A while back, Joel of NTs Are Weird had a post about how police treat you differently once they find out you’re autistic. I responded with a comment about the way police treat me once they find out I’m blind. Ever since I started going places on my own, I’ve had the fear of encountering the police. It happened often when I got lost and walked the same path twice, but there were several occasions when I knew perfectly well where I was going and, as far as I could tell, hadn’t done anything unusual except for walking while blind.
It’s more complicated now. I think I myself told the police that I’m autistic and used to be in the mental health system in Apeldoorn – that is, I told the Nijmegen police. I don’t know how the Apeldoorn police found out, but they know. I think I never should’ve told them so. Not because the police got me committed to the psychiatric hospital – being suicidal is a reason for hospitalization even for people with no former psychiatric contact -, but because, when I can go out on the streets alone again, my reputation will forever follow me, and I’ll be seen as “wandering” even sooner than I was when I still lived in Apeldoorn and hadn’t had anything to do with mental health.
Another thing is that everyone believes the police can judge a person’s state accurately. At least, the people here believe so, even though the police were told off by the psychiatric emergency service – presumably the people who can judge one’s state accurately – twice. Consequently, getting involved with the police indicates the seriousness of my behavior – while simply walking while blind could’ve gotten the police involved.