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I’m so grateful that you share your world with us. You are so loved and I hope your openness brings comfort and awareness to others. 🖤
I too was diagnosed very late in life, with adhd. I cringe internally when someone says “I never would have known” because, for me, the downside to unconsciously creating those coping mechanisms is like looking at a tangled ball of yarn. They serve me but I continue to ask myself why they should be needed, to rail at a system that sees me as “other”. Why not just let me be me, and you can be you?
From an analytical point of view I can understand the need for terms like NT and ND, in scientific studies we need classifications. The problem is that those classifications make it out into a world where people don’t fully understand that typical vs divergent have no further connotations than simply commonly seen and (to date) infrequently seen. People translate divergent into other, wrong, disabled, challenged. I’m not wrong, I’m not alien or disabled, and I’m only challenged because I exist in a time and a world where people do not take the time (or sometimes do not have the time, which is a whole other rabbit hole) to understand someone different from themselves. Everyone is different from everyone else. Yes there are commonalities, but we are unique in our differences, some biological and some sociological.
So I’ve reached a point where I’ve decided I will be me, out loud and vibrant and sometimes confusing to others who can’t see the world the way I see it. I will spend my energy on the things that I believe matter, being a good human and sharing love and kindness, and if sometimes being a good human means that someone will benefit from my masking I will do it gladly for the peace or joy I can bring someone else. But I will no longer put myself in a box designed to smoosh me into a square cardboard shape simply because it’s easier to understand. I will no longer spend emotions or time on those who will actively choose not to understand me simply because they cannot be bothered. I don’t need everyone to understand me, like me, love me. I only need me to understand me, like me, and love me.
There is no more anger or frustration. No more beating my fists against the walls of my soul. There are no more dark and dusty corners to nest in. My safe space is me, my joy is getting to share a world only I can see with you, my love is for all because there isn’t really such a thing as typical or divergent after all.
I am neuro-me and you are neuro-you, and that is absolutely amazing and perfect. What a beautiful opportunity to see the world colored by others, what a blessing to be gifted with talents we can claim with unabashed pride, what a gift it is to be who we are. ❤️
You broke my heart, and rebuilt it, with your truth and honesty. I could never find anyone, to say this, as you did ❤.
Happy Autism Awareness Month Tyler! Before I moved away from San Fran-sucks-so, my side gig was training dogs. One of my favorite clients was a 19 year old Autistic man that had just gotten a new therapy dog. This guy was absolutely amazing! He was the most fantastic artist in every form. He could draw, play music, he made his family's front yard in to amazing walk through haunted houses with different themes every year (better than most professionals) free for donations, etc. And he was great with animals. He was also great at communicating and wanted to learn everything. I so greatly admired him, as I do you, for all the qualities he and you possess that I WISH I HAD!! I see your Autism as a gift to us all, because you are able to share a special part of you that otherwise may go unseen, and unheard. So I am grateful for you my friend, as I am grateful for being able to train an adorable puppy for another unforgettable shining star on this planet. Thank you Tyler!!! 💝
Thank you so much for this. I appreciate you.
Thank you for sharing this! 💛
This is so beautiful. Thank you. I love the part that reads: I believe even people who are not autistic wear a million masks just to endure their own trials and tribulations, just to feel safe and comfortable in their own skin. Love you and thank you for being so authentically Y-O-U.
As always, I loved what you shared and your absolute honesty. I have found that I tested on the "spectrum" about a year ago. It made so much sense to me once the results were in. I had a feeling that this was - what was up. I deal with stress with a variety of ways, some unique. This place online has been such a joy and I'm in for the duration.
I think the most powerful and beautiful thing we can offer ourselves and each other is the respect and love we deserve. I love that you honor what makes you who you are, as you model how to proceed for anyone not there yet. As someone who came to understanding myself through ADHD (after my sons' diagnoses stared me in the face and it was so obvious I could not believe it was never clear before) I think it's so important to just honor your experience, whatever it is. I so appreciate you for your authenticity, Tyler....for the creative and deep thinking human you are.
This week on Wednesday I'll be wearing my Chasers of the Light t-shirt to talk to my students about National Poetry Month, Autism Acceptance Month, and the importance of self expression living in alignment with who you really are....and they will be creating vision boards to get started. Each April this has become the most inspired way I have to walk them down that road.
Thank you for always being inspiring, exactly as you are!
Tyler, and others who have shared, thank you for being open about yourself and to amplify the uniqueness of being a human. It's the differences in one another that make things feel right.
Thank you for sharing. I am fascinated by all these things, all the ways that our brains vary. I love listening to people's stories and learning how they experience the world. That's the real shit to me. The stuff that makes all our relationships so much richer and more fulfilling. The idea of masking is so interesting too! I feel like I do that sometimes...feels like a very human thing, no matter who you are.
I needed this today Tyler, thank you.
You are authentic and real, absolutely no words for how important your honesty and authencity are... in all your work.
My niece and nephew are both on the spectrum, each different and unique in their own way.
I could say so much here, yet you have covered it all.
'My safe space is me'
I'm not on the spectrum, but these are words to hold true to my heart.
Thank you Tyler ( and Sarah for capturing this wondrful photo :)