Tag Archives: life

What You Could Be To Me

Sitting on the edge

of a busy road

humidity climbed out the back window

a girlfriend uninvited by parents

unfortunately temporary

rain makes the sky clear

and a calming breeze

wraps around the essence

of chocolate donuts and espresso

I picked up from work

thankful for my coworkers

boss

and wonderful customers

they make my job ever more enjoyable

and while they don’t know who I am

(maybe they do)

(that’s okay too)

I’m grateful they care regardless

as dark as I’ve felt

as troubled my thoughts are

as alone I feel I am

and as behind I feel to be

some people make it worthwhile

there are people I’ll get up early for

pretend to be open and happy for

smile for

extend a hand for

and if I close enough to you

care for

there’s very few people

I feel this way for

but they’re one of them

and you might be

too

 

Blogger Recognition Award: Thanks For Choosing Me Over Everyone So Much Cooler

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For the third time in less than a year, I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award.

This time? By my friend over at Cocoons Are Sometimes Comfy. https://cocoonsaresometimescomfy.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/blogger-recognition-award-when-being-recognized-is-nice/ One of my favorites on WordPress, I’ve grown close to the words to this poet’s fantastic words and similarities regarding life on the autism spectrum. The stories are sometimes eerily similar to what I’ve gone through, and the resounding strength that speaks far after I close the page is rarely outdone. Thank you friend, you’re the real MVP (or however they say it on social media)

Anyway, the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you’ve nominated them and a link to the post you created.

My blog started back in late August of last year.  I had known about my aspergers for four years but had done little to do anything about it. WordPress has always been addictive to me, but this was different. And better. Blogging gave my voice some wheels, and the knowledge I gained from books (and soon other bloggers, like my sweet soul sister’s Laina, Beth, and more recently the wonderful voice behind Just Me) began to steer my life into the direction I never thought it would. I started opening up, and sharing my experiences (https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/an-aspergians-confession-part-one/), being honest about the struggles my condition gave me (https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/an-aspergians-chemical-romance/?wref=tp), and really just discovering my voice as (from what I’ve been told) a pretty damn good poet. Thanks to so many wonderful voices, I’ve learned more about myself, become a better person because of it, and in turn been able to shine light for others who were just like I was just a few years ago.

Two pieces of advice for you new bloggers. One, just post. Pressing “publish” is the hardest part, but once you do it, the momentum will carry you to wherever you want to go. Don’t make yourself do anything. Let it happen, and you will be surprised what becomes of it. Two, say thanks. There are COUNTLESS blogs, so the fact that someone took the time to read (and maybe comment/reblog) yours is very, very special. Ever since I started, I always remember to say thank you to my readers. It’s not hard to do, and doesn’t take much time. It shows you care about others.

Now, to my nominations….

https://silentfall.me/

https://femiiesther.wordpress.com/ (I will ignore her words “I  I can’t think of why so many people will like it” in reference to my favorite band)

https://solitudeinsilence.wordpress.com/

https://so352.wordpress.com/

https://unabashedautist.com/

https://secretpoetess.wordpress.com/

https://keelythecynicalrejectblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

The Love And Life Of Death

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The setting is a late May evening

and the sun is just beginning to wane

the grasses are as green as can be

the warm summer rays touch

skin darkened by the halls of recluses

and eyes drunk on the monotone beat

of a single heart

the horizon speaks to me

in ways no human could ever

color elicits emotion

only my darkest days would ever see

drooping sunset

with patch, see-through clouds

for skanky lingerie

calms me better than any

green eyed, freckled face

powered by an engine

stoked by fire of rejection

I reject the clown suit

appreciate the complexion

of life riding the fine line

life and death, I’ve seen both

lived and loved

both

I never knew

why the silence loved me so

treated me to knowledge

people seemed to refuse

I’m so hot

dirty mind, spinning you a web

of lust, lies

and forgotten faces

all in time

before the moon turns on her heel

and I fall into sleep

till our next divorce counseling meeting

 

I Will Never Believe In Anything Again

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I will never believe again

in fate or fortune

and my fear of never having a lover

needs an early abortion

I worry too much

in controlling my destiny

when the very key to my wishes

is already inside of me

I worry too much

in trying to be like everyone else

what happened to the old me

that really didn’t give a fuck

about who liked me, and who didn’t

and who saw me do that thing

of which I am repentant

I’ve gotten soft, I think

and need to re-don my hard shell

because inside of this Cancer

is poetic beauty that quells

deepest fears

and shortcomings pointed out

by sophomoric peers

I will never believe again

in luck or chance

and instead in myself

whether my followers be many, or scant

those who care

care

those who don’t

I’ll see you there

at the top of the mountain

the pinnacle of all my work

but at my time, not yours

the world doesn’t run on one schedule

and neither will I

so goodbye

because I will never believe again

in anything I choose not to

no longer will the world abuse

my African American differences

and autistic personality

I choose to live as I am

the Devereaux of this reality

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Twenty-One: I Do It For My Family, My Autistic Family

