Tag Archives: late diagnosis

The Meticulous Choreography of Improvisation

13 Jul

I found this on thautcast.com: “What I Can Do Is Pretend To Be You”. It’s an Aspergian’s reflections on a life focused on passing, focused on perfecting “the character” others want us to portray. My first three-plus decades felt like this. I remember having to do an improv scene in the mandatory high school theater class and I just couldn’t grasp how to make improv work. Now I know that nearly every moment of my life was strictly scripted, with rationed moments of improvisation to perpetuate the illusion of flexibility and the words and looks that suggested that I was just a freak and not fitting in on purpose, and not possibly because of anything organic, formed in me before words and judgments and comparisons.

I struggled with that for years, as I tend to fixate on the things I can’t do, or can’t do well (training from my youth, when things were forever paraded about with labels regarding shortcomings, comparisons to other people, and my intelligence).

I fixate, I hyper focus, for the sake of pursuing mastery and approval.

I should say, I fixated. I hyper focused.

I’m so much happier now, being myself.

The approval I seek is my own, and I’ve learned to be flexible in my criteria and the word and concept of perfection aren’t in my vocabulary except as a scar that serves as a reminder to buckle up or watch where you are going as next time a scar might not even have the opportunity to form over the wound.

I wish I had this piece, from Larkin Taylor-Parker, on a sandwich board to wear around people who refused to look at me and instead focused on what they felt I wasn’t willing to be, for those who saw just the failure and the gaffes and not the effort and considerable choreography applied to each moment, to pass even just a little…

Click the link to hop on over to thautcast. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece and the concept of “passing”.

On Autistic Passing: “What I Can Do Is Pretend to Be You” | thAutcast.com.

Happy Friday,


The Tuesday Ten & I Am Loved.

11 Oct

The Tuesday Ten… Not happening. Sorry. Can’t do it. Is anyone surprised? Ok good. Perhaps I’ll post random facts or some sort of meme-ish shenanigans on Thursday… Thirty Thursday sounds like a stretch if Tuesday Ten is this daunting. Hmmm. I do have plenty to share. We’ll see….

Alex came home with this neat little “about me” packet he filled out when he started at his new school.

I asked him if I could share it on my blog and he said, “Oh Mama. Of course you can. You can put it all over your blog if you want to.”

I think this even tops the one from two mother’s days ago when he said I was pretty as a cupcake.

Such love in that kid. I make sure to tell him, especially when things are extra challenging, that I’m the luckiest lady in the world because I get to be his Mama. It’s important, to me, to make sure that he doesn’t go through life feeling like an imposition, or a 2nd class citizen, or as though my life is challenging because he has Autism. No kid should have to feel that way. It’s so damaging and endless. So I remind him all of the time how proud I am of him, and that I love him stinky feet and all. He says the same stuff back to me, which is unnecessary, but to me it shows that he’s getting some of this reciprocation thing. It’s also incredibly healing for me, as he is the first person in my world, in my immediate circle, to love me as me and not as a chunk of clay to be molded into something more desirable. So much of my life, starting at a very young age, felt like I was some piece of something getting thrown out and everyone around me tried to upcycle me into something useful for their needs, rather than helping me navigate the way to being the authentic, strong, unique me. So my kid’s admiration and love for me is a pretty gigantic thing considering how long I went without that trust, acceptance, and unconditional love. I don’t lean on him like a crutch, but he can’t help but inspire me to work harder and to be myself. After all, what would I be teaching him if I wore a mask all of the time?



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