I’m a high-functioning autistic. I realised it when we were investigating my younger son’s autism.
In fact, I had ever known it: my mother found out when I was three, but she chose to pretend I’m not.
At that time, autistic kids was hospitalised, or even tied to heaters or chairs. My mother tried to stimulate my development by herself. She had no background, no resources, no specialised knowledge, but she tried.
Thanks God I’m cognitively high gifted too, so my autism passed unnoticed. Otherwise, I’d be banging my head against the walls by now.
Nevertheless, I’ve been victim of prejudice all my life long. People don’t realise I’m autistic, but they feel something is wrong. I’m a freak, a nerd at best (formerly nerd didn’t have a positive connotation, like it has today). My own father used to say that he didn’t expect me to become anything great. He would like me to be an engineer, but he never think anything like that could come true.
And I have beaten against the walls since forever. Every simple social task seems like a hard climb, a job interview almost never ends well. People think I can’t speak, that I’m not able to make me understood. I fail where someone less skilled succeeds. Every step I’ve done, I did harder than it is for others.
And it still remains so.
As a programmer, I see the program unlike anyone else: people mind the code; for me, the code is just a representation, the program actors’ description. I literally see in my mind the program actors interacting, each one in its own spatial position and move, with its own color and weight, its physical interface that can fit or not into another actor’s interface.
The upshot from my seeing way is that people simply can’t understand how I think – so they assume I can’t think (or I hardly think).
A friend told me he thinks I’m sabotaging myself. It’s half true.
After recurrent failures due to people find me a freak, I began to believe’em.
Even so I keep trying. I have a good job, but I should be refusing job offers, and choosing better ones, not suffering about them. I hope someday I’ll find some place where I really fit.
Originally published on Medium.