Autism, China In Your Hand And Frankenstein’s Creation

Following on from yesterday’s Flashblog event for Autism Awareness month (and submissions are still flooding in), a friend mentioned this morning that she loves T’Pau’s China In Your Hand because it was playing at the exact moment that her son was born and placed on her belly. She didn’t actually know what the song is about, and so I’ve been having fun telling her.

With autism still very much in the forefront of my mind, I also began to make some comparisons between Frankenstein’s Creation and how an autistic person can feel.

Frankenstein himself is the real monster of the piece, with his Creation being an unwilling participant who didn’t get to choose his existence any more than the rest of us do. He didn’t ask to be a walking freak show with electrodes in his neck, and he lacked the capacity to understand why humans loathed, feared and ultimately abused and destroyed him.

The Creation himself was – to quote from the song – Like a child in the form of man. He was innocent, lost, afraid. A stranger in a seemingly alien world. His only crime?

Being different.

I cannot speak for anybody else on the Spectrum, but when I was growing up I often felt just the way that poor Creation would have felt – had he ever existed. I was different, I didn’t fit in. I stood out from the crowd for all of the wrong reasons. I was bullied relentlessly, rejected, discarded by my peers. I had no right to be so intelligent when I did odd things with my eyes and hands and facial expressions, and appeared to float as opposed to simply walking (I walk on tip-toe and always have done. I know that this gives the illusion of “floating” and I also know that my autistic son does it too).

When you’re a teenager and have no diagnosis then apparently “weird kids” are supposed to just sit in a corner and stay quiet. They’re not supposed to be helping their classmates with reading and writing, or blaze a trail of terror across the hockey field. Weird kids aren’t supposed to be semi-professional swimmers either.

I spent many a lunch hour in the computer room, where nobody wanted to pick on me. Schoolmates that I never expected to ever even speak to me – the top “geeks” – became my friends. I “fitted” with them, and it’s only in hindsight that it occurs to me that they, like myself, were probably high-functioning autists.

Which brings me back to Frankenstein’s Creation. A frightened, lonely soul who developed deep intelligence and attempted to escape his maker – looking for a place in which he belonged. Exposed to all of that ridicule, fear and hatred I suspect that he willingly gave up his “second birth” in the end. Sometimes I found the world and my peer’s reactions to me so hurtful that I just wanted to die too.

I felt as though I wasn’t real; I was simply a creation with a brain and easily hurt feelings. Perhaps I was one of Doctor Who’s Autons and was actually made of plastic but didn’t realise it. I definitely felt that I was something unearthly – not of this world but stuck on it anyway. A realistic robot, perhaps.

I suspect that Frankenstein’s Creation sums up my feelings when growing up best of all. A misfit in society, misunderstood and feared.

I awoke this morning to discover that I have new followers, both here on WordPress and on Twitter. I began this blog because I wanted to speak about disabilities – autism and epilepsy in particular – and have my voice heard. Thanks to the Flash Blog Event I am now being heard; one small, quiet voice in damp and gloomy south-east England. Imagine the impact worldwide now that other voices are speaking out with me and for me.

I would like to end this by saying the following: autism is not neccessarily your disability. Very often, it’s the people around you that impact negatively on your life and not the autism itself.

Unlike Frankenstein’s Creation, no autist is ever alone. We exist. We are out here. We are real and many of us are proud. I don’t stand out so much as shine, because I am me and I am loved by many – because of my autism and not in spite of it.

Break down the barriers and escape the mold. Your life does not have to be the tragedy of the Creation’s short existence.

Let your voice be heard. Speak out.

About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Would like a Tardis when I grow up.
This entry was posted in 2012, Adapting, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, Autism, Autism Awareness, Disability, Doctor Who, Fight For Your Rights, Frankenstein, Navel Gazing, Positivity, Refusing To Be Beaten, Rumination, T'Pau, Teenaged Years, Tenacity. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Autism, China In Your Hand And Frankenstein’s Creation

  1. Jojo says:

    Every time I read about your experience with being autistic, I can relate and think to myself, “she knows exactly how I feel.” But then again I remember that you have people in your life that do love you, and I don’t. Last night I wrote an extremely long post on LJ about the negative aspects of Aspergers and how it affects me. But today I’m writing about the positives. I just have to think of a few. The post will probably be very short. :/

    • Oh, my dear Jojo. *I* love you. You are beautiful, intelligent, sweet, funny and endearing. Somewhere out there are people who want to love you also, but they haven’t met you yet. I can promise you that xxx

  2. You are doing important things with this blog, MT. What a good feeling it must be to know that you are touching lives positively, and helping to make their lives a little easier. Way to go.

  3. R. E. Hunter says:

    Wow, I never noticed the connection between Frankenstein’s Creation and autistic people before, but now that you point it out it seems obvious. It’s a very good metaphor.

    You experience growing up was very much like mine, except I never did find a group that I fit into. I have good friends now that I trust and can depend on, but they still don’t get me.

    • There are still many people who don’t “get” me – but I’ve learned to embrace my autism and love myself for who I am. I’m a naturally warm and gregarious person in the right situations and am generally well liked. I’ve been lucky.

      I’m so sorry that you never found a group at school who would accept you. Every child needs friends and I’m sad that you didn’t find anybody who really understood you.

  4. This is a wonderful blog. It reaches out to so many, not just those with autism, but all those who have felt different, unloved, and have had to create their own sense of self, and learn to love themselves and rewrite the rules to support them. That’s kickass in my book. Thanks for all you do. It helps.

  5. willowdot21 says:

    well done Rose keep writing!

  6. I enjoyed reading your post. It makes many of the same points I am trying to make but in a very different way. I have only just found your blog. But thanks to the flas blog on Monday and the blogging against disablism on Tuesday I have found many more people trying to share similar messages

    • Thank you so much for stopping by to read and follow – I’ve just reciprocated.

      There’s nothing better than a flash blog event to bring like-minded people together 🙂

  7. Ange Dunn says:

    I never thought about it like that before but it actually makes so much sense now. Unlike you I do not have a formal diagnosis of autism but I was the weird kid, it was trampoline rather than swimming or hockey and I was a drama geek but I could have wrote the rest. I still feel like I am Frankinstines monster, some days better than others but yeah I am not there yet.

    Btw this is ljs pomkeygeekange.

    • Thank you for your response Ange. I don’t have an official diagnosis either – I just figured it out on my own after watching my autistic son and reading accounts from other autistic people. Not being diagnosed doesn’t mean you don’t *know*, after all 🙂

      I hope this post has helped you in some small way xxx

  8. Pingback: Pinterest: A Suitable Platform For Autism Education? | rosewinelover

  9. littlesundog says:

    I have to agree with Sabrina. You discuss feelings of being different and unloved, which hits home with many of us… many who aren’t autistic (we just don’t fit in socially). Thank you for your honesty and willingness to discuss your deep feelings about breaking the barriers of society’s expectations. Everything you say carries importance and speaks of changing – either ourselves or the way we treat one another!

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