I’ve had quite a few reminders over the last few days about something that has troubled me on and off for literally my whole adult life (I’ve just turned 40!) but I felt now was the time to share these thoughts with you all. Bear with me while I try to explain……
So the title: Blame It On The Autistic, what do I mean by that? Well I mean just that. At many points throughout my life both friends and family have seemingly used MY autism as an excuse/reason for their negative or hurtful behaviour towards me. Like a get out of jail free card or something. We disagree, not necessarily in an argument, and then I’m blanked or harsh words are said to me. Unfriended. Blocked. Not given the opportunity to state my case or even apologise if I overstepped or misspoke. Just blanked. Denied my right to have my say, even if I’m not heard. Some of these people then tell others about my shocking behaviour or rude comments behind my back. Completely revolving the whole thing and making it entirely my fault when in fact in most cases it hasn’t been.
I’m not saying I’m a saint or that I don’t get things wrong, because I do but what I don’t do is blame others for my reaction. That I own. I’m also able to apologise. Sadly many aren’t it seems. I look back through messages at almost an obsessive level trying to see what I said that warranted the harshness that has come my way. I look and look but it’s not there. I send screenshots of conversations to trusted people to see if they can see and they can’t. It feels like people use my autism as an excuse to treat me badly and not have to be held accountable for it. They’d rather sulk/storm off than let me know what I’ve done wrong. No doubt it’s easier for them to blame me and assume I’m not capable of acknowledging my mistakes without acting like a child/diva/brat or whatever. If this wasn’t so sad it would actually be funny! Funny because it’s actually them, not me, but yet I’m blamed because I’m an easy scapegoat.
If in doubt or uncomfortable with your own actions then blame the autistic. Most will agree with you. Her autism makes her stubborn, opinionated and temperamental. Blah blah blah. Of course that can be the case but what many fail to notice is that I can and do own my mistakes and can admit when I’m wrong. I don’t always see it, that bit is true, which is why I ask others for input when I’m in these situations. It makes me doubt myself. Surely it can’t be possible to piss people off by doing nothing wrong??? Apparently it is! Maybe, for some, it’s easier to blame me than admit a mistake. Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves somehow. I guess only they know. Maybe they are having a rough time about something else in their life and it literally has nothing to do with me but I’m just a target/outlet for their frustration/anger/upset. Easier to be angry at me than face whatever it is. Blame the autistic. Doesn’t make it any less painful though. I’m forming a thicker skin now though. That’s a good thing but sadly it’s beginning to make me question new people in my life and keep them at arm’s length for longer. I’m always surprised at who treats me badly. It’s never the people I’d expect! Surely I can’t be the only autistic person who faces this with seemingly relentless regularity??? Also have you ever noticed that these people talk down to you? Like you lack the intellect to follow even basic language. I’m tired of being blamed and judged.
So to sum up: if we are friends, either real or virtual, and I say or do something that upsets you, please treat me as an equal and not as an autistic scapegoat. Simply tell me and let me have the opportunity to apologise, learn from any mistakes I made and just have my say. Please don’t tar me with all the stigmas associated with being autistic. We aren’t all the same. We aren’t all like your own child.
It feels good to be writing again after such a long break of over 3 years! I just wish it was a more uplifting topic but you can’t have it all! If you do nothing else today, just be kind. 💜