If the world was built for me

If the world was built for me. There would be nothing wrong with me. I would be happy and safe and certain and successful. 

If the world was built for me, when I met people there would be no expectation of physical contact or small talk. We may ignore each other, with a socially acceptable nod, or throw ourselves into a deep and meaningful conversation.

If the world was built for me, then we would all sit next to each other, not opposite. Things would be based on literal words, not guessed expressions and gestures.

If the world was built for me, there would be a compulsory day off for everyone after any social event. Just so we could all take the time to recharge and process things.

If the world was built for me, work would be about working and nothing else. There wouldn’t be the necessary interaction that goes with it. My productivity would skyrocket, working days would shorten. Free time would be shared.

If the world was built for me, you’d ask me why I’m constantly fiddling with a piece of whatever it is I need that day, and I’d tell you with a smile. You’d chuckle and accept it. I’d like you more.

If the world was built for me, then noise cancelling headphones would be handed out in crowded places, trains would be bigger, people would be banned from touching people they don’t know without permission. I don’t mean criminalised, we have that, it doesn’t work, I mean magically banned.

If the world was built for me, I could touch and revel and find joy in the textures that please me. And I could hide from and keep away from those that fill me with pain and revulsion.

If the world was built for me, you wouldn’t ask me how your clothes look, unless you want my honest opinion.

If the world was built for me, there would be an airlock between my home and the real world. A buffer zone for daily encroachers. An arm’s length.

If the world was built for me, any invitation would come with a detailed plan of where and when and how. I would be able to construct a plan and a map with little extra effort from me. I would know what was happening.

If the world was built for me, people would let me know if plans needed to change. They would message me and minimise the pain in my head as I grind the gears to adjust. 

If the world was built for me, family gatherings would keep me safe. Touching, hugging, kissing, would all be on my terms. Talk would not make me feel alien and alone. It would be safe and kind and love.

If the world was built for me, real rules would be explicit, fake rules would come with an explanation. I wouldn’t find myself following rules that everyone else knows aren’t real.

But the world isn’t built for me. It’s built for people who like those things, or can cope with them, or don’t like them, but don’t mind, or don’t like them and can say they don’t like them, for reasons that are valid in the world of everyone-else.

The world isn’t built for me. So as the person with the brain that isn’t the norm, I have to find a way to fit.

I sometimes wonder if you would like my world, with its gentle structure and routine, its beauty and its simplicity, its honesty and its truth, its patterns.

I sometimes wonder if I’d miss your world if it went away. As exhausting and painful as it can be, like cold, blunt metal, all ridged and hard to lean on, it has its charms. It has its moments. It has its joys.

If the world was built for me, I would make sure the world could be built for you too.

43 thoughts on “If the world was built for me

  1. I think I would have liked your world a lot. But no, the world isn’t build that way but insted of you having to adept to this world I wish this word would change towards yours…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are so very welcome.

      There’s an idea that being autistic means there’s something very wrong with you. There isn’t. We just suit a different style of living to the vast majority. We’re people with different needs on the interaction and processing side of things.

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Like

  2. What a beautiful piece of writing. I would love to share some of this in my thesis, somehow. I am exploring how children with Asperger’s experience the support they receive in school. If you wouldn’t mind me using some of this in my thesis, please email me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh thank you for summing up so eloquently most of my wishes about the world 🙂
    Interesting enough, when I told someone about the diagnosis journey I’m about to embark on, she smilingly said:
    “I always knew you’re either genetically modified, or an alien…”
    Now it makes more sense why my favourite way of greeting people at work was/is “Amazing people of planet Earth, greetings!” 🙂
    Moshe

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Until now, I thought I understand people, only to realise after a while that my understanding of individuals was most of the time wrong, again, and again, and again, and again. So I stopped trying again, and again, and again… 🙂
        And about liking anyone, my oh my, it’s an endless struggle to stop noticing all the available details before the non likable ones won’t outnumber the likable ones… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for your blog which I have been so relieved and delighted by this morning! I am especially taken with this post as it speaks to my day-to-day work. Your blog is clear proof to me that you are already beginning to create a world built for you/us; a world which would be better for all of us – whatever our diagnoses, even neurotypical! I am undiagnosed but it is such a relief to recognise myself in so much above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      I truly believe that accessibility is everything. And that certainly doesn’t meaning making things less accessible for anyone else. There are so many things that are done in certain ways just because that’s how they’ve always been done. All we have to do is think more critically about the little things and the world can open up for everyone.

      Many neurotypicals have sensory issues or social issues or anxiety too. When you start dealing with the causes of problems, you start creating a truly inclusive world.

      I am optimistic for the future. Change is always slow, but it’s happening.

      Like

  5. I think the world has many worlds in it. Some of them overlap, some of them don’t. Some of the worlds are full of people who don’t like any of the other worlds, and others are home to many who are fascinated by the other worlds and the people there, but wouldn’t want to live there. Some worlds are full of people who don’t realise that their world is full of others like them. They think they’re the only person in their world. They can’t see each other, and feel very lonely. And some worlds have people who are willing to exist with other worlds, in the same space, enjoying the differences and the similarities, respecting every one no matter what world they’re from, respecting their needs and their wants, and recognising that the more worlds share the same space the richer their own world becomes.

    Liked by 2 people

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