Isolation Burns Like A Dagger

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they offer me lunch

they don’t understand

behind the mask of darkness

they cannot see who I really am

 

because I won’t let them

I’d rather be a fool

than reveal my identity

have me treated as a tool

 

isolation burns like a dagger

regret blisters and boils everyday

but as long as I remain true, it doesn’t matter

and yet my soul stings in every way

 

because I want and hate it

circumstance has me elated

then reality sets in, I can’t sit by you

I’m too conscious to pretend it isn’t true

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I Didn’t Believe I’d Be Where I Am Today

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I didn’t believe

I would do anything that I’ve done today

I never saw, or even dreamed

that I’d be where I stand today

just a few years ago I couldn’t come out the house

in fear and angst at the outside world

just a few years ago I didn’t volunteer

and while confident in my abilities to be a published author

I never thought I’d have even a part time job

especially not in customer service

just a few years ago my whole life was porn and Madden

now I’m repaying the anger with hum of fingers on these keys

call me Darren McFadden

the anger I used to take out on my family

on strangers

on me

frustrated at the disability that I could never see

the desire but lack of strength to set this soul free

if only I could see the door trust me I’d make the key

now today I know I’m stronger than they said I’d ever be

when I put down the Clorox

and opened up my soul

to some guy living in the sky

I realized he could make me whole

He showed me that my condition

was a gift

put down the knife, put down the concrete

and mend this rift inside me

aspergers humbles me every single day

it reminds me that without him nothing will go my way

when I’m feeling down I put pen to paper and I pray

somebody please take this anxiety away

away

goes the pain

goes the regrets

go the doubters

and to everyone who saw me write nonstop

and said I was wasting my hours

this one’s for you

for the lovers

for the haters

for those who don’t know me

and those who wish they did

 

 

The Darkness Chokes The Sense Of The Homeless

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The darkness chokes the sense

of the homeless

throwing punches of humility

and stealing the cents out of hats

too big to fit the head of a ten year old boy

silence awakens the mind of a soldier

trapped in a traumatized mind

he marches up and down his home to Iraqi time

and swings an AK around his head like a toy

bullets rain down in a cascade of calamity

and with the blindness of humanity

there’s more to this never ending story

of birth, disappointment, and death

medicine buys you an extra breath

but takes away twice the life

adults cheat on each other

teens resort to the knife

and poor babies, they don’t get any rights

there’s more vacant houses on a single block

than the times the gangster will cock his glock

at the very thought of red and blue

shallow crooks like Hillary say they know what it’s like

If only they knew

an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth

here’s some ecstasy and pot

in exchange for our youth

mom’s leave their children

in search of better pay

while feminists overlook the rising level of strokes

and the blood in the streets from where kids lay

nobody to guide them, that’s fine

let Justin Bieber lead the way

but he won’t give them back their time

tired of hearing about gender

while the news makes everything about race

let’s focus instead on treating each other like humans

because we all belong in this place

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Twenty-One: Something Beautiful I Haven’t Yet Put Into Human Form

WAMTAC

I can’t get enough of the way she moves

she’s so perfect

dancing long into the night with the groove

she’s so perfect, the way she moves

with hips so wide

and face so smooth

I wrestle with my heart, my mind

if I could turn back time

to before I was born

I wouldn’t have made myself like this

but here I am

with this condition of mine

I’ve got something to prove

and swimming in my veins

is the desire, the will

to make me fall in love again

twirling gracefully

she’ll soon call it a night

twirling seductively

I have to make her bite

I don’t have much to offer

looks seemed to skip this one

but as far as this room is concerned

I’m the only one

that stares long enough

and sits quietly enough

to hear the heartbeat

of a little bird

in the busty chest of a temptress

waiting to settle down and nest

with a forever lover

unlike any other

and that’s what I have over them all

just draw close to me soon

take my shaking hand in yours

so confident, so proud

and let us work the room

of life guided by infinity

with silence, and also with sound

I do, I do

I truly love you

and I’ve never been so damn sure

as I am right now

before your gazing eyes

and knowing all my past

will be made right

with a kiss, with a kneel

a ring, a veil

a storybook

waiting to be written

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Two: The Puzzle Piece Is Derogatory

The puzzle piece

is the most derogatory symbol

you could give us

as if we are broken

as if we need a place

and as if

we are different

stop treating us

as if we’re a completely different race

preach awareness

until your lungs bleed

but our strengths

you never will see

knowledge without wisdom

is blind

so book knowledge keeps you locked away

time after time

from learning who we really are

with a patronizing voice

you try to learn about us

like terrorists staring at their victims

you prod us, you poke us

give us tests, give us riddles

you judge based upon a scale

created by the simple

in busy, busy neurotypical world

our complex manners

take too long to be understood

we are passed by

and we are forgotten

because your terrible misconceptions

have left a rotten taste

in the minds and hearts

of those who just don’t know

we are depicted as stupid

and intellectually slow

depicted as selfish

and unruly

we are treated with a sense of taboo, at best

and at worst, with unwavering cruelty

like a species nobody knows what to call

we are exalted like a prized animal

for the mockery of all

once again, I close a poem

with a call to you, the reader

are we just observers

or are we doers?

