Growing up with undiagnosed autism I was always the different kid.

We were told to embrace individuality

Be who you are on inside

Be yourself only to an extent we find socially acceptable

Because when I am myself 

I’m too weird 

I’m annoying

I’m sensitive 

I’m different 

So I’ll change my entire personality to fit your standard

I’m too weird? So I’ll act like everyone else.

But then I’m called a copy cat 

I’m too annoying? Then I’ll shut up and not talk to anyone

But that makes me a bigger target

I’m sensitive? Then I’ll try to keep up with your jokes and ignore my feelings, but I’ll take the joke too far, and it was never that deep

I’m different? No matter what I try I can never be normal enough 

Because I’m not normal

Embrace your differences

but only differences we accept

The adults in my life promoted individuality

But I was always exception

Being myself led to me getting in trouble

Led me to getting bullied

Led me to be blamed for my own bullying 

I wouldn’t be getting bullied if I just acted normal 

But I don’t want to be normal

I’m not normal 

I am disabled 

In a chaotic ever-changing world with no sense of normality, how am I the outlier 

Why am I not normal? 

Something is wrong with me? 

This constant reminder that I was an alien led me to growing up with an extreme perfectionist attitude to everything in my life 

If I was perfect at everything I did 

If I always won 

If I was always correct

People will finally like me 

People will want to be my friend 

People will think I’m normal 

But now I’m a teacher’s pet

Now I’m even more annoying

Now I live my life through a lens of toxic perfectionist values that have led to my own downfall 

Because you couldn’t expand your view of differences 

Because the people in my life punished me for being different

Because I am autistic 

This Autism Awareness Day I will use my voice to tell the story of the little girl who grew up to hate herself 

To hate her differences 

To hate her autism 

In a world so different every day 

Together we can make change 


The little girls who talk to much 

The little girls who are bossy

The little girls who can’t pay attention 

And the little girls who are different  

Will love themselves and others 

Will be supported through this world 

Will grow into amazing adults ready to take on the world.

– Veronika

A List Ambassador

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