I am socially inept. There is a whole world out there of social rules, subtle distinctions in words and body language, that I have never naturally understood. It’s not just a matter of body language, because even though the Internet has made it easier for me to communicate with others, I get into trouble here, too. Real-life or online, I’ll say something, and the person I’m talking to will (from my point of view) suddenly explode in wrath. When this happens with a friend, in recent years I’ve worked to figure out why, exactly, they’re upset with me, because my that was not my intention. Almost every time, I’ve lost a friend.
I can’t win. Catch-22. If I speak, if I try to participate in a group, in a forum, in a discussion, I’m going to piss people off and usually get kicked out. If I don’t speak, I lose out on everything. If I try to find out what I did wrong, people get even more upset.
It’s no wonder I have trouble getting into romantic relationships or close friendships. If I trigger other people to turn their backs on me in disgust and hatred just by casual acquaintance, how much more am I going to piss people off once they get to know me better? This is 90% of why I am afraid to go into new situations, to talk to new people, or to get comfortable in a group and start relaxing.
Hey, world. If you don’t tell autistics the rules you want us to play by, you don’t also get to shun us for not playing by the rules. Fuck that shit. I have a right to learn, a right to know what I’m being punished for. Not understanding where a racist joke came from or what makes it racist doesn’t make me a racist. Not understanding why some people feel a certain way doesn’t mean I don’t think they have a right to feel that way. Yes! I’m clueless! So give me a clue. I’m sorry if you feel like you’ve explained it a thousand times. You haven’t explained it to me, and I don’t get it. I’m sorry if you feel like it’s obvious. It’s not obvious to me.
I’m tired of tiptoing around. I’m tired of worrying about what people think. I’m tired of second-guessing every damn word that comes out of my mouth. I’m sick of it! My intentions are good, and I generally love people. I love debate and discussion and delving into morality and ethics and little details over good food and drink. I do the best I can with the tools and information I have available to me. I am worthy of love and respect.