I have a very large problem with wanting to be normal.
And not in the “what is normal anyway,” “you’re cool just the way you are,” “you just need to be yourself to fit in,” movie moral sense.
But just in the sense that I really, really, REALLY don’t like having to have it thrown in my face so often that being on the autism spectrum separates me from roughly 90% of the general population.
That feels like a high number, but I’m basing it on the current statistic that 1 in 68 kids is born with autism and then extrapolating that number to actually be almost ten times larger - for no other real reason than typing “98%” up there probably would have instantly made me kill myself.
Anyways, I wish I could handle it better when I’m expected to be social. But the fact is that it just takes a lot of effort to do. And the more people involved, the more effort it takes.
I’ve found that - occasionally depending on their personalities - my sweet spot is three people outings (including myself). Although I can usually handle four if I kind of allow myself a day to two afterward to just kinda breath and regain my self-composure.
And so, when situations I can’t traditionally handle are sprung on me, I’ll just deal with it, I’ll power through, I’ll try to find a way through it, and do my best to regain feeling okay after. Usually that means I have to hide how it’s making me feel (which I’m used to), and then hide how I felt and am still feeling for a few days after (which I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to, because I haven’t yet).
And sometimes - and I’ve admittedly gained a little more confidence in doing this since being diagnosed and really working on myself - but sometimes, I’ll just have to admit I’m not like everyone else. Just to avoid situations like I mentioned from happening, I’ll open MYSELF to that very vulnerable and serious social situation.
And it’s really hard for me. Because while I’m fine admitting to myself that I’m autistic and not like all these other people. When I explain it to normal folks, I can tell it disappoints them.
Which is ironic, because obviously one of the issues that comes along with the whole autism thing is having a hard time picking up on social/emotional cues.
But when I explain to people that I can’t be how they expect me to be (even though it’s really just all they know and kinda take for granted from their friendships with other normal folks), they are very visibly and usually just blatantly vocal about how disappointed they are.
And then they want to accommodate me more, and want to sort of change their base operations of how they treat me altogether.
But they don’t get that I don’t want that. I want them to do what they always do. But just know that I won’t always want to do it with them. That I can’t hang out as much as they want, and I can’t always hang out with whom they want.
But that doesn’t mean that when they do those things without me I’ll feel left out. Nor that if they ask I’ll somehow automatically say no - some days I have more motivation to really push myself.
But nobody ever seems to really get it. Not at first, anyways.
They don’t get that I’m not telling them so they know to treat me differently. I’m telling them so they understand why I’M treating THEM differently than what they are used to.
But the problem is that no matter how much I explain, they won’t understand it all the way. So they’ll still think I’m either selling myself short and using autism as a crutch or excuse (which is a presumption that I fucking hate, because this is a legitimate and serious thing for me), or they’ll just pretend to understand while still exuding their disappointment in amounts which even I am able to pick up on.
It more or less seems as though my social inabilities translate to most normal people as me more or less pushing them out or excluding them intentionally.
I guess what they seem to think is that it’s more of me not wanting to, when it’s actually me not being able to.
I would fucking love to be able to. I would fucking kill to be able to. They don’t fucking get how goddamned badly I want to be normal.
And whenever I try to tell them, it just reminds me of how much I’m not.
End of line.
Los Angeles is very surreal. Or, potentially the surreal feeling is just because I am here. Either way, something about it is surreal. I am fucking sure of that much.
Everything I’ve seen is very opulent, and nice, and fancy all over. And, while I haven’t gone out and about very much, it has a nice feeling to it when you’re just walking around.
That said, being here is also kind of weird and scary to me.
My being here hinged mostly on A) being invited, and B) happening to have just enough money to make it happen. And I just figured, “Oh yeah, why not, what the hell?” And then when I went looking for advice on how to maybe find an agent or something, I was granted a bit more opportunity than I expected.
And that’s the scary part, is the opportunity. Because then the trip changed from going to LA for a week to being in LA for a whole month, and hoping to hear good news.
And what makes that part scary is the potential for success, and me needing to move and all that. But also it’s a little scary if I have to come home. Because I don’t want that to discourage me. And, granted, I’m going in without any expectations, so I don’t see as how I would be let down that much. But I also of course HOPE something cool happens, I’m just not expecting it to, per se. It’s all just “what if” kinda stuff.
I’m also on the leg of this trip where it’s gonna just be more of a waiting around thing. I don’t yet know my way around and what exactly there is to do, so there’s a fair bit of time that I’m devoting to just hanging around inside and writing. And that can of course get a bit boring.
I do have plans to go to Meltdown’s comedy shows and try to hang around and talk to other comedy folks. Plus, of course do the open mics.
So that’ll eat up evening time and give me stuff to do. But the days are just gonna end up being kinda long and gangly. So, I am quite curious as to whether that’ll result in good output or just distraction (as of this moment it is obviously not the former).
Another scary thing is making connections. I’ve known since day one that’d important. And thus far I just fell into it by accident online. But now I’m actually HERE so making connections while I’m here is super important. And that really freaks me out.
I mean, it’s really just more because of the autism thing and me worrying I will either crank up the dial on being social too high and completely burn myself out, or not do enough and make no connections at all. But that’s something I deal will all the damn time, so I’m trying moreso not to worry about that one.