🙂

  3. Ann says: |
    September 17, 2014 at 12:34 am

    I am so glad you shared your story, and your point of view. I am sorry that you are frustrated and lonely at this point in your life. You are absolutely right when you say that the majority of the stories about people who are on the autistic spectrum are “horror stories” from parents, or are written from some concern by a caretaker. I desperately want to know what more people who struggle with Asperger’s or autism feel and think; I want to know THEIR stories!
    Please keep sharing yours, and encouraging others you might know to share their stories. Not only might that help break the ice in helping to interact with people, but it also might give hope to some of those parents writing those “horror stories.”
    Wishing you the best!

  4. Michael says: |
    October 31, 2014 at 12:12 pm


    I was diagnosed with mental illness over two decades ago. I’m different now from what I was like as a kid. Mental illness places burdens on people that no one should have to carry, especially alone. There is such social stigma around mental illness, but for me my problems have never really been about a mental impairment as much as about an emotional and spiritual one. When I was young I was very sensitive, and I wasn’t very old when I learned that my sensitivities made other people feel uncomfortable. Even as an adult, I was one of those people that are trying to hide their tears in the movie theatre before the lights come up and everyone can see them written on your face. Not easy for a male in our society. As a youngster, I questioned everything, especially the existence of God. If God truly loves us, why is there so much suffering? And who or what is God anyway? The conclusion I have is that in essence God is all that is good. I don’t believe that God is the creator of the universe, for the universe is comprised of many things both good and bad. For me, God is the being who first brought love here. There may very well be many gods with powers over creation, but the ones who matter serve love.

    When I look at the world, I can’t help but see the problems we face due to the labels we put on ourselves and that society puts upon us. White, black, Christian, Muslim, Jew, smart, stupid, good, bad, sane, crazy; the lists go on endlessly. Our labels separate us, but love sees through the labels to the thoughts and feelings which make us who we are. There are reasons for everything we think and everything we feel. Modern Western culture has left us with the notion that there’s something wrong with us if we’re not happy. When I look at the world, there is much about which I’m concerned. When I look at the issues of war, poverty, disease, greed, violence, etc. I’m concerned about the direction the world is headed. What sane person isn’t? The problem is that most of us are conditioned to believe that there’s nothing we can really do about it.

    I read a book my wife gave me quite a while ago about becoming real and authentic. I think that one of the greatest gifts that we can give the world is to share our thoughts and feelings in a sincere and respectful way. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is not to care so much about what anyone thinks of me, as the way in which I express myself is not intended to hurt anyone. It’s taken a long time to be comfortable with my anger and be honest with my feelings. I realize now that the way that I am has come about for a reason, and that in my own suffering I’ve developed the ability to relate to others in a way which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t had to face the struggles I’ve faced.

    One of the most profound questions I’ve heard of late is when someone asked me what it is I wanted. I’m typically a nice and unassuming person, and I like to make things as easy as possible for others. But the question got me to thinking about what it is I really want. That’s something us nurturers often don’t consider, being accustomed as we are to looking out for the needs of others. But what I’ve decided that I really want to be is a friend, especially to those who are hurting and misunderstood. One of the things that’s influenced me a lot is the words of Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Although we can never really understand what it’s like to be someone else, we can understand what it’s like to appreciate the struggle. My prayer is that we might all become a little more comfortable in our own shoes, and that we might all come to see the gifts which are hidden beneath the struggles.

    Thank you, and I hope that you find many blessings in your life as a result of the courage you’ve shown in sharing.

  5. CC says: |
    January 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Saw this on Feministing, I think. I’m an autistic person (G-d help the person who tries to “person first” me), and this really hit home. I think you have a lot of courage to speak up and say this stuff – but honestly, I had to learn the hard way that you will never make everyone happy. (General you.) There will always be awful martyr mommas. There will always be people who don’t get it. There will always be difficult days and wonderful days and days where you’re just okay. Self care must come before the feelings of others, and that’s okay.

