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Version Thirteen

Test Crap

30 April 2022
To Authorities From My Past,

Some of you receiving this letter may not remember me; some may remember me very well. For all of you, you were an authority figure at some point in my life: a teacher, a coach, a work supervisor. I apologize in advance if I used an inappropriate method (e.g., a professional e-mail) to contact you, but I did the best I could with what I had to work with.

Earlier this month, I learned that I have autism. I had about seven months of preparation for learning that, from the time I started to explore it until the time I got a diagnosis, and I've spent quite some time thinking about what I would do if I learned this. One thing I decided quickly is that I would not be closeted about this; on the contrary, I really wanted people to know. Part of that was coming up with a list of people who I specifically wanted to tell, for one reason or another. This is a result of one of those lists.

In a way, I guess, this is a sort of apology. I think all of you reading this ran into situations with me that I didn't understand, and had experiences where I did or didn't do something that didn't fit your expectations. This is part of why. It's not an excuse; it's a reason. I'm not asking any of you to have retrospectively treated me differently, nor am I trying to say that anything I did wrong wasn't wrong. What I do know, and what I want you to know, is that I see things differently (and always have), and in ways I didn't know were different for, oh, about 45 years.

I know I've disappointed some, possibly all, of you at some points. Sometimes I didn't know how or why; sometimes I did but couldn't seem to fix it. I decided to blast this information like this because I don't want you to think that I was intentionally incompetent, or obstinate, or apathetic, or whatever it looked like to a neurotypical observer. I thought I was neurotypical for 45 years; learning I am not is an adjustment, and this is part of the adjusting.

If you want to disregard everything I've said here, that's fine. I don't want to force any of you to say or do anything. I wanted to give you the opportunity to know this about me, and possibly to think differently. If you wish to share this information with someone else I may have missed, feel free to do so; as I said before, I don't want to be closeted about this, because not knowing or understanding this about myself has certainly never helped me, and I don't imagine it has ever helped anyone else, either.


Jason Elliot Benda