Normally you wouldn’t usually see something like this on a blog like mine (Alright, maybe you will.), but I remembered that recently my friend from Secondary School, Georgina, posted on her blog about some things to do with being on the Autistic Spectrum (Which you can check out her blog right here, and please be nice? I don’t want to be the reason for making her lose her confidence if people are being rude to her about her blog.) and since today is Autism Awareness Day, I thought I should blog about myself being on the Autistic Spectrum and to give some people a bit of education on Autism. Now I don’t have too long to do this because it’s WrestleMania weekend, which is the biggest weekend of the year in Professional Wrestling and I have a busy day ahead of me. So here’s some Autism education and stuff about my life and being on the Autistic Spectrum.
For those who don’t know a lot about Autism or what it even is, Autism is a Spectrum Condition (If that’s the right word for it) that affects how a person perceive the world and interacts with others, or in other words, someone who is Autistic will have certain difficulties with communication and social interaction (One example being difficulties with understand and relating to other people and another example is being unable to communicate at all) and they will sense the world and everything around them a whole lot differently compared to someone who isn’t on the Autistic Spectrum. People with a Mild kind of Autism are able to speak (While still having some difficulties with Social Interaction) and are likely to be independent while people with a Severe kind of Autism lack communication and speaking skills and are more likely to need support their entire life and someone with Moderate Autism is likely to have a lot of communication issues and has some levels of independence. (Click here to find out more info on the levels of Autism).
Another couple of facts about Autism in general are that it’s incurable, unlike physical illnesses, like Depression, or serious diseases or illnesses, like Cancer. There isn’t a cure and if you are Autistic, you have Autism for the rest of your life. Also it’s not like Down Syndrome or being physically disabled because Autism isn’t something that is physical. (If you do want to find out more, or get better explaining about Autism, click here. Also I apologise for putting up a lot of links on here. I didn’t want to make this very long.)
As I’ve mentioned before, I am on the Autistic Spectrum. I was diagnosed with Autism when I was 4 years old, but throughout my life I’ve noticed that I’ve had a mild kind of Autism. A bit like Aspergers Syndrome, which I’ve been told that wasn’t what I was diagnosed with. But I had no idea that I was on the Autistic Spectrum until Secondary School and I did refuse to believe it at first because I use to think it meant that you never learnt how to speak, but after finding out some info online and finding out that I had some of the signs when I was little and that I still have some of the signs as well as finding out that nearly everyone in my Secondary School was on the Autistic Spectrum, I chose to accept that I had it. But ‘The Autistic Life’, as I like to call it, wasn’t always the easiest for me, and I’m sure the same applies for those who are also on the Spectrum. Normally you’d get the ‘I was always so different’ bullshit that people would say, but to be honest, I don’t remember ever feeling different when I was little compared to now where I do feel that way and learnt to embrace it (Because normal is effing boring).
Although I do remember not having many normal things in life, including a normal family, but I have been through mistreatment and being misunderstood since.. forever and life has been difficult for me for that long as well. In fact, I’ve seen this before and have been there before, but keeping healthy relationships with someone (e.g. A friend, family member, lifetime partner, etc.) is the biggest mental roller coaster ever because it involves starting with a healthy relationship, then you end up falling out with the person at some point, then you make up with that person, then fall out again and it’s literally a whole bunch of back and forth with that. I know some people will say that doesn’t really happen, but it’s happened.
Also there’s the whole communication and interaction thing. Starting the chatter can be a challenge while continuing the chatter is a bigger one because for me, I tend to think of something to say, but at times it just never comes out in the end because you don’t ever know the expectation. Now don’t even get my started on figures of speech. I know I have taken Speech and Language therapy for 12 years (Literally my entire school life) to try and understand stuff like that a whole lot better, but some figures of speech I do take literally. One example was during a drive home from a wrestling show that I was part of which has happened recently (I don’t want to say any names in case they don’t want me to) and one of the people I was riding with said that a long time veteran wrestler ‘Packed it all in’ (Or something like that) and in my head, I thought that wrestler was packing all of his stuff for some reason, but then it turns out that wrestler retired instead of packed up. I know, that probably makes me sound like a dumbass, but I really did think that.
Now one other one that I can think of is misreading how people feel and say things and vice versa. Like one time I was shocked over something I heard and people heard me as being angry, and the same applies as for being curious about something at times. Then another time I felt calm, but someone saw me as looking scared. But trying to read how someone is feeling is harder. Like whether someone is selling in wrestling or is really in pain, or if something in the ring is played through or if things got really personal. It’s not easy to tell. Now for one last one, definitely trying to keep eye contact is hard too. What would happen is that I’d look at someone and then end up looking down at the floor or towards something else in the area I’m in for a second and then look back at that person, which probably some people will say it’s rude, but it’s really called ‘Difficulty with Eye Contact’.
As for when it comes to being a Professional Wrestler on the Autistic Spectrum, not only is the lifestyle of being a Wrestler a challenge, but facing the entire world around you is another one. I mean the bullying and the bullshit that Nikki Bella from WWE gets from people who say that she’s a success in WWE because she’s dating John Cena is nothing compared to having Autism. In fact, some people think that an Autistic person may not be successful in something because it’s to do with what they have, and I have heard this before from a fellow wrestler who I’ve met who told me he’s also on the spectrum and he had the same dream as well, but people doubted him because he’s Autistic, so after I found that out, I knew I have to prove to those who watch me wrestle that I shouldn’t be doubted because of what I have.
But other than that, Autism has its flaws as well as its perfections. So that’s it from me today and Happy Autism Awareness Day!