Victorious (When You’re Autistic Like Me)

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(Whew. Two book rejections in one day had me feeling down. Then this came along…)

Victorious

In spite of everything they said

Victorious

Even though we only get glory once dead

Victorious

In these poems that are bled

Victorious

In the words that aren’t said

 

Night and day I fight a battle against you

These feelings I have aren’t even close to new

Sometimes I feel so left behind, but you knew

Sly grin, haughty chin, it can’t be true

 

They say they’re active but they’re hardly aware

How I love your lips and the way you do your hair

Caught you by surprise? I see you everywhere

But the will top take your hand, ask you out just isn’t there

 

We’re far more alike than they ever say

But our seismic differences keep getting in the way

I could hope and dream, and I do everyday

But call a timeout, coach I can’t play

 

I like you girl and you would know it

If I had a normal brain that could show it

Talk to you, laugh with you, show some emotion

Barriers breaking down in devotion

 

But I haven’t found it

Either that, or you’re still in the closet

Don’t worry, I was there too

Afraid to be me, I missed so much, that’s true

 

Now I’m victorious

Autistic as can be

No longer in need of your sanity

I stand on the inside of your outside

My life, my words come from insanity

Less is more, more is less

When you’re victorious

Like me

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You Only Know Who You Think I Am

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Poetically cunning

words leaving brains and hearts humming

and while you’re eager to read on

you only know who you think I am

late night writes with Pete Wentz in my ears

in attempt to ward off nightmarish fears

but I put on a smile to cover it up

so you only know who you think I am

work is mental drudgery, and family is worse

but my good moods come in spurts

they think I’m okay

but you only know who you think I am

inside I feel like I’m dying

and this week wants to make me stop trying

but I don’t tell you what’s really going on

and you only know who you think I am

I stand in the pouring rain

there’s little I like better

but you think I’m insane

and I let you believe who you think I am

I sit by myself, I have no friends

hell, it takes me ten minutes just to press send

you think I’m antisocial and crude

stupid world, you only know who you think I am

I write everyday

to reveal everything

and nothing

to make you think you know who I am

I am depressed, anxious, angry, and dejected

broken, shy, disheartened, and rejected

failure makes me afraid to try again

socially I have to pretend

I hope I’m not like this forever

because there’s gotta be someone out there

I just haven’t met her

or I did

and I failed her

(now I’m regretting everything again)

you no longer have to guess, now

you know who I really am

 

Panic Stricken Heart Of A Lonely Autistic

Staring at sunlight

falling behind fading clouds

as the crickets sing each other to sleep

I turn away from the world

slide down the wall

trying to feel where the breaths hurt

the floorboards creaking

and the backdoor shaking

brings back memories

I tried to put them out

no amount of rent could cover the charges

of eighteen years of pain

but they don’t listen to me, they don’t care

they made fun of my name

Fearing the worst, I back into a corner

putting my hands in front of my eyes

maybe they’ll take me

take me away for good this time

that’s foolish, because they never do

enough hate to paralyze you

but just enough love to open you up

to make you do it all again

the lights outside try to find me

but I’m hidden in the deep

you can call my name

but I’m hidden in a dream

the rabbit hole

that never ends

the doctor who said I was healed

was playing pretend

I live life one third open

and three-fourths closed

hating your presence mostly

but secretly wishing

 you’ll take me home

to a place of sunshine and clouds

flowering fields and trees

to happily cry under

and removing the doubts

that have plagued me for so long

I, finally, can lift my head

and sing a happy song

If only such a place

existed in my world

If only…

 

Taking My Own Life

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I just might give up

on life

maybe get reincarnated

and allowed to make it right

everywhere I go

people seem to be laughing

and everywhere I go

the masquerade is crashing

I’m not ten anymore, I can’t hide behind my family

I’m nearly an adult, even though I don’t want to be

I don’t feel like I’m ready

I . Don’t. Feel. Ready.

I can’t make friends, my family doesn’t even like me

“he’s not much fun to be around” I heard my mom say

and brother and sister agreed

“he hears more than you think he does”

that’s also true

and it’s why I hate you

uprooted me out of my home

never gave me a chance to adjust

and threw me a few miles north

become a man I must

or risk losing all I ever had

which was just pens, notebooks,

a nearly full writing pad

just over 225 blog posts, three award winning articles

and one published in the October 2015 Edition

of Teen Ink

but they never let me think

the way I was created to

they just expect me to function

the way they do

no wonder I fail, you stupid asshole

excuse the profanity

but I just can’t take it anymore

no space to be an Aspergian

no space to be me

but underground has plenty of room

that I’m sure you can see

the tension is rising, the anger turning me raw

my mouth bleeds

from the pressure of it all

I read works of other aspies

and see how they overcome

(thanks Laina, Beth, Marisa, Keely)

