Anyone who has even read a Twitter post from me will probably know I am a massive fan of Disney. They’re somewhat problematic, that’s not something I’m going to pretend isn’t a thing, but overall they’re the only thing really that helps calm my severe anxiety. They have helped me through difficult things. They are very well made and put together (especially Pixar, and especially Inside Out).
I’m not sure if anyone else has made this connection. Maybe there isn’t a connection and this is just me being a bit mental. Quite early on in this movie, Violet says “I want to BE normal” and this always pulls on my heart strings. Before I get onto this next part, it might be helpful to give a little back story.
When I was a child, I always got told and told myself Autism is my superpower! It helped get me through the hell in my head and the bullying, so who cares if it’s delusional. I loved how I can and could feel more than other people. I loved how I used logic before emotion. I love how quickly I can learn. Etc, etc. It really helped me love who I was by thinking it was a power and it was a strength and not a weakness.
Throughout my teenage years, though, I really did suffer with it quite a bit. I wasn’t okay with who I was anymore. My anxiety got worse. I started to develop depression. The bullying got worse. That’s when I made the connection to Violet. I wanted to be normal.
The whole of the movie, to me, is about a multitude of things but one of them is Violet’s journey learning to love who she is and realize her strengths. For example; when she was experiencing feelings of anxiety and inadequacy when she was in the plane and didn’t feel like she could produce a strong enough force field to protect herself and her family. Fast forward, she gains some confidence after a mini battle and protects her brother. Fast forward again, she creates a massive force-field during the battle against the robot without even questioning it or being surprised. She feels empowered by her superpower rather than oppressed by it.
It helped me a lot throughout my teenage years. You’d think by sixteen I would stop thinking it as a superpower, but I didn’t. I somewhat still do. Autism made me who I am. Like I said before, I’m capable of feeling such strong emotion that other people simply don’t understand. I’m typically more logical than the average person. I’m far more empathetic and sympathetic than I think I would have been had I not been born autistic. It’s such a strong part of my identity that, like Violet, I wouldn’t really know who I am without it and I wouldn’t feel special without it. And, like Violet, it causes distress sometimes. Sometimes, I think I’d rather be without it. What kind of good would that thinking do me though when I couldn’t get rid of it, even if I wanted to?
Moral here: Violet is unappreciated and never ever feel ashamed for who you are because you are incredible. And you should know that.