The Cure (?) For Autism, Part One

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I’ve lived eighteen years on this wonderful planet, but only in the last five have I known I was on the autism spectrum. I barely knew anything about the condition except for that people who had it were not treated kindly, there was an organization that supposedly strives to raise awareness, and they are often very smart. My own personal story has made me reconsider much of what I thought about autism and how I respond to what people say about us in the news. I used to think that if someone changed their opinion too much, they couldn’t make up their minds.

 

Now I know it’s essential, when gaining new knowledge and insight, to always be changing. You cannot gain and stay the same. At least I couldn’t.

The last five years of my life have easily been the best. I needed a window out of my confusing and easily angered childhood, but early on my Aspergers diagnosis only made me angrier. I hated this weird sounding name that made me feel more obvious than I already knew I was. What I needed was an example. I wanted to find someone, anyone, out there that was succeeding. If they could, in spite of our numerous limitations, then I could too. That’s when I discovered John Elder Robinson. I read his books, and more importantly than the information I gained, my entirely different outlook on my new life.

I wasn’t just the angry, confused, autistic kid.

I was the weird, informed, confident (and somewhat arrogant) autistic kid.

Over this time, my life has changed drastically. Some ways were obvious, like my need for music. I spend a great part of my life just listening to it, and I feel stronger when I do. The silence (without being silent) is immensely therapeutic, and I thrive when I have this balance. I’ve also gotten outside more often. Not only did my job require it, but I’ve felt the desire to get outside and, yes, even be around people. Contrary to the garbage that comes from Autism Speaks (among others), people with aspergers don’t mind being around people. In my individual case, it’s how many for how long. Being around two or three people for a couple hours is totally cool with me. Surround me twenty people for less time (funny, huh?) and I’m a disaster on the inside.

(The second, and most critical, part of this piece will feature tomorrow night. I hate to be so blunt with the ending but I wasn’t sure how to end)

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I Don’t Know When To Quit (And Neither Should You)

I don’t know when to quit

i just live

wake up and smell

plastic burning

thats from all of you

blowing up my Facebook

Twitter, and WordPress

having such a following

is nothing short of a blessing

and a miracle

considering how bad I am with people

but I don’t care

DGAF

I love who I am

no matter the comments they leave

likes don’t matter much

compared to trust

I’ve gained in the workplace

maybe I’m better than I thought I was

or they care little as I

there’s so much I want to do

and so little time

every little post, every little link

makes you stop and think

you don’t need a book to change lives

or be president to change times

you just have to not know when to quit

push back until you have nothing left to give

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

Sung The Blues, Swallowed Them Too

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stunning seconds of solitude

come from broken breaths

heartbeats come less

space between your ears

widens

deepens

falling off the radar

you are

because nobody wanted to see

the misery

professionals couldn’t explain the pain

just give him two of those

three of these

a shot of that

he will stop foaming eventually

so I sung the blues

swallowed them too

I became more insane

because of you

evenings spent banging

holes into walls

maniac running down the stairs

the crutches rarely stopped the fall

never paid attention

not at school, not at life

so many colors flowing through my veins

you’d think I supported Pride

I could never understand

why drug addicts stare

as if they can remove your soul

and give you theirs

but now I see why

tripped by the police

arrested for driving under the influence

caught unawares

and I’m sure

no one will ever see me there

not until I’m old

really really old

when my hair turns grey

hands begin to fold

 

Silence Heals My Insane

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There’s a silence

That heals the insane

The wild, racing part of me

Never kept in check

By a voracious heartbeat

Dying to love you more

But hiding it all in life

Manic meltdowns

Leading to tear soaked pages

And curses uttered

From bottomless agony

Never meant to harm

But to release me

From the grapple of

The darkness

I still somehow

Can’t escape

 

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