I would like to have people understand what my hands fluttering up to my jaw, or my head being suddenly, viciously scythed into a wall, or my shoulders hunching mean. They don’t, and so I talk. My talking is praised as eloquent by other people, because I use enough big words to hide that it’s a confused, muddy and disconnected translation of the things inside my mind.
I talk quickly, most of the time. On the moment, as a hastily thrown-up defence to the pressure to talk. If I have any more time, I write. Ideally, I write and rewrite and edit and tweak for hours upon hours, for anything newly articulated or complicated. Then my translation is merely robbed of most of the sense, simplicity and eloquence of what provoked it. Sometimes, I need weeks just for that, to work out the maze of associations and shared traits and variables until I understand even one aspect of a single, tiny element of my own personality, or something else as small, enough to articulate it.
I talk with the knowledge that I’ll never do it anywhere near right, that I’m probably about to be overloaded with anxiety because I’m not confrontational or good with stress, and some ignorant fuck who will never tell me why or give me any meaningful advice about what I did wrong will take it upon themselves to read hostility or anger or any one of a myriad of things that I don’t feel into my tone, and attempt to shout me into being more “polite”.
Sometimes, I wish I couldn’t talk at all. Every time I do, I know I’m fucking it up, I know I might be about to be tone-policed, and I feel less like I have a right to claim to be autistic, because having issues with eating and talking and thinking and sensing and going to the god-damned fucking toilet isn’t good enough. No, you have to never talk either, lest High Functioning And Less Autistic glide in with a sweeping tide of ignorant blather and begin its magical renovation of your headspace from what you say it is to what the invoker assumes it is, alongside Very Bright And Intelligent, its very best buddy.
Those disabilities? Low self esteem. Those things you can’t do? You’re not trying. When High Functioning And Less Autistic and Very Bright And Intelligent come to town and catch you talking, you don’t actually have any real disabilities or problems, you’re just lazy, and broken, and really ought to get better. It all sounds remarkably like what I thought during my self-hating phase. Oh, and my ignorant phase.
If I didn’t feel so awkward with writing instead of talking, I would stop apart from emergencies, just to ward off the denial. Some days, I think that with people who I’m comfortable with, I will talk with my much-loved hands instead of my awkward, clumsy mouth, just to not be worried when I communicate, and to hell thrice over with the inconvenience and the awkwardness and all the rest.
Today was one of those days.