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.


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