A few months ago, I was contacted by someone in order to work on a project with them about [something to do with revealing the every day lives of autistic people]. I didn’t really understand the nature of this project’s goals. The reason that they had thought to contact me is because I am “more in touch with the Autistic community”.
After some thought, I emailed them. If I was going to be involved then they needed to ensure their project creates a safe space for autistic people. I also highlighted that it’s important to meet people on their own terms. In their reply they said how exciting this all was and they would like me to phone them. I replied that I am not comfortable speaking on the phone. For me, it is exceptionally difficult for me to communicate ideas over the phone which is why I prefer to write. Writing gives me the ability to communicate my thoughts in a way that phone calls simply don’t.
Then a strange thing happened. I received a reply saying that they would really like to hear my voice before we could work together. This is my voice. Writing is the method of communication which is most comfortable for me. This is how I feel most comfortable expressing myself.
Anyway, I left it at that. I didn’t hear from them until they popped up on my Facebook wall. In their comments, they were being exceptionally obnoxious, and purposefully obtuse.
“Often times, the clumsy and course grained attempts at associating and communicating, not to mention the duplicitous and seeming smug cleverness with which many communicate is like throwing dirt into clear water. It muddies comprehension, because everything is visible and so their intentions cannot be hidden. The problem is deciphering an abundance of data, but when we learn solid strategies to do that, these games become trivial.”
What does that even mean?
In addition, they were arguing with my autistic friends about what it is like to be autistic. It’s worthwhile noting that this person is not autistic. I’m not saying that they’re neurotypical, but they’re not autistic. That means they have no place lecturing autistic people about being autistic, and after reminding them of this, I made the decision to block them.
Then, yesterday, I received an email from them [Hint: if your behaviour on someone’s wall has resulted in you being blocked, respect that boundary and do not email them]
I’m not going to copy and paste the entire email, because it is long, but I will say that it didn’t contain one iota of an apology from their side – not even a nonpology like “I’m sorry if you felt…” What it did contain was this:
“I think it is a shame that you have chosen to view me the way you have, because you don’t know me very well and have apparently made a poor assessment of my character… Please know that I forgive your brash behaviour, and would be happy to resume our friendship in the future.”
It is completely mind blowing to see someone act like an arrogant ass and then be benevolent enough to offer their forgiveness to the person that they insulted.
So, I wear my B.R.A.S.H. behaviour as a badge of honour. I am Bookish, Reflective, Autistic, Stubborn, and Honest. Thank you very much for noticing.
And, yes, I realise that this might not be the most mature way of dealing with this – but, that’s all I have.