I am 37-years old. I work for myself and I live alone. I can’t imagine a scenario when I would choose to change this. I understand myself and my needs, I know my own ways and find the rest of the world difficult. I really don’t understand why anyone would be interested in me, as I am not really interested in anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate others, I just don’t get them. Other people are erratic, confusing and contradictory.

For me, the easiest communication is written. Anything else is pressurised and time restricted. I can’t follow facial expressions, vagueness, abstract concepts or tones of voice. I seem to upset other people, I don’t mean to, I just don’t get what they mean, I don’t understand why can’t people just be clear as to their meaning?

I choose to be alone because it is more straightforward that way. I can get overloaded easily, people call me insensitive, I find the emotions of other people very hard and would rather not be involved in them.

On the TV dramas, people like me are called loners. Sometimes ‘dangerous loners’. We are the people the neighbours are suspicious of, the people who are arrested in TV dramas, but we are not scary, just different and often scared ourselves. The world is confusing and unpredictable.

The word seems to come with a stigma. If I tell people what I am, perhaps I would be considered high-risk, I fear the people with the clip boards will do ‘an assessment’ and replace me ‘for operational reasons’ with somebody ‘neuro-normative’. The normal people are more acceptable to the insurance company. Then what would happen to me? Not disabled enough for benefits, not abled enough to work. Isolation is the best choice, stay out the way, off the radar, out of sight, out of mind and nobody’s responsibility.

I got a mobile phone twelve years ago, it still only ever had 7 contacts, 6 of them I haven’t called in years (one of them I can’t even remember), the other is my boss and who I try to avoid calling for anything at all.

A recent survey I found on the internet said that changes, social situations and unexpected changes all lead to ‘too much information’. It also said that 79% of people like me are isolated.  For me (any many other like me) this is a conscious choice, a way of living. I wouldn’t want to change this; I like how things are on my own, steady, consistent and predictable. For some people, isolation is an accident, a terrible circumstance, a negative. However not for me.

I am isolated, I am autistic, I am fine.


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