(I’m sure I’m forgetting some)

but they can’t solve my pain

they can’t give me a family

that understands my name

talk behind my back, just like my Dad did

but told me he was this terrible person

and here you are, pretending to be holier than thou

I guess that makes you worse, then

all I’ve ever wanted

all I’ve truly wanted

was a family who understands me

someone who hears me

and someone who loves me

for who I am

not what they want me to be

not what their eyes can see

I am autistic, but human first

please, let me live happily

God forbid I tell them

how I feel

they’ll just shrug it off

the weirdo at it again with another squeal

so I bury it deep inside

deep inside my bones

it’s rotting my mind

stealing my time

and taking me away from home

or maybe I want it to

take me away from them

they don’t know me, they never will

I can’t be free, so to this heart

can I kill?

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Twenty-Two: Where Are They Now?

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I’ve turned away a lot of people over my lifetime. Some I didn’t mind turning away (like my Dad, but that’s another story), and others I didn’t know well enough to care either way, but then there’s the ones I regret every single day. The ones you see in your reflection in the mirror. The ones they write songs about. The ones that make you feel less than human for ever letting go.

For me, there’s this one…it was this girl I met a few years ago. Around my age. Pretty.  Blonde. Lived in Baltimore, too. Funny. Very talented writer. Everything I’ve always wanted in a girl. I didn’t know what happened, but we just stopped talking. I couldn’t figure out why at first, and so I was mad at her for while. Maybe I just looked too deep into her, or maybe she was too shallow. Then it hit me.

I remember how I used to text her constantly. And call a lot (if you can’t tell I’m going against a lot of my aspergian tendencies. Tells you how much I liked this girl). I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t think it was wrong, for people who liked each other to talk a lot, and she took it well for a while. And then she told. “It’s really annoying” she said in an early morning text, and that was the last I’ve heard from her.

I didn’t know as much about my Aspergers then, and I didn’t understand that I was intruding on her personal space. I feel like a terrible fool nowadays, and I wish I could meet her just once to apologize for everything. We don’t even have to become friends, it would just feel good to actually be honest with her. I was desperate to make friends back then, so I never told her about my condition. Anyway, this is a poem about her. If she’s reading this, well, it may be too much too late, but I had to write this to bring some closure regarding the incident, and the hope that one day I’ll be able to make it right.

 

Boarded the number ten

as light rain sends the birds

scurrying to the shadows

there’s but a few men

seated sporadically

on the star speckled seats

time alone for this lonely soul

is a rarefied treat

I pass through my city

sober seems to be the mood

with the cloudy sky putting a dent

in many afternoon

some are talking on cell phones

other eating lunch

still steaming in brown styrofoam containers

some hustle down the blocks

some idle in green crocs

those shoes disgust me

Light Rail goes by

I think of heading to work

and enjoying a peach fry pie

on to the number eleven

passing the Charles Street metro

I can’t remember how to forget

how I was a lot more ignorant

and subsequently braver

how I’d approach her with confidence

and think of consequences later

I think she liked that

I think she liked that a lot

but the charm wore off

as the autistic traits I tried to hide

knocked on my wood

I kid you not, it shrunk

as time wore on, she became distant

and I become resistant

at the sight of what had become

and I haven’t heard of her in two years

what have I done

 

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Eighteen: What is Aspergers To Me?

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Aspergers

what is it to me?

A cancer

that only I can see?

A poison

drunk by the unborn soul at birth?

A dent, a scratch

that devalued my worth?

A bolt from a complete machine

that keeps me doomed

from reaching your sweet?

A scarlet mark on my chest

to serve as a marker

for scorn from the rest?

A road to suicide

because one spirit

cannot see a way out this mess?

I see it as all

and none

because I look not at what I was

but what I’ve become

I’m not what I’ve done

I’ve what I’ve overcome

A unique condition that challenges others

to accept what we give out sporadically

but challenges the autistic further

by forcing him or her

to accept what they are daily

See, others can chose to live us with us or not

but we must live with ourselves day after day

you can put on any mask and don any cape

try as we may, there is no other way

real autism doesn’t ask for money

because all the riches in the world

couldn’t buy us an once of normality

real autism only asks for your ears

that you listen to our wishes and fears

what we love and what we hate

why a pattern we are quick to replicate

and in time our words imprint on you something no

Benjamin could ever replace

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Seventeen: Aspergers Can Feel Like A Prison

