I have a hard time doing simple things, simple daily life activities for example, I see others going to college, working, but I can’t do those things (not just because of Autism in those particular cases), I can’t even take care of myself or my house, that is why I avoid general groups of people with Asperger (aspies) because I have the feeling I am too not functional for them, they do things I can’t, I don’t know how to ask for help with those kind of things without feeling useless, lazy or incapable.
When someone tells me that I don’t do anything in my life, to help my family or to take care of the house it hurts me deeply. I feel like I am a burden.
I know others that don’t work but they study, when they don’t study they help in the house, everyone I talk to looks like they are doing something even when it’s difficult.
Now, I don’t give others the treatment I give myself, I am more kind, logical and less prejudiced with others, so with someone else I don’t equalize function with worth, if someone can’t do any of those things I don’t see as a bad thing, many have different sets of abilities, even if someone didn’t have any ability that does not change that person importance, but with myself, I internalize the wrong things and my life stops having meaning when someone tells me how useless I am, I have a deep sense of being someone who shouldn’t be here, the feeling I need to prove that I am worthy of being here and the devastating awareness that I have nothing to show as proof.
I learned I am Autistic in my twenties, then I needed to learn and accept that I have disabilities, but I am the only that knows that, I don’t know how to learn how to do things, how to get help to learn or help when I can’t do something, so I don’t do what I could (if I know how to) and I feel terrible about it.
All this time those things were a flaw in my character, they call it being lazy, spoiled, manipulative or thankless, then I was depressed so it was a symptom, now I don’t look depressed anymore (because I am not and I wasn’t) so I lost the acceptable excuse.
I learned to see this as things that I did wrong, things that I chose to do wrong, my failures, now I need to see that is not the reality, I am trying but then someone tells me that I should do something since I don’t do anything, someone points out that I don’t do the easy things, something reminds me that I am useless.
It’s not the only thing that I notice that I use an expectation and worth for myself differently than from others, I see myself as less, I expect more and I don’t believe to deserve equal rights. I would never judge someone else like I judge myself.
In the meantime I still have problems doing things, things that others see as simple, automatic tasks of everyday life, I’ve talked to others on the Autistic Spectrum that have a harder time with things most think are easy but they also do things I don’t, the few who have my difficulties get help to learn or to do things while I feel stuck in this situation.
One of the reasons I don’t use Asperger is because the so-called aspies are so functioning, I am not and I feel like a failure because if they can, why can’t I?
(There are many other reasons and a personal dislike for the term Asperger/aspie, not the people who have Asperger or use the term, but that is for another post.)
I do read blogs were other Autistic people say they have problems with this too, but that doesn’t appear very common with the trend that Autism and especially Asperger is not a disability, that worries me.
Apparently you can only be really high-functioning or really severely low-functioning, I don’t fit in neither of this useless functioning labels I hate.
I don’t look like the ‘regular’ version of disabled, nobody knows or understands that I have disabilities, so I don’t get the help I need, my problems are not real, I should just try harder. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
Maybe the problem, besides my obvious lack of support, is the fact that I am still trying to accept being disabled and that I have hidden disabilities that are really hidden from others, that troubles me, the secret brings me shame and less acceptance.
I should treat myself as I treat others as well, most people need to think the opposite but not me.
I should say that I have no problem with people who don’t do the things people say are easy, no problem with those that need staff or help with things, I do not believe the value of people should be measured by what they do or don’t do, I don’t think anyone is a burden, I am just trying to understand why I see myself and only myself as deserving less and being less, I am hoping on finding a solution for my problems with doing things.
Alicia Lile blogs from Brazil at Moonlit Lily.
I can’t do simple everyday things appears here by permission.
[image via Flickr/Creative Commons]