Most recently revised on 14 August 2016, and 6 February 2015, and 29 July 2014 before that.
Autism and the variety of impacts it has had on me have been quite extensively contemplated by me in recent years. I have on numerous occasions analyzed and estimated my level of awareness and general state now and what it was in previous eras, and compared and tried to explain the different levels. I have been astonished, pleased, confused, and horrified all at the same time. Trying to determine the causes for such defects and failures to thrive before 2012, and the causes of the period of rapid generalized evolution in every category after that, has been difficult and uncomfortable. I have a penchant for denouncing people as this and that, and for bashing the human race at every opportunity for being short-sighted and self-limiting. While I did have positive attributes, I was in many ways the sort of inferior and self-limiting buffoon I love to rail about. I have struggled to explain just how I had the traits and potential necessary to become an enlightened and highly motivated strategist, while simultaneously explaining how I either didn't have them or they were dormant in previous years. I have also recently become extremely fascinated in a derisive and deploring manner by Chris Chan and his long history of failure and mediocrity, and the similarities he and I share are disturbingly numerous (though by themselves most of them are innocuous) when I consider how akin I was to him in general function while living with my parents. 18 months after the last version, I am ready to present my thoughts and beliefs since then, and thus this will reflect my current state of development.
My Early History
I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when autism diagnoses were a rather new thing, at age 13- in a mental hospital. Before then I was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder at something like 5 or 6, and at birth I was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (no doubt the genetics and decisions of my birth mother caused both my autism and alcoholism, and one of the reasons I have fully embraced eugenics). Since then, autism awareness has become quite a fad and everyone seems to know someone who's autistic. Because of all of these diagnoses and my extensive history of hospitalization before I even became an adult, the SSA- who has gained notoriety for denying disability claims the first time around- apparently immediately accepted my application sent by my father around the turn of the millennium.
Of the variety that is "high-functioning", there is this stereotype of the autistic child who has some social deficits and needs support with this or that, but is overall manageable and can be steered towards productivity. As the previous paragraph implies, I was very much not of that sort. I was extremely immature, I was uncooperative even when they were advocating something good, was particularly horrible on a few occasions, and really just didn't amount to much or gave indications I would. It is very difficult to explain why, because there were several factors. Of course, my disorders and my defects were a major cause of me being so difficult to deal with and my failure to progress then. Another was the incompetence and oppressiveness of those tasked with teaching and caring for me, often characterized by attempts to impose conformity rather than rational measures to foster improvement. Another was my parents just weren't equipped to deal with a case such as mine and there was much conflict there due to the family's collective failures as people. Finally, since the internet was hardly a thing during my teenage childhood and wasn't very accessible back then, there was no way to remotely search for things or socialize, something which would have been very useful had I had access to it and was raised to properly use it.
I'll delve into the adversarial relationship between me and everyone else in a position of authority some more. These people seemed to operate under the doctrine of conformity, that making students be normal in every respect was the best manner of rehabilitation. Thus, I was often in active conflict with them and would not listen to them even when they were right. Any obsessions or interests I might have taken to excess were often simply banned completely rather than limited to healthy levels. I remember one time in high school my special ed teacher forbade me from checking out any books from the school library on animals (I think I asked her how this would be enforced since she didn't control that department), I assume due to my preoccupation with anthropomorphic cartoons. Can you imagine the reaction they would have had if I came in wearing a tail or a fursona shirt? Oh, and, hahaha, I doubt they would have taken it well at all if I started crossdressing with or without the tail, given this was the 1990's in a conservative area. They probably would have opposed long hair, too. They also seemed concerned one time when some idiotic and random joke I made about marrying a male teacher was relayed to them. They asked whether I was homosexual or had such feelings, and I truthfully said no. God damn, my world would have been nuclear-grade ablaze every day if I was a bisexual furry femboy back then.
The middle school teachers were the worst in general. They were just generally inept, and they also were control freaks. The special ed teachers for my class utilized a 5-level system, and Level 1 was a punitive level where the student was isolated from everyone and faced the wall all day (I think this included pulling them from their normal outside classes if they had any). I was placed on this level one time because I had the audacity to drink from a water fountain slightly further away from our class and my bathroom escort (she was a Japanese student who I found rather sexually attractive) informed them of this. Supposedly me walking past a neighboring class's closed door to drink from a fountain that did not have unbearably cold water disrupted that class, and they were so affronted by my previous resistance they ordered the escort accordingly, who then diligently tattled. I don't see how it would be rational and rehabilitative to respond to this grievous offense by further isolating a student who already was isolated and didn't know how to intelligently interact with fellow humans, but this was their solution to a trivial act of insubordination. Oh, yes, I was also chastised one time for compressing pieces of a roll in my fingers before eating them. "We don't eat our bread like that.", or something very similar I remember her saying. I was also chastised one time because I blew my nose by pushing the napkin into my nostrils to properly clean rather than just wiping the outside of my nose or whatever. I have a very foggy recollection of a bizarre debate I was having with one of them over "age-inappropriate" interests. I remember one of them had likened my appreciation for such things as plushies to being sexually assaulted. I... yeah, I'm confused as well. I just remember that one part, and not what either of us said to led to that. You know what? I'm going to sound like an extremely shitty person for saying this to some people, but I hope these middle school teachers died very painfully after getting cancer or being mauled by a student or bear. Fuck those motherfuckers, especially that morbidly obese piece of shit Mrs. Hunt. Telling me how to eat bread when she can't even regulate her own eating habits? Fuck you, asshole.
Here is another prime example of this abuse and ineptitude. Because I was crazy and unmanageable, I was sent to residential inpatient for a prolonged period of time. Conformity was their general treatment mode, of course. I had some overwhelming preference for wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts for whatever reason, and of course I was forced to wear pants and regular shirts instead. They banned me from drawing anthropomorphic characters and confiscated my artistic supplies, though for whatever reason later on the privilege was restored with the understanding it could be re-revoked at any time. They were REALLY concerned about me masturbating to anthropomorphic children's show characters (I was an adolescent and we didn't have access to furry or even regular porn back then), because supposedly I would become a pedophile at that rate (I bet the industry is no better now in that regard; they just happened to be correct about me since I'm a hebephile). Because of that, they had me attend a couple of sessions for those inpatients who are sexual predators (and presumably those who they assume will become such for whatever reasons) before realizing this was a stupid idea and I was distracting those who actually belonged there. They actually gave away the stuffed panda I had to another patient, lied about it, then told me before I was discharged they'd reimburse me if I bought an age-appropriate item and brought them the receipt. Oh, yes, and I can't forget the time, IIRC the day I was discharged, they let me hang out in the lobby of the girl's wing for a short while with a girl they knew I had romantic feelings for (or at least what passed for such at that stage), because apparently they were so thrilled I had a normal sexual interest (I guess they forgot about the pedo fears; she was 12 and I was 15) and wanted to foster that. Does this seem wildly and horrifically inappropriate to anyone else?
