The Autistic Pride Award

So I was “passively” nominated for the Autistic Pride Award by Laina over at The Silent Wave Blog. I do appreciate it and although this does feel somewhat weird to me (as autistic pride is somewhat of a foreign concept to me due to the way my life has panned out) but I’ll give it my best shot.

The rules are really simple…

  1. Whoever wants to participate, participate.  I’m focusing primarily on Asperger’s/autistic people, of course, but anyone who supports autistic people and neurodiversity is welcome!
  2. Do link back to the blogger who gave you the idea
  3. Do link back to Silent Wave as the original creator.
  4. Describe a bit about yourself.  However much you feel comfortable saying.
  5. List your main “special interests” or areas of primary focus/niche specialties.
  6. If you’re on the spectrum yourself, describe why you’re proud to be Aspergian/autistic or what you like about being Aspergian/autistic.
  7. If you’re not on the spectrum yourself, you can use this opportunity to describe a loved one in your life who is and what makes them awesome, or you can explain what autism means to you and why you think the world would be a better place if it were to be more embracing of autism.
  8. (Of course, you can answer more than one!  For example, someone who is autistic can also describe how much better the world would be if it was more open toward autism.)
  9. If you like, you can list other blogs or resources that are autism/neurodiversity-positive, to give them a shout-out, too.

That’s it. 🙂

So a bit about myself:

ASL: 30/M/USA originally from Roswell, NM, currently living in Abilene, TX. Right now I work as a lift plan engineer for a large crane company, a job I totally despise but it pays the bills well enough. After having my dream career yanked out from under me due to my autism diagnosis (however unfair that seems), but eventually realizing it would have been the same unsatisfying dead end as this direction, I’ve set my sights on one day owning my own cigar and whiskey lounge.

I was diagnosed with AS/HFA at the age of 14 despite much resistance from my parents who did not want to accept I was different. They thought I was just a defiant child and treated me as such, sometimes being subject to psychological and physical abuse. I still live with some of the emotional scarring from that but our relationship is much better now that they’ve accepted it.

My main “special interests” are as follows:

  • Tattoos/piercings/body modifications
  • Music (both playing and listening)
  • Change bell ringing (for those unfamiliar, here’s an explanation)
  • Microbrew Beer
  • Scotch Whisky
  • Cigars
  • Auto racing (particularly open wheel racing)
  • 80s Fashion (with a particular love affair with men’s short shorts LOL :-P)
  • Aviation/airplanes
  • Philosophy (with particular emphasis on existential nihilsm and antinatalism/efilism).

What I like about being (why I’m proud to be) Aspergian/autistic:

This really is a tough one. For the longest time I’ve hated being this way and I’ve only very recently warmed up to it and accepted it as part of me (though if I were to be totally honest most of the time I still wish it wasn’t). Alas, I have to pick something here so I will say a few things. I love being able to absorb information like a sponge and retain it forever and that it enables me to maintain intense concentration on a particular task for countless hours (so long as I’m actively engaged in the task at hand). I also like that I have practically no self-censor and am able to speak my mind no matter how unpopular my opinion might be. Lastly, I feel it’s part of the reason I enjoy physical touch. In a particularly hands-off society, the power of a hug, kiss on the cheek or cuddling (even among just friends) is grossly underestimated and I think it’s easier for me to accept and enjoy physical affection than if I was neurotypical.

Why I think the world would be a better place if it embraced autism:

Well, that’s an easy one for me to answer, seeing as how I was a victim of exclusion from the aviation world due to my diagnosis (no current world aviation governing body grants medical clearance to fly for autism spectrum people), embracing autism would actually mean most of us could live our dreams and probably excel at them. There are certain professions in which the condition would be a net asset but the stigma surrounding the condition holds all of us down. Life is hard enough as it is, don’t make it any harder for us please.

As far as resources, well, I don’t think I can share any more here that the creator of this award didn’t so I’ll just refer you back to her resources page.

So that’s my contribution to this topic. Maybe it was sort of lame and cliche, but maybe you enjoyed it. At any rate, I think this kind of thing is good for me as it helps me to be more comfortable in my own skin. Hope I didn’t bore you to tears and by all means please participate if you’re interested.

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2 thoughts on “The Autistic Pride Award

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! I definitely feel for you and the situation you’re in. I can’t imagine what that would be like but I’m pretty sure that “difficult” doesn’t begin to cover it. I can only say that I’m so sorry for everything you’ve endured. My heart goes out to you but more constructively, my hand extends toward you as a friend and listening ear for whatever that might be worth 🌷

    You really put a lot of thought into what you wrote, though, and I appreciate your taking the time and energy to share your thoughts 😊👍🏼💓

    Like

    • Well I mean, it is what it is. It’s beyond my control and rest assured it isn’t your fault. I know you’re doing your part to try to change the public’s perception of us and although it’s too late for me, maybe it’s not too late for those coming up behind me.

      Ultimately though all roads lead to the same conclusion and, as mentioned, I’d probably have been just as miserable at this point had my life taken the other course. That’s just reality also and I accept that. The “in between” parts would have been easier mind you.

      As always, your friendship here, on Facebook and via SMS/Telephone are greatly appreciated. Here’s hoping we cross paths sometime. We’re not too terribly far apart after all.

      Liked by 1 person

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