Amanda to “I Wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” #AutismPositivity2012

To the person who wishes they didn’t have Asperger’s

I want you to know that I see you. I see how hard you work. I see your pain when you find you’re still on the outside, even though you’ve spent years – maybe even a lifetime – trying to be anywhere but.

Please don’t continue to try and change yourself to match up with anyone else’s expectations. All that will happen is you will hide more and more parts of yourself, and will get further and further way from the amazing person you were always meant to be.You already are amazing, it’s just that you can’t see it. You are busy noticing all the things you aren’t, instead of all the things you are. Just because you aren’t typical, it doesn’t mean you’re worth any less. You have just as much right to be here, and just as many reasons to know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you are beautiful. You have all these cool things about you that, yes, make you different. But that difference is awesome. Other people do not get to dictate to you who you should be and how you should be; that is for you to know. Nobody has the right to judge you and make you feel bad because you aren’t like them, or because you challenge their expectations, or because you’re anything less than their version of ‘perfect’. You are the perfect version of you, as you are, in this moment. Nobody can take that away from you.

I get that it’s hard. I really do. It’s hard for me too. I see you trying, and I see you getting no recognition. It makes you feel like you must not be trying hard enough, or that there is something wrong with you. Let me tell you, you are trying hard enough. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You have faced huge obstacles and you may have been right to the brink. You have probably seen people at their very worst.You have almost certainly been misunderstood, hurt and discriminated against. Your needs have been ignored and you have been victimised. People have made you feel like your Asperger’s is a bad thing. And yet, you carry on. You shoulder huge burdens; your atypicality makes lots of things incredibly difficult in itself, but you also shoulder the burdens of all the things that have happened to you and the huge burden of other people’s expectations. They all get far too heavy to carry. Sometimes you need to recognise that far from being weak, pathetic, or all the other names you might call yourself, you are actually incredibly strong. It takes a lot of strength to live your life. To continue when everything inside you screams for release. What’s more, there is usually no recognition, no chance to say, “this is really hard.” I see it. And I am so proud of you. I don’t know you, but I’m betting I’d think you were awesome if I did.

Nothing you have ever done proves that you are bad, no matter what you might believe. So much about you is amazing and you deserve to recognise that.

I want you to know that you make a difference. As much as you think you don’t matter to anyone, or that the world would be better off without you, it doesn’t make it the truth. You will find your people, as unlikely as that might seem to you right now. I promise you that they will see you for who you are inside. One day, there will be no more need to pretend. Right now, this might seem like a far-off dream. I get that. But once you begin to reveal and accept all those things about you that you’ve hidden for so long, your people will find you. Right now, you are making a difference to the world just by being here. You’re showing that no matter what, you have never given up. That’s a message of incredible strength. You’re showing that difference exists. You’re teaching tolerance. You’re doing things that you aren’t even aware of, but I promise, you are making a difference. You’re changing the lives of the people around you. In the end, it’s not how many qualifications you have, or how many days a week you work, or indeed whether you work at all, or really any of those extraneous things that seem hugely important at the time, that measure your value as a human being.What matters is the difference we make to people’s lives by being no more or less than exactly who we are.

I know you hurt right now. I would do anything to take your pain away, to fix all the injustices that brought you to this point, to be there when it mattered the most. But I can’t. I can say, though, that it was the situations that led to this point that were wrong and should never have happened. It is not you that was bad and wrong and should never have happened. It is not your Asperger’s that is bad and wrong. It’s part of what makes you wonderful. A person is never, ever worthless.
You deserve to be loved, no matter what. You deserve a true love that is unconditional. Someone out there will love you for you, and you’ll never have to feel pressured into changing yourself ever again. They will find you, when you’re not even trying to find them.

One day, you will believe that you’re beautiful just the way you are. Please keep fighting.You can’t see it right now, but you are worth it. I promise I know; I’ve been exactly where you are.


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