Another key feature of my autism is my inability to compartmentalize.
What is compartmentalizing, or compartmentalization?
“In psychology, compartmentalization is defined as a defense mechanism where someone suppresses their thoughts and emotions. It is not always done consciously but this can often justify or defend a person’s level of engagement in certain behaviors.”
An example would be a man who leaves his office at 6pm and decides not to think about work for the remainder of the day so he can enjoy his time with his family.
I do not.
My inability to compartmentalize means what happens to me when I am employed and what has attracted my attention interferes with my personal life. I am still thinking about work when I am away from my job. I am still thinking about work when I was at a Big Bear Oktoberfest this one year when… all of a sudden, a woman notices my face and says, “Wow, you are a serious person.”
This is one of the major reasons why I do not work a regular job like everyone else so that way my obsessions from work stop getting in the way of living my life. It is why I am self employed and working with the Human Library.
Is it pro or a con to not be able to compartmentalize?
As long as I am in the position to tackle what I am not compartmentalizing, I am quite capable of being a great asset for a company. When I do corporate events with the Human Library, I have had two “Wow” moments by simply hearing me say that I do not compartmentalize.
I am not the only person with autism that has the inability to compartmentalize. Greta Thunberg is a famous person with autism who is not able to compartmentalize, and what she did not compartmentalize is the climate crisis. Her “Fridays For Future” sparked a global climate strike movement where the children of the world are calling for action to the climate crisis, which lead to Greta winning Time’s “Person of the Year” in 2019.
Our inability to compartmentalize can make a difference.
Compartmentalization is a challenge to deal in a business atmosphere. I strongly suggest businesses and corporations to value having people with autism and our inability to compartmentalize to be on your teams. On the other hand, it all begins when we get in at the ground floor.
My problem with employment begins when people compartmentalize what I bring up. Employment is not going to work for me if the issues I find are not addressed; ignoring the issues only creates my disability.
Am I truly disabled though? When my inability to compartmentalize means I am going to be able to help a business address their problems.