Growing Up in Star Trek

I’ve been watching Star Trek since 1995 when I was 11. It became my #ActuallyAutistic special interest and still is today. From around that age I was considered a geek at school and not popular. I struggled to make any friends except other Star Trek fans.

It’s fair to say a lot of my psychosocial development in adolescence came from Star Trek. You could say Star Trek messed me up. Though I doubt I would have achieved a degree without it. I didn’t have a father at home.

My late Mother struggled financially as she only worked part time. She had a undiagnosed heart condition. She looked after my granparents.She had a few relationships that weren’t healthy that sometimes needed my input. In hindsight me and my late stepdad believe she was autistic.

I see Star Trek, particularly Captain Picard as a fatherly figure. I think in the end that show was my saviour. It held something together that was struggling for a long time.Getting me through education. It’s only once I reached the workplace I realised how fragile I was.

In my reality, bigotry, classism, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discrimination was in the past like in Star Trek. When I encountered it at school I just assumed the children were just being children. Adults claimed they didn’t have such attributes so I believed them.

Once I entered the workplace I soon was hit with the true reality. Adults aren’t nice to each other. I also faced the issue where I couldn’t be a young junior anymore. I was supposed to be more adaptable and participate in a more group think way of being.

In my line of work I was a junior programmer. I was good.I got quick pay rises and even an Xbox for great effort. I was happy to be left alone with the computer. Increasingly though I was expected to direct other people and deal with difficult tasks. I couldn’t manage my manager.

My age was my kryptonite. As I got older more was expected socially of me and I couldn’t deliver.A similar thing has happened to me as a Gay man.More Men would be interested in me as I was younger and more tolerable for youthful inexperience.I got a rude awakening to the world.

I haven’t made a complete recovery in terms of career since my first breakdown in 2010.I was 26. In some ways that isn’t just me but capitalism.The treadmill is going too fast now and I can’t catch up.I am best suited to isolated roles that our economy doesn’t offer in abundance.

I’m still watching Star Trek because they are like family to me. It’s soothing to me. Especially now my family are dead. I recognise now that it isn’t much like what we have today except perhaps the technology. Star Trek gives me hope that one day the future will be different.