The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos!
Where to start?
Imagine your whole life you’ve been walking around without any understanding of who you are, why you do things, why others seem to hate you for doing things, why you’ve been constantly excluded… Hated by people for being you, including those who are supposed to love you, denied and gaslight by people who were supposed to teach you things, made to believe you are stupid, and broken.
Then one day someone says: “Hey I get you, I fundamentally understand who you are as a person”.
The ripples become tidal waves of understanding…
Then you feel less alone. Then you start learning from a group of these people about ways to deal with the negative stuff you actually want to change.
You understand that feeling things too much sometimes is a common trait.
You understand why you had a “mental breakdown” that you couldn’t explain that seemed to pull you into a void where there seemed like there was no escape.
You believe that you are not insane. You start moving away from the void… each day a little further from it. The crushing anxiety still wanting you to return.
You read the work of a 13 year old non-speaking Autistic teenager named Naoki Higashida, and realise that everything that you know about “severe” Autism is wrong, and that you are definitely Autistic.
You find out that everything you ever knew about Autism in general is wrong. It’s based on bad science and it’s being used to make the lives of Autistic children hell.
You each day learn some new incredible information about a special interest of someone – who has a highly detailed knowledge of that area.
You start to realise how many Autistic people are around you but don’t realise. Musicians, doctors, scientists, friends, family.
Everything that you hated about the world because it seemed unfair and unjust is no longer you being sensitive. It’s you being logical and understood.
TW / CW // suicide
You go from writing this poem in the middle of Autistic Burnout when on suicide watch in hospital:
Black dogs at the door
Have begun howling like wolves
We’re not safe here anymore
Fang and sinew marches in
The sanctum is breached
Everything’s all falling down
They leave nowhere unreached
Fate so cruelly marches in
Now we’re all out of quiet
Only screams in this place
All we did was deny it
Forever darkness marches in
Dawn breaks oh so silent
Muted light seeping through
It somehow seems violent
There’s nothing left to march in.
To writing this poem…
Forever floating in an ocean
Drifting among the waves
Always night and I am alone
Treading water for survival
“You don’t even float correctly”
I hear their voices in my head
I feel wrong for living
Often I’ve been told to quit
I swim but only find darkness
I seek refuge on a passing boat
Only to be given
An anchor by the captain
I keep swimming
If I don’t I’ll die here
I still want to swim
Don’t I deserve to be on land?
I’m starting to believe them
I’m the burden they made me
When a voice cries out
Figures in the distance
They are calling to me
I start toward them
My anchor catches often
Waves break on top of me
I choke and splutter
Might it be too late?
My arms are tired, my body broken
But their voices are louder now
This new hope renews me
Dreaming of the day break
As I cast aside my anchor
And join them on the shore
I am standing on ground now. I am no longer drowning, some days I still end up swimming, but I know the shore is there for me always, and people who will help me if I ask.
Thank you #ActuallyAutistic community. I’ll never stop giving back by increasing awareness, research, and driving for better acceptance.
Thank you for making me proud.
Drowning was awful… I am no longer surviving, I am beginning to thrive – I hope I can help others see this too. I still have struggles, meltdowns, have to explain myself endlessly to other people… but I know always… they are there for me.
Daily blog challenge
I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:
Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:
- Day 1 – Introduction
- Day 2 – What I love about being Autistic is…
- Day 3 – My diagnosis/discovery story
- Day 4 – Reactions to “coming out
- Day 5 – Special Interests
- Day 6 – Supports and Appreciation
- Day 7 – The Autistic Community
- Day 8 – Favorite Autistic Blog
- Day 9 – Favourite Autistic-owned Business
- Day 10 – Sensory Life
- Day 11 – Stims
- Day 12 – Favorite Autism-charity
- Day 13 – Family
- Day 14 – Routine
- Day 15 – Everyone should know…
- Day 16 – Work/School
- Day 17 – Accommodations
- Day 18 – Someday…
- Day 19 – I hate it when…
- Day 20 – Communication
- Day 21 – One thing other people don’t understand
- Day 22 – Dispel a myth
- Day 23 – Can’t live without…
- Day 24 – Political Issue
- Day 25 – Symbols!
- Day 26 – Favorite Autism book
- Day 27 – Identity Language
- Day 28 – Dealing with meltdowns
- Day 29 – Famous Autistics
- Day 30 – Acceptance means…