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

Posted by speakingaut in advocacy, outside looking in.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

(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.