This has been a lifetime quagmire I’ve been struggling with. I bear the semblance of what is “normal” in the eyes of many. But as time goes by, I realize that I am not among them at all. The irony of it is that some say they “do not see what’s wrong” with me, while on the other hand, there are those who would single me out and make me feel unwelcome, pointing the obvious.
This is my struggle! And apparently the struggle of those within the Autism Spectrum.
Though mine may be a mild case, but the sad truth is one of my next-of-kin has mislabeled me as an autistic (albeit in jest). Surprisingly for her, I took the badge with pride. Not fully understanding then what Autism actually meant. But I digress.
The appearance of “normalcy” since childhood and high expectations from parents (thinking their child was intelligent) took a heavy toll on my sanity. It has also warped my sense of self, and much worse, I’ve no longer been holding up in school (though fortunately, I still managed to reach college level but I dropped out after two years)
Being an oddity in a society of normals pushed me over the edge. Apart from the fact that I’ve “gotten off the boat” academically, I took the hard road and refused the prospect of regular employment for over a decade.
In all honesty, my “condition” is an unsolved puzzle. In a selective sense, I do have an avoidant personality (examples include avoiding people from my past – not wanting to ever see them again), which has also played a vital role in my avoidance of regular employment – most especially the BPO industry.
Until a group of kind chaps from a PWD-friendly social enterprise (Virtuahalan) took me in and I expressed willingness to train with them. I guess it’s time to turn things around with technology at our disposal.
Jay Sebastian Garcia