    My parents, thank G-d, never articulated any kind of tragedy narrative onto me – but my friends did. My boyfriend at the time did. I was basically left friendless and confused, because no one would tell me what I did. At the time, I was devastated. Now, I realize that I likely missed some cue – but honestly, I feel sorry for them. They didn’t ever get to know what an awesome person I can be.

    I don’t pretend to know what you’re dealing with in total, but I can tell you that eventually, acceptance comes for yourself. I had to learn to accept me before I could start trying to change everyone else, if that makes sense. If someone persists in being ableist, if someone doesn’t get it or doesn’t care to, I have a simple philosophy – f#ck it and f#ck them. I’m too busy being me.

  6. Leisus H Christ (@LeisusHChrist) says: |
    January 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I’d just like to respond because I am also an Autistic woman. What has helped me tremendously was finding my Autistic community at places like Autism Women’s Network.

    It was empowering and affirming to know that I was part of a larger Autistic community.

    It is hard to read all the negativity surrounding autism, especially when it is the dominant narrative out there and the voices of Autistic people are so often erased and ignored. You are not alone though!

  7. Rachel C says: |
    January 4, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I really identified with this post. It was like I could have written it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Kali says: |
    January 4, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Thank you so much for talking about this. I don’t have full Asperger’s, but I am on the autistic spectrum, and have a lot of the same problems, just to slightly more manageable degrees. I have a terrible time making and keeping friends, and have also found refuge in books. People often tell me I’m too quiet or too serious, when really I just don’t want to say the wrong thing. It can be unbelievably hard. Knowing I’m making the lives of my family members harder hurts. And because my symptoms are mild compared to so many others, I feel that I should be able to compensate unfailingly.

    What has helped me has been to recognize that I am separate from my symptoms. Symptoms that are not my doing. No one would think that an epileptic was being inconsiderate or difficult. And so having autistic spectrum challenges changes how I interact with the world, but it doesn’t change who I am.

    I can’t thank you enough for putting this out on the internet. I sometimes feel like the only person who feels this way, even though I know I can’t be. It’s hard to be so alone, and to have even mild symptoms. But this has helped me realize what I should have known, that I’m alone with many others who experience similar challenges. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  9. Deanna says: |
    January 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    To the author of this article: can I be your friend?
    And I mean that as literally, completely, and without weird meanings underneath it as someone with aspergers like me can mean. We already know each other based solely on the content of this article. I want to be friends.

  10. Dith says: |
    January 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Well said. I am Aspie, and totally relate to what you’ve written. As for ‘people first’ language, in my case – no thanks. Culturally, I am English. I am not ‘with Englishness’. Likewise, my Aspie traits are cultural too. They are traits, not symptoms! Illnesses have symptoms. My Aspieness is emphatically NOT an illness, it is more a way of being, of behaving and interpreting the world. Hence my choice to view it as cultural.

  11. Ollie says: |
    January 9, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. You had me in tears thinking of all the children I’ve supported who were unable to speak up about their own experiences (so far), and even some of those who I’ve talked to about their experiences.

    I hope that I can become a better person by fully comprehending the point that you make, because I’m sat here now struggling to see how I can be better, too.

  12. Dawn Marcotte says: |
    January 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am sure that most parents who are venting are completely unaware that an autistic teen or young adult might be reading what they write.

    It never occurs to them that anyone on the spectrum would be independent enough to Google and read. Often we don’t have the energy to see past the next 5 minutes, let alone the next 10 years.

    I do have a couple if ideas for you that I hope are helpful. There is a forum called WrongPlanet.net that is filled with autistic people of all ages, as well as parents, siblings and spouses. It is a very supportive community and I am sure you could find some more friends there (beyond those you have made with this article)

    You mentioned liking books and stories – have you considered writing them? My 15 year old autistic daughter participates in a website called fanfiction.net. She likes anime and writes stories using the characters of her favorite shows. But there are fans of every movie, television show, game, video game etc that you could think off. She has made some wonderful online friends through her writing.

