A year ago, I had the privilege of joining three other autistic women to film a segment for a Channel 4 documentary.
Because we live in a culture that doesn’t talk about death, I am innately curious. It’s the ultimate unspoken thing -final, unchangeable, ridiculous – that my brain wants to unpack and understand.
As women, we are taught that we must shoulder the emotional burden of being okay. As autistic women, the burden of okayness becomes even heavier. We are always okay. Except when we aren’t.
My mum is and always has been my safe place to fall. And as I get older, I’m becoming more and more aware that some day I won’t have her there.
But why, oh why, was I locked in a toilet doing my ‘calming down’ checklist in the middle of the afternoon? Two words: forced socialisation.
Seeing Norbert Neurotypical – with his banking job and his wife and his baby and his mortgage and his vegetable couscous lunch – just makes me feel like a fraud playing at being an adult .