Because One Post Wasn’t Enough: Acceptance, Love and Self-care: #AutismPositivity2015

I fear my traitorous mind;
Prized asset, golden treasure
In which lurks a monster:
One I cannot hope to control.

Lying in wait it watches,
Senses when I am weak,
Releases its psychic poison
Infecting me with fear.

As I lie besieged by doubt,
Assailed by anxiety’s forces,
I begin to believe its lies:
That I am alone, unloved and broken.

All that I have, all that I am
Lies scattered: small trinkets
Dot the empty wasteland;
I lie in pieces in this desert.

Furnace heat of merciless sun
Makes the very air dance;
All else is stillness and silence.
Laid bare I cannot hide.

But…

In the midst of this ruin,
In the eye of the storm of fear
There is a mote, a tiny seed
Holding my essence in trust.

Though the ground is barren
Where the beast has raged
I plant this seed of hope,
Water it with my tears.

I spend the last of my strength
To protect and nurture this spark,
I give all of myself to it
And rise again, renewed.

The monster has vanished,
The burning sun become a fount
Out from which streams the warmth
Of healing love from friends.

The barren wastes turn green,
Meadows and woodlands host life
Amid which I sit at ease,
Healing in these peaceful arms.

The Opposite of Hugs

I love hugs. That comforting feeling of envelopment engendering an ambiance of safety in the folds of a loving embrace. Sometimes my need is so great and the release so totally involving that I am reduced to tears.

It is said that a thing is known by its opposite, and that is true of hugs for me. Because there are times when I yearn, when I physically ache for those few moments of relief. To be held tightly and be able to let go of all my immediate fears and worries.

My need manifests as a feeling of absolute emptiness. My heart is a void that cries out to be filled with that demonstration of love, of physical closeness. Such a desolation of spirit. I am exposed, flayed, eviscerated. Left as an empty husk of a person.

My world is without light; all I see is shadows of what surrounds me. Until I am released by the touch of another, bringing a golden light into my darkness, restoring my pain-wracked body, showing me that there is hope. Giving me another day to live.

Expressions of PosAutivity #AutismPositivity2014

Autism Positivity Flash Blog 2014

In the three-or-so years since I started this blog after recognizing I was autistic, I have come a long way in my understanding of autism and of myself. I have found myself, together with other autistic people, parents, advocates and allies, as a member of an extended online community that in my experience sets the standard for friendliness and mutual support.

Most of all, I feel fully accepted by my peers for who I am. Among my circle of friends, most of whom I have never met in person, I feel safe. These online spaces — blogs, social media — are a kind of refuge to which I can retreat when Real Life threatens to overwhelm me. In honor of that here is my contribution to the 2014 Autism Positivity Flash Blog.

Threads

Like the Norse of long ago
Whose Norns would weave the threads of lives,
Warp and woof and who could know
When theirs would end with flashing knives,
Live your life from day to day
As if each sunrise were your last.
Friends and love: for these I pray;
All else is moot, the runes are cast.

“God does not play dice,” it’s said,
And Chaos rules the universe.
‘Til the day you wind up dead
You play the hand you’re dealt at birth.
Should you feel you have no choice
And all is written in the stars,
Listen to your inner voice;
Accept yourself for who you are.

New threads join: new friends, a wife,
And how it ends I cannot say.
Grasp the threads that form your life
And weave your pattern your own way.

Coda

Discovering that I am autistic was a positive experience for me. I was finally able to understand why I am different from so many of the people around me. It gave me a structure on which to build my self-understanding. From understanding grew acceptance which blossomed into love: I love my autistic self.

As I have mentioned many times before I have made a number of friends within the autism community. From the first person with whom I connected online, Bird, my circle grew and there are too many loving, supportive friends for me to mention them all. But it seems unfair not to recognize at least some of the people who hold a special place in my heart. So, in no particular order, …

(I know there are many people I have not mentioned, and I apologize to those I did not list here.)

Thank You, My Friends

      There              are so
  many    people   I have      come
to know since I started blogging, and
I want to express  how much they have
enriched my life. The sense of family
 I feel within this online community
  gives me strength. Acceptance and
   love are the greatest gifts one
    person can provide to another
      in this world. Through the
       medium  of our words we
         connect and come to
           understand that
             we are never
                alone.

I’m An Embarrassment?

Somebody that my wife, Anne, has known all her life phoned her the other day. She hadn’t spoken to this person for a couple of months and had thought it strange that they had not been in touch for so long.

It turned out that this person had been on the receiving end of some transphobic teasing in public because of his association with me through my wife. Rather than standing up for Anne and me, he found the experience humiliating and took this out on my wife.

I’ll not go into all the details, but she was subjected to a torrent of insults and abuse shouted down the phone by this so-called close friend and ended up very upset and distressed. Being called some of the things — perverted, disgusting, embarrassing, mental — was bad enough, but there was worse which I will not repeat here. I’ll just say that it was a massive slur on her character and definitely slanderous.

All because she continues to love me as a trans woman. So these people think I am an embarrassment because I am making the journey to become my real self? Anne and I are two people who love each other and we can’t see how that affects the lives of these others.

We have a message for the people who don’t like how we are: we don’t want anything to do with you and your intolerance. You are an embarrassment, and your ignorant prejudice has no place in our lives. We choose to associate with people who value and practice tolerance, acceptance, understanding and love. Not those who close their minds and treat anything outside their narrow view of the world with fear, contempt, disgust and hatred.

Love At The End Of Fear

This is a post for the Love Not Fear flashblog in support of Boycott Autism Speaks.

Once-perfect child, my greatest hope,
Now tainted by a doctor’s word.
My happy dream gone up in smoke,
Autistic ashes, fear conferred.

My knowledge of my daughter’s plight,
My fear, uncertainty and doubts,
Were nourished by a Googled site:
Autism Speaks — or is it Shouts?

Each day I counted up the cost
And watched as cracks spread through our lives.
The daily stress now she was lost:
Our family fighting to survive.

Until the day I heard a voice
That sang me such a diff’rent song.
It taught me that I had a choice,
And what I thought I knew was wrong.

With positive examples found
Of how my child could think and feel,
I knew a moment so profound,
I knew our fear-born wounds would heal.

With hope rekindled in my heart,
The daughter that I hold so dear
Turned out to be both brave and smart.
Our bond is built on love, not fear.

I Don’t Know What Love Is

When I was young
I never thought
About what love was:
I didn’t need
To question.

Love was a word
I never uttered.
The emotional
Implications
Were too strong.

It was always
A thing I knew
Without words:
Beyond friendship
As one soul.

To feel that I
And another
Were so entwined,
That nothing could
Break that bond.

But now you say
I never knew
What love was.
I know it by
The empty space.