Brains Vary

Great minds do not think alike.

My mother is a dancer. She thinks in movement, choreography. I think in emotional impressions. Ideas, abstractions, art.

I used to live much deeper inside my head than I do now. I found the outside world confusing, or rather the people in it and their bizarre expectations of how I should think and act. I learned over the course of years of painful trial and error to think and act more “normally”, but adapting changed me profoundly. I will bear the scars and regrets of that process for the rest of my life.

I learned to think in shorter, more discrete ideas. It dampened my creativity, but translating abstract ideas for neurotypical people is a necessary survival skill for Autistics. I don’t think as creatively now, or quickly, and I miss that. But heaven forbid “normal” people should have to learn to accommodate us. That would be unreasonable.

Thinking in discrete short ideas has made it easier for me to communicate verbally, but only when the ideas which need communicating don’t require foundational explanation, and I lost a great deal in the transition. I could no longer connect disparate concepts as well as I once could, and my imagination became limited by the shared assumptions of neurotypical society. I rebelled as much as I could, but I cannot say I won that war. I’m pretty weird still, but not like I was. A Pyrrhic victory at best.

Whatever operating system you use, regardless of the layout of your internal world, know that each person is unique, and that different people’s ways of thinking each have their own strengths. Stand in solidarity with your fellow freaks, fight back against the people who would steal your birthright.

You are not alone.