Hi,

I got a tweet one day, and it was a very nice tweet, however, in that tweet, I got called

#bravelady. 

I am very flattered by this compliment, but it got me thinking, Why am I brave? Why do I have to be brave?


Why do people think I’m brave for speaking about my disability, why do I have to be brave to do that? Disability in general is a bit of a taboo subject, never mind just autism. You can’t see autism, so it’s a lot easier to hide than if you had a physical disability. A lot of people seem to forget that disability can be invisible, so it’s easy to think that someone is just a bit of a weirdo, when really they might have underlining problems.

Up until a few years ago, I only told very close friends about my autism, thinking about it, I only told 3 people. I was scared that people wouldn’t want to be friends with the weird girl with autism, I was scared people would make fun of me because of it. If anything, people thought I was weird back then because I tried too hard to be normal and ‘cool’, in an attempt to hide the fact that I had autism.

Then in year 9, I just thought, Fuck It. I realised that if people decided they didn’t like me because I was autistic, they weren’t worth my time. I don’t go around shouting that I’m autistic from the roof tops, but if it comes up in conversation, I can say, “yes I’m autistic,” I don’t hide it anymore. But there is still the little thoughts in the back of my mind, still scaring me. That person’s going to treat you differently now, You know you won’t get a job because you’re autistic right? No one’s going to want to marry an autistic girl.


At the end of the day, though I’m a lot more comfortable with my autism, I still get scared, but that’s not really a reflection on me. Attitudes towards disabilities need to change. We need to talk about disabilities more so that people like me don’t feel scared, or uncomfortable, and so that people understand the problems that we face, and can try to help us when we are struggling. We shouldn’t have to be brave to be ourselves.

See you soon,

Beth

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