That and subsequent experiences established and reinforced an attitude of distrusting authority and distrusting other people in general. A high proportion of these conflicts with other people in the first 30 years or so of my life were caused or worsened by my own immaturity and general ineptitude, but as I have flourished into a progress-oriented strategist in the last few years after attaining independence, this has perhaps been reinforced multiple times even more intensely. People are likely to infringe upon my liberties or welfare if they have the power, or to mock my lifestyle choices and porn preferences, or will just prove generally unreliable and beneath me. If I grant the wrong people power over me or the outcome of objectives, they'll be problematic because they will erroneously exert their will over me. It genuinely feels as if I am an adult and most people I come in contact with are children in comparison: short-sighted, self-absorbed, self-defeating, sometimes threatening to me strategically. I have become highly misanthropic, and I have found it necessary to tightly regulate interpersonal contact for this and other reasons.
The Dark Ages
Besides my own poor state of development and awareness in general, and the aforementioned issue with staff and teachers, there were two major factors limiting the pace of evolution, and they're both very intertwined. The first was I lived with my parents for over a decade after finishing high school, which would have been detrimental regardless of how nurturing and beneficial that home environment was. I really wish they had just made arrangements with some organization to educate me on finding housing and living independently while giving me a deadline. Instead, both I and my parents just assumed I could never leave home, and I literally did not understand how I could find housing on my own. Of course they took most of my income to pay for that arrangement and we all were generally grievously inefficient and lazy people. The second factor was, even considering my severe psychological problems and poor behavior, I don't find either of my parents particularly fit for the role of parent in general to be brutally honest, especially my mother. My father and I got along tolerably well and we even today spoke textually. However, my mother is not only very mentally ill herself, but is devoid of any capacity to learn and adapt. Because she lacks any mechanism necessary to even want to implement reform, my mother would routinely anger both my father and I with her extremely inflammatory and disordered behavior, and I would routinely respond to her with my own inflammatory and disordered behavior (most notably by reflexively screaming at her at the slightest cause for annoyance by her), and thus everyone at the house remained emotionally unwell and much distracted as a result. Even routine conversation with her now would likely agitate me because she's just so aggravating and accusatory half or more of the time, and she's terrified of the prospect of being associated with an openly furry crossdresser. I don't believe she and I have spoken with or seen each other since Christmas of 2014.
There was a phenomenon that both I and my parents caused and perpetuated, and especially my mother. It's extremely similar to something I've heard of in employment: companies won't hire someone because they lack experience, yet the only way for them to acquire this experience is for someone to hire them for whatever role in the first place. In my situation, I was deemed too immature and inexperienced to perform very basic functions such as socializing or even doing laundry and operating appliances, yet the only way I would ever learn how to function as at least a semi-independent adult was to start doing those things, even if I very ineptly did them at first. Paired with living far away from public transit services and thus having no feasible means of doing anything without my father's help, this was extremely detrimental in general. I've had to play catch-up very, very rapidly in the last several years with little tolerance for error, and psychological services have been worse than useless in assisting me with ANY of this. Many or most of these reforms and initiatives I am envisioning and carrying out now at 36 years of age, I should have mastered at maybe 26 at the very latest, but I could not because those foundational and developmental experiences and skills did not exist. Of course, I didn't exactly inspire confidence in either my parents or psychiatrist, as my room was a total disaster area and I did really bewilderingly stupid and awful shit at times. Even the psychiatrist who had the misfortune of having me as a patient (and vice versa; he was an aggravating incompetent as well) thought I was incapable of improvement, and I'm not sure how much to fault him for such a prognosis. I cringe when I contemplate just how clueless, complacent, and terrible I was in every category.
Ultimately, I was deprived of experiential and other forms of data, angry with my parents all of the time, had little money to use for myself or anything else unless I left, and did not have any major aspirations in life. I think the first one was the worst of all, as without an influx of data from various sources to incite imagination and ambition, no development can occur. Somehow even with constant internet access, I managed to stunt my development by having few new experiences besides periodic squabbles on EVE Online or FurAffinity, and no experiences in the physical world to spur development (I found even mundane adventures over time to be very impactful). As there was insufficient stimuli and I had little knowledge of core life functions and most everything else, development was slowed to a snail's pace. EVERYTHING was delayed. I didn't even know I wanted to be a femboy the whole time I lived there (I guess I didn't come across enough femboy furry images or practitioners to set off any realization either IRL or artistically until I was 32-33)! Once I did have a decent amount of new data and stimuli occurring, much of it was very negative, and my rate of development could only be sped up so much since I was so far behind. I theorize that if I had a massive influx of stimuli from a variety of sources (socialization, online research and experimentation, training for independent living away from home) after finishing high school, I might have reached where I am now 10 years ago with a few exceptions (we are so much better off now versus 10 years ago in every way online; much more information and accessibility, larger furry community, many more and better commercial services). If I had come across a benevolent furry who was highly knowledgeable about furry and girly attire and many other things, who wanted to be a friend or mentor despite my grievous immaturity and extremely oversexualized manner of socializing by doing a great deal of paw-holding through a variety of processes and endeavors, my rate of general education and maturation at 18-20 could have been as rapid as a Kantarian panzer division storming across undefended open plains.
Speaking of furrydom, that was not socially beneficial to me in general for most of my life because I did not interact with it or perceive it rationally and intelligently. Actually, it was worse than merely not being beneficial. I had this very naive vision of furrydom and furry conventions as gatherings of people in perfect and blissful harmony with each other, which isn't true even with bronies, let alone anyone else. All four furry cons I went to were expensive and pathetic failures, though somehow I managed to be appealing enough to have several sexual encounters which I didn't find fulfilling. After FWA 2005, I determined these would never be successful for me unless I had a close companion there with me, and refused to try again for 9 years. In fact, when the chairman of FWA remembered my name many years later, I was overcome with fear and anxiety because there was a high likelihood he had a negative impression (our relations have gone to shit since then for different reasons, anyway). I was immature and annoying enough in the first few years of adulthood to actually have a troll in local furrydom (I think it was a local furry, anyway) lead me on in various ways, though I was intelligent enough to realize relatively quickly I was being lied to and this probably caused him to lose interest. Furrydom and the internet were far less developed and vibrant than they are now, so even if I wasn't a totally clueless spaz there would have been limited routes of progress here socially. There were furmeets, but even if I was aware of all the events and decided to keep trying, my father wouldn't have facilitated this and taxis would have been prohibitively expensive. Thus, there was one attempt between FWA 2005 and the 2013-2014 returns, and that was expensive and ended neither badly nor well.
