Confessions of an Autistic Disnerd
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Confessions of an Autistic Disnerd

Who Doesn't Love Disney?

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Confessions of an Autistic Disnerd
Rachel Whitman

Having grown up watching Disney, one would expect me to be a Disney fan. Who isn’t? Well, a few people I know, but that’s beside the point. I dare to bet that one would not expect is for it to be an obsession of mine. My Asperger’s Syndrome would be to blame.

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was in the third grade. At the time, it was classified as a form of Autism. With the DSM-V out recently, it isn’t anymore, from what I heard, but since it was when I was diagnosed as an Aspergirl, I have and most likely always will classify as an Autistic.

Because I’m an Aspergirl, I went to a school for kids with neurological dysfunctions such as Asperger’s Syndrome, other forms of Autism, ADD, ADHD, OCD (I think), ODD, dyslexia, and the like. Since males are more prone to these dysfunctions than females are, and I am one of the statistically few females to have such a condition, I went to a mostly boy school.

The guys I grew up with in that school during my nine years at that school, from the fourth grade up until I graduated high school, did not make me feel like I belonged. Unless it was a chaperoned event (with not that many guys in attendance) I never hung out with anybody. For three of those years, (fourth grade, junior year, senior year), I was the only girl in my class. The two girls in the class ahead of me either hated my guts for no good reason or just didn’t interact with anyone that much. The girls in the class behind me rarely talked at all. Any of the other girls in the high school in my senior year would most likely unknowingly make me feel worthless, then tell me a week later I looked nice with a hint of sinister in their voice or didn’t care I was alone. I didn’t really have any friends. The only people I really talked to consistently in high school were my ex, the theater kid, or the guy I ended up dating for the last three months of my senior year. The other five guys only talked to me when it was convenient for them. For example, they would be arguing with another one of the guys. The guy I’m talking about in the first place was technically correct, so to say, but the guy they were arguing with was actually correct. The first guy would ask me, “Hey, Rachel, who’s right in this argument?”

I would be wanting to say, “Well, while *first guy* is correct, technically, *second guy* is actually correct,” but I could get no more than, “Well, *first guy* is correct,” tripping over my own words, forgetting to say the word “while”, before the first would say, “Okay, thanks!” and I was invisible to them again. Great!

Disney was my escape. I would always talk about Disney when asked about it or was reminded of it when it related to something someone else was saying. I would write fan-fiction plays about what happened after my favorite characters’ movies ended. I had figured out who in my class was who in the Disney Universe, such as the theater kid being Phoebus from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," my ex being Flynn Rider from "Tangled" if Flynn had black hair, the only black kid in the class being Naveen from "The Princess and the Frog" had Naveen not gotten rid of his attitude, etc. I was always singing Disney songs in my head, especially “Under The Sea” from "The Little Mermaid" after I went on the cruise I talked about in “Reflection Of A Disney Cruise”, even though I don’t like that movie.

From what I remember, most, if not all, of the movies I had seen up to the point I started dating the Flynn Rider lookalike guy were Disney animated movies, besides the Shrek movies. When I was young, my mother would hear me scream, “POPPY!” and knew I wanted to see Mary Poppins. She would hear me and my sister singing “Winnie the poop” and put in Winnie the Pooh for us to watch. My sister always wanted to watch The Little Fur-maid, since Ariel was the only character to look like her at that time in her opinion. She didn’t care about Jessie from Toy Story 2. This is my personal opinion, but Merida should have been designed with green eyes. But the weirdest connection my mother made with my sister and me wanting to watch movies is when I wanted to watch Pocahontas. For some reason I can’t remember, I would tell her I wanted to see “Hogit”, pronounced as (garden) hoe, and what I’ve heard to be “get” in the stereotypical redneck dialect, in one word, and she knew to put in Pocahontas.

I was especially obsessed with the Disney Princesses. I was 18 years old, and obsessed with things for young girls, I know. That’s technically not that good, but I know the difference between fantasy and reality, unlike my sister, it seems. For years, my favorite princess was a tie between Snow White and Cinderella, because I felt like I was the slave in my household. That wasn’t and isn’t true, but back before January of 2011, I felt that way.

Then I watched Tangled for the first time. Thank the Lord those kids I talked about in my coming to see Tangled story in the last article I wrote, “Reflections of a Disney Cruise”, stopped me when they did. After I saw Tangled, I realized, “I’m not the slave of the household… I’m trapped!” What I meant by that is, I lived a very sheltered lifestyle due to my parents’ upbringing. I felt like Rapunzel. I even wrote a poem for my Creative Writing class that semester titled “Tangled In A Normal Life”. For the next few years, I kept talking about how I wanted to “break out of this shell my parents have trapped me in”. My parents found out and asked me to stop talking about that. I did, but only when they could find out. I kept wanting to have my own stepping out of my comfort zone the day before my 18th birthday. The stepping out of my comfort zone was when I came to Bethany this past August, after I had been 19 for four months already.

