There is an old expression that goes something like “judge not a man before walking a mile in his shoes”. I say it’s an old expression, and fail to provide you with a proper source, because there does not appear to be one. Many have attempted to pinpoint its origin, to no avail. Regardless of where it came from, there is a lot of wisdom in its words. I was recently diagnosed with autism, and this opened my eyes—not to how I see the world, since I already understand this—but to how others may see me. I’ve always been “the weird one”. I’m extremely quiet and reserved. I generally speak only when spoken to, not because I submit to others, but because I see little reason to communicate unless we’re trying to accomplish something. Whenever you talk about the weather, or your other aglets of conversation, I just cannot relate. I’m not saying that every conversation you have must be all business, or that I don’t want to hear your anecdotes. It’s just that my brain isn’t wired for appropriate response, and my default reaction is silence. Though I did not know my specific mental condition, I grew up having a pretty decent grasp of who I was. I developed coping mechanisms to function in the world. It’s still easy to notice how strange I am, but I can get through a sentence, if need be. I can convey information, if need be. It may be more difficult for me, and it causes a huge amount of stress and anxiety for me, but I’ve become surprisingly good at faking it. Sometimes, I even convince myself that I’m human. If I acted the way my brain is constantly demanding me to, however, I wouldn’t have so much as gotten through middle school.
I’m not telling you this so that you’ll treat me differently, or stop judging me. That’s not going to happen. I’m at this sweet spot on the spectrum where people can tell that there’s something wrong with me, but they still think that I should be able to “get over it” and “act normal”. I’ve accepted this, and I know that the only way I’m going to survive is to pretend to be a neurotypical. I don’t know that I could raise much awareness about this one specific issue, mainly because I’ve not researched it as much as I probably should. Instead, what I’m going to do is spend the next 74 microstories trying to give you—what’s the word...perspective. Each installment is going to be told from the point of view of a different person. I’ve not thought much about the kind of people I’ll be profiling, but I feel the need to note that any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This is still microfiction, and even though I occasionally open a door through the fourth wall, I do not intend to tear it down completely. Enjoy, and please...keep an open mind.
The following is a list of all Perspectives: