Asperger’s and Invisibilityby spectrumscribe, postcardsfromtheedgeofthespectrum.wordpress.com
My main and almost only social memories of school, are of relentless ostracism.
The verb ostracize has its origin in Ancient Greece.
- It was an act of banishment from a city
- for 5 or 10 years!
- decided by a vote!
Banishment describes perfectly how I felt for most of my school life.
There are worse things than dying and there are worse things than banishment.
At school I was ostracized by children who knew me.
- It was personal and spiteful
- And it wasn’t just the banishment/exclusion
- There was the relentless taunting, the name calling
- It was a deliberate, conscious choice
At least the ostracized ranks of Ancient Greece did not have to face their tormentors every day.
But invisibility takes ostracism to a whole new level.
When meeting new people, after the initial pleasantries and tap dancing around, I generally become……invisible.
This happens in work settings.
- People may exchange pleasantries with me
- But beyond that they will take no interest in me
- I won’t be invited to participate in out of work activities
- They won’t even ask me what my plans are at the weekend
Sometimes this happens immediately.
- Sometimes it takes a little longer
- But eventually I find myself in that familiar place, outside, looking in
This isn’t just familiarity breeding contempt either.
The same thing happens at social events and parties with strangers.
- I’ll find the conversation drifting away from me
- A bit like a tennis match being played on the other side of the net
- I’ll also find the group physically drifting away from me too
The difference here is that this is not a deliberate act of unkindness, spitefulness or unpleasantness.
Something else is in play here.
- This is intuition at work
- The bringer of invisibility
It’s easy to see that my experiences of ostracism and invisibility are a big driver in my Autism Advocacy work.
Advocates help give people a voice, or a louder voice and make sure that no one is treated as invisible.
This was a big part of my inspiration for setting up the World Autism Project
- That and my love of maps
- and other cultures
The Invisible Man
To see the Invisible Man, was an episode of the Twilight zone, which first aired in 1986.
- Mitchell Chaplin is sentenced to 1 year of invisibility
- ‘For the crime of Coldness and not opening up his emotions to his fellow citizens’
- Testimony had been given by Chaplin’s family of his lack of caring and concern for others
A mark is applied to his forehead, signalling to and requiring others to treat him as invisible.
- Chaplin makes light of this
To see the Invisible Man (1/3)
To see the Invisible Man (2/3)
To see the Invisible Man (3/3)
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