As if I Shouldn’t be this Way
My head is fine – I checked: it’s good.
I tapped – knock, knock: knock, knock on wood.
I wondered what you thought was ailing:
Too honest? too thoughtful? too dreamy? too feeling?
I made a list. What is the worst?
How am I wrong? What should come first?
Too Not Like Everybody Else, but how?
In subtle ways that hardly show.
Fitting this world while I’m told I’m not.
A puzzle piece, apparently, not finding a slot.
You’re puzzled by me and you think it’s a shame.
But it’s just your brain not getting my brain.
Language chosen to hurt and label.
To create a discourse: ‘You are not able’.
Words not chosen with thought or care
Problems invented that are not there.
‘Don’t be like you, be like me,’ you say
As if I shouldn’t be this way.
But this way is me. Work harder to like it.
Instead of teaching me to fight it.
Take your “Disorder”, your “Disability”,
Stick it up your arse. Don’t apply it to me.
Years of burn-out now ensue.
From thinking I should be like you.
I own my mind, my thoughts, my brain.
No two humans should be the same.
When space and light and peace are mine,
I really couldn’t be feeling more fine.
A blend of individuality that makes up me.
I only see fault with society.
Don’t bother that you can’t make me fit
That there is my problem. That really is it.
Surviving this negativity is quite a feat.
See? – I’m whole and complete.
Autism awareness month (April) is upon us again. For hundreds of thousands of autistics – particularly we adults who are able to “own” our own autism and do not have to suffer at the hands of well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) non-autistic “experts”, the Autism Speaks awareness campaign is a harmful and insulting campaign with unpalatable ideas of a cure, and focusses on insulting and distressing notions of faults and fixes rather than the education and acceptance that society needs.
Please don’t be “autism aware”. Please don’t “Light it up blue”. If you do, you clearly still have A LOT to learn. Please educate yourself with the words of autistic people themselves. We are all different and we have a lot of experience to pass on.