January 17, 2021

These days, it seems like nearly everyone objects to the fairytale trope of a damsel in distress. “I’d rather rescue myself,” one singer says, with many echoing the sentiment.

I do rescue, protect, and provide for myself. But it’s no adventure.

For me, adventure happens in the moments when I can find help, when I feel sheltered and cared for, when my mind can rest at ease – safe from requirements, judgments, and jolts. Then, my imagination can blossom beyond survival mode.

I play the part of a strong, independent protagonist because I have to, not because it makes me come alive.

Others crave the very dangers that I flee. Perhaps they imagine that I’m driven by apathy or fear – but these are not my reasons. I want to save my strength for what matters most to me.

Fragility is not immoral, and neither is receiving help. The less effort I spend fighting the forces of sensory overload and executive dysfunction, the more I can spend creating a beautiful life.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.