Sunday, January 10, 2016

On Accidentally Creating Inspiration Porn

In my previous blog post, And Then Suddenly I Was Autistic, I spoke about what it was like for me growing up undiagnosed. I have received some wonderful feedback but my intention in writing that was not to amass a pile of wowyouresoamazings. Mine is not an unusual story. There are so many other people out there with similar experiences even though the details aren't the same.

The CDC comes out with their figures ("1 in 68 children!" *gasp*) and folks start throwing around words like 'epidemic' or 'crisis' when the reality is that we've been here all along.

So many stories like mine.

It's not vaccines or older mothers or genetically modified foods. We've always been here. Granted, if I had lived 100 years ago I probably would have remained locked away and unable to go on to pop out miniature versions of myself, so there are likely a few more of us but it's not because our mothers had Gestational Diabetes or whatever the hell they think the cause is this week.

But, yeah, I really wasn't shooting for the inspiration porn vibe that was apparently radiating from the previous post. I don't want anyone's sympathy or to inspire anyone. I merely wanted to educate and illustrate the reality of growing up without a proper diagnosis.

I choose not to define myself by any of my bad experiences. I don't wear my struggles as some Badge of Honor. Shit happened and, yes, it helped shape me but I have not been that child for many, many years. I'm not even comfortable with the word 'Survivor' anymore. The way I see it, with the weight we have assigned to that word now, it's still giving too much power to the past. Everyone suffers at some point in their lives so if they're still breathing, they are 'surviving'. All that being said, I certainly don't begrudge anyone else the labels they choose to assign to themselves. I just prefer not to use that particular one myself.

I'll stick with Autistic, Wife, Mother, Friend, and the occasional ridiculous online moniker but I'll happily pass on Survivor or Inspiration.


  1. That's kind of the way I've begun to see it. I suspected that what was different now as opposed to years ago is diagnosis- recognition. I've been following you for over a year now and what I've learned by watching your page, your likes and dislikes and the leads to further reading I get from you reinforces my impression that there is simply more awareness now, not any kind of Outbreak. I've learned a lot from you in a year. Thanks!

    1. Yay! I mean,>insert evil laugh here< That's been my diabolical plan all along and I'm so happy to hear that it's working. Females especially are extremely underdiagnosed. It presents differently in us and most research is, surprise, centered on males.


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