For today’s post highlight, I would like to pull up my very first post, and the namesake of my blog and alias: The Third Glance.
I wrote this essay while trying to figure out what a good “first post” would be. What would be an introduction to the world that is my mind. And after about 6 or 7 hours of failed attempts during which I listed all of my autistic traits trying to prove to the blogsphere that they should read my blog, I came up with it. For all my life, I have struggled with something I call the “3-week friendship”. 3 weeks (give or take a few days or weeks depending on the person) is usually about how long it takes for people to realize that I’m “to different to associate with”. When I’m in a new situation, I’m shy and quiet, but I usually have interesting things to say if I’m asked. I’m nice to everyone (it’s how I was trained, plus, golden rule – I want to be treated with respect too) when they interact with me. People like me. They decide I’m “worthwhile” to become a friend with. Then they spend some time with me, and those feelings disappear. They start to notice my quirks that were there when they first met me, but that they ignored in favor of “new situation, meet new people”. This is the first glance. And they begin to resent and sometimes even hate them. Then the whispering starts, followed by behind-my-back exclusion, and eventually is usually leads to someone saying “we don’t want to hang out with you, you’re too weird, you will never have friends, don’t bother us again” directly to my face. The second glance is where it goes to pieces. But there are a few people in my life who value those quirks. They treat me well and respect me, and I have a meaningful friendship with them. They stuck out those “3 weeks” and decided that despite my quirks (and often because of them), that they wanted to have a friendship with me. And thus, the concept of “The Third Glance” was born. It’s an anti-bullying plea, as much as an Autistic self-advocacy piece. The concept can be applied to anyone in your life, regardless of their neurotype, mental health status, ability, color, gender, orientation, or anything else. Because everyone deserves to be seen and valued for their whole person. I always try to take the “third glance” at people, and hope that in doing so, they will return the favor.
This is a series of posts that are going up while I’m recovering from a nasty battle with mono. I’m feeling a little better today, but I also have a fever and sore throat coming on so hopefully tomorrow won’t be too terrible. I thought telling the story behind some of my posts might be interesting… I always like to know the thought process that comes behind what people say and do. Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and weekend! (Yes I know today is Thursday but I figure by the time people actually see this it will be Friday or the weekend.)