Plus ça Change, Plus C’est La Même Chose?
“I’m assuming,” wrote a family member, “that you have the desire to change your life.” This in the wake of me pointing out that by the necessary rules of surviving in society, I appear to be worthless.
Change what, exactly?
My life changed in October 2016 when I received my diagnosis. My present changed, my future changed, and my past retroactively changed. No longer a failure and a fuck-up, instead I was an autistic adult who never received any support or accommodation for being autistic. Except that because I was diagnosed late, my life now is a near-constant fight to be recognized as needing support and accommodation. There’s no record of me having received support and accommodation for the previous four decades of my life, so no proof I need it now.
Why do people keep looking at me to change?
That’s what I was doing for forty years: changing, day in and day out, to suit society’s background radiation of conformity, while doing so unknowingly grew a kind of psychic plaque in my brain, which when pushed post-diagnosis by an attempted Vocational Rehabilitation job placement triggered the stroke of an autistic burnout in which I still remain trapped a year later.
I am not what needs to change. Diagnosis revealed who I was supposed to have been all along. Accepting that revelation was the change I needed to make.
What needs changing are the obstacles set up in my forward path as a late-diagnosed autistic adult who needed support and accommodation all along but didn’t get it and now needs the potential sources of support and accommodation at the very least to recognize me.
To see me.
My life already changed. It was rewritten. Retconned. Its hidden truth revealed at a moment that increasingly feels like it came too late.
Here I am. I changed for the world for forty years. Diagnosis started to change me back into who I was supposed to be. I think it’s well past time for things to change for me instead of me having to change for them.