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Stop burning bridges, they say

but I don’t know how

I’m a soul held against my will

and an animal tied to the plow

you can lead me to water

but I’ll die of thirst

afraid to put my feet in front of my brain

and be the first

there’s so much room

inside this cave of a mind

I get lost in the words, in the memories

and it seems I can’t keep track of time

or anything, that seems to matter

because I spend so much time hiding from others

blacker becomes never ending night

that strangles the essence of being

and leaves torment and tempest to dwell upon

I have little to turn to, so I bleed

what my knife hasn’t taken already

and write the quiet a love song

cry on the couch, cry on the bed

every single second brings apocalyptic dread

cry in the morning, cry in the night

poetry restores me, gets me right

the road seems longer

when you only see your face

and the race seems longer

when there’s no one

to mark your place

I cut it loose before the world

I reveal what I am

but they don’t understand

they don’t appreciate

words borne of desperation and time

it’s just another newbie rhyme

scream into an empty horizon

and hope someone hears

because I just don’t know what to do

with all these tears

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Sixteen: Crying On The Couch Because Aspergers Holds Me Back

WAMTAC

Head throbbing

stories in my head keep reoccurring

waking up is always a struggle

because life is a tussle

between anxiety and responsibility

desire and mental makeup

consistency and wish for a shake up

family, coworkers, strangers

they’re all the same

they don’t see the wave, they don’t know the pain

but they never could

and I don’t wish they would

the wave is silent, and it swallows

the water is deep, and I wallow

“drowning the tears of this Aspergian rain”

I once said, and say again

the silence drives me insane

past people I love, towards people I hate

past things I’d never emulate, yet do everyday

white as the winter, black as the summer

I stand out among the crowd

hoping not to be seen

keeping low, not to make a sound

narrow as her waist, straight as her hair

I’m to anxious to join you

and I won’t go anywhere

the jet black crow mocks my days

and I hurl stones at him

get out of my way

but I am the crow

you are the stone

I tell myself I’m okay

into your hands I play

only to be cast aside at the light of day

through self-depreciation

I raise you up

and I lower the white flag

at your approval

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Fifteen: My Anxiety Electrocutes Me In Ways Most Doctors Can’t Explain

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When aspergians talk about their anxiety, it goes FAR beyond the general “oh yeah, I feel anxious”. There’s anxious, like when you have to present a proposal in front of a board, and then there’s the autistic anxious. It is a deeper, more emotionally affecting happening. My anxiety isn’t just a tightness I get in my stomach, like after eating something from a bad take out place. No, it actually hurts. And mine doesn’t just hurt, it burns. It sounds crazy, but it’s unlike any sensation I ever have (and probably ever will) experience. It’s why I try so hard to avoid things that make me anxious, because nobody likes to get shocked, right? If YOU are on the spectrum, I want you to tell me in the comments below what your anxiety feels like.

 

Dark clouds

fill a silent soul

a light rain

keeps sight close

and the heart beats

to the tune it’s always known

no difference

no change

just the same thing again

and again

others pester

my life seems so bland

why my own family

says I’m not fun to be around

I have no friends

I have no social life

I have nothing but words

from the deepest night

and then I hear the sound

an electrical hum down my back

faster than copper wheels

on a railway track

it makes me fall back

my voice flat

once again,

I’ve fallen into the trap

and I’m almost home

but don’t wake me up

this is the safest place

I’ve ever known

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Eleven: Guys Are Supposed To Make The First Move, But What About Autistic Guys?

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In the normal world, it’s usually the guy that makes his interest in a partner known first. (At least, that’s how I was raised.) And I’m perfectly okay with that. The guy should call the girl first, and he should be the one to make arrangements for dates and the like. Feminists and New Agers can argue with me if they like, but (most of the time) I’ll side with the old way of doing things. There’s just one problem:

What if the man is on the spectrum?

This is a big problem for guys with Aspergers, because it’s very, very unlikely that we would ever make the first move, and that’s where the problems begin. Shy and introverted, we aren’t the conversation starters, and thanks to our rigid nature and propensity, fall off topic, and miss the big picture, we’re actually terrible conversationalists. Furthermore, while it’s not hard for us to find people that we like…

…it is hard to express it.

When there’s a girl I like, I have a very hard time. First, I have to reconcile my growing anxiety with the desire to know the girl. That’s the first hurdle many of us (including myself) have yet to overcome. I don’t feel like the potential to discover a relationship is worth the headache and internal trauma, nevermind the fact it might not work on anyway. Then, actually speaking to her. And no, I don’t mean stuttering because you’re nervous or blurting out bits of sentences. I’ve done this (probably) way too much, and it explains my current relationship status.

Finally, “normal” people like see actions and emotions that back up your claims, and as an Aspergian, I can say this is where I fall the hardest. I’m stone faced 98% of the time (the other 2% is when I’m laughing at Family Guy), I don’t make any gestures, and I don’t really talk about myself, so the girl never gets to know who she’s about to become friends with, which I’m sure pushes a lot of them away. I know I’m happy on the inside, but because I rarely show it (and not in ways people are accustom to), I seem unfriendly, and thus, no one wants to be friends.