Guilt of the Innocent

A follow-up musing on broken boundaries, disrespect, intrusion and inappropriate guilt.

This could happen to any person – having your personal boundaries overstepped and/or disrespected. And this could subsequently happen to unsuspecting subjects of senseless pranking. Guilt. The guilt of the innocent.

It isn’t the sole premise of the person with autism, although it is a fact that people with autism do lack certain implicit skills at detecting social nuances and are hence more vulnerable to the subtleties of social victimisation, ostracisation and bullying. Autistic people also have certain quirks which make them favoured targets for games of dominance and manipulation that seem so prevalent in the social-minded neurotypical culture system.

The latter features drive the guilt deeper. The idea that we have somehow created the scenario for people to jump into with relish, that our peculiarities are to blame for our victimisation. And then comes the huge question: Maybe I imagined the whole thing? This question plagues any thinking autistic adult, because the incidents are often so subtle, and so ridiculous, defying logic in such ways which make us doubt our own intrinsic reactions.

Even high functioning adults with autism have great difficulties figuring out this conundrum of guilt. However, we need to keep reminding ourselves of this: Nobody is ever deserving of senseless behaviour from others. Respect is a basic tenet of social interaction, regardless of neurological state. It is just plain wrong not to show others due respect for their personal space, their right to exist undisturbed, their right to not be subject to meaningless cruelty, no matter how small.


A Thin Fine Line

This is a musing about invasion of privacy and the thin fine line between funny and sinister.

When one has been accorded much care, consideration and respectful support from a great number of people, one may become not only quite overwhelmed, but also lulled into a feeling of security, such that when this sense of ‘safeness’ is challenged, one becomes suddenly unsure how to react. One incident was highlighted in my previous post, “Confronting the Invisible.”

Recently, I have been encountering a series of little events, each one so minute in isolation that only the very observant or meticulously private person would react to, let alone notice at all. I have tried hard, in deference to the more prevalent “hey, relax!” laissez-faire social perception of the majority, to downplay in my own mind, each of these events which nevertheless irked me greatly. However, now that I am faced with an escalating rate of recurrence of these ‘small things,’ and the accumulation of which are forming a disturbing but as yet nebulous denouement with an accompanying mixture of utter weariness and foreboding, I am finding harder and harder to brush them all off. Continue reading