I think that if in early adulthood, I either was paw-held by some benevolent mentor who was willing to tolerate me and precisely explain and demonstrate what I should and shouldn't do and why, or I was enrolled in some program for those autists with basic social impairments run by staff who remembered how maladroit their clientele were and were appropriately difficult to affront, these spectacular displays of social incompetence would have been greatly reduced in number and duration. Unfortunately, neither happened, and my employment experiences and misadventures in furrydom were woefully inadequate for proper social development. There would have to be many more fiascos socially and otherwise to start what I call the Revolution, the rapid awakening I had in 2012-2013. Of course, around the turn of the decade, I was immature AND drunk regularly, so I caused a series of pointless and nasty battles with people on games and FA with my drunken and impetuous remarks which helped absolutely no one involved. I hope any enemies I have who are reading this understand that I am greatly exerting myself here to convey the message I was very much the problem and a general disgrace, rather than blaming everyone besides myself for all of this.
It Might Have Been Different If...
There were two crucial times very soon after my high school graduation which probably would have set my life on an extremely different (maybe even better) trajectory had the implementation and outcome been different. I was encouraged by my father and teachers to go to college after graduating, and I barely managed to get a high enough finishing grade to qualify for some state-funded scholarship (no idea how much it would have covered, and it seems I'm now ineligible). I remember going as far as visiting KSU and being given an introductory tour and meeting along with other prospective enrollees. There were a few reasons I decided against college. There was the standard general laziness and a desire to be given a reprieve from this boring and aggravating schooling shit every weekday for 8-9 months a year. I also don't believe I even knew what I fucking wanted to go to school for, which definitely would make intelligent college course selection very difficult.
I remember vaguely asking about or being told the minimal level of education I would be required to have to be a student and/or graduate from there, and this might have been the main reason I said fuck it and stayed home. You know all those fucking irrelevant and advanced classes they make all regular students take and learn before being allowed to graduate (I guess English Lit is more important than core basic functions adults usually have to carry out)? Us special kids didn't have to take things like calculus or chemistry to graduate (actually, I wonder whether my high school diploma is an inferior version and thus I have effectively not graduated), which meant I would have had to take remedial classes to learn all of that AND the general irrelevant core stuff people need for a degree. Our educational system is a huge scam in that regard. Even now I wouldn't consider college with those requirements even if funding and emotional health weren't limitations, because why the fuck should I have to expend so much time and stamina learning calculus or what Shakespeare wrote if I just want to be a counselor? So, most obviously, my 18-year-old self had the same general sentiment and declined enrollment.
Also when I was 18, there was an attempt at intensive vocational rehabilitation by having me sent to Warm Springs. I don't remember the general period very well, but I question whether I would have benefited very much from it even if it wasn't ultimately a spectacular failure. I don't actually remember being taught basic functions such as budgeting and food procurement and housing. That's not to say they never did those things, but it wasn't done often or intensely enough for any of it to register, so they probably didn't focus on that enough. I don't remember any sort of psychotherapy being done beyond maybe a few meetings where people discussed their feelings, which is a huge failure for a place which is catering to inherently mentally ill people. The direct work experience there was pretty basic and menial. We had to place a bunch of small product boxes inside larger shipping boxes and/or other steps in the assembly and preparatory process for some hours per day. There might have been other options, but that's the only one I remember being given or qualifying for. It's obviously not something I would be best suited for since I'm not retarded, and thus it would have given at best a limited benefit to any future work endeavors of mine. That being said, had everything went according to plan and I didn't leave in disgrace, I quite possibly would have been sufficiently trained to eventually move out and not horrifically fail.
There were problems. I was a huge one, being a socially inept teenage autist with psychological problems severe enough to cause multiple psychiatric hospitalizations up to that point (and several more in the following decade, too). The current me certainly wouldn't relish having to mentor and tolerate the 18-year-old me, and I'm the most friendly to me! Staff was another problem. One in particular who was prominent during the day just seemed like he didn't have much more tact or restraint than I did. I don't remember why, but I just remember him as an abrasive asshole. There was a recreational and computer building where people could go in the evening, and people could reserve time to use the computer, which I did frequently to play games since I had no laptop to do it on. I was permanently or indefinitely banned from that building when they cut my scheduled time short to allow someone in a wheelchair to use it, and I accused them to their face (I forget how aggressively or loudly I did this) of unduly favoring the person because of his physical disability. I probably was correct in my accusation, though I shouldn't have immediately assumed that, and I really hope I didn't say it front of the guy. That being said, that reaction was rather excessive and probably was incited by indignation at being challenged rather than a rational determination that was the only recourse. In another example of staff being overly easily affronted, I remember I uttered exasperatedly, "You've got to be shitting me!" upon being told there was some delay or mishap regarding something, and that prompted her to report it to whoever and then I was criticized by them for it later on. I also remember one time the owner of the food and soda store was bothered by the fact I didn't want ice for my soda because then he was expected to fill the cup with more soda to fill it to the same line, which is a ridiculously trivial thing to fight with a patron about.
I believe what ultimately happened was I was suspended from the program for a month or two for physically assaulting another student/resident, and while back at home I just decided to refuse to return. I was on the phone with my parents on a floor I was not assigned a room on (I think it was where the med station was), and another resident was displeased I apparently was using the phone on the wrong floor. He hung the phone up on me, and after a second or so I in a fit of rage I just belted him in the nose and sent him fleeing in distress. Apparently I was identified (which wouldn't have been difficult, as IIRC I casually reestablished the conversation) and I was told by the program director or whoever it was that I had to be temporarily ejected from there for assault. My mother actually seemed proud of my behavior and I am actually only partially remorseful for it now, hoping he learned most rapidly as a result of the extremely negative consequence to not be a supremely obnoxious little fucktard. I don't remember any further involvement with that place and its various personnel problems after being taken home by a very angry father and a less angry mother, so I believe I just told them later I wouldn't return even after the suspension expired. That place was IIRC a two-hour drive from our home, too. Actually, it's rather pathetic that no closer facility of that nature existed (or none that could be afforded, anyway; I'm not sure why we had to go with them). Anyway, yes, I torpedoed that attempt at rehabilitation pretty nicely, just like the college one.
I actually did find work after that debacle, but that was a succession of failures as well, and didn't resolve the underlying problem of remaining in a toxic home environment. Kroger I was fired from because I did what I felt needed to be done rather than what I was hired to do. Some thrift store I resigned from after being told they wouldn't give me days off to attend some furry con, though that was a toxic and crazy place internally anyway. Old Time Pottery I quit after I was given the same disciplinary action for cursing as the employee who physically attacked me (non-injurious but still very distressing) received after I complained about it, though that was for the best because the manager was insane anyway. Dunkin' Donuts ended virtually the same day I was hired, and I remember in terms of management that was toxic and disordered as well. I eventually found part-time work as a library paige (primarily reshelves books, occasionally does cleaning and miscellaneous tasks) and kept that job for years despite persisting in cleaning books as much as shelving them and thus being both inefficient and insubordinate. My supervisors were really patient and kind people for putting up with that and various other behaviors. There was a gay librarian from there who was very compassionate to me, I also recall. I really don't like having to remember all of this to write this essay. I was so immature and so sick, and didn't noticeably improve to the best of my recollection... Anyway, I got really tired of this 15 hour/week routine and eventually just resigned without consulting my parents or anyone else. If I could dress how I please, I would fucking love to have that job again after I consolidated my fronts more, because my financial state is rather shitty right now.
