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Fri Jan 23, 2015, 08:10 PM

 

Coming Out of the Closet ... About Being Autistic

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-elk/coming-out-of-the-closet_b_392284.html

As a teenager, when I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition known as Asperger's Syndrome, it seemed like a death sentence....

For five months now I have debated writing this piece in fear. I worried about the risk to my career as a political activist and writer in revealing something like this about myself. However, writing it now seems like the most liberating thing I can possibly do. I have nothing to feel ashamed about anymore and can engage others openly exposing who I truly am.

20,000 people needlessly commit suicide every year, many because they don't know how to deal with the unique characteristics of their own minds. They feel that the only solution they have to end their suffering is by only ending their own life.

They are afraid to open up and talk about the issues that prevent them from being happy in their own lives. I for one am not willing to encourage a culture of shame like that. Therefore, to come out of the closet and live openly as an adult proud of the fact that I have Asperger's Syndrome.

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Reply Coming Out of the Closet ... About Being Autistic (Original post)
KamaAina Jan 2015 OP
hunter Jan 2015 #1
KamaAina Jan 2015 #2

Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 24, 2015, 09:16 PM

1. "When you are an outsider you tend to be friends with other outsiders..."

That's true of my own experience in many ways.

It sure would be nice to live in a society where the only "outsiders" were the psychopaths and sociopaths who get their thrills torturing and demeaning and cheating others; those who are far too often the self-declared "winners" and monetarily rewarded in our cruel and broken society.

My own autistic spectrum (among other diagnosed mental health issues...) adolescence and young adulthood left some pretty deep scars on me, both physical and mental. Among the worst are friends who either killed themselves or who attempted to kill themselves. Further, a few gay men and/or drug abusers both male and female, who died of HIV, or are living with HIV now.

In my case, it's been my obsessions that have kept me alive at times. I know deep down, in the darkest depths of my soul, I couldn't do THOSE THINGS I NEED TO DO!!! if I was dead.

Maybe two-thirds of these "NEED TO DO" things in me are irrational and trivial (Who else but me cares about my ingrown hairs? Who else but me would pick away at some bit of computer code until it is PERFECT, not just more than good enough.)

It's the other third of these "need to do things," things I intensely focus on that keeps me grounded in the "real world," but I think even my most irrational OCD highly focused stuff damps out my self-destructive inclinations, whether off powerful meds with unpleasant side effects, or on them.

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Response to hunter (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 01:53 PM

2. Truth.

 

A friend who is part of the Society for Disability Studies:

http://disstudies.org

outed herself as a normate (person without a disability) at the SDS conference a couple of years ago, as follows: "As a fat, black, queer woman, I had acquired so much otherness that I only felt comfortable around you guys."

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