From ActuallyAutistic Wiki

I am sorry if this is inaccurate, and I recognize I have no place to say this but there is a slim possibility, in some cases that you might be Autistic if your statements apologize for even saying anything at all, if you know what I mean. I am sorry if I said too much. I am just trying to be helpful. Please don't take offense. I am... I guess I shouldn't have said anything at all. Forget it. I don't know what I was saying. It was clearly a mistake. I am really really sorry. Please forgive me.

All humor aside, chronic apologizing is a common traumagenic Autistic trait, one that manifests when an Autistic person is mistreated.

This speech pattern develops because the way the Autistic person interacted was repeatedly deemed unacceptable so they assume negative consequences when they talk.

These kinds of traits can easily manifest and snowball (and build upon themselves rapidly) if an Autistic person is not accomodated by society, and society does not have the time or patience to help the Autistic person to understand Allistic behaviors.

In this example, of basically apoligizing for attempting to communicate, the Autistic person has likely been told that they broke various rules, social norms, etiquette, etc. without sufficient explanation for what they did "wrong" from an Allistic viewpoint.

People are largely unaware, but this is one of the most powerful and traumatizing forms of abuse that a human can experience: Random and unpredictable punishment.

People around this Autistic person may have absolutely no intention of harming, punishing, or abusing them, or any negative intetion whatsoever. However, from the perspective of the Autistic persion, whenever they try to communicate, in ways they cannot predict, they are often told they are "doing something bad".

Because the Autistic person in this situation cannot navigate the rules, all they can do is try their best to protect themselves from what they see as random, unpredicatable rejections.

Content warning: difficult topics. This might get uncomfortable. Remember you always have the option to stop reading if it gets overwhelming.

The following descriptions may be triggering, but it's important to put the perspective of this person into full context so that people can understand the harm that some Autistic people experience.

No form of abuse is acceptable.

Many, if not most, forms of abuse are predictable.

For example, if a person is abused by someone who drinks, the victim learns that they are safe when their abuser is not consuming alcohol.

When abuse has patterns, a person can adapt to knowing when they have a higher chance of safety and a higher chance of threat. This allows them to learn situations where they can find some sense of peace and order.

Please note that most Autistic people thrive off of order and predicatable outcomes, and are destroyed by not knowing what to anticipate or expect.

As we said, many if not most forms of abuse have some form of pattern to them that allows for the victim to have a sense of understanding and stability.

Some truly unfortunate Autistic people find themselves in environments where their Autistic empathy and collection of Autistic traits does not allow for them to establish an awareness of Allistic social rules and expectation.

To this person's perspective, many if not all of their attempts to communicate have a random chance of incurring some kind of punishment. So their every desire to communicate comes with the knowledge and awareness that some kind of harm may come to them.

Because anything they say or do could be wrong, the Autistic person's only percieved safety is to preface their attempts with apologies in the hopes that the unpredictable punisment will be less harsh.

The truly sad fact is that most Autistic people have great difficulty communicating with Allistics and need profound focus to emulate Allistic styles of communciation and most Autistics are severely compromised when multi-tasking.

Therefore, this Autistic person is in an extremely compromised state:

  • Attempting the supremely difficult take of emulating Allistic social dynamics to communicate
  • Multitasking -- an attempt to protect themselves from harm and punishment.

In other words, the Autistic person will be doing the hardest things possible for them to do while severly mentally compromised and vunlerable, and they are in this state because their environment and/or Autistic drives are likely to punish them if they fail.

When it is likely that an Autistic person will experience this state regularly, out of instinct they will spend much of their time while outside of this state developing coping mechanism and strategies to not fail the next time, serving only to exacerbate the problem.

This is one example of how powerful, tenacious, insidious, self-propagating, and damaging traumagenic Autistic traits can be, why it is so important to identify when such cycles are occurring, and why accomodating the Autistic is so critical.