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people really wanted me to be high-functioning. they wanted me to be a computer-brained savant. they wanted me to be a shiny aspie.

my problems were social skills. anxiety. defiance. my problems were being literal and rigid and black and white thinking. oh, and maybe sensory overload sometimes.

I’m not saying I had none of those problems, I’m saying…

I had language comprehension issues. I didn’t understand what people were saying to me so I gave answers that made no sense. this was a lack of social skills. this was caused by anxiety. this was because I was rigid and literal. this was defiance.

I had information processing problems. combined with the language comprehension issues, that meant I often had no idea what the hell was going on. people said sounds that were hard to translate into words that were hard to translate into meaning. I could not tell who was saying what. I might realize something had happened minutes after it had happened. I lost track of abstract concepts- I knew I was in a “school”, but I had lost track of what a “school” was and why I was there. I burst into tears. I had anxiety problems. or maybe I didn’t like being told what to do. maybe I didn’t like transitions because I was so rigid thinking (I didn’t like transitions because just when I had gotten some grip on what was happening and what I was supposed to be doing, people pulled both of those things right out from under my feet).

I had movement problems. I had inertia and catatonia. I had trouble locating myself in space. I couldn’t always get myself to move where or when I wanted to. this was, usually, anxiety if it happened at school, defiance at home.

sensory overload was sometimes correctly identified, but often labeled anxiety or behavioral issues.

I could go on.

I’m not high functioning. I don’t think I’m low functioning either. or middle functioning. I don’t like functioning labels. and I have uneven skills such that I’m very good and very bad at the same thing. and I have fluctuating skills such that if I gave myself a functioning label, it would change constantly.

but I’m not naturally computer-brained. people saw that when it wasn’t there. and people taught me that. and I built some of that myself, became very specific trying to translate things from a different kind of specificity, a kind of specificity that was more specific the way the smell of tomatoes and rain is specific, less specific the way computers are.

I am not a shiny aspie. and I never was.