Soon I’ll have a week’s vacation with friends and acquaintances. Many of them are neurodivergent.
Now I think that I’m not particularly striking as being autistic in everyday life, and I also believe that I handle things pretty well most days. However, there is a huge difference between my life and my vacation: What happens to me when I completely relax and can be myself. When I dare show me in all my strangeness without hiding and masking, and in response only meet love, kindness and understanding.
It is so precious to feel normal among other normal people, to be able to mirror oneself in others, to have contact that is easy and straightforward and without misunderstandings. Mentalization runs smoothly when you resemble each other and it is so easy to read and understand and to be read and understood.
The more I am in contact with other neurodivergent people, the more it becomes clear to me that our normality is different. That what we think should be normal, what we do and expect of ourselves and others, our entire value system is different. And I almost can not wait to leave my neurotypical everyday life behind and just be myself.
It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever had. And I believe that all children and young and adult autistic people should be entitled to meet same-minded people. Because then they finally realize that they are quite normal. That it is the others that are odd and strange, and just because they are the majority, that does not mean we have to conform to them.
I have never met so much true love and empathy as among autistic people. And funny enough also the right kind of irony we can laugh about: “You can’t do that as an autistic person. Now put your irony away again, shut up and rock back and forth like a good autist.” 😀
And at the same time it’s also okay when you get there where you rock back and forth. Because we may be ourselves.