I was just in the shower thinking about this and felt that I had to share. Before I went into the shower I read yet another story about how terrible Meghan Markle is and how she is causing problems for the Royals. I just thought who cares. But also I thought why are people judging her so harshly?
We all seem to lead two lives. We lead one life in public and the other in private. One life gets seen on social media and the other one doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong if any of these stories are true then she and all the Royals from what I have read should be ashamed of themselves. The stories don’t paint any of them in a good light and that is not even factoring in the historical one which is Prince Charles and his mistress turned wife.
Then it got me thinking if we are living two lives (one in public and online and one in private) how can we as autistic people really navigate the world? It becomes harder and harder to guage what people actually want. Honestly sometimes I feel like screaming.
So let me tell you a story. Before I got diagnosed I entered the world of work. I knew I had to be a good employee. I knew my interpretation of what a good student had not faired me well but I was determined to be a good employee. But I had no idea about what that was. So from what I had guessed from my parents and TV I put a persona together that I thought was what a good employee was. It worked well, until it didn’t. I was so far from being who I was and it almost destroyed me when I thought about things like, why did I struggle with Christmas Meals? Why could I not last more than a year or two in employment? I felt defective. I felt like a failure. My public image seemed to be a failure.
Skip ahead to 2018 when I got my diagnosis and everything clicked. I had struggled with Christmas do’s because I did not feel comfortable with the people I worked with and struggled to interact with them. I struggled to build relationships with people because I could not understand their intentions. Suddenly I felt less of a failure and more inspired.
From the date of my diagnosis I made a vow. I would drop that persona that had failed me in the past and I would just be me. I would learn about what made me me and live as openly and honestly as I could. When I wsa getting over stimulated I would make it known so I could take the breaks I needed. I now educate my team on what works for me and what doesn’t. Even today, a colleague kept saying give me a second, give me a minute, I will call you in 5 minutes. So, I said to him it is best not to say that to me because I was timing those time periods and then shut my skype off after because you didn’t call. He honestly hadn’t realised it was something that might get to me..
I am not saying to be someone or something your not in public. What I am saying is bring as much of your private self into your public self or vice versa (depending on which side is the nice side of you) This way, you will be happy with what you put out there and less people will critise you.
Helpful tip for autistic people on social stupidity (my name for it as I hate saying socially awkward) Find someone who is not on the spectrum that you trust. When you have something that you do not understand you have a trusted person you know to steer you in the right direction. It is so important that you have someone like this you can speak to so that you don’t make bad choices this especially goes for dealing with the opposite sex. I have about two of three people I can go to that I can speak with and know they will give me impartial advice on what is a good course of action if I do not know what I should do.
Honestly without my goto neuro-typical people I may of made a bad mistake today :S
sory for the ramble I needed to get this out before I went to sleep.