(I had to chop this reply up because I had vastly exceeded the standard emoji allowance of 14 per post...)
I'm glad you are enjoying your riding, and that Wonder continues to learn and develop with you.
It's nice to follow your progress. Your trainer sounds great - and he's totally right that you have to believe in yourself and your horse, and that most of the criticisms come from people who actually have no idea. This is true not just for riding, as you have probably already discovered yourself on various front. It's funny that people performing at average levels tend to have more confidence than people performing at higher levels, and often feel they "know better" and tell you so.
Karla also sounds amazing. Seems you are meeting some really lovely people in Denmark!
You could have some fun with the "What are you doing?" people when you take medical photos of your horse's boy bits - pretend you are taking pictures to send to a niche magazine!
That'll stop'em in their tracks!
I feel happy, it's a rare feeling but it is really good to have people like Karla and Mads and Simone and Nicolai that believe in me and ln Wonder. It means a lot. Most times I am not a happy person. Lots of pain and anger inside but there are moments like this where I feel happy and I feel hope.
If you're anything like Brett and me - also outliers - then your 20s will be your most challenging and lonely time, but you will accrue real friends cumulatively, as you are now, and become more confident in your right to exist etc. We do need other people because we are social creatures, but this is often hard for people who definitely aren't sheep, early on in life. What happens as life progresses is that you find more black sheep, more like you! And you might even marry one!
I'm enjoying your autism explorations, clips etc. We're not neurotypical either, and it's interesting to see similarities and differences. Brett and I both get extra annoyed by tags in clothing, seeds in socks etc - a far bigger deal than for typical people. Also we can't listen to music when eating, or we won't be able to taste the food like we want to. Things like that. We also get deeply into our areas of interest, which are quite wide as well, so we really wouldn't get bored if we had 1000 years to live, and can't understand how anyone does. Our brains are very interactive and very much on, a lot of the time. We enjoy the particular brains we have, more so now than earlier on in our lives. And of course there is neuroplasticity - the ability to keep learning new things, and to make new synaptic connections, all your life if you actually use your brain. Brains and muscles have in common that if you don't exercise them properly, they turn into custard...
I can be very perceptive in some ways and quite blind in others.
And this is also true for neurotypical people, of course. There's so much they don't see, either, but unfortunately often they don't understand what they are missing, while autistic/Aspie people are constantly reminded what they are missing!
It's a different perspective. And if you're motivated to learn, you can learn the missing stuff, which is great. And some of it, I don't want to learn, like being two-faced, or thinking one thing and saying another, and not being honest.
This is also really true. It took me a long time to understand sarcasm and metaphors and not taking things literally and trying to figure out what expressions mean.
While neither of us had an issue with sarcasm and metaphors, we both had parts of our brains very much amused by the difference between literal meanings, and more complex meanings. We're rather pedantic, and have fun being so.
I would read books and hear “colorful” language and go to my parents and ask what does this mean? And I remember other classmates calling me stupid because I didn’t understand. I’ve been called stupid and retarded a lot. I’ve been called a lot of things that I know weren’t true but it didn’t hurt less.
Yeah, I was pretty innocent for a long time, but it's hard to know how much of that was genetic, and how much that I didn't have healthy social modelling or honest discussion of things in my family of origin. I remember, for instance, hearing the song Let's Go To Bed
when I was eleven, and thinking, "Yeah, I like sleeping too!"
But I kind of think that's preferable to the early sexualisation of children these days - I sort of think it's nice to have a childhood.
I also remember two jokes our Biology teacher told us when I was 15. One was, "Why does Humpty Dumpty no longer fall off the wall?" The answer to that was, "Because now he has a girlfriend, and he's always knocking her off." And the whole class except me was laughing, and I was looking around going, "What's so funny about him pushing his girlfriend off the wall? That's really mean!" Of course, I was ESL and "knocking someone off" was a colloquialism I was unfamiliar with until someone explained it to me!
His other joke I got just fine, and I'll share it with you because I think it's hilarious: "How many condoms can you make from a used car tyre? ...365 if it's a Goodyear
Understanding facial gestures, tones and the “unwritten” social rules took a LOT of work. I like what someone says about things people just do and know instinctually, autistic people have to do manually. I also agree about copying and pasting, I did that a lot.
I had to copy and paste a lot because I didn't see appropriate behaviours modelled in my family of origin very much. I wanted to get on with people, and you're not going to if you follow your parents' examples and yell at other people and think they should be able to read your mind, or you hit people who think differently from yourself, or who are crying because distressed; or if the world is always revolving around you, etc. So early on, I was actively looking out for adults whose behaviour I liked, to learn from. Thankfully, they were around, especially in the form of my super-nice, super-warm, very accomplished Year 1/2 teacher; also strangers on buses! Also reading books - novels which examined human behaviour, the human experience; biographies by nice people - e.g. James Herriot's All Creatures Great And Small
. I liked many of his values, from childhood! I was drawn to people like that, and to characters who acted honourably.
But really, all early human socialisation is monkey see - monkey do
. I think you just have to do it more consciously if you have autism, or if the monkeys in your first household aren't the best role models. That makes you more aware of the process, and can lead you to question, "But is that really me, or am I acting?" It's you if you intellectually and emotionally desire to behave in certain ways, and to be a particular sort of person. We all try out roles, and some of them stick - just most people do it before they are particularly conscious of it, and perhaps never get that aware of it. The nice thing is that if you're aware of it, you have an easier time becoming the kind of person you would like to be.
It also blows my mind that some people actually think talking about mental illness, genuine feelings or having autism is self pitty. Im like seriously, get over yourself @ss hole. It's about explaining another view point and giving people something to think about if they care enough to think. Not a pitty party or asking for sympathy. Sometimes it's just communication. High time people can actually be honest and introspective than wear a mask because people lack dimension or reasoning.
Yeah, great points! It's harder for typical people, and especially conformists, prone to peer pressure, media pressure etc, to understand that they have choices over who they are and what they do and how much they can grow, and a lot of typical people are actually quite undifferentiated, morally, intellectually, emotionally. Yet paradoxically, the confidence (of safety in numbers and in conformity) is usually with them, until the non-neurotypical have lived enough life to see that this is the case.
I cant stand narrow minded, black and white thinkers who cant possibly consider another perspective other than their own. Or actually get a person's motivation for doing things. But some people only see their side and dont bother thinking because it's easier to assume than to ASK.
So you tell me, which is the real disability?