Poetry: Unmasking as Autistic Pride

This article was originally published at The Aspergian.

in the world we live in,
we are told the following things
over
and over
and over
again:

“get up.”

“try harder.”

“use your words.”

“speak louder.”

“stop whining.”

“you’re fine!”

“just ignore it.”

“stay seated.”

“don’t talk.”

“stop moving.”

“be quiet.”

“life’s

      not

              fair.”

“get used to it.”

and in that world,
i now have to learn
how to recognize the following thoughts
(because i was taught
that i was wrong about them):

“i am uncomfortable.”

“i don’t understand this.”

“this is too loud.”

“i am too cold.”

“i am too hot.”

“i am too tired.”

“i can’t ignore this.”

“i can’t do this.”

“i need to leave.”

“i need to stay home.”

“i don’t have to do this.”

“i don’t owe the world.”

and that means
that you might see
me do the following:

cover my ears when it’s too loud
cover my eyes when it’s too bright
hold my nose when something smells bad
use blankets and extra clothes when I’m cold
take clothes off when I’m hot

sleep when i’m expected to be awake
sit when i’m expected to stand
stay silent when i’m expected to talk (or laugh)
talk (or laugh) when i’m expected to stay silent
furrow my brows when i’m expected to smile

take a long time to answer
take a long time to get to the point
hide when i don’t want to talk
stay at home if i need to
leave when i’m uncomfortable

look away when i’m expected to look at you
get loud when i’m expected to be quiet

make sounds you don’t understand
use language you don’t understand
use my body in ways you don’t understand
react to things in ways you don’t understand

I will do things differently.

I won’t be stopped
by arbitrary rules of what is normal
if my normal
doesn’t hurt anyone
and your normal
hurts me.

So you get used to it.

Published by

Michelle Sara

I make it my full-time job to improve my understanding of myself and others, question unchallenged perceptions of normality, and identify value in what I have to offer. I aim to promote harmony between us all, including nature, as I pursue autonomy and sustainability for myself.

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