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Each day I come in

and don my white apron

smile, and polite greetings

I step to the demons

and grit my broken teeth

leave them seething

each day I make change

empty powder-covered trays

and laugh at Mary’s favorite team

and their horrible receivers

I step to the establishment

and stab them in the face

out of shy autistics I make believers

every tip received

and check cashed

shows them how far I’ve come

I’ve aged pretty fast

not in years, really

but in confidence

in determination

and in courage

I don’t carry a chip on these shoulders

I carry the dead of Mount Everest

and quiet should your expectations stay

lest you trigger my sensitivity

and cause me to uncloak

the dreaded focus and commitment

that the profession continues to revoke

I work for my family

my autistic family

the ones with moths on their web pages

and female warriors, too

“Aspergian’s can’t work in customer service”

if only you knew

that I do it

to prove you wrong

I dance to the beat of my hand-flapping

foot-tapping

tell-tale autistic drum

and marching in the opposite direction

eventually gets you noticed

and soon others are eager

to sing along

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Five: Things I Love About Being On The Spectrum

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Anxiety. Rigid thinking. Rigid acting. Inability to deal with sudden change. Aspergers gets a bad rep, in my opinion. Sure, I’ll probably never have any friends, and a future by myself seems more and more likely by the day, but that’s just one percent of life as an Aspergian. There are ALOT of benefits actually (don’t tell that to Autism Speaks), and tonight I’d like to share with you some of mine. If you’re on the spectrum, I want YOU to write what you enjoy most about being autistic in the comments below!

 Honesty: Being genuine is one of my favorite parts about aspergers. People can trust me because they know I’m going to do what I say I will. People can also come to me because I’ll give them honesty over something that makes them feel good.

 Attention to detail: Much to the chagrin of those very same aspergians (our inability to see the big picture is just as much of a curse as our attention to detail is a blessing), we are very good at details. I honestly don’t think I’d be a writer if I didn’t have aspergers, because the little things are what fuel my words.

 Focus: My family always points out (usually in a condescending way) how I can do the same things four hours and hours on end. And it’s true. The last two weeks, I’ve been working on a three-round NFL mock draft for the upcoming draft, and I’ve literally watched hours of tape and just as much in analyzing depth charts to plot team needs. This also helped me in school, because I could put my head and work for hours without much guidance. Safe to say, I owe much of my success to aspergers.

 Commitment: If only the girls that I liked knew this….sigh

Anyway, I am extremely committed. I hate not doing something all the way through, and I will go above and beyond to see the job done. Next month, I’ll be leading a tour as part of a project in my teen art group at the Walters. We needed a flyer/slogan, and guess who wrote it before the meeting was over? This one. Aspergians may be terrible team players, but give me a pen and some silence, and I’ll shake you out your shoes.

 Non-conformity: This may just come natural to aspergians, but I just refuse to do what everyone else does. During the first teen art council meeting after Donald Trump won the presidency, I was the only one in support of him. I had read about the countless crimes of Hillary Clinton (the child sex ring was most heinous), and I could not stand for her. I’m too young to vote, but I’m not too young to influence, and I refused to support someone who’s okay with hurting children for money. It didn’t make me any friends, but it did show that I can think for myself. This gets me in trouble in social situations, but I will not make small talk for the sake of making small talk. It’s useless to me, and I don’t care if you don’t like me if I don’t do it. As my favorite musician said: “I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me.”

 Passion: I love what I do. I love writing. I love being in my art group. I love working at my job. And I love responding to poetry prompts on Twitter. And the biggest part? People can tell. To me, it’s more than just “going through the motions”. Once I start doing something, I get involved. I started posting poetry based on paintings in the Walters after I joined my art group, and I think you all loved the post with the pictures of donuts I did. As an Aspergian, if I’m in, I’m ALL IN. This would be great if I had a relationship…

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Four: Things That Make Me Anxious

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As an Aspergian, anxiety is easily my biggest problem. From sudden things like a last minute schedule change to watching your city burn thanks to mindless thugs that the media deem “peaceful rioters”. Even things that I do regularly can be a source of anxiety, like my weekly Teen Art Council meetings. How people perceive my aspergian tendencies, and how I try to blend in a world that seems to be always staring are thoughts I have all the time. In this month of “awareness”, I figured I’d talk about what makes me anxious. (If you’re on the spectrum, I’d like you to tell me what makes YOU anxious in the comments below.)

