“but, you look normal?”

Um, well thanks. So do you. I would never have guessed you to be an ignorant dick.
“No, I just mean that you don’t look, you know, like they do in the movies…”

I’ve heard this countless times, no I’m not kidding, particularly when for some reason any one of my “differences” comes up in a conversation. I’m sorry but what does someone with borderline personality disorder look like? Are we supposed to be pink with green hair and yellow spots? Is someone with ADHD supposed to have 4 arms or maybe someone on the autism spectrum is supposed to “look like a retard”.

That last one get’s me the most. It’s demeaning, derogatory and pernicious towards those on the spectrum who are affected both mentally AND physically. What people don’t seem to know or care to know is that the majority of people on the spectrum aren’t affected physically, we look “normal” just like you. Okay so maybe I stand out a bit in a crowd with my loud hair and even louder laugh but still.

Above the “you look normal” comment I’ve heard many a time “but you seem normal”. Well… your world is loud and crass and smelly. Your world is constantly changing and seems to be going in fast forward. Your world is unforgiving and impatient. If your world is so difficult for you to navigate what do you think life is like from my end of the bus? So yes, I suppose I do “seem normal” but do you know exactly how much effort I put into seeming that way? How much effort it takes me to interact, socialise, converse, shop, work and so on in this “normal” world of yours?

The Person mentioned the other day how well I manage all my “differences” and that in the time he’s known me he’s on really seen them come to the surface once during an intensely stressful situation (they put petrol in my diesel tank) and momma often comments on how proud she is of me for dealing so well with all that I have to and that she’s sorry I wasn’t diagnosed younger and that she was a bit more understanding back then (I’m just glad she didn’t kill me but I do now understand why she sent me to a boarding school to be someone else’s worry for a while). < neither of these two spurred this on, I just remembered their praises while I was writing this.

So then at the end of it all you’re probably wanting to know how do you spot someone on the spectrum right?
You probably won’t.
So treat EVERYONE with respect and understanding because you never know how much that will affect their day or even life.


3 thoughts on ““but, you look normal?”

  1. Now I can’t remember if it said my comment has to be moderated or if I didn’t post one properly…
    Anyhoodle – in case my first comment disappeared – here it is again.
    BLOODY well said!

  2. Well said! as the old saying goes: “Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

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