Laura Nagle (@HardAspie): I am Glad to be an Aspie! #AutismPositivity2012

This post was originally published at http://lauranagle.net/wordpress/i-am-glad-to-be-an-aspie and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

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I am Glad to be an Aspie!

All my life I have been an Aspie, whether or not I knew it. Most of my life I did not know it. Being one of the autistic spectrum is not easy. Being one of the autistic spectrum whilst being ignorant of that fact is not even easier. I think that few people, even normal ones, have easy lives. I know well that I have had a difficult one. I have had to work harder than most. For my efforts I have received less than most.
From most objective and externally visible positions my life as an Aspie has been far less than satisfactory. From an internal position and thinking with all the objectivity that I can muster, my life as an Aspie has been far less than satisfactory. I cannot and will not deny that autism has been for me a mostly negative experience.
This autism is a strange thing. It has given me a fine intellect, curiosity, an ability to think in ways that few can know, an unbending and simple morality. Asperger’s Syndrome has in many ways given me fine and desirable traits. Asperger’s Autism has also given me some powerful lacuna in matters of social interaction. Asperger s Syndrome has given me troubling sensory problems when exposed to environments created by and for persons who are not autistic.
Asperger’s Syndrome has also seen to it that my inner needs and desires are quite different from the needs and desires of the majority of people around me. Being so different, my needs and desires are unlikely to be fulfilled while I reside within this great and engulfing and so, so not autistic society. Even when I win, what therefore have I won? Asperger’s Syndrome has set me far afield; apart from means of success, apart from any gains of meaning and value.
From nearly any viewpoint one might take, my Asperger’s Syndrome has been a negative experience. Asperger’s Syndrome has placed me at odd ends; it has given me some abilities and robbed me of the abilities needed to use them. Due to a life of useless flailing I find myself old and without the resources required to care for myself. Asperger’s Syndrome has been a negative experience, and even as I write this I cannot and will not attempt to hide this fact.
However, while my life experience is lacking throughout most of my years, there is an issue deeper than this to be considered. Who am I? I am intelligent and questioning. I am introspective and intentionally philosophical. I am intensely moral. Whether born with it, or perhaps having developed this quality by way of years of suffering, I care deeply about others; autistic or not. I am who I am because I am autistic, because I am an Aspie. I have been forged hard by the fires of Hell itself, but for this I am strong and tough and worthy.
My ill fit into the world and my discomfort in it has caused me to question everything. My lack of finding a ready and prefabricated life has caused me to build one for myself. Whereas my path has been halting and painful, who I am is – I think – pretty good. I find joy in understanding. I find joy in being of use to others. I can be happy while possessing nearly nothing. I can accept life, or death, as either might come to me.
Asperger s Syndrome has caused my experience to be so hard that at times I have nearly decided to leave it. Asperger’s Syndrome has made me into a pretty decent person who now is of use and purpose. Asperger’s Syndrome has allowed me a look into the underlying aspects of reality denied to but a few. Overall, the deal is perhaps not so bad after all. I add an unusual point of perspective to the collective consciousness. I think this is alright. I am glad to have Asperger’s Syndrome.
And that purpose alluded to earlier: to help create a world in which all can find joy and fulfillment in who they are: even Aspies. My Syndrome placed me into position to do this. Yeah, a good deal after all. I am glad to be an Aspie.

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