Then comes the next point. I’m sure pretty much everybody is sick of the hype, maybe even angry with Disney for making a second one, but I have to talk about this point.

Frozen.

This one really stuck with me because of several reasons.

For one thing, I am the eldest of two girls, as Elsa is.

Another thing, my sister is a redhead, as Anna is, though I beg to differ on Anna’s part. If Anna’s hair is classified as strawberry blonde, and my mother calls her a redhead, yet according to her, my strawberry blonde hair didn’t make me a redhead when I was born, how in the world is strawberry blonde a shade of red hair?

Third, which is the weirdest out of the first three, my sister’s legal name is in the Dutch language. I am not going to put out her full name, but her middle name is Anne. Yes, it looks like you would pronounce it as “and” without the letter d at the end, but it is pronounced the same as Princess Anna of Arendelle’s is.

Fourth, I felt the need to let it go, as Elsa did. I had been hiding who I really was for so long. The kids in my class knew me as the goody-two-shoes who could never do anything wrong. For example, later that school year, when I went to the local amusement park with my boyfriend, I couldn’t find my car when we were trying to leave, and he was surprised that I cursed in frustration. Come on, Denton! I had been in the same class as your elementary school best friend Peyton for eight and a half years by then, and you would think I wouldn’t curse! But “unfortunately” (depending on your point of view), the most rebellious thing I did after that was have a dress down day after all my dress down passes had been used, and said the principal had told me to, as my mother told me to do. That resulted in me crying in hysteria for about an hour. I thought, in my 18 year old, didn’t know any better, kind of lovesick, ready to be out of this freaking school, mind, my mother had set me up. She was happy I did it. Had I known she set me up, I wouldn’t have done that.

ONTO a different topic before I start complaining about my home life, then I met a girl at my work who was obsessed with what I would have considered “dark” things. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Loki/Tom Hiddleston, dragons (the Lord of the Rings kind, not the DreamWorks Dragons kinds), etc. Had I not met her, I would not have come up with my Halloween costume this past year.

She was obsessed with this “Tom Hiddleston actor guy” in late 2013. I told myself I would never find out who this guy was. Little did I know that I had already seen a movie of his back that time of 2011, War Horse. She was also obsessed with Loki Laufeyson. The most I was interested in this Loki Laufeyson character at the time was, “Is his name pronounced like ‘I low-key want to do something’” (not that that phrase was a trend in that time) “or the pet name ‘Lukey?’” because I had heard it both ways.

I left that job in June of 2014 for reasons too long to explain and came back to that job in August or September of that same year. She was still working there. At one point in the middle of October, she was talking to a customer about how Hiddleston was voicing a young Captain Hook in one of the upcoming Disney Fairy movies. Like I cared.

That late October or early November, I created my first tumblr account, which I had to delete at a later point for reasons I forget. As I was looking at topics I could follow, I saw that Tom Hiddleston was an option. I thought, “Ehh, what the heck? Can’t hurt to take a look, can it?” I realized that I was wrong about not becoming a Tom Hiddleston fan and about looking at posts about him at the same time. But the latter was a good mistake. I’ve been a fan since.

My point is coming soon, I swear.

Mid-March of 2015, I started becoming a fan of Loki Laufeyson. The only reason I remember the "exact" time is because I became a fan of the Norse god of mischief right around the time I became a fan of Pentatonix. I remember I became a fan of Pentatonix in mid-March of 2015 because the first song I heard of theirs was in that month, but it was a Christmas song. Back on topic... I like Loki. He fits some of my physical, quote-unquote “criteria”, for lack of a better term, for guys I find attractive: dark, long for a guy hair, light eyes, taller than me. I’m more of a personality type girl, but I’m getting off topic again. I say I like Loki, but I prefer to see him getting beat up by the Avengers than seeing him win. Does that make any sense?

Back around August of 2015, I decided what I wanted my Halloween costume to be. Around that time, I started shipping Loki with Elsa. I had created these original characters that were their kids. In my fan-fictions, their eldest looks like a Lady Loki, but has the personality of Elsa. Her name is Jennica. It’s old Norse, so I’m confused on if it’s pronounced similar to Jennifer, or with the old Norse J sounding like an American English Y similar to how it’s used in the word canyon. I’ve been saying it similar to Jennifer for so long, I go with that. I was her for Halloween. My costume is in the picture for this article.

I’m excited to see Moana this Thanksgiving. With no more Hunger Games movies coming out any time soon, this is the next best thing. Why did Suzanne Collins write only three books in that series? There’s a whole lot of potential. I’m getting off topic yet again. For once, it looks like Disney has created a character who looks even remotely close to realistic than other Disney animated human female characters. I don’t know if it’s because she’s a Polynesian, for I’ve heard that Tiana is unrealistically skinny for a black woman, but Moana looks more like a realistic human than any other Disney animated human female character I've seen.

I’ve bored you long enough with my confessions, so I best be wrapping this up.

I love Disney. I hope nothing will ever change that, for they have a lot more stuff to make, and I want to see it all…

well, most of it…

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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