Independence and Catastrophe
I ultimately left my parents to live with furries elsewhere before I turned 30, and the primary cause for this departure was to drink without interference. As bad as that reasoning was and as poorly as my move-in with them was contemplated and executed, it was the start of my life as an independently living adult. I was minimally socially competent for the job and learned eventually such things as applying for state benefits and using public transit, and I'm sure if all else was well I would have reached the point I am now a year or two sooner. Unfortunately, this also coincided with the onset of alcoholism I inherited from my wonderful biological parents who had to give me up for adoption at a month old to my paternal grandparents. My strain of alcoholism was an extremely rapid one. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I reached a worse state with regards to drinking patterns than my sponsor had upon him stopping, in about 5% of the time. The progression was so rapid, and eventually I was unable to refrain from being drunk 24/7. Having a pathetic understanding of either alcoholism or myself in general, the various mounting symptoms I was having I attributed to some disease which I must have recently developed (I was right when I suspected I had a terrible brain disease of some sort), and the constant drinking was done to alleviate these inexplicable symptoms. Of course, I was actually suffering from withdrawals and a sort of low-grade constant poisoning. I landed in the ER on my 31st birthday due to alcohol and benzodiazepine poisoning, and this was when- very justifiably- I was told to leave. I of course had nowhere else to go but back to my hometown.
I cover the alcoholism aspect of my life more here, and thus will minimize the amount of time I will spend on it (and this a huge essay now, anyway). Here, I want to demonstrate a very critical point by mentioning all of that. During a period of ~18 months, I was enrolled in a very intensive outpatient scheme called ACT (Assertive Community Treatment), which entails various people coming to the client around 3 times a week. I was in psychiatric hospitals 10 times for detox, and at about the 8th time I decided I needed outside intervention long-term and sought a sober living residency and induction into AA. While a substantial component of my difficulty with addressing my addiction issues was my immaturity and unwillingness to change, the other was a total inability of the system to appropriately care for someone who was autistic and had concurrent anxiety and addiction issues. There was literally no capability or willingness to minister to me differently than they would the average neurotypical. I'm sure they wanted me to improve, but aside from rendering me incapable of drinking during hospital stays which I fucking hated because no internet and totally ineffective sedation, they were never a substantial component in a solution to anything I was suffering from. I literally had to forge a path to recovery on my own with the assistance of people from AA (who also are often part of the problem both regarding me and alcoholism in general) and start trusting my instinct and perceptions over those of professionals and even secular recovery programs. I've been sober for over 3.5 years now as I write this, but the 18 months preceding my sobriety date were absolutely brutal on me, because I had to fight this most terrible internal foe while playing generalized catch-up without meaningful assistance from those who should have been instrumental in this process.
I'll give two examples of this general inflexibility and ineptitude. First one entails sober living after discharge on 1 March 2012. My psychiatrist during the stay presented as the only option enrollment in a standard halfway house, an arrangement which forces people to sacrifice their electronic equipment and connection to the internet, and also a variety of other restrictions. Personally, I feel internet access ought to be considered an essential item, something everyone in a modern society should have, because it is so incredibly invaluable to societal development. In my case, I really need my laptop and connection to stay sane. I play music, do research (including on recovery matters), speak to friends, etc. I would not have spent excessive amounts of time on it and would have done everything that was demanded of me, but, as is the case now, I NEEDED to have this. This is not a dispensable item for an autistic person with my difficulties, especially since I'm having to suddenly start cohabitating with a bunch of random people while I attempt to deal with my drinking and anxiety problems. But, nope, didn't make a difference to this fucking doctor, and I never heard of any alternative arrangements from him. I did discover the concept of a three-quarters house, a sober living arrangement without most of the restrictions of halfway houses. I had to find this solution through the research I was able to conduct with the leads I was given. 3/4 houses never were mentioned to me by the psychiatrist or anyone else at the place once, nor were any autism-oriented options presented of any variety. Yeah, fucking thanks for nothing.
The other one is the general doctrine and modality of treatment besides housing. With regards to substance abuse, it's some rudimentary therapeutic education (coping skills, identifying triggers, etc) and enrollment in 12-Step programs. With regards to emotional disturbances, the solution is drugs. If one doesn't work, either try another or increase the dosage or add another to counteract the negative symptoms of the first drug. I'm fucking serious when I say that psychotherapy beyond these group sessions was never presented, or even explained to me as a manner of treating anxiety. Whether I was in rehab or receiving services from ACT before and after I permanently attained sobriety, a psychiatrist and a wide selection of drugs with a variety of disabling side-effects were all that were presented to me to address anything I was complaining of. These drugs made my early recovery days even more brutal because they often amplified the anxiety I already was experiencing from having to adjust to my new routines. Nothing they tried from any of the major classes of non-addictive drugs worked, and the SSRIs especially did nothing more than complicate and make more painful an already difficult and awkward recovery phase. I remember one time I just took myself off of a drug and then casually told my case worker later- a time which was very reminiscent of when I took myself off Haldol at 14 after accidentally discovering it was making me so very miserable. Personal psychotherapy, though, I could never get from my outpatient services. In fact, when I asked for at least leads which were suitable for me which I could pursue myself, apparently this was a novel request because none of their other clients had ever asked them to facilitate one-on-one psychotherapy in any fashion. They couldn't even help me find one myself. I had to wage that campaign all on my own.
The Road to Progress is Paved By Me
Ultimately, psychological/community services were not helpful to me in any area of my life. All housing arrangements I had to find and implement on my own because at best ACT would just blindly give me leads with much delay which probably wouldn't be suitable for me at all. Enrollment in state and federal welfare benefits I had already taken care of. Public transportation was something I had to learn on my own. I decided ultimately not to pursue employment since I felt too unwell and overtaxed to attempt that, but I wouldn't be surprised if they would not have been very useful there either. Substance abuse recovery I had to do myself and any information I acquired was done without their aid. I stopped using their psychiatrist because the drug experimentation was getting me nowhere and I felt less anxious and unhappy now that I was starting to empower and stabilize myself. I am not exaggerating when I say that the extent of the involvement of community services was to sit and listen to my status reports and continued successes and challenges. I actually was a star client of theirs because my level of self-awareness and proactiveness exceeded that of all their other clients. I had two take me out to a meal before seeing me off to the next lowest level because they liked conversing with me on a variety of things, and they liked how candid I was with them. Eventually, I and the case manager for those on the lowest level concurred that there was nothing she could do for me that I couldn't do for myself and in a better way, and I was disenrolled from the agency entirely.
