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Me zero, big bad world one. November 6, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in advocacy, outside looking in.
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(Warning: foul language ahead. Not a lot of it, but it’s there.)

I have had it up to here with being forced to hide a vital part of myself in hopes of finding employment. Especially since it doesn’t work.

I am sick of continually being told how much people would love to hire me, except I’m “just not a good fit.” (At least I’m in good company; that’s the excuse companies use on anyone when they don’t have a legitimate, non-illegal reason for not hiring anyone who’s visibly different.)

Perhaps more importantly, I’m at the point where I’m mostly sure it is just me; that I’m just not going to get hired for anything full-time or permanent, no matter what I do; that even if I keep trying, I may as well never actually hope to amount to anything; that I may as well go from job to job to minimum-wage job like so many autistic spectrum people before me have done. I may as well accept that my best option for health care is “don’t get sick.” (One perk: I hear the monthly premiums are low on that plan.)

And you know why I’m not planning to give in? Why I’m going to cry myself out and then pull myself right back up?

I’m doing it for you.

I don’t want to sound like a martyr by saying this, because that’s certainly not how I see myself. But if — WHEN — I get my career started, it’ll be that much easier for the next autistic person to apply for a job there. People will get to know me and realize that I am just as much a human being as they are, and with luck and hope, they will carry that knowledge on in life.

The Law of Unintended Consequences applies here as well, but in a good way. If things change for autistic people, the world will be easier for other non-neurotypicals. I live for the day when neurodiversity in all its forms (infinite neurodiversity in infinite neurocombinations? Nah…) is so commonplace that when somebody asks “So, what about that Alice person? Isn’t she weird?” and the standard reply is “No, she’s not weird. She’s just Alice.”

It’s just not fucking fair that any group of people anywhere has to prove its humanity at all. Ever. I’m going to say this once, and I’m going to say it clearly: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

My writing this likely isn’t going to change anyone’s attitudes, aside from my own (I feel better already), but with hope, my existence will.

Single-sentence Saturday is looking for a distraction. November 1, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in cats, just for fun, outside looking in, single sentence saturday.
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Whoever designed the Halloween decorations that have silhouettes of cats with their tails up and their backs arched obviously didn’t speak Cat: that pose means they’re more scared of you than you are of them, but they don’t want to run.

Single-Sentence Saturday comes without warning or context. October 25, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in outside looking in, single sentence saturday.
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Sometimes I wish I could read minds, but then I realize that it would just mean having one more sense to manage.

It’s listmaking season. October 7, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in outside looking in.
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Things that, according to people who taught me to do them, I don’t do correctly:

  • Walk
  • Hold a pencil
  • Vacuum the floor
  • Take out the trash
  • Change diapers
  • Crochet
  • Type

But:

  • I get around unassisted, and I can keep up with people a foot and a half taller than I am
  • My handwriting is perfectly legible as long as I’m paying attention
  • My floor is clean
  • My trash cans are empty
  • The diapers get on the babies a lot more easily than they would if I did it the “right” way
  • I have a number of completed projects that look exactly like “normal” crochet
  • …Well, I’m not copying and pasting each word into this entry, am I? No signs of repetitive stress injuries either.

So the question is, what exactly am I doing wrong?

(In all fairness, the “walking wrong” thing was a choreographer. Oh, and various and sundry security guards with nothing better to do.)

Bride of Single Sentence Saturday. September 6, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in outside looking in, single sentence saturday, social.
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Three times this week, I’ve wanted to be able to give it up and just be like everybody else for once.

Musings from the 42 Limited August 22, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in outside looking in, social.
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Riding the bus makes everybody a little autistic.

There’s the woman in the back who’s so engrossed in her book that she misses her stop… and the next one… and the one after that… and ends up getting off a mile later than she’d intended.

There’s the woman in the other corner who’s been on the bus for an hour already. She’s not going anywhere in particular, but is just in it to watch the people.

There’s the man anchoring himself to a pole in the aisle because he doesn’t want to sit next to someone he doesn’t know.

There’s the woman pressing her face against the window, staring at the patterns in the road.

There’s the man who’s rocking just a little bit more than the bus itself is doing.

There’s the oddly-dressed teen in the front who smiles at everyone who enters and is still waiting for someone to smile back.

There’s the man who doesn’t reply at all when the driver asks if he wants a transfer slip.

There’s the small child who breaks free from his mother to talk to a formidable-looking man about his collection of bugs. Even when said formidable-looking man is obviously uninterested and uncomfortable.

There’s the one person everybody else pretends not to be staring at, and the one person everybody else sees but doesn’t really notice.

(Guess which of these people is me. Whichever one you pick, you’re right.)