“I’m not like other girls” is usually said by edgy teenage girls with perfect makeup, hair and clothes to their hot love interest in a teenage movie but, I am actually not like other girls. I’m autistic so fitting in was never really in the cards for me and I longed to be the same as the other girls in my class – or more like the way I thought they were. My ocd basically consisted on “I’ve never seen a celebrity or person I admire do this” therefore doing it is “contaminated”. I washed my hands till they bled because I was half convinced the other girls and celebrities never had sticky fingers, never spilt food on themselves and never touched their belongings when “contaminated”. The girls that my autism, my ocd and myself want to be like is the perfect girl. This made up Disney channel character who never has ear wax, snot or any other human functions. The girl that is perfect on every social media platform and never has acne. Of course this girl doesn’t exist – I know that, I just wished I believed it as I still yearn to be her.
My ocd is centered around my desire to have friends and be accepted – something that is a result of being autistic and being bullied when I was young. I can remember the first time that I washed my hands before touching one of my belongings because I was worried about ‘ruining’ it. That way of thinking is still with me. I feel like I am the problem.
I still have the juvenile dream of being this perfect person with perfect things. I want to be perfect and “clean”. But I can’t. And whether I believe it or not, the truth is no one can. Of course as much as I know that no one is perfect, there is a big difference between knowing and accepting.
I’ve got OCD and instead of accepting that I was bullied by mean girls in primary one, instead of accepting that I have had problems making and keeping friends because I’m autistic, I have created a narrative where I think I must be, look and feel perfect in order to be accepted and liked by the other girls. But the sad thing is no matter how many times I wash my hands and avoid touching my belongings as to not “ruin” them; it doesn’t solve the impossible problem. That I am me. I sometimes struggle to make friends and I will never be able to be in a romantic relationship, get married or have kids because I’m not that type of person. *(Both of these things are not due to my mental health problems or autism- people with one or both can happily sustain relationships – this is a me thing.)*
So perhaps it’s time to stop lying. Perhaps it’s time to accept that I’m autistic and I’ve got OCD, depression and low self-esteem. Perhaps it’s time to realise I’m genuinely not like other girls and can never be. I am autistic; I am a blogger; I am a teenager; I am a good friend; A hilarious family member; Lover of jewellery and books and tv; I have back acne and weird toenails; I’m a scrapbooker; And I’m spotty, smelly, often have a uni brow and my social media, my work and my life are not perfect. Perhaps I need to start accepting this and perhaps one day I will.