Psychotherapy has been an excruciating series of failures for a variety of reasons. I will fixate here on a major one: autism awareness is a farce for those adults who don't fall into a certain stereotype. I just explained how there was no awareness whatsoever from the industry in other aspects. With regards to psychotherapy, at least in my experience, the majority of people and programs with a listed specialty of autism are geared for children and young adults with social and educational difficulties. The tauted autism center here ONLY deals with these young autists who need assistance with socialization and independent living. I obviously don't oppose this and I hope they help more than hurt these people. The problem is, for those like me- those who are somewhat older and have a high social intelligence and can live independently, but who have emotional difficulties and need help with them- there are few autism-trained candidates at all. All other therapists have a very basic and limited understanding of autism and autistic challenges in general, even the doctor-level therapists known as psychologists. Autism awareness is a total farce for those in my category despite how much everyone loves to talk about it and seek funding for programs. Oh, and, that's just one major component. If you're also disabled and on Medicare and can't pay out of pocket, the number of prospects overall is sharply decreased because so many just don't want to take Medicare's reimbursement rates, and those few who take Medicare seem to be prone to being full. Even if you find someone who is competent with autism in general, if you rely on Medicare, it's quite possible they can't help due to caseload anyway.
My repeated attempts to receive therapy have been frustrated for a wide variety of other reasons. A startlingly high number of them aren't very empathetic or professional, and I've actually been spoken to disrespectfully and unprofessionally by THREE therapists (yes, three different therapists, NOT three times by one) in recent years. Haha, and, you'll be at a higher risk of that if you're a pedophile or hebephile and you have the audacity to tell a prospect this ahead of time, because they are utterly unschooled in those orientations and see us as actual or potential molesters about as often as the average person does. I had two psychologists (again, these are doctorate-level therapists) react with alarm upon me informing them I'm hebephilic, the second one immediately responding with, "There are children here!", as if children who might be in the waiting room would be in any danger from me. Are you like me and feel routine circumcision is a form of sexual abuse, and you want assistance coping if you're a victim? Well, your college-trained therapist prospect quite possibly thinks you're not a victim at all, and it's REALLY awkward if the prospect turns out to be a member of Judaism- and a fair number of them are. Having to come to learn all of this the hard way, I quite a while ago adopted the practice of sending prospects a document detailing my primary problems and various needs and requirements. Some therapists don't even present a way of speaking in written medium and do all the preliminary stuff over the phone. Well, sucks to be me if I have to call to advance to the next step because I don't do nearly as well in verbal conversations, and I'm even more anxious from speaking over the phone versus face-to-face.
The person I did eventually find ended up terminating our relationship by needlessly asking the manager of the building she was moving to whether it was acceptable for a crossdressing raccoon femboy to come there for therapy (and only he and God know what he was envisioning when this request was relayed to him), precipitating the thing which she was trying to avert by preemptively asking- abrupt termination of our relationship. She then recommended wholeheartedly the "There are children here!" person who also offended me for other reasons. That was the culmination of that series of attempts in 2014 and 2015. I have since tried my luck in 2016 with "Kink-Aware" therapists because they are inherently less likely to react badly to my variety of sexual trauma, my fashion choices, and my hebephilia. The first series of attempts failed primarily for the more mundane (but no less infuriating) reasons like insurance incompatibility or fullness. I will try again when the weather cools, because there are many unpursued leads and I still harbor hope someone in this profession can assist me where I have failed to sufficiently assist myself.
I have included all of this in here to further emphasize and reinforce something I have asserted in this journal: the psych industry has completely failed me even when I tried to get help, and most progress and anxiety amelioration was brought about by myself and my own adaptations. There has literally been no other choice. I had to start living as the average grown-up does (disregarding not having to work) and making decisions which were in my own best interests. No one else could or would do that, though AA and the excursions that membership necessitated were instrumental in the general maturation process. After that early period, I had eventually reached a sort of critical mass with regards to development. I no longer needed external encouragement and stimuli to continue general development, as the instinct to continue to better myself and the insight to carry it out had developed and became self-reinforcing. These various acts of self-betterment and my general evolution were very empowering to me, and these various failures of the psych profession and failures of other people instilled and reinforced a doctrine of self-governance and self-reliance. Since I have a military fixation and naturally think and speak in militaristic terms, the successes I precipitated and enjoyed caused a sort of RL strategist and tactician persona to flourish. In conjunction with that, the modern incarnation of my fictional world of Takomen and its various people and places and plots began coalescing and demanding to be written. The recent era has been an awakening not just from a recovery perspective, but a generalized hastening evolution encompassing even literary endeavors.
Modern Warfare Against Foes Within and Without
My entire fictional world of Takomen and their Great War are manifestations of my RL struggle with those things which injure and limit me. Usually, those foes are not other people or humanity in general, but certain concepts and undesirable traits of mine. One of those concepts I am at war with is the status quo. My 'higher power' is a series of journal entries I maintain here (I had to forge my own path here as well; I don't remember anyone else in AA actually making their own higher power), but it can be summarized as being progress and reality. My highest imperative is progress, because if I achieve it I (and perhaps others as well, depending on what that progress pertains to) will suffer less anxiety and enjoy more happiness. I cannot attain progress if I do not remain cognizant and respectful of reality. I am always at war with the current state of development of myself or some aspect of my life, though I can only effect a limited amount of progress overall on any given day or week or month. Of course, certain other tendencies or factors reduce the progress I am capable of, and thus I am at war with things such as inefficiency and poor discipline as well. The greatest limitation on progress is myself and my autism, though I suspect my autism also enables me to envision and then execute these projects to begin with. I seem to have a very good insight into my limitations and what things will bring me the most happiness or reduction in anxiety. I think and speak very strategically on the subject of emotional welfare as well as other concepts.
I have compartmentalized my life into a series of 'fronts'- in line with the warfare approach to welfare and betterment. These are Aesthetical, Home and Resource Management, Literary, Moral (I may expand that one or merge it with something else), Preparedness and Welfare, Recovery, and Social. I have visions for each of what ought to next be done, and these various objectives and fronts have varying priority levels. On one of my whiteboards, I compose a list of various objectives divided by fronts and assign a period of time during which they are to be pursued. During the summer and about a month before and after it, my objectives are much more inwardly focused, things which can be done from my house and require little or no interpersonal effort such as this entry and the various Takomenian background documents. During the winter and the month before and after, I will leave the house for more than critical necessities and during various parts of the day, and matters such as finding a therapist and visiting doctors are performed during this time. The period on my whiteboard is 4 August to 31 October, and those things requiring me to leave the house are informally scheduled for cooler days in October. This is a very peculiar and idiosyncratic system, but it is one I determined is best for my set of circumstances and limitations.
