Sunday, May 01, 2005

When the goal is to turn an autistic person into a pale imitation of a neurotypical and to deny them any expression or manifestation or justification or legimacy of/for their autistic selves, isn't the true goal to squelch and suppress their self identity? This "therapy" leaves the autistic no place to turn inwards, where they can say, "this is me, this is good, I *like* me, this is who I am. Instead, it's all pretense and facade, something we're not all that good at, I think. One is left in unhappy introspection: is this me? Or it it what they wanted? I'm not happy with it. They liked it. I don't like this...they pick on me for's bad because they don't like it...they say it's weird...Why do I have to pretend so hard...and who do I pretend to be?..." (I used to choose one model at a time, usually someone I admired and was fond of. If and when they rejected me, I then had to discard that persona and try to model after someone else.) I always had a slight nagging feeling about this...and what hurt the most was when the person encouraged me, actively assuming the role of role-model, and then abruptly abandoned or spurned me. I was unable to choose a generalized 'normal' mode, or to identify one. I *had* to imitate other people in order to act any semblance of normal.

Is this what you people want, to deny us our autistic self identity? To say that who we really and truly are deep inside, is wholly inadequate? We are supposed to live out an entire life this way?! And to be happier for it!!! My god, what have you been smoking? How could you even imagine that this would be successful or productive? (We won't even go into humane, auties apparently are too far gone to deserve humane treatment!)

A person's self-identity is the very germ and seed of their personality. To rob a person of this, and intentionally, yet, is a crime worse than rape. A body is only a shell, but without our real self, we would just as well be walking zombies acting to please the general populace. A person's selfhood is sacred, and noone: no parent, no teacher, no therapist, no expert, has the right to deprive anyone of that.

What better form of expressing one's inner self can there be but the arts?

You can ban me from your forums, you can shut me up, you can shout me down. You can fire me, threaten me, hurt me, and pretend I don't exist. You can tell me that since I'm autistic, my opinion doesn't count. You can claim that I'm not really autistic, the pschologist was dumb and I'm pretending and therefore I'm invalid. You can make up elaborate and bizarre theories to explain things away about me and why I'm so, in your opinion, fucked up. You can pray for me, plead with me, sigh over me, wring your hands, ply me with guilt trips, laugh at me, or swear at me. It doesn't matter.

I am tired of trying to be what I am not and I refuse to do it anymore. It's hard work to be what I am, but at least I know who I am. I am just as legitimate, being autistic, as you are, being neurotypical, and you aren't one iota better than me for it. You can't shut me up. I will paint, and even though I can't communicate well, my pictures will say it for me: this is me, this is who I am, this is the beauty that I see in the world around me, through my eyes!

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