Last minute anything: Since I live extremely anxious, anything last minute is awful for me. It’s why I hate surprises, even good ones (like on your birthday). Schedule changes also make my head hurt, because I have to suddenly rework what I was going to do. I know, “sudden change is part of the real world”, but so is aspergers and the anxiety that comes with it.

Horror movies: I can’t watch movies with extreme blood and gore. Since I think the worst of any and everything and everybody, I used to have terrible dreams as a kid (and occasionally, nowadays) that someone would torture me and feed me to ghosts, just to reincarnate me and do it all over again. The fear was real…

New foods: I literally eat the same thing everyday, all the time. If you took me to a restaurant that I’d never been to before, I’d pick the closest thing to what I normally eat, and eat nothing else. My routines are rigid as hell (aspergers 101), and breaking them gives me headaches. My family always asks why I get the same thing when we eat out.

Scraping metal pans: Ever run a knife or fork across the bed of an iron pan or skillet? That sounds literally made me cry as a kid, and I could never figure out why. I’m super sensitive to sound, and that is my most hated sound. Just thinking about it makes my skin tingle.

New people: Regardless of whether they’re good or bad, any new person makes me anxious. Making a good impression, learning about them, figuring out who and what they are, wondering if (based upon age) if they’re interested in me…all of that is really, really hard on me. I’ve gotten better, because a few years earlier, I might have never even talked to people. I blew off a lot of people back then.

Phone calls: One of my secret fears, phone calls have always been hard on me. Even if I know the person, phone calls are always a struggle. Not knowing what they may or may not say, because I can’t tell by their body language. There’s this girl I’m (trying) to be friends with, and I call her every few days…a lot of times I won’t say anything because I get so anxious. And speaking of that…

Girls: I guess it’s because I have more in common with most guys than most girls. I can talk to any guy (for the most part), but put a girl in the room and I lose all sense of grip on the human language. I stutter a lot, and I stop speaking mid sentence (more often than not) because I get so anxious. I know it has to make me look stupid, but I can’t help it. And, Lord help me if I actually like the girl…that actually makes it worse. That’s why I stopped trying to make girl-friends, because the anxiety I’d feel at the time outweighed the potential benefits of having her as a friend. Maybe you’d consider that shortsighted, but if you were on this side, I bet my bottom dollar your opinion would change.

I guess that’s why I seem better on social media and on WordPress, because if face to face I really, really struggle talking with people. I normally just talk at them. You know, eye contact and all.

Heights: I’m afraid of them. Period.

Gatorade: If you laughed, it’s fine with me, because I think it’s crazy too. But I really hate this drink. I had it once I felt like throwing up, and of course, my brain associated this drink with bad feelings, so now I can’t stand the sight of them.

Friendships and marriage: This is probably why I’ll have neither. Friendships make me anxious because I don’t know how to even be friends with someone…I mean, care about someone’s thoughts and feelings, listen to them, and do things with them, but other than that I’m pretty clueless. And marriage? Ha ha ha I couldn’t imagine anyone even wanting to, and nevermind how stressful that would be. I wouldn’t even know the first place to start.

I hoped you enjoyed my list, and tomorrow (or Saturday), I’ll have a list of things that I love about being on the spectrum.

 

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Three: An Open Letter To Autism Speaks

WAMTAC

To whom this may concern,

Recently, I read a post from https://loveexplosions.net/, and I was surprised at what it contained. The post showed the 2014 financials for Autism Speaks, and upon delving into the material, I was shocked at the specifics.

-Less than 4 percent (3.84% exactly) of your income went to autistic families, services, and grants, compared to 19.33% ($20,300,191) to salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes

-20.23% ($24,379,795) went to everything else. What is everything else???

I then decided to read on, and I found a November 2013 article from your co-founder Suzanne Wright from your first-ever national policy and action summit in Washington D.C. Here, I list some of her derogatory quotes:

“If three million children in America one day went missing – what would we as a country do? If three million children in America one morning fell gravely ill – what would we as a country do?”

“These families are not living. They are existing. Breathing – yes.  Eating – yes. Sleeping- maybe.  Working- most definitely – 24/7. This is autism. Life is lived moment-to-moment.  In anticipation of the child’s next move.  In despair.  In fear of the future.”

“So let’s dial back a minute and consider the babies being diagnosed with autism every day in this great country…..We know children from minority and lower income families are not getting diagnosed as early as they should be…How about in school?  Is there a national curriculum for our children?”

“Close your eyes and think about an America where three million Americans and counting largely cannot take care of themselves without help. Imagine three million of our own – unable to dress, or eat independently, unable to use the toilet, unable to cross the street, unable to judge danger or the temperature, unable to pick up the phone and call for help. This is a national emergency.”