When there is a relative abundance of emotional energy, I will advance upon 'dangerous' objectives: typically those which require me to deal with another person, sometimes even needing me to secure their cooperation and approval. People are also inherently unpredictable and just make something more stressful and awkward even when I like them. I have no power to make other people do as I command, and that paired with my disdain of Terrans in general cause me to see all such objectives as posing hazards of unforeseen complication and failure. Objectives which are not interpersonal in nature but which can still result in failure also are in this category. In times of shortage of emotional energy (which seems to be always these days), I will attempt to increase it by completing 'safe' objectives as rapidly as I can manage, and then attempt one or more of the less assured ones. In either case, if the dangerous one I attempt succeeds, this grants momentum and I will go after the next. Especially for matters involving other people, I do not very readily count something as a success. I prefer to count something as resolved only after I actually get the final desired results. Promises to do this or that carry little sway with me unless I overwhelmingly trust the person will not forget or botch the process. Overall I tend to be a rational pessimist when other people are involved, and the pessimism and guardedness rises the more extensively I need to work with someone, and it also is much higher if I need to attain their approval or sanction. People tend to fuck things up in innumerable ways if I'm not the only one involved, and I remember this always.
For reasons I will expound shortly, I change directions as infrequently as I can over any given period of time. This means, I tend to hyperfocus on a project or a group of related objectives and keep working on them until I complete them or absolutely must change directions, and everything else is postponed as long as is feasible. This is why, if you make a comment to me online, I might not respond for a week unless it's related to my offensive or I don't expect there to be any cause for concern or exertion. Even major matters which are overall or at that time even more important than what I'm preoccupied with will be deferred until either I finish or I deem it foolish and self-injurious to delay any longer. I cannot just casually change between tasks and fronts, as I lose so much emotional energy and condition doing that. I'm also inherently highly inefficient, so hyperfocusing somewhat counteracts that negative trait. My mind sometimes seems drawn towards something and is momentarily most suited for it, and in such cases I'll deviate from the usual order and go after an objective while resistance is minimal.
The Internal Foes Are Legion
A very simplistic way of characterizing myself is, "My brain is my best ally and worst enemy.". Now that I have had a period of rapid evolution triggered by a series of experiences and intakes of information in various forms, I have a masterful perception of my strengths, limitations, and vulnerabilities. I have a very good system in place to insulate me from various stressors and deleterious factors, so that what little emotional energy and condition I generate/possess is conserved and spent on what most needs attention at that particular moment (at least, that's the plan; I don't always expend resources rationally). I tend to be extremely rational and deliberative in general, very far in excess of the average person. I am highly adaptive and quick to recognize my errors, which is rather critical in every facet and project of my life. In general matters of cognition, perception, and planning, I am superior to virtually everyone (yes, I know how arrogant that sounds- it's merely a statement of fact). I seem to be insulated naturally against depression, guilt for certain things, and low self-esteem, so I don't incur some negative emotional factors and experiences which seem almost universal in some cases. I also am not terrified of such things as notoriety or being a raccoon femboy on the street, and thus I am much more liberated than the average person.
Overall, however, while it's extremely important to be aware of the possible or definite benefits and advantages being autistic offers, overall it is a very crippling condition for me, in ways people cannot possibly perceive when they look at me. Often it boils down to expending substantial amounts of emotional and mental energy to do things virtually everyone else finds trivial. I have an excellent example of this. Verbally, I perform adequately and sound intelligent when I talk, but speaking is a process that feels awkward and cumbersome. Particularly if I am surprised, or if my brain isn't in the right state at that moment to allow me to say what I wish, I can stammer. In the worst cases, I will reflexively try to force out what I am trying to say multiple times in rapid succession. Whenever I finish business with a cashier or pass a bus driver on my way off the bus, I will say, "Have a pleasant day.". Within the last week or two, I had somewhat botched this routine valediction, though it wasn't a particularly embarrassing display. Immediately, I became quite anxious and pensive about this. "How did I screw that up? Why is this difficult for me to do? I can say other routine phrases without difficulty. Why can't I do this properly? *whine*" was my general train of thought. The other day at CVS, someone asked me if I needed help, and this unexpected event forced me to immediately reorient my mental focus and respond awkwardly, which caused my body temperature to rise further (I was already hot after having to walk more than usual to get there). Saying "Have a pleasant day." and "No, I know where to go, but thank you." is negligibly onerous to the average person. These things are difficult for me. Imagine how much self-motivation and mobilization is required to have a phone conversation with the landlord or a HUD investigator.
Many other things in general which are of trivial difficulty for the average person are very, very difficult for me. Anything that pertains to other people, even those things which I expect to be completely safe and devoid of conflict, requires some self-motivation and causes wariness, and I quickly tire from a rapid succession of interactions and responses- especially if I have plans for the day/night. Exchanges which are or will or possibly will be contentious, or have a risk of failure, are extremely deterring to me, and I carry out those interpersonal objectives only after substantial contemplation and I feel well enough to deal with a negative result if it occurs. If these things are of substantial importance to me somehow, the apprehension and unease is even greater. I have literally had to sit at my desk for some minutes or even an hour and coax myself into acting against my fear and opening an e-mail of an important nature. I don't often leave my room unless I am in a state of relative relaxation and idleness, not because I dislike who I live with, but because I just don't feel up to encountering them outside those periods of receptiveness and ease (this is what is defined as Green Status on my whiteboard on my door- damn it, I forgot to change it to Yellow). How am I supposed to tolerate employment when I'm daunted by even talking to my housemates, and interpersonal dialogue in general is often an exercise in attrition warfare?
Often I will be stressed by trivial things which don't involve other people at all, especially things which are new and unfamiliar to me. I have a general difficulty with changing directions mentally. It's somewhat akin to trying to change the course of a battleship or tanker. There's this sort of inertia that I have to overcome, and each time I do it causes progressively worsening frustration. I can somewhat reduce this inertia for various tasks if I designate a day or a block of time within which to do them in advance, or if I have established a routine, but there's still a penalty. For example, I have various mundane and trivial tasks that I have to do just to maintain myself and as part of independent living. Very simple things such as sweeping my floor, refilling water bottles, washing eating items which I have used, cooking something, washing out my Tenga, etc. These usually are done en masse due to the aforementioned aversion to leaving my room and preference towards hyperfocusing. I often will become highly frustrated and agitated from having to do these various different and simple tasks in rapid succession every couple of days, worse if I have something else planned for this time or things I hadn't planned on have to be done. This also makes very simple health maintenance routines such as brushing teeth or doing the arm exercises for my lateral epicondylitis impossible to fully establish immediately. I actually had to slowly and incrementally start exercises for my arms (things which I need to write things like this) because I was incapable of doing all the recommended repetitions every day from the start. I have recently started doing them for the right arm after fully establishing a routine for the left over a period of weeks.
