A Simple Desire
hold me tightly as I fall into too much
noise, light, people touching me, stimulation,
TOO MUCH EVERYTHING.
Flailing for help,
I try to tell you but nothing comes out,
tears, more flapping, hyperventilation, but no words
I’m embarrassed, ashamed, why does this happen?
Again and again,
You don’t look like you have Autism,
looks can be deceiving.
I am Autistic, it is a part of me.
Just like this meltdown,
these flapping hands, distant stares, and silent lips
a piece of me, a piece of the puzzle that completes me.
I am different, but I am not less.
Meltdown passes, life resumes, and I am here again
wishing I could be normal, remembering the impossible.
(A little behind the scenes about my inspiration for writing this poem about Autism and Autism meltdowns: One of the common struggles for people with Autism is the meltdowns whether from physical over-stimulation or under-stimulation or emotional stress and exhaustion. I have them fairly often and each time the degree varies depending on the circumstances or the triggers, however, there is one thing that makes them all similar and that is the desire to stop having them. They are physically draining, emotionally crippling, and they can interrupt an otherwise perfect day. Part of why they can often be so difficult is because I feel a lot of anger that I can’t control them and make them go away. I can learn to anticipate them and to avoid things that cause them, but sometimes there is no warning. Much like having an allergy to a certain food– you can take precautions, have plans for dealing with a reaction, even double and triple check labels and products for your allergen, but sometimes there is no way to avoid it because you can’t live inside a bubble. The good news is meltdowns are manageable with the right love and support, a plan for coping, and a safe stim. While they may always affect people with Autism, they don’t have to have control of their lives.)
Happy Autistics Speaking Day– May our voices be heard even for those of us who cannot speak aloud.