As someone who has lived on the Autism Spectrum (I have Aspergers Syndrome, specifically), for seventeen years, all I have is disgrace and disgust in my soul at Miss Wright’s words. If three million children in America one morning fell gravely ill? Why does she make it sound like we have a disease? Autism IS NOT an illness, science has proven that. It is simply a neurological difference, yet your co-founder makes it seem like we have cancer or AIDS.

Of all her words, this stirred me the most: “Life is lived moment-to-moment.  In anticipation of the child’s next move.  In despair.  In fear of the future…” Again, you portray autism in a dark and dreary light. Life on the spectrum is difficult, yes, but not nearly as terrible as the horror show she attempts to portray. Despair? Fear of the future? It is evident by usage of cliché of doom and gloom ideals that Miss Wright has no idea what it’s like to be on the spectrum. My parents, for one, did not live in fear and slept quite well. Rather than force-feeding me sympathy and puzzle pieces, they gave me keys to understand my different but beautiful life. I read the books by John Elder Robinson, who worked with Autism Speaks until he resigned after being unable to reconcile his beliefs with the ones your organization stands by. I wonder why.

Finally, the last two paragraphs speak to the two biggest problems I, and other autistics, find with your organization: the constant depiction of autism as something incurable and debilitating, and the lack of information on adult life with autism. Miss Wright mentioned children or babies six times just in the quotes I’ve mentioned. What about teenagers? What about the elderly? Autism doesn’t just go away, as with the size of your organization, I’m appalled by the lack of information on this issue.  I’m 17. I have a part-time job. I’ve escorted my sister at pageants, so I know how to dress for special occasions. I’ve had friends. I’ve been in classes and camps across Baltimore. What I’m saying is that, while there are plenty of cases of those who struggle to do these things, you do not represent us fairly. You do not represent the highly functional side of autism, and that is a disgrace. If you actually looked at all autistics, if you actually had autistics working for you, Miss Wright wouldn’t have to ask “if three million children in America went missing”. She’d see that we are already here. We are here, living, breathing, and loving life.

As someone who has come to know many of those on the spectrum, and learned more about myself, I can say your organization does nothing but harm for those on the spectrum. You paint a negative light on autism, and so children will grow up hating their autism. That’s the worst part. Rather than embracing their unique and unalienable beauty, they despise it and wish they were “normal”. You make parents hate their children for having little autistics. Rather than giving hope and shining light on a faction of America still not completely understood, you cast a shadow on our life, and our light.

But the greatest sin of all isn’t the allocation of money, or the hackneyed ideas about growing up with autism. It’s that you convince the masses of what autism deliberately destroys: that we’re all the same.

 

 

My Job At Mary’s Gourmet Coffee and Donuts

Well, I’ve been working at Mary’s Gourmet Coffee and Donuts for a month now, and I figured I’d write a post about it. It’s mostly pictures of donuts and fry pies (more on that later), but there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

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The fry pies (apple and cherry, left to right) are literally pastries from heaven. They’re sweet, delicious, and melt in your mouth…and you’ll have to start working out like me to melt off all the extra calories LOL

My favorites are the peanut butter long johns (the ones in the boxes with light brown icing) and coconut cream (coconut shavings on top with white icing)

…but we really don’t have a bad donut, and the fact they’re made fresh everyday is another reason why I love them.

The ones on the left are our other fry pies, and the ones on the right are our vanilla long johns…really addictive!

 

This was really fun, and a nice reprieve from all the poetry. Not that poetry is bad, but I thought I’d throw in something new. Are you as hungry as I am now? Hopefully I’ll do this again, and if there’s another picture post of my life you’d like to see (like e during my writing process, or me playing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare), leave a suggestion in the comments below!

When You Want To Reach Out But Your Brain Says No

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I want to make friends, I really want to

but my insides want to fight it

bouncing between shy

and silent

you can’t ever say you’ve been this low

until you’ve tried it

They come, they go

they talk for hours

but they’ll never know

I just can’t say it

I don’t know how

I didn’t tomorrow, and I won’t now

Rather they make assumptions

and forget my existence

or let them know the truth

and the questions be endless

They don’t talk to me

and I usually don’t mind

but tonight I’m crying, I want to join in some time

I’m bland, I’m a bore

I don’t have any friends or the latest gossip

and I write poems at an age where writing is a chore

I’m getting older

and I feel like I’m running out of time

This condition, the control

this life, is it really mine?

When you want to reach out

but your brain says no

that’s the first sign

that it’s time to go

I want to try

and live another day

hoping that once, just once

the nod will roll my way

but if not

then I’m all too ready

to tie the knot