Things which are not familiar to me are especially difficult for me to actually do. Anything which I am not fully aware of or cannot fully predict naturally causes dread within me. If I am not completely sure that someone's response is favorable or doesn't raise uncomfortable matters, I am afraid to read it. If I have not something before or it is something which is inherently unpredictable and/or variable, I really don't want to attempt it (and worse if it requires many steps in different directions). If there is a problem and I am not aware of the solution or there is no solution, I'm highly upset. The autistic stereotype of wanting absolute order, predictability, and stability in their lives is very true in me. Even something as comparatively trivial as using the weedwacker to do what little yardwork we have to do was difficult for me to begin, though now it's a predictable and very controllable routine and thus I am not afraid of it nearly as much.
Something which is both an asset and a detriment at the same time is my natural and automatic tendency to process and contemplate things. Any new thing or experience which transpires- especially those things that cause indignation, confusion, fear, or regret- I will spend great amounts of time and energy processing and analyzing. This paired with the ease with which I experience the aforementioned four states has the negative consequence of further encumbering me emotionally just from routine excursions and relatively inconsequential online interactions. However, this natural tendency also ensures I have sufficiently reflected on anything that has happened, what my thoughts are and whether they are rational, and what I did or plan to do. I have also come to realize that I need great amounts of time to deliberate and to allow new and better ideas to occur to me, so that I will have a minimal chance of making a bad decision and a maximal chance of making a great one. I generally perform badly if I act quickly, even more so if the incident or factor was not one I had encountered and processed before.
Unfortunately, reflection and rumination do not happen only for things which I am still unsure about and/or are unsettled. This natural process will happen with matters that have years ago been settled and decided on, and on even trivial incidents or errors. Things for which I have long ago deemed myself in error and implemented reforms in response to are not at all exempt. Generally, these recollections are not so much intensive reflections as they are brief nuisance remembrances, and they're usually set off by stimuli or circumstances which have some very loose pertinence to the recalled incident or whatever. Sometimes I just randomly remember it, and sometimes I remember a series in rapid succession- often at very bad times such as when I'm trying to sleep. This is something I liken to pain receptors which continue to intensely activate long after the person was made aware of the problem and addressed it. I have the image of small shells periodically exploding against the armor of a panzer or warship when I contemplate this problem. It's low-grade attrition which per se isn't severe but just adds to the nearly chronic feeling of overburdening. I had a major attack of this while writing this, over an impetuous decision I made a year or so ago which I recognize had needlessly destabilized a front and counteracted a previous beneficial decision I had made. I just cannot cease having anxiety in the form of regret over it when I remember it, and I cannot cease remembering it intermittently. Yet I know I'm not a stupid and unworthy person, which makes this involuntary tendency of mental self-assault even more mystifying.
I have a heightened emotional sensitivity to pain and discomfort, and I suspect I have a heightened level of somatic perception and thus I feel pain and discomfort more readily due to the liminal threshold being lower. I experience anxiety when I experience unpleasant stimuli, and much more if it's not something mundane, ordinary for me, and familiar to me. Like, I'll just be distracted and uncomfortable if my lower back starts hurting again (like right now) because I know it's just from a degenerated disk. However, if my throat hurts at all I immediately am scared I've been infected, and if there's a new or very uncommon symptom it might mean something new is amiss and either will need outside attention or will persist indefinitely to cause more constant attrition. I see physical welfare as being a critical component of emotional welfare, and thus I seek to protect them as if they are one and the same. I try to keep my paws sanitized and my fingers out of my mouth while in the field. If there are physical symptoms which I cannot explain and which are indicative of something requiring medical review, I will promptly make arrangements to go to the appropriate place. Some theoretical scenarios fucking terrify me.
I am not only intolerant to external heat, but I internally overheat if I am unpleasantly surprised, come to an unpleasant realization, or have a conversation that is uncomfortable or in which I struggle to properly reply. Even ordinary conversing will at least slightly raise my body temperature. I am anxious when I am excessively warm, and even more so if I'm perspiring as well. Thus, I have a necklace fan and a 5-inch fan within my bag on me during non-winter excursions so that I have a means of combating this. I carry with me many other accoutrements, including a keychain pillbox containing anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diarrheal pills. If something starts hurting, this also causes an increase in body temperature if I'm in the field (which is already elevated because I'm in view of people while also more active physically), which compounds the anxiety reaction. I'm truly as prissy and delicate as the stereotypical femboy, probably even more so.
A major consequence of this variety of factors and traits is I really don't feel I belong on this planet, that I'm surrounded by people who are not only foolish and vapid, but usually even have different environmental preferences and needs from mine. I'm constantly reminded of how incredibly fucking stupid and unreflective the average person is. I have the mental sensation I am dealing with immature children when their cognitive abilities and tendencies are compared to mine. The average person has vastly superior emotional resilience and efficiency to me, but I tend to hopelessly outclass them cognitively and ideologically. This perception most definitely causes me to lose even more emotional energy when interacting with people, because I don't expect much from even the average furry and am fearful of something going wrong despite my predictions they are harmless. Consequentially, I have a low need for general socialization and event attendance, which I suppose somewhat counteracts the heightened energy costs of having to interact with people. Also, I have learned to minimize the aspirations and objectives which involve the cooperation of other people, and I tend to prefer things which I can accomplish entirely alone.
I'll end this section with these observations on my weaknesses. Some of these factors have actually become worse as I have improved. I don't remember feeling so daunted and having to self-motivate nearly as much for excursions outside the house, and they even seem more taxing and burdensome physically now. The same goes for speaking with people. I just feel much more encumbered and hesitant now relative to 3+ years ago. I am also much more fearful and pensive in general, though I'm also more confident and less prone to recklessness. Actually, I don't remember having ANY substantial anxiety issues before 29 years of age. I developed pure-O OCD and generalized anxiety at 30, and periodic bouts of dissatisfaction and discomfort before that. Fortunately the OCD and the generalized constant anxiety have ceased being serious problems, but I'm much more fearful and feel more weighted down whenever I contemplate or execute anything. I believe I know the reasons.
1.) As I had no real plans for my life, there was a massive surplus of time and energy which could readily be allocated to whatever I had in mind. Going to AA meetings, going shopping, going to the city, would not interfere with any fronts or objectives because they did not exist. The situation now is extremely much the reverse, with plans having to be completed over several months and only if I remain relatively efficient and disciplined. Anything I do which deviates from that is time and stamina which is taken away from those plans, thus causing more anxiety and frustration.
