Passion & Justice
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For me Autism is beautiful because it is filled with passion, empathy, care, justice seeking; & all of this humanity is a beautiful thing, in a world of deceit, stigma & cruelity. Autism is beautiful because, hope glitters on the surface of pain & difficulty.
Autism is beautiful because of how I often feel so alive with passion. There’s beauty within Autism when being enchanted by everyday details that others don’t notice; learning about topics that’s other would find boring, becoming fascinated & curious & justice seeking is part of the beauty of humanity. Likewise, Autism is beautiful because it is an incredible way to connect with people. an opportunity to look outside the box, it’s a way to seek out answers to questions no one is asking. It’s being enlightened by the power of people & their stories & becoming enchanted by their joy, their anguish, their journey to fly.
Autism is my identity, my life, my love, my heart my soul- my disability. The beauty within Autism exists, even when the beauty can be shaded by infantilisation, bullying & gaslighting, because from the stigma you’ve overcome, the beauty shines through.
Hyper focus: Hyper focus is an intense focus, that enables you to utilise all your skills and attributes to work in perfect harmony. Not to be confused with fixation, a hyperfocus can enable me to work, and work to the best of my abilities, and still be capable later, still pick up on my needs and bodies signals and be consistent in outside capabilities. To put it simply, I can work well, make all the connections, be my best, and also have breaks and go back to it still in perfect sync and focus. . Hyper focus is wonderful and empowering and basically- you’re at your best when hyper focus empowers you! When I am hyper-focused, I can work for hours, for days, for weeks – with adequate rest and time out to recover for next time – while still remaining focused.
Hyper Fixation: is where no matter how much you try or want to, you cannot stop thinking or focusing on or obsessing over current fixation. The capability dries out swiftly, and while it mimics the hyper focus level of abilities, it actually makes you far less able and capable, of doing jobs, or recognising your needs to even your usual ability – work will also be at a reduced version of your usual abilities too. Hyper fixation overtakes your life making you so extremely involved in the fixation that you can’t process any other priorities. This often results in not eating sleeping or forgetting / being late to meetings – because you are so involved that you don’t process anything else exists. While in Hyper fixation, you burnout and shutdown, but you cannot read the signs, and you carry on digging yourself into the hole of fixational no return.
Hypo focus. I struggle with focusing sometimes. It’s not just the distractions or the overwhelm – it’s me failing to pay attention to details that could help me make progress, because my brain doesn’t keep track of what I am seeing, or what I need to know. Consequently, I daydream a lot, and may not seem to listen well when spoken to – although I am trying. This is also why I am exceptionally bad at maths. It’s also why I am not so good at schedules and following instructions. I often steer clear of tasks that require a lot of focus, or jobs that need more effort than I can safely give because I go from ‘hyper focus’ to hypo focus very quickly – but especially when it is in relation to things that don’t interest me quite as much.
Passion My passions and hyper focus helped me cope with death, bullies, or misunderstandings, and I used my collection of Egyptian statues and hieroglyphs to act out recitals. I once accidentally stabbed my hand with a statue of an Egyptian god while I acted out a blessing; whatever it was I was struggling to deal with, my biggest passions have always been there for me, to help me when times get tough. I used to escape to my passion or Specialist Interest a lot – I could be working, in a conversation with family, doing homework, school, when it all became so overwhelming that I used to run off without warning to be with my passions, or start writing or drawing hieroglyphs or detailed illustrations related to my passions -I was simply too overwhelmed to realise that the initial task, still existed. The only connections my mind could make while so overwhelmed, was how to feel better-a defence mechanism to cope-every other demand ceased to exist until I could cope well enough to make those connections again. This meant that I had lost the ability to realise I WAS in a conversation, in class, doing homework or a chore, and that I had to continue.
Honesty The main positive attribute of my Autism is the beauty of being honest; if something goes wrong, or I do something wrong, I will own up to my mistakes and apologise. I won’t let other people take the blame, because I find it soul crushingly difficult to manipulate or lie to people, If I know the truth to be different. Likewise, thanks to my need for routine, structure and honesty, I also will never break rules, protocols, or do anything intentionally wrong, bad or unjustified. My honesty can be a bit too much for people to handle, but I do it to help, and because I believe it to be the right justified thing to do, always. Even if I think I’ll get in trouble, even if the truth puts me in direct harm, or means I can’t get what I want, I will tell the truth, always, because it’s an innate need within me; just like for most Autistic people. If it’s an innate need to be honest and justified, then we simply can’t be manipulative, bend the truth to get what we want, can we?
Justice seeking Justice seeking in turn, impacts every aspect of my life; down to how I act, communicate and behave right down to the nitty gritty of why I mask my Autism, why I obsess over wrong doings and why I have these amazing passions that relate to facts, justice and structure. This is why, often, Autistic people are often passionate about things that are related to truth, or facts; computer, geology, history, maths, science, the art of what we feel or see or hear, celebrities, and other role models - because it is our innate need to be absorbed into justice, facts and honesty in all aspects of our life – even the aspect relating to lifestyle itself, like being ‘obsessed’ with a boyband, celebrity or tv programme or being enthralled by music or art or mechanics and what makes something ‘tick’ or art or music.
Empathy I have so much empathy that it hurts, so much that I try to help, even at harm to me. I’m Autistic, so therefore it is believed I am not empathetic which for me and many other Autistic people, this couldn’t be further from the truth, the reality for me especially is that I simply don’t show empathy in a way most people understand. This is why, this belief is inaccurate, wrong, and ablest too. the other truth? I 1000% understand that people have minds and different intentions, thoughts and perceptions and I am always very empathetic – as part of my justice seeing and /do good/ nature, one that many Autistic people share I’ve noticed – I actually spend my entire life trying to bend myself out of shape to make life easier for other people and their diverse beliefs – (why else do Autistic people mask, at great expense to themselves? It’s not to benefit us, let me tell you!). This is either by way of masking, hyper empathy, hyper focus, or justice seeking to the extreme. my inability to showcase empathy in an easily understood way is rooted in my Autism, and overwhelm too, not me being a robot – like myths would have us believe. Judging from my own experiences, as well as the experiences of other Autistics, I am certain that Autistic people are capable of this kind of empathy – we just need to be enabled to process it, and show it in a easily understood manner, and people need to recognise what our empathy and love languages look like. Different is not less. Either way, it’s not ones fault – but everyone can try to improve. Recognising effort, differences and humanity, while being empowered with reasonable adjustments, is key, to all of us improving our theory of mind.