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I am an Autistic Person. Just Like You.

Aug 31, 2020


I often come in to write this same message, for the followers and commenters who are new to the page.

I am always grateful for the wonderful comments left for me after my written pieces and my video content. It's what keeps me going, to know that my content is helping others.

You will, however, often notice that I don't engage a whole lot in the comment section.

It isn't about ego or pride.

I really, really struggle with praise.

That doesn't mean I don't appreciate your feedback and lovely words, it just means that I never, ever, ever want people to think I'm any different to the next person.

I happen to be passionate about social change and neurodivergence.

I'm a Mum of four autistic children, I want a better future for them than what many neurodivergent people have had thus far.

I write and speak and the journey to here was often terrifying and still can be, but there's something inside me that doesn't rest.

For a really long time I hated it. For most of my life, I hated having a determination that felt unmanageable and out of hand, bigger than me and actually caused me a hell of a lot of trouble and burnout.

I don't want to take credit for the words I speak or write.

They are my lived experience, but I'm not alone.

These experiences I write about belong to so many in our community.

I'm also not a person you should strive to be like, because you are exactly who you're meant to be.

I want everyone to realise their power. That fire in our bellies.

I'm not better than anyone, and no less autistic or disabled.

I have been suicidal, and attempted suicide many, many times as a young person.

I was often violent as a young person.

I've been homeless.

I've battled drug and alcohol addiction.

Had my first baby at 18.

I have a criminal record due to my juvenile years being in trouble with the law.

In distress, I self harm.

I rock, I spin, I melt down, I struggle to cope some days.

I say inappropriate things ALL.THE.TIME. and plenty of people think I'm strange.

This isn't about putting myself down, because the above is a list of the many things that autistic people contend with and are still here to tell their story.

I just want to be seen as a regular, everyday, garden variety autistic person.

I'm completely fallible, and I make mistakes all the time.

I receive so many emails from people who think I haven't been where they are in their greatest struggles and it pains me greatly.

I have most definitely been there.

I've been in unhealthy relationships, yelled at my children, been estranged from people I love, hurt people, been violent toward my own Mother.

I am PDA autistic and very, very real.

I am NOT to be put on a pedestal.

I am just like you.

Just. Like. You.

I might be in a different space, somewhere different in life, living in different circumstances than another autistic person.

But I'm just a person.

An autistic person.

So, if I don't respond to your comments about how much you love me or how much my writing has changed your life, please know that I love you back and I'm so, so glad my writing has helped you.

But I struggle to respond because I struggle with praise.

And yes, I have worked BLOODY HARD to be where I am and who I am and to like myself.

BUT, I'm still just an autistic person.

Kristy Forbes
inTune Pathways
Image: Two of the creepiest, non flattering photos I could find of myself to humanise me.

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