Passing as a non-autistic, passing as neurotypical, means that you never get to actually be human. Be a person. You just learn how to get really good at faking it. It’s not good, it’s not healthy, and yet how can you say no to a trick that gets you the human treatment, college, a job, a future, some sham at self-determination?
But that’s all it is: a sham.
These things have costs and consequences. You can bottle things up for so long; you can pretend to be someone and something you aren’t and never will be; you can do things which are exhausting, even actively harmful in pursuit of “passing”…
But in the end you are still an autistic. An autistic who doesn’t know how to be an autistic, much less a person, never mind an autistic person. And that’s an important thing to know how to do.
How to be.
Who to be.
Julia Bascom blogs at Just Stimming.
Anatomy Of An Autistic appears here, in five parts, by permission.
[image via Flickr/Creative Commons]