I know it is not a good idea to only read and dwell on information and perceptions that agree with your own beliefs. It strengtens bias and creates polarization of perceptions and beliefs. But I am contemplating doing just that. When reading blogs and discussions about autism, neurodiversity and the search for a cure, I prefer to look at things from all possible angles. I like to widen my own perspective, and want to learn from others. I am very aware that I can see only a small part of the picture. Thus it is really fascinating to read the wide variety of opinions, about the personal journeys of struggles and joy and discovery and challenges and victories.
But I have a vulnerability that is threatening to imit my searches and interest. I have lived most of my life without a diagnosis, and with the firm belief that I am just a weakling, a failure, lazy, irresponsible, untrustworthy and too scared to really live. It is very very hard to silence or ignore that voice in the back of your head after hearing it for so long. And now when I venture into the debate about autism and Aspergers, every so often I come across the rather wide spread opinion that I am really a fake. Because I was not diagnosed as a child, managed to be successful in school, obtained a degree, got married and have children - surely saying I have Aspergers is just an excuse. An excuse for not facing up to my responsibilities, complaining that society does not accept me, a handy excuse for not standing on my own two feet, an excuse to complain about my own paltry struggles.
And every time I read these well articulated opinions, the little voice in my head starts shouting "I told you so!"
Why not stop reading? Because in these online communities, I have found acceptance, and every now and then the discovery that my experiences are not unique, I have found understanding and the opportunity to talk about things that I find infinitely interesting but cannot discuss elsewhere. The temptation to stay within my comfort zone here is huge, but I cannot. I will keep reading as widely as possible, and fight this stubborn voice in my head.