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Who ARE you, Anyway?

I realized I never made an introduction post, so: HELLO!

My name is Miya. Pronounced like Mia, not Maya. You know, like from Princess Diaries. I'll answer to both though; I'm used to it. I usually give up after a couple of corrections and accept my fate. There are people I've known for years who still don't know that my name isn't Maya. Oh well. This is probably the least awkward way to tell them, right…?

ANYWAYS, welcome to my silly world. I love Pokemon, Naruto, Persona 5, rock music, petting cats and building upon my nerdy island in Animal Crossing. And lots of other stuff. If you know me, this probably isn't news to you because I talk about them. A lot.

But on a more serious note, I am a late-diagnosed autistic woman and an aspiring author. I became a Christian at age 14 after a miraculous and unexpected encounter with God, after experiencing perhaps the most heartbreaking incident of my life. And no, not in a romantic sense. Unknowingly growing up with autism meant I was just weird, incompetent, lazy, stupid, useless and other affectionate labels like those; and supposedly for no reason. I was just a bad person and occasional punching bag who didn't belong anywhere.

Except for one place: the internet.

I was a teen and was finally making friends! Who cares if we've never met? That's how I liked it! These people were great. One of them became the most valuable relationship with another human being that I'd ever had up to that point. My hope for life. The only thing keeping me going. Until years later when they banished me from their life and said I was never liked in the first place. It was all an act; just like almost every other time in my life when people were nice to me. Always an illusion. Sometimes I could see through it and sometimes I couldn't. The former was always less painful.

Did I mention that at the time I had become a hateful, mean, bitter person who also had to act the part of being nice in order to survive? I can't tell you how much I hated people and wished horrible things upon them. I constantly told myself that I didn't need anyone since I wasn't wanted anyways, and therefore didn't care about being unpleasant.

That was before God reached out to me and changed my heart forever. Seriously, it was overnight in a lot of ways. No joke. Miracle after miracle happened for me, and though I still struggle with things, I know I won't go back to the way I was before. I can't. I've fallen in love with my Maker and have been filled with His Spirit.

These days I'm on a journey of fighting my long-held self-loathing and learning how God loves me as an autistic person when the world doesn't.

This is like, the tiniest snippet of my story. It's a very long one, which is why I've literally written a book about it. It wasn't just me being like, "Hey world! Look at me! Look at how cool my life is!" Nah. Who would want to read that, anyway? It's to, of course, bring glory to God, and also to encourage and inspire. There are countless autistic women and autistic Christians out there who feel unheard, unvalued, like they don't belong or like they're terrible people. I feel that. So hard. I want to be a voice for such people, assuring them that they're not alone and not shameful. Fight the lies. Even though many people and society as a whole don't always value folks like us, God does. More than we could ever imagine. We are part of a family. We are worthy.

Consider this a preface. As I'm in the querying trenches, prayers and support are greatly appreciated! I hope that someday soon I'll get to share the entire story and a lot more perspective.

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