“for either we will destroy ignorance

or ignorance will destroy America”

 

 

 

Autism Awareness Month Post One: It’s Not Enough To Be “Aware”, you MUST be “Active”

 

For those of you that didn’t know, April is Autism Awareness Month.

In spite of that, you won’t find any puzzle pieces on my blog.

“But Devereaux, you have Aspergers! You’re ON the spectrum. How could you?”

Easy answer: the puzzle piece is, to me, a derogatory symbol. Associating those on the autism spectrum with the puzzle piece assumes it’s US that are the weak links, it’s US that need rearranging, and it’s US that need fixing. On the contrary, it is non-accommodating neuorotypicals that break the chain, it is they that need rearranging, and it is they who need to be fixed. We are normal, functional human beings and if there’s anyone that needs to get their eyesight checked, it’s everyone BUT us.

Tonight’s post is a poem I wrote about acceptance of those on the spectrum, but a piece specifically about my stance against the puzzle piece is in the works.

Enjoy!

Silent breathing

on keys so cold

walking on long thought rhymes

until the night gets old

clean up my mind

and throw out the trash

adding words, but subtracting pages

damn why am I so rash?

putting pen to paper

and then paper over paper

as I delve deeper

into the autistic layers

and no, I’m not doing anyone a favor

but giving you truth and honesty

so that hopefully you’ll join us

and follow me

on my Aspergian path

while I have my moments

I rarely make you laugh

I’m not a fan of humor, to be quite frank

because something as simple as the difference

in thinking

has put me at the lowest rank

of the social totem pole

made me an outcast

and target of any and every Internet troll

these words are dangerous

for they are the seal of my rebellion

and the sword I use

and may be used against this felon

so into the night

I will run

hiding out amongst feverish doubt

until the summer sun

and all my people, those like me

have finally

won

(Note: If you have a post/poem regarding Autism/Aspergers that you’d like to share, email/tweet me and I’ll be glad to post it. For this month only, because, it’s not enough to be aware, you must be active, and sharing is a great way to do that)

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

 

Recollections Of Youthful Corrections And What They Mean Now

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Say thank you

or please

Don’t forget to use a fork

when eating your broccoli and peas

Why are you tapping your feet

Stop making that sound

Why do you get so quiet

when she comes around

Why aren’t you listening

can’t you hear what I say

You ignore me, constantly

every single day

Why did you fail this test

when you claim to be better than the rest

And why can’t you sleep through the night

there’s something wrong, you’re not right

Why do always want to stay home

only weirdos want to be alone

Devereaux, look at me

your mood swings are driving me crazy

Me, me, me

but not you, you, you

if you paid attention

these symptoms wouldn’t seem new

My body is collateral damage

of a brains hostile takeover

and just seventeen years in

the course is hardly over

Sure I could do drugs

and calm the tension

Sign me up to snort some lines

off a prostitute’s ass

but what example would that be

to others on my path

So I do math

the best I can

and at making friends

I’m just another also-ran

But I write like hell

and on my thoughts you dwell

so that, like me

you can fight the bias and insecurity

that those on the spectrum face

we may be slower

be we’re still running this race

 

If You’re On The Spectrum, Been Bullied, or Just Need Some Encouragement, This Is For You

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 Standing on the corner

scattered thunderstorm raining down on this street

Handing out words, selling half dozen lines

blisters bursting on these feet

They can rain on this parade

and spit on my cardboard signs

but they don’t know how I was made

and with every stab wound I bleed these rhymes

Grew up distant and shy

and so ashamed of being socially anxious

I almost decided

I’d end my time

But the glass never reached these lips

because I made a commitment

to find out what I really was

now step back, cause I’m feeling this

Grew up wondering why people always looked down on me

And the belief that I’d die alone and poor seemed to be a certain reality

With every single day I found myself slipping deeper and deeper

Drowning

the withering toil of an outcast, like a black cat

Pretending to be cool, feigning neurological normality

I couldn’t keep up with that

So I stripped off the makeup

I gave up trying to care

and now I don’t care

and look where I am today

got people reaching out me

appreciating my raw honesty

and now you see

that it’s not about looks

and the people that despise you

are just a bunch of crooks

their ears bleed at the originality of your life

they pull out their eyes at seeing you discover the right

You don’t need someone on each arm

you don’t need to listen to the latest songs

you don’t have to get on your knees

if you know what you mean

The greatest enemy

of brats and bullies

isn’t fists, guns, or knives

but living without a care of their thoughts

living your life

Make them wonder at who you are

whether you start near or far

from the goal

just remember to be honest with yourself

and share the light

with other souls