No laughing matter

If you’re not really, truly listening, please don’t read this post.  I mean it.  Go away, please.  It’s extremely important, and it’s not something to be read lightly.  I hope you’ll read it, and think about it, and come back here and tell me what your thoughts are.  I’m terrified that I’ll write this and scare everyone away and no one will leave me anything, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take, because this is important.

It’s been a typical Saturday.  I’m on meltdown patrol, deescalating after a day that involved fasting bloodwork, out to eat in a noisy cafe, getting sick all morning from the small amount of gluten I ate, stopping at Mom’s, going to get Mom’s glasses, getting cat food, back to Mom’s, and about two hours shy of church is when I lost my words and said that I needed to go home. 

Mom and I were talking in the car on the way home (well, I was typing, because Mom doesn’t mind terribly if I type) and I said something to the effect of, “Loss of speech is not a result of anxiety but rather one of an overtaxed sensory system.”  Mom said that she understood that. 

“So why don’t they believe me?”

I could tell Mom tread carefully.  Well, she said… you seemed so social and so happy in high school, you did so many things, silk line and performances and everything, and you didn’t appear to have any issues…

I stopped her.

“I wanted to die.”

You what?

For almost 10 years, I prayed every night that I wouldn’t wake up to see another day.  I didn’t actually have the energy to kill myself, but if I had, I probably would have.  I hated everything about my life, I was on the receiving end of so much cruelty amongst my “friends,” I truly didn’t believe that I deserved to live, and then didn’t believe I deserved the relief of death at the same time.  I knew this world wasn’t made for me.  I didn’t know why, but even then, I knew it.

And that is what you need to know.  You need to know that, at least for some people with autism (I’ve heard similar stories from other people), when you force them to be “normal,” you make life not worth living. 

So when I am pushed to speak even though I can’t, when I am told not to chew or tic or flap, when I am told not to type, that is why I refuse to listen.  That is why I fight back. 

I deserve a life, too.  It may not be what you think of as ideal, but it’s mine, and I will make it my own.  I am a square peg, and I will not be made to fit into round holes.  It’s time to start drilling square-shaped holes where I can fit.  If you are here to help me in this, good.  If you’re not, I have no need for you. 

I wince, I cringe when I hear of parents trying to quelch the autism out of their kids.  Yeah, maybe we can learn to be “normal,” to appear “normal.”  I could.  But there was no life in me.  I was devoid of… anything. 

I won’t live like that.  I don’t deserve to.  No one does. 

And so I won’t.  No more. 

Be who you are, okay?

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21 thoughts on “No laughing matter

  1. I could have written this … heck I could swear I *did* write it! I will say that you are not alone in these feelings. I just shared this with an aspergers group here in Houston and got almost the same response, the they want to sue you for plagiarism….

  2. God love us Aspies for being so literally minded! What I meant was that they all feel as you do and could have written this note themselves (and many wish they had!). I’m so glad you posted it because I have never been able to articulate my own feelings about people wanting to “change me” into being more normal.

  3. Lydia, I haven’t commented lately, but this really puts things into perspective, I would say. You’ve written a lot of things I’ve wanted to explain to so many family members for so long here. I think I’m going to take to linking them here when I can’t explain some things. I’m sorry things are going badly for you today, but you do deserve your own place in this world, and it should be one made for you, not one that you have made yourself fit. Thanks for reminding me what is so important!

  4. Thank you for writing this. I’m sad that you felt that way, but I’m happy that you are sharing it with us. I love my 7-year-old daughter (who is autistic) and I want to be the best advocate for her that I can possibly be. I will read this post again and again. Thank you, Lydia.

  5. thank you for writing, lydia. you ARE helping. you help us understand. be patient with us as we try to understand.

  6. A friend of mine forwarded me this post. I read blogs/posts daily and have never responded or bothered to take the time to be honest with you. My amazing son Gibson who is 5 years of age was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder two years ago. I am not on the spectrum but my 41 yr old husband, 8 yr old nephew, 74 yr old father in law and 44 yr old sister in law all were diagnosed with Aspergers over the years. I see what my son and other family have to go through every sec of every minute of everyday. But I have no clue what it is truley like for them. It is so fascinating to me…sounds odd to some but I mean it. My husband can tell you me anything date or detail about anything history and is the most amazing guitarist and musician..he can play over a dozen instruments and very well. My son loves music and is taking after his father which I think is fantastic. My father in law is great at numbers, math..bussiness and so much more. And my nephew is also really into math and numbers etc. I am 30 years old and have had adhd since I was a toddler… In my eyes… individuals on either side of the spectrum are truely gifted and in so many ways…… who dosent want to be smart… and successful and doing what they want and no ones going to stop em kinda attitude. I agree wiht you 100% others should not have ever tried to change you to be ‘typical’. You are who you are and should be loved and accepted for just that! I suffer from bipolar II and I felt the same growning up……felt I had no where to belong/fit in nor could trust anyone one… my point is I started journaling as you did…it is a great release and it seems to be your tic as you stated… if it is comforting to you and what my family says its like a withdraw sense when you dont get what comforts you. Everyone has something that they must have.coffee…smoking…shopiing etc. I dont know you but feel like I do after reading! Keep writing!!! You are giving others an small insight into every day struggles being on the spectrum….. others have and will continue to learn from this blog that you spoke true honesty about society…… Keep writing because you will change the lives of many… through your struggles keep on fighting and continue to make awearness! Thank you for taking the time to read my long post… as I said I have never commented but your writing and truth grabbed me and touched my heart. Keep typing because maybe one day if we all continue to make awarerness someday soceity will except those on the spectrum and not try to change others rather be more willing to change themselves! Keep your headup!
    Kindest regards,
    Brandy

  7. I hope you don’t mind that I am copying this to share with others. I have spent my adult life working at a job where we stand for and believe in people who feel like square pegs in this world. I know that they will feel like they understand exactly what you are saying. You be the best of you!

  8. I have for a long time said to those who want to cure autism that they can’t. they can help those that have it have an easier time of it but they will still be autistic. Thanks for reminding me it needs to be easier for my girls, not me. Always good to have a refreasher!

  9. Keep writing Lydia. You help so many of us and we really do appreciate you and the effort it takes to do this blog.

    I hope you are having a great day today!
    Mrs. E.

  10. Pingback: If I May Be So Bold | Autistic Speaks

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