SO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT AUTISM IS LIKE?

I know there is a protest by Autistics Against Autism and I understand.  I, too, object to the way we are all grouped together or treated as if we are a disease that needs to be eradicated.  I suppose, since I come from a time before autism was diagnosed and lived in a vacuum, not knowing what was wrong, I appreciate any information that has arisen since the birth of Google.  We are all different.  This poem is ME!  Not Joe Blow, not Jane Doe!  My particular experience.  Love and Peace to us all…

 

Autism is standing still while

Everyone runs for the cliff edge

And you want to know why

Before joining them

But the surge pushes you down

And they thunder across your back

And you’re bloody but not broken

Because the rage keeps you sane

 

Autism is always being chosen

To be

The Cheese

In Farmer in the Dell

The Cheese stands alone

In the middle of the circle

As baby classmates point and sing

And you cry

But the next year you don’t cry

You will never let them break you

At least they won’t know

You care

 

Autism is getting it wrong when a boy flirts

Confusion from what he means

Interpreted by his ego

Thinking you’re indifferent

To his oh-so-obvious charms

And he hates you

 

Autism is being nice to a boy

Who seems like a friend

But not realizing

His ego cannot allow someone like you

To be kind

i.e., flirt (must be, he reasons)

And he hates you

For showing interest in his

Oh-so-obvious charms

 

Yet autism is like everyone else

Loving friends and movies

Books and games

Dreaming of being asked

To the prom

And buying a dress

To transform the lightning and thunder

Into rainbows of love, peace and happiness

 

Autism is loving sex and drugs and rock and roll

But luckily learning that drugs can take you

Where you don’t want to go

Because you can’t come back

But some nights you think

Maybe that’s not bad

What’s to come back to?

Only thunder and lightning and rain

 

Autism is when married

Choosing a dysfunctional like you

Yet he becomes an adversary

Family and friends roll their eyes

And laugh when he reveals your secrets

Meant only for him

It’s not like you’re barking like a dog

Or flapping your hands

Everything looks “normal”

But there must be some type of invisible mark

That all can see

Except me

 

What do they see?

What did I do?

What did I say?

 

Answers? No, so

Although I’ve never been a head banger

I want to badly butt

My head against theirs

Make them see

I’m like them

I am!

But I don’t know what to say

My tongue gets in the way

 

Children come

One is finally labeled

“Somewhat autistic”

What does that mean?

No information

Never heard the word before

No idea I am

We’re all so different

But children raised

In the offbeat way

AKA, autistic

And their lives

Get drenched in different shades of rain

Thunder, lightning

Mudslides

 

What is Autism?

 

Autism is traffic jams

Oncoming headlights in

A foggy, dark night

Thunder drowning out your heartbeat

Automobile stereo’s bass line ripping through your brain

 

Autism is thunder in your soul

As rain pours from your eyes

And lightning jerks your strings

 

Autism is knowing you are safest locked alone

In your room

Where no one can hurt you

But the curse is

Like everyone else

You crave society…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), from my book Miniature Worlds Sublime

IMAGE: zmescience.com

 

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13 comments

  1. That was beautifully written. I raised a step son with aspergers syndrome, another label under the umbrella. i always wished I could crawl inside his head and see and hear the world as he does and think the way he though with the peculiar mannerisms and his inability to understand the body language of that I took so easily for granted. He’s 30 now and living on his on do the thing he likes most in the world – Being able to work for years with the stage show of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Las Vegas. In his pictures he is surrounded by laughing people who enjoy his company. i hope he is happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sonni! Sounds like your step son is living a fantastic life, doing what he loves! Years ago (aside from wanting to be a non-druggie Dead Head) I wanted to be the nutritionist/juicing maid for the Stones…LOL, no matter what they inhaled, looks like their DNA kicked in and made them strong anyway 🙂

      Like

  2. This s a wonderful poem and helps me gain more insight.

    I have a very good friend who discovered he was autistic only last year, aged 37. He is married with 2 children and a high paid technical architect job. But putting that label on seemed to put him in some sort of mental cupboard and he has withdrawn from many of his friend and colleagues.

    I loved him as a friend and knew he was different and the diagnosis was no surprise, But its altered him and I feel I’ve lost a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very shocking to receive the diagnosis at that age. I was about the same age and although my oldest son was also diagnosed at the same time, I promptly went into complete denial about myself because I was nothing like him. So fast-forwarding to recently, when I accepted my autism (so much of that was now having the internet and an amazing amount of neurodivergent literature), I “came out” by mentioning it in my writing and lost friends! I never had that many friends, but was stunned that people would reject me. That may be one of the fears your friend is facing. Another can be, at least for me, the guilt that my son is autistic because of my genetics. Perhaps he is worried for his own children? I hope for his sake, and yours, that he will come full circle and open himself up to those who truly care. I try to bring humor into some of the “weird” stuff I sometimes say and do. In some ways, it is a relief to know that I have a reason for it! But I also see that I’m not all that much different than neurotypical people and that is comforting. Thanks for reading and commenting on my poem!

      Like

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