Today a Kaiser Permanente nurse tried to make me feel bad for being actually autistic.
In the midst of me already beginning to come unraveled because today’s appointment was not what I was told it would be, raising the prospect that I had subjected myself to two 90-minute commutes for nothing (and I’ve told them again and again, I need as few in-person appointments as possible because that commute is a serious stressor), this new nurse–who’d I’d never met, had no track record with, and who clearly had not really read my file—interrupted me mid-sentence to go, “Can I ask you to do me a favor? I can’t see your eyes.”
That’s because I wear my mirrorshades to help manage the stresses of socially performative in-person conversation, and so I stammered out a meek, “Yes, it’s an autistic thing, I need them on.”
(It should be noted, I also was wearing my Autistic, Anxious, Obsessive-Compulsive t-shirt, like I do every single time I go to the doctor.)
Her words in response were, “Oh, okay.” Her tone, however, was one part scoffing at such a thing and one part taking it as an affront. Like I had insulted her personally.
It’s that empathy thing again. Everyone makes a stink about how autistics apparently have no empathy, yet here was a caregiver expressing insult when she was the one insulting me.
I’m just so tired.