    Please don’t give up – you are a strong person to write this article and publish it. You may have a career in freelance writing ahead of you. Good Luck and God Bless.

    • Sheogorath says: |
      April 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Dawn, Wrong Planet is financed by Autism $peaks, the ‘charity’ that indirectly encourages parents to murder their Autistic kids, so I can’t recommend it less. For a truly independent and welcoming forum, try clicking on my name or search for ‘Aspie Village’.

      • nate says: |
        November 17, 2015 at 8:01 pm

        Hmmm I always had a feeling there was something fishy about Wrong Planet. Thanks for the heads up.

  13. Elsie says: |
    January 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I know exactly what you mean about reading comments. I’ve spent time reading a message board for spouses of people with ADD. Those threads were often filled with the spite and despair of family members who felt they could no longer support their spouses, and they hit close to home for me.

    I took away two things from the experience: 1. I don’t know what they’ve gone through or how much support they have or haven’t given. Although they might sound heartless, they probably aren’t, because….2. Those commenters were likely venting their most negative emotions in an online venue where they assume they won’t hurt anyone, unlike in real life, where expressing such feelings can be very destructive. (Of course, they’re wrong.)

    I don’t think people like that want to think about how they might hurt a real person with their comments. So that’s why I want to thank you again for posting this. It’s ridiculous to have to say, “We’re people too and uh we can read and your words hurt,” but unfortunately some (most?) people don’t realize this. To me, it helps to understand that their cruel words come from a small-minded place where public vindication comes before personal empathy. Sometimes I try to tell myself we’re still in the dark age of the internet and eventually people will act more civilized online. Ultimately we must hear more prominently the voices of people across the autistic spectrum, and with empathy and outreach, I think it will happen.

  14. sam hawkins says: |
    January 10, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thankyou for sharing your experience. Its a very powerful read…we ALL need to listen more!

  15. Julia says: |
    January 12, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Thank you! I would totally be your friend. Keep looking. There are people out there who will find you a pleasure to spend time with and be around. And there are those of us who understand that we need to express what we need in a friendship beyond just social cues. May you be surrounded with caring friends.

  16. Keith says: |
    January 14, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I’m on the spectrum and have two kids on the spectrum. Until I had them, I had no idea what was “wrong” with me or that anyone else on the planet struggled with it.

    I am grateful for you to give voice to what so many of us feel. But I would also advise caution about how you interpret what you read from others. Parenting is tough for anyone, and parenting someone with motivations and behaviors so very different from anything they understand can be so overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean they wish their children were different or better or less of a burden, at least not for the vast majority of parents. Not really. But like anyone, they have moments of despair, weakness, and for some misguided reason many of us feel safe on social media and use that for our cries for help or brokenness.

    I don’t know if this is true for you, but I struggle sometimes on a daily basis with internalizing the things I see or read and/or getting past the negative aspect of things. I also see this in my kids. But it’s taken most of my life to realize that my own filter is telling most of the story behind these things. I’m learning to allow myself to read a different story or to recognize that I simply don’t know the story behind these things.

    I know that, as a result of some of the quirks in my behavior, I’ve been a burden, am a burden, at times (and you’d think that my being on the spectrum would make it easier to parent someone on the spectrum, and sometimes it does, but often my own issues make things far worse)… but I also know that my willingness to take that burden back is, in itself, a special thing, and that I have so much to offer those around me, that in the balance of things, I’m not a burden at all. And the most important thing is this: it’s a package deal. The very things that are the source of the worst in me are the same things that are the source of the best in me. And I don’t mean that in some metaphysical way… I mean that quite literally, and I think that it’s true for many of us. That is what lets me see past my negative filter.

    But still, please continue to speak up about these things… you’re not alone, and we all are looking for others who might understand us and how we feel. Thank you for bringing us together.

