Day 13. Talk about something funny. Has anything humorous or ironic ever happened to you because you were autistic?
It wasn’t really funny at the time but now looking back on it I find it funny.
I was out shopping one day in Pontypridd, I was having a bad day so my hood was up, I was avoiding eye contact and my memory was not great.
My tattoos were all on full display I was in my comfy clothes, baggy hoody and baggy tracksuit.
My head was shaved at the time, and my eyes were wild due to every sound, sight and smell agitating me that day.
I had to go into Home Bargains, now I hate shops like this on a good day. Its disorganised, they move items around the shelves everyday so you can never find what you are looking for, the freezer area smells strange and there is always so many people there.
My partner had asked me to buy some stuff, I did not want to ring her and ask her to repeat what she had asked me to get, as I had literally just spoke to her before entering the shop, so I walked around the shop hoping it would trigger my memory and I would remember what I was looking for.
I was walking around for a good half an hour, then eventually I gave in and rang Liz to find out what she wanted me to get. She couldn’t remember either.
So I walked straight out of the shop relived to finally be leaving this overstimulating environment, but as I approached the door I was stopped by a man in a security uniform.
“Can you empty your pockets sir?” He asked me quietly
“Uh, sure” I empty my pockets “Why?”
“I don’t know where you put the stuff I saw you pick up earlier, but just to let you know I’ve seen you in here before, the cameras have caught you before, and don’t do it again” He said looking at me like I was some common scum.
I said “Okay” and walked out.
I have never shoplifted from that store, and I was not planning on stealing that day. That guy had mistaken my autistic traits as the traits of a hardened criminal.
I took no offence.
I understood that my autism can make me look shifty.
My partner on the other hand was deeply annoyed and told me that I should not have allowed myself to be spoken to in that manner.
I just found it funny that my social awkwardness had been mistaken for criminal cunning.