I have just had an argument with my siblings. We were in the kitchen, baking some pudding and talking, and we started arguing about something that wasn’t at all important. However, my brother loves being aggressive during arguments, so he took advantage of the situation to call me “autistic” in an insulting tone. My sister intervened, telling our brother that “autistic” is not an insult, and should not be used that way. “I know it isn’t an insult. It’s the truth,” he said, because I actually am autistic.
I wouldn’t have cared if that had been the end of the conversation. But it wasn’t. Because my sister said she wasn’t all that sure about my diagnosis, which was made when I was a preschooler and was not even classic autism (it was PDD NOS). I tried to explain to them that it was the same thing, that the categories had changed their names but were actually the same as when I got my diagnosis, but they didn’t listen. My sister said I wasn’t a “real” autistic because I haven’t had my diagnosis confirmed by many other professionals during my late childhood, teenage years and adulthood. She said I had no need of a diagnosis and should not go “self-diagnosing myself”, which I never did. I told her it was our mother who had told me about it, but she didn’t believe me. They didn’t let me talk; they didn’t hear me out. My brother kept laughing and questioning everything I said.
Arguments like these often make me feel frustrated and mad. I lost my temper and hit my brother. Of course, he hit me back. I stormed off and slammed every door in my way to my bedroom.
I’m really angry and upset, and I’m hating my siblings right now. They invalidated my experiences. They refused to listen to me. They mocked me. They accused me of falsely pretending to have a condition, when I actually have it. It isn’t my fault that our parents have refused to admit it for years. It isn’t my fault that they didn’t want me to be officially labelled and given a certificate of disability. And those facts don’t make it any easier for me to make friends, get a job, be in a romantic relationship, become independent or any other items in the list of things that typically developing people of my age are doing or have already done. Actually, it does the opposite, because it denies me the help that comes with understanding: the understanding my siblings lack.