From the noisy red isles in supermarkets and the sudden lack in Facebook posts from those dramatic friends being rude to their boyfriends, its clear its almost valentines day. Honestly the hearts and flowers thing has never been my bag, my idea of a romantic film is Deadpool, Dracula,or my bloody valentine, but even my heart can thaw once a year and pretend I have those things called “emotions”. I pride myself in finding thoughtful gifts for my better half and trying to maintain positive but there’s always someone out there ready and waiting to ruin this time of year for you.
For me its when people stereotype me as a classic Aspie girl. “oh autistic’s don’t feel love though?” ah, those wonderful people who don’t think adults on the spectrum are capable of romantic love ( you know who you are!). Any other adults out there on the spectrum reading this have most likely bumped into one of these people, note these also seem to be the same people who thing camels milk “cures” autism. At most other times of the year I honestly don’t give two minutes of my time to these people unless its to be sarcastic, but truth is when you are trying to figure out a way to be romantic it kinda sucks having people run around saying you are incapable of doing so. Or worse, acknowledging you as an individual have feelings but “you just aren’t that autistic”. Most people reading this will know just how often these get thrown about and just how annoying it is. Seriously how am I supposed to look pretty for my date if you are making my eyes roll so far back into my skull I honestly worry they won’t ever come back down?
For those who really struggle with the concept I am trying to portray here I will make it simple. Autistic adults are fucking adults. We go on dates, we fall in love, we have sex. I know, shocker right? But I have even met parents of autistic individuals who will debate this one with me. Being on the spectrum makes me no less capable of love. I have a heart damn it! It may be in a jar on my desk but its there. My personal lack of warmth is nothing to do with my illness, its because honestly I as an individual just really don’t like mushy stuff. I prefer blood red to sweet cute red hearts and that comes from me as a person, not my autism. When it comes to romance it can be hard for some people to separate you from your illness. Everyone has something to say and everyone thinks they know autism, same way everyone thinks they’re funny.
Well there is an over used phrase which ,unlike the ones previously stated, is true and sadly still unheard by so many around us. When you have met one person with autism you have met one person with autism. Just because I am suddenly opening up to a softer side for the season doesn’t mean you need to comment on how I handle emotions. Those emotions are mine and I will express them anyway I damned well want.
I hope everyone out there has a great valentines day whatever you wind up doing, and to anyone who still thinks its okay to question whether or not autistic individuals have feelings based on how we express them, I suggest you keep it to yourself because seriously we have heard it all before.