  17. Hoshi-0461 says: |
    February 6, 2015 at 7:21 am

    This explains how I feel every day of every week of every month of every year. I’ve never seen any of those stories, and every time I say that I’m a burden to everyone around me, people go on the defensive. They try to convince me that I’m *not* every negative thing that I say I am. But it never works, and they should know that by now. I say that everyone who says I’m not any negative thing that I say I am is either delusional, or just straight-up *lying* to try to make me feel better. WELL, GUESS WHAT IT DOESN’T WORK!

  18. Mike says: |
    March 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I’m autistic (Asperger’s specifically) and I’m very familiar with this struggle. I got diagnosed on my own, after I’d already moved out of my parents’ house and was living on my own. They weren’t interested in finding out why I was so different, just in pushing me to succeed in spite of it. When I brought them my diagnosis, my dad’s reaction was to tell me that he was glad I hadn’t found out sooner, so that I didn’t have an excuse not to try hard.

    I started doing research, like you, and gave up pretty quickly for this very reason. I got a couple of books that weren’t full of horror stories, so that I could have the information, and now I don’t try to participate in any kind of autistic community, because I don’t want to hear about how bad people like me are for everyone else. I don’t tell people unless they get close to me, because everyone’s got a cousin or knows somebody with a kid who is autistic, and the first thing they say about it is a horror story or a joke designed to poke fun at the autistic. I’m high-functioning enough that most of the time I can hide it, but when I’m stressed or emotional it gets really obvious, really fast. But it’s horrible that I feel like I have to hide it. I want to help. I want to connect with autistic kids in my community who are lower-functioning than me, be their friend and help them make more friends. But how do I tutor somebody’s kid when the parent is probably going to ask who my caretaker is?

  19. William says: |
    March 6, 2015 at 6:21 am

    I was diagnosed yesterday and after years and years of struggling and my parents saying nothing is wrong with me, making fun of me, hurting me telling me I am no good I find out at the age of 30 with a wife who is going to leave me because she got her green card.

    This post is what made me think of getting tested and it was confirmed yesterday after much testing that I do have Aspergers.

    So now I guess it’s time to move on and finally work on my self in the areas that need to be worked on.

  20. Vanessa Emma Goldman says: |
    April 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I have Aspergers/Autism, and this article/comic totally rings true for me!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for writing and posting it!

  21. Sheogorath says: |
    April 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    @ Dith: I’m an Autie, and I agree with you that Autism isn’t an illness with ‘symptoms’. That’s why I call the negative aspects ‘issues’ and the positive ones ‘hallmarks’.

  22. Jon V says: |
    May 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I have aspergers, or am autistic, whichever. I’ve grown to the point that I have only two friends, luckily they get me. I can tell sometimes they don’t get what I’m saying, or why I act differently than what they’re used to. I really wish I could do something different, or be a different way, but the best thing to do through my life is deal with this as best as possible and fit in with society the only ways I know how. There will never be an “easy” road for autistic people, all we can do is go a day at a time and deal with our problems as they come to us.

    Thanks a lot for bringing this up and making such an excellent comic. I really appreciate it ^_^

  23. Karen says: |
    April 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I have an autistic daughter and have social issues myself, although I am not diagnosable on the spectrum, so I see perhaps both sides of this issue.

    The truth is that I love my daughter beyond anything in this world, and that I would do anything, give up anything myself, to give her friends and companionship because I know that is her heart’s desire. She is the best person I have ever met, my dearest friend.

    The truth is also that by living with two autistic people (my husband also), I have encountered isolation, distress, a feeling of emotional invisibility, and a feeling of being trapped.

    The two truths can co-exist. They do co-exist. The truth of both sides needs a place for expression and companionship and comfort.

