I hate that autism means I have little natural animation to my smile that I show little or no emotional reaction through facial expressions to situations. I hate that I wasn’t told I had autism, I hate that over the years, I have continually been misjudged and misunderstood, and still I continue to struggle.
I know what happiness, excitement, surprise, anger, fear, confusion, and sadness looks like, but I am void of those emotions. I have little natural expression of my emotions. I hate that. I hate how autism interferes with my emotions.
For me to be able to empathise, I must have the emotional and cognitive experience to relate to another person’s feelings. Because I struggle with cognitive challenges, I find it difficult to empathise, even if I know what sympathy is.
We must be able to feel with that person but must also have the tools to tell or show empathy. With autism we may not tell or show our feelings in ways that are understood by others.
We may also not pick up on social or cultural cues and therefore may not be able to express empathetic feelings outwardly. Having autism means it’s difficult for us to share the other person’s hopes, and expectations.
Outwardly I cannot feel. I recognise empathy, patience, compassion and tolerance, but I can’t feel those traits. Through my words and blog, I am able to show empathy, patience, compassion and tolerance, but I have no physical reactions to emotion.
The difficulty is me having to fit my life into other people’s lives around autism and those others expecting me to be normal. Others must come to accept they have to share me with autism and then us work through my struggles together.