Can God use autistic people
I know that I have upset people, which makes me sorry and sad, because I never set out to upset people. Two weeks ago I had a massive meltdown. Six days on I am still suffering from the physical repercussions of that. Let me explain what I mean by meltdown: With me it manifests in what looks like rage, but anger mostly has no part in it. It is because my brain is over full. Triggers include my light sensitivity, noises from lots of directions at once, and others common to autistic people, being stressed, anxious or frightened. Anger can be a trigger, but it is never anger on its own. I cope very well with anger when I am not having a meltdown. Last week anger was one of the triggers, but it was mostly fear.
Anger I can manage, melt down I cannot, and neither can most autistic people, meltdowns I have to go through.I was still going through it the next day. It has taken me six days to be able to think back on it rationally. Reliving meltdowns are a major cause of me having meltdowns. Bad meltdowns affect me physically as well as mentally. I got lower gut cramps on and off for eight days after that last meltdown. If I could avoid melting down, believe me I would.
Because my brain was overloaded I am unable to control how I act in a meltdown. People react to fear in one of three ways, by hitting back, retreating or going silent for their own safety. Other autistic people may curl up on a ball in a corner and shake when they melt down, others do not melt down but shut down, unable to communicate properly for days on end. I envy them, at least that hurts no one else and I wish I could direct my meltdowns that way, but my brain is too overloaded, I am unable to control what happens not remember what has happened or what I have said. From what I have been told what I say, or more likely yell, is not what I actually think. I am sure that I hurt people, and I am sorry. Meltdowns should not be treated as anger they are closer to epileptic seizures than to anger, telling an epileptic person to pull themselves together mid-seizure does not help, neither does it help telling an autistic person to calm down mid melt-down.
Yet as a Christian that has not stopped God from using me. Not despite my autism, but because of it. Being autistic is not as bad as I have made out above because I do not spend my life in recovery from melt-downs or under stress, carrying sunglasses and ear plugs (other autistic people may prefer noise cancelling headphones) cuts out two of the main triggers, over bright and flickering lighting and ambient noise. What is described by the psychologists as autism is not an accurate account of how we live but haw we react under stress and I am not usually stressed. But my mind is wired differently to neuro-typical people. I think differently.
But God accepts me as I am, autism and all, disability and all. Sadly not all Christians do the same. They will treat you as second class if you do not fit into their,not God’s standards. I have been told I do not have faith in God because my disability has not been healed when they prayed, I have even received prayer to cast out my autism, these people cannot seem to understand that victim blaming is not the will of God,not that they are victim blaming.
God accepts me as I am and uses me as I am. That does not mean that there have not been things that needed changing, there still are, but these are things that can be changed, I do not believe that God wants to change my neuro-diversity. There are times when God has used me despite that, I am poor at reading people’s emotions yet have been used to comfort people, a phrase I have used over coffee has stayed with someone for years as God speaking to people,and at times that has been at a time when I was feeling spiritually low. I have mulled this over,and have come to realise that great spirituality is not what God requires, just that people are available for God to use them.