I started to write this post the other week after a person that is friends with alot of my friends, but to be clear she’s not one of my friends and I’m sure she would say the same, said something offensive in front of a group of a few of us,roughly 10 of us together.
Now her and the other people have been friends since probably primary school but we’ve never seen eye to eye which as you can probably imagine has been awkward, yep pretty awkward! They’ve always got on as far as I know, but she’s horrible to me and a few of my best friends (in a different group), since primary school and when I first met her.
Usually people like her don’t bother me, i don’t happen to bump into or see them all too often (even though we live in the same town), and I will only see her a few times a month if she’s with a group of people I get on with also. I don’t listen to anything she has to say and purposely block out anything she does say, as it would just cause a drama and I’m not about that, i hate confrontation and arguing with people.
I’ll get to the story of what happened the other week. I have autism. I was diagnosed fairly young I would say, aged 4, but it has never really affected me massively until I got slightly older, and now i’m 21 and it does affect me daily of course, but not so much that I notice it all the time. However, I know i have it, I’m not more aware of how it affect me, how it prevents me from doing certain things, and how I like to have some sort of routine and know what i’m doing from week to week and month to year, etc. She said something in conversation with a few other members of the group along the lines of “Oh it must be so hard being autistic”. This REALLY got my back up and I was immediately annoyed, even offended by what she’d just said. It wasn’t just what she said though, it was the body language that came with it and her attitude, she didn’t care what she had just said and wanted everyone to laugh as it was apparently a ‘joke’. Really? I think i’d be laughing along also if it was a joke, but I wasn’t. The other people in the room and the group knew about me but no-one said a thing. I wasn’t expecting anyone to jump up and defend me, I can speak for myself, but I was expecting someone to say SOMETHING.
I spent so long feeling scared by this person who said this and now I’ve got to a point where we can be in the same room together, we’re civil with each other but we’re never going to be friends or the best of friends. That’s okay you know! Your not going to get on with everyone and I feel like the sooner people know or learn this the easier your life is goanna be, Trust me on that! It’s taken me so many years to learnt this about some people and when I stopped thinking I had to get on with them, I felt so much better about myself.
I may not look like I have ‘autism’, a ‘condition’ or a ‘disability’ in your opinion, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hurt by what you say or it doesn’t affect me. Of course it affects me, regardless of what you say, and we’re all human.
I think the point of this post for me was just to say: Think before you speak and treat others how you want to be treated, it may sound cliche or cheesy but it a really good message to live by. And just because someone is slightly different it doesn’t mean you can say horrible things or treat them differently.