I have autism.
I know I’ve been saying that forever, but the truth is, I didn’t truly believe it. Maybe it’s because my mother never let me or the many people who comment, “I would never have known”. Maybe because so many autistic people seemed way worse off then I. I can pretty much do what I want without feeling hindered by it. Some sensory stuff, some physical stuff. I suppose I’d gotten used to it over the years. I even began to count it as an asset, as is has become the trend for us.
Now I’ve hit a fence with stunning force.
I am manipulative.
It’s there for you all to see, including myself. Manipulate means using someone to get what you want, and that sounds terrible, but it’s what I do. I just can’t see it. There is a lethal formula in the autistic system that makes it happen; lack of social awareness, dependence on logic, and above all, drive.
As I learn more and more about what it is I have, I have discovered the blessing and the curse that is autistic drive. I used to label it under OCD, but this is different. I have medication for the OCD and by and large it works, but this is something else. It’s far more organic and sensible than the obsessiveness that was killing me years ago. People call it “drive” or perseverance, and sometimes, most times, it is welcome. You have to push to get what you want, disregard the nay-sayers, and follow what you believe.
But I can’t chose the target and I can’t gauge the intensity or the social acceptability. There is a point on the runway when the plane starts to leave the ground, but how to tell when before you’re too far up to bail safely? People won’t tell you outright. It’s uncomfortable for them, because they aren’t sure either. They can sense it, just like I should once the hints start to drop.
But I can’t. And it grows into a cancer inoperable. This is why they leave. It is perhaps why I got fired. It is why my parents were so abrupt with me, why I’ve lost friends and respect. I knew I was doing something to make people angry, but it was really too vague to pin. Now I find this is one of the banes of autism and I am stunned. It isn’t just a minor oversight on my part, it’s a symptom, a HUGE symptom of something there is no treatment for. If the problem is connected to the autism, that means it could take forever to mitigate, if ever, and only through so much painful trial and error.
I can’t subject anyone else to this and I don’t know who else I’m doing this to right now so until I can find out a litmus test, I’m dropping out. If anyone here suspects I am taking advantage of them for my gain, tell me bluntly.
I am so sorry.
Charlotte Walbrecht Anie– I worked one on one with Autistic children at our school. Most were very intellient, artistic and talented and tempermental. Most I worked with had no where near the capabilities you have. If you did not tell us you had autism we would never have known it and that is true. Many people manipulate people and they have no excuse. Just live your life and do not dwell on what you perceive to be limitations! You have a lot going for you so use it to make your life better! You can do it! Becoming a recluse is not the answer! Find something to do to channel your energy and talents! Have a great day! 🙂 ♥
Sharon Cabana I agree with Charlotte, Anie. I love you dearly, you know that, and so I’m going to be blunt with you, as you requested. You are an amazingly gifted and brilliant woman. Your art is a beautiful expression of everything you are. Manipulation is part of human nature. Everyone does it, even if they deny it. Some are more malicious than others, and others don’t even realize they are doing it. That being said, you cannot blame everything you perceive as negative on your autism. The autistic people I have worked with have been no different than anyone else. Cutting yourself off from everyone around you is just another form of manipulation, a way to draw attention to yourself, even when you’re absent from view. You need to recognize both the positive and negative aspects of your personality and your autism and recognize that it is part of you and not an “inoperable cancer.” If you continue to use it as your crutch, it will eventually consume you in the way you fear, and you are too beautiful a person, and too gifted of an individual to have that happen to. Best of luck and take care of yourself!
Susan Lipson Anie, I can understand what you mean. I never knew I was behaving in a way that was not socially “acceptable” until I was told, and it came as a shock. But everyone is manipulative on some level, and honestly, I don’t see you as being any more so than everyone else is. You are a sweet person, and I value your friendship. Don’t disappear! Everyone will miss and worry about you!June 26, 2010 at 5:49pm · Like