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The Autistic "Rune of Punishment"

Updated: Feb 23

A strong young man

(2023 Note: Now that I compared myself to other autists, I've realized I have Asperger's Syndrome, which can be considered part of ASD, or the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, however, am no longer sure if I am indeed an autist, even though I was diagnosed with both Asperger's and ASD. Please, take this article with a grain of salt, as I expect you to do, with any of my articles).

To those who have still not understood: if you find my communication to be bizarre, dramatic, or even condescending, it is not because I intend to sound like that, but because I am autistic. If it weren't for communication therapists, I might as well have remained without the ability of speech for the rest of my life. I am tired of being condemned for things I am not at fault for. Imagine having to speak in some way people find odd, without any possibility of speaking in another fashion.

For this, I like to coin the term, The Curse of Suikoden IV, or, The Autistic Rune of Punishment.

You see, as a child, I rarely communicated with people, and have remained aloof by choice. All I craved was to get back from school and play Suikoden IV, the first time in my life I was exposed to actual depth in a world I hardly understood.

By many, it was a bad game for various reasons, but that specific game has taught me not only to appreciate depth, but to also communicate. It was a roleplaying game about political conflict between nations, but for me, it served as the basic ground for complex communication. If the therapists taught me basic words and sentences, this game taught me the rest, even though it was in a language I needed translation for.

Soon enough, thanks to Suikoden IV, I learned English almost proficiently, with the teachings of school becoming only secondary in their role. In first grade, I only knew a few words, and by sixth grade, I spoke and understood fluent English, and I even set up a guild of over 50 players at its peak in another game.

The game (Suikoden IV) had a feature that I'd like to use as an analogy to my argument — the Rune of Punishment. It was a curse set upon the Hero by mere circumstance (the game cannot be progressed without it, however), and it worked, theoretically, like a mental disorder. Trigger its power, regardless of intention, and you will be punished.

Although a useful weapon, it consumes you until death, and only by death, it can be transferred to another unfortunate soul, who can literally be anyone who is too near to its bearer. It is a non-removable disease, with the power to decimate fleets of ships, at the cost of your health. For myself, I associate this Rune with two elements — my inevitable way of communicating, and my psychological disability (otherwise known as "mental illness").

Whenever I spoke to those who did not see my intentions, they would punish me with their words, scarring my mind. Should I sacrifice my mentality for something, it will deteriorate even further.

At least by these terms exclusively, I am truly cursed; cursed for not doing anything wrong; cursed by genetic and developmental circumstances.

Do you think I like communicating like a soap opera character, that I do it by will — by pretense, by trying to flex? What benefit will such a thing give me, when people tell me to remain quiet, and even mock me through ignorant imitation? It would've been better if I spoke more commonly, but if you are autistic and learned how to express yourself exclusively through a soap-opera videogame — that attempt might not be possible.

I was taught at high school how to speak more commonly, only to forget with time how it is done. A couple of lessons are insufficient. Furthermore, it requires extra effort that might lead to stress and exhaustion for the autistic mind. Having to remember all the time your "role" in the theatre of life is truly stressful; like doing an exam every single day.

To wrap this all up, imagine trying to speak while someone taller than you hugs you so firmly that you are unable to be understood properly when speaking. That is how life has been for me, a never-ending saga of explaining to those who do not understand!

So no, I am not a "Wise Wizard", a "Horrible Writer", or a "Condescending Twat". I suffer from a disability that I never chose. As some are condemned to live in poverty and others undergo traumatic abuse, I am condemned to communicate in a way that I possibly cannot alter.

It will probably never go away, for it has no cure. Only by death will it leave me for good. Should I ever realize that autistic people tend to be more suicidal than others, I won't be surprised.

Some people have such "Runes of Punishment", things that they have without moral justification; things that will not leave them until they die. For one to find if such a "Rune" exists within them, contemplation is imperative.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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