    Where should people like me go for help and connection, if we are prevented by insurance coverage and other finances from seeing a psychotherapist regularly? Reaching out on the internet is what autistic people, including the writer of this piece, are doing for help. It is also what people living with autistic family members are doing, for help. Should one side bear the burden of censoring their feelings and experiences in order to protect the other? To me this is an extremely complicated question with no easy answers.

  24. J says: |
    June 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you for having this page and having a still active comment section. To the above poster Karen, with all due respect (get ready for my aspie viciousness– eye roll) I am sorry you hurt but I finally found a post about ME!

    I don’t know what they/you should do but please express your hurt at one of the million places with other NTs (neuro typicals). Everyone has sympathy for you, you’re a martyr, helping your poor autistic family. Join a church, go to the Y; there are plenty of people ready to help you. So personally– yes, I wish you would have censored your feelings on this particular post. In some ways, maybe NTs should bare the brunt of censoring their feelings— after all, according to most NTs, you guys are the ones who have a better understanding of feelings than us and we’re telling you that your comments –NOT you– are hurtful.

    I have to hide who I am b/c there is so much hate and misunderstanding of me and it sucks. I’m able to blend in better than others. I’m an artist and I’m a physically attractive woman. Men find my naivete attractive– and don’t get me started on the attributes that are found physically and emotionally attractive in a patriarchal society– and others think I’m eccentric, a little weird, passionate, quirky, have a great aura etc. All kind ways of saying “a little different”. That being said, I know I have it easier than many on the autism spectrum.

    I can’t explain to others why I’m so good at working with/teaching children of trauma, children with mental illness and gifted children. (I have a bachelors and masters and yes- college was difficult. If it had truly been about higher level education, I would have excelled. Having to work while attending college and being called lazy and told to prioritize by professors is what made it so difficult.)

    I am married with children and I ran across this post because my husband and I continue to bicker about the same things that at their root are issues of communication. I know I’m the cause of his hurt and at the same time I hurt b/c it’s the “mere” way of my thinking patterns, the delivery of my speech and my tone that he is reading more into than I am putting into them. If I could “just fix that”, I would but it is hurtful b/c it’s like saying my entire system, my mechanisms and existence are hurtful to others, that I have to change. In my loftiest dreams, I wonder why “they” don’t have to change to accommodate me? Maybe my loved ones already are.

    Anyway, I loved seeing this post and comic strip, after reading article upon article written from an NT perspective and finding myself holed up in my bedroom crying. Thanks for posting and thanks for allowing me to vent.

  25. Mish Allucia says: |
    January 2, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you. <3

    I am an Autistic parent of an Autistic child. Fighting ableism is a constant battle especially in parent groups where some of the parents are so bent on "fixing" their kids they forget there are Autistic adults in the group. And then when we defend ourselves (politely at first), after being told that we're misinterpreting their words, we get more defensive and are THEN told that disability is no excuse for being rude. And diminishing my diagnosis by saying I'm so "high functioning."

    So I love this.

  26. Polly Griesbach says: |
    June 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I love what you have written. I have Aspergers too and I want so badly to be accepted and included. I get left out of pretty much everything because I’m different. (I have actually heard someone telling another person to “not include Polly because she’s different.” I just hope that one day people will realize that different doesn’t mean less.

  27. CF says: |
    August 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I am autistic, (aspie if you want me to be more specific). I have struggled with the supposed “norm” all my life. I am a total nonconformist, who isolated themselves and cries when frustrated, am shy around new people, and is uncomfortable making eye contact. But I have always been myself. People online dehumanize us. We are “stolen” by our autism, we screech violently at every single upset. The most upsetting one I’ve seen, joking about how we should all be thrown out at birth. To the people I went to school with;I am a strong determined, loyal person, a popular intelligent musician who shows tremendous empathy to anyone who is hurt or sad. To the internet, I am a dumb, disabled screecher, who met a fate worse than death. I’m glad to see autistic people speaking up for themselves, as I am doing trying to erase the doragarory use of “autistic” in my community. Every ones story is unique, wonderful, and important to our acceptance.

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