In the eyes of society/the government, I am considered disabled, so my situation is both complicated and unique. If I were neurotypical, I would never have been able to pursue my education (my student loans were forgiven because I can’t hold a “real” job or function like a “normal” person. I could never afford to be a full-time writer if I didn’t have Asperger’s, but if I didn’t have Asperger’s, I probably wouldn’t BE a writer and it would be a moot point anyway. Yet… I am at a very distinct disadvantage when it comes to money—if I can’t publish my books and become financially independent, I’m basically screwed up the ass when the day comes that I no longer have my parents (our living situation is mutually beneficial—they get a live-in housekeeper/farmhand, and I get a place to stay). I mean, if it weren’t for them, I’d probably be living in a cardboard box under a bridge already. I can’t understate the impact, both good and bad, that my disability has had on my life; it gave me the freedom to choose art, but in a sense, I have to live vicariously through my art because I don’t get to experience life as a “normal” person. Oscar Wilde once said “She lives the poetry she cannot write,” but I guess I write the poetry I cannot live, haha. That’s just one story and one perspective, though, and it’s a real tragedy that so many truly gifted people do not have the financial means to pursue their dreams and become artists.

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