2.) I was ignorant of the negative traits and characteristics and risks of everything. Thus, I had no cause for fear or trepidation. As I carried out various things, I started experiencing negative stimuli and observing risks and problems. No longer ignorant of the strain and annoyances that leaving the house entails, or of the risks and problems inherent to attending meetings or trying to commune with local furries or whatever else you can think of, I recognized and feared those negative things and was more cautious when planning to do them. I generally have come to understand what is wrong with the world and myself, thus I have gained wisdom at the expense of frustration and aversion.
Lastly, I have also noticed I am far more sensitive to negative imagery than I was years ago, and I don't know why this is. My only guess is the part of the brain that governs/registers automatic emotional responses to images and scenarios developed along with everything else, causing me to lose tolerances to such things. Years ago I could watch programs such as Bleach and Aqua Teen Hunger Force (whoever operates Adult Swim needs to be taken out and shot for contributing to cultural degeneracy), and even the original and SVU versions of Law and Order, with little or no difficulty. Before that I remember reading a series of furry stories which were in parts really violent and dark without even flinching. Now I have to be very careful about what programs I watch and stories I read, because I've recently actually had rather substantial and reflexive discomfort even to a couple of moments in the original Care Bears show. I just can't tolerate violence, sadness, or pain well enough to comfortably watch/read/look at many shows, movies, stories, and pictures.
Optimal Strategies For Addressing Autism
Based on various observations of myself over the critical last few years and various principles of mine, I have determined that the following series of measures and doctrines would be optimally beneficial to those with autism. This set of advocations assumes those in question are at least relatively highly functioning overall. I also know there are exceptions to everything, so these are for 90%+ of autistic people rather than hard and inflexible statements for every single one.
• Schools need to be teaching special ed students (and students in general) the fundamentals of independent living. How to locate housing, how to budget, what they should expect to pay for rent and various utilities, how to procure nutritious food economically, etc. They should also teach all of this multiple times. I don't remember being taught ANY of this in school, yet they had plenty of time and resources to teach students irrelevant nonsense.
• Those who have turned 18 and don't seem capable of gainful full-time employment or college at that time should be enrolled in various federal and state welfare programs before students graduate. Rehabilitative services should be provided after graduation rather than just send the disabled students on their merry way. Actually, I think this ought to be compulsory if there is deemed to be a need for such services, so stupid teenagers and stupid parents don't ruin the teenagers' lives.
• For children and adults, medication should be given as a secondary manner of treatment, or as primary only in conjunction with psychotherapy. We fucking overmedicate psych patients under the doctrine that enough amphetamines, benzodiazepines, anti-psychotics, and SSRIs will eventually fix the problem. For those of you reading this, if you are on medication, strongly consider alternatives if any viable ones exist for you. Your psychiatrist is likely all too happy to medicate you whether you need drugs or not, and the general industry is all too happy to refer you to psychiatrists.
• Parents, the autists themselves, and the system in general need to vigorously strive for the greatest degree of independence and autonomy for the autists possible in a reasonable time frame. Parents throwing their hands up and asserting their child is too far gone to ever work or live elsewhere will just fulfill the prophecy and decrease everyone's quality of life. As long as they are on various benefits and can manage them themselves, even if they cannot work they can still perform all other functions of adulthood and acquire experience and information critical to maturation and expansion. The aforementioned reforms would be important components.
• Those who have co-morbid disorders which render them in need of treatment, NEED to be offered services and housing which is more friendly to those with autism yet also addresses the other issues. Just throwing them all in the same halfway houses and taking away everyone's internet for the duration is a stupid generalized default treatment approach, and even worse for those who have special needs. I just looked online, and not one of these centers even exists in my state. And, supposedly over 2% of the male population is autistic and autists are more predisposed to substance abuse, but none of these centers exist here... Right. Hah, and I can only find one halfway house-type center for people with autism in general in the whole state. Good lord, our system is pathetic. Autism awareness my skirt-clad furry ass.
• Until our psychological industry is no longer pathetic both in general and regarding the category of autistic people I earlier described (adults who aren't 'young' and who aren't socially incompetent), I exhort each autistic person to disregard conventional advice and psychological doctrine when it doesn't seem to apply to/benefit them, and shamelessly pursue self-conceived means that are proven to work for them. If they won't properly advocate for and assert themselves, no one else will do it. Even the benevolent and sympathetic ones don't seem to know what they're doing half the time.
• While being mindful of their limitations and liabilities, I exhort autistic people and people in general to acquire information and experience at a substantial pace. This is done through research, undertaking risks and ventures, and even just properly living. I lost many years of my life because I wallowed in stagnation and helplessness, and later had to play a brutal game of catch-up while being attacked on both flanks. I constantly lament losing a very good decade or so from being so unhelpfully sheltered and enabled.
• When seeking a psychotherapist, it is imperative to verify they meet a person's standards and various needs such as insurance and appropriate specialty. People in general- but especially autistic people- should take care not to reveal too much or to ramble on more than is necessary. Also, while I suggest an autistic person give much weight and preference by default to those with listed autism/Asperger's/ASD expertise (unless they deal with a different sort), I doubt this is absolutely necessary. If a therapist is competent, empathetic, and adaptive, even someone minimally competent with autism should be able to minister effectively to an autistic person.
• I want to reiterate this because it's so important, and it was such a profound component of my recovery experience. Autistic people need to do whatever it takes to insulate themselves from emotional harm and other negative factors, and do whatever it takes to preserve the autonomy to adopt whatever methods for betterment which are effective and necessary for them. This goes double for those with addiction issues and who get the default 12 Step treatment, because some in there are awfully sanctimonious and presumptuous about the whole thing. As much as I like to brag about myself and present myself as a visionary, I doubt I'm some super-special person who was able to do it my way, but everyone else is incapable of it.
• I just want to throw this in since I've wanted to mention this the whole time but have no better place to insert it. I don't think, as a whole, high-functioning autistic people are a sort of master race. I think a limited portion of the demographic deserve to be seen as superior (hopefully they lack the crippling intractable vulnerabilities I do), and thus perhaps when looking at overall averages the autistic demographic outperforms neurotypicals. However, in my informal and limited experience, I don't find the average autistic person to be much more intelligent and rational than normal. Hell, the average one might be even be somewhat worse than the average neurotypical Terran. I've come across really stupid and confused autists before (including some furry who liked gay porn but opposed gay marriage... I don't even know how that works), and I've come across some who neither write properly nor very much. I've also come across non-autistic people who were inspiringly insightful, rationalistic, and articulate. If we could eliminate with breeding and genetic manipulation some of the liabilities and the cognitive mediocrity, maybe they could be rightfully called that, though we should never make positive or negative assumptions about people for merely being in a demographic.