My name is Angel and this is my autistic confession.
In life one of my biggest struggles is connecting with other people. I often feel like I’m in a bubble. A floating bubble, like the bubbles you blow with a wand in the summer. People can see me and talk to me, but just for a minute, as I float by, but I‘m never really there in the same place as them.
My aunt said that when she met me when I was a little kid, I was “in a capsule.” But it was probably actually a bubble.
My aunt has also told me that part of the reason is because other people don’t really know what to do with me. They see me as more of a little kid, and that makes it hard work for them to be around me. For example, my cousins… they’re nice to me when I’m around, and they probably wouldn’t want me to die or anything… but they would never voluntarily come visit me or hang out with just me, unless maybe if it was a special once in a lifetime thing. Sometimes at family events, if my aunt and uncle both leave the room and one of my cousins is left alone with me in the living room, I can see them thinking “oh crap,” and they immediately look at their phones and try to act busy.
(That’s another weird thing about my brain… I tend to notice all tots of weird, tiny details, but completely miss a lot of the giant and obvious things happening.)
To them it’s like how I feel at work. I work with kids. I love the kids. I think they’re cute and funny. But I do t really want to hang out with them when I don’t have to. Besides the obvious part that it would be a little creepy if I hung out with 8 year olds on my days off… it’s also kinda boring, because they’re kids and they want you to do things like play tag, which I didn’t even enjoy when I was an actual kid. But in my life outside of work, I am often the “kid.”
And people find me annoying and intrusive. Sometimes I just try to be quiet so I won’t annoy people… but then my brain wants to jump out of my head. Plus then people are like, “Why are you being so quiet? That’s kinda ruuuude.”
I had a lot of friends in Chicago, but most of them turned out to be not very nice. Sometimes people will just fake like they’re your friend because they can get you to do a lot of things for them. Like babysit their kids, clean their house, drive them places, give them money, and help them commit minor crimes.
When I moved here, I used to pray with all my heart that I’d someday have a real friend. I used to pray and pray. I’m not even religious, but I figured prayer was my only hope, since wishes didn’t seem to be working.
Then I met Patrick! Patrick is the first person I’ve met that I think really likes being around me EXACTLY the way I am. I don’t have to try to be quiet around him (except when we’re watching movies… and I am NOT good at being quiet while watching a movie at home, because my thoughts just jump right out of my mouth, which I know DOES annoy Patrick, but he doesn’t say anything about it, and I guess he just accepts all of the parts of me.) He understands me better than anyone, and he helps translate the rest of the world for me. I’m always worried that he will eventually get sick of me, but so far it hasn’t happened yet!
Anyways, I often wish I could connect with others and be on the same world as them for a while. Part of why I love painting rocks and giving them to people is because it sort of makes me exist in their world for a minute. When people get one of my rocks… people who ordinarily would probably not notice me floating by in my bubble… it makes them happy, and they’ll usually talk to me for a minute and tell me something about themselves… and then for a few minutes it’s like I’m in the regular world. ( it after that I can usually just wave to them from inside my bubble.)
That’s one reason I like to paint rocks and do other crafts. But also… I just like to do art.
(originally published in my blog, Angel Nicki Rocks, angelnickirocks.blogspot.com)
About the author
I am an alien. I’ve been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, which explain some but not all aspects of my life. Maybe I really am from a different planet. Until that planet is discovered, I have to learn to survive here on Earth.