I wanted to explain something. Many people have told me that I should not care so much what people think of me. But I have to care. You have to understand what growing up as an autistic has meant to me. Autism is a handicap – and largely, in my case, a social handicap. Overcoming that handicap is as real and important to me as overcoming their handicap would be to a one-legged person who dreamt of being a runner.
Just because you cannot see or quantify my disability makes it no less real. My wish to accomplish and build real friendships is as real a goal and dream to me, as is a one legged runner’s wish to finish a marathon. While it is true that many people do not have the friendships I wish to have, and thus cannot understand the importance of this goal to me, yet it is equally as true that many people will never run a marathon, and yet many can understand and realize the accomplishment of someone with one leg accomplishing that feat.
What I wish for, and have striven toward is just as real a dream for me. For my entire lifetime, building and maintaining real relationships with people I care about has been my one and only personal goal. While writing, and sharing my creativity is something I love doing, and get a lot of satisfaction from – but for me, for myself, knowing that I could overcome all the challenges and demons that have plagued me for a lifetime, and with those behind me, that I could build real, lasting, caring relationships with people who wanted me and enjoyed me in their lives. That is a goal that I cannot give up on. No matter how hard it has been, or may continue to be.