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Sep 3
bright lights, background noise
all blurs into one big wall
my brain can’t process
all these things at once
I stare at other girls
copy their mannerisms
hiding myself
from the outside world
when I get home
I run into my room
take of this mask that I’ve worked so hard
to develop
only to hide everything about myself
everything that makes me me
just so I don’t get laughed at
made fun of
again
I feel like an alien
dropped down on an unfamiliar earth
having to fit in
pretending to be like everyone else
but not understanding
a single thing
sarcasm, cues, it’s all bologna
where are these rules written
give me the book
I’ll study it forever and still not get it
but at least I’ll seem normal
right?
I stop myself when I get too excited
my dad gives me a weird look
when I talk about the brain
an infinitely complex ***** that contains our whole life
my body is a mere appendix
I tell my friends about Latin etymology
did you know the hippocampus is named after the seahorse?
I hold my hands tightly
to prevent myself from shaking them around
like I want to
social hierarchy
what is it
how does it work and how do you know it
how many seconds do I stare into your eyes
my seven-two rule I sometimes despise
I immerse myself in fictional worlds
observing the characters
how they talk smile and move
taking notes
making flashcards
all to appear
normal
did it work?
it must have, right?
been fooling everyone for sixteen years
and it’s taking its toll
on me
it’s hard
it was easier when I was a kid
you just play beside another kid
but now there are rules I have never learnt
sarcasm is more prevalent
just smile and laugh right?
but what if you can’t even identify it
always never enough
criticism is my worst enemy
my grades have to be perfect but why
why
I’m the smartest person in any room
I’ve ever been in
but I have to appear normal
normal
neurotypical
allistic
hiding myself
but why
imagine a world where everyone
was like me
and this mask would never
even have existed
there would be no stress
I’d already fit right in
perfectly
no mask
no hiding
flapping my hands and talking
about the brain
about moths
about criminal minds
without judgement
it sounds like a dream
it actually was
but this world is far more difficult
I walk through a mall shutting myself in
because if I don’t I’ll explode
I close my eyes right as the bright flood lights pierce my brain
I smile as the background noise hits me like a wall of unfamiliar loud pain
I hide it well
sometimes
after a while it gets bad
I run and find a dark store
a worker asks me what do you need today
I run back out and feel bad for days
people talking, coins rattling
it all blends together
I can’t imagine a world
where it doesn’t
where my parents would let me
wear my headphones
without taunting me
a world where I have never been called
*******
stupid
******
loser
sensitive
from everyone
I can mask well
and that’s my downfall
because nobody ever notices
how hard I struggle
deciphering these looks
their tone of voice
they’re joking right?
years later I realize they weren’t
they were making fun of me
but you see
I wouldn’t change my brain
believe it or not
it is who I am
the feeling of telling people about my interests, watching my favourite tv shows, happy stimming, listening to music, my near perfect memory, recognizing patterns in everything
it’s a blessing and a curse
but it’s who I am
I couldn’t imagine life without the excitement and passion I have now
the feeling of flapping my hands and jumping
nothing beats that
the brain blur and tingle
the dopamine flooding my brain
it can be good
even if the bad is still there
this world wasn’t designed for me
and I’m starting to realize that
it was designed to exclude me
other people must look at me and think wow
she’s so strange
but I’m thinking the same about them
they walk around and go to parties
how are you? I’m doing well, how are you?
it’s nonsensical
I’ve learned to copy them
but at what cost
is losing myself worth it all
unmasking is incredible
but it can be dangerous
the bullying, the criticism
even from your own parents
can sting
everything I’ve ever been called as an insult
I remember it
I remember it all
I wish people could understand
I’m not Sheldon Cooper
I’m not a robot
I probably have more emotion than you
I show it differently
I put on this mask to prevent hate
from this society
that is so ableist
sixteen years of my life I’ve fooled everyone
I wish I could go back and start over
be the little alien I felt like inside
not worry about the monsters
because they weren’t under my bed
they were everywhere else
it doesn’t really rhyme but just some of my thoughts- this is how it feels to be autistic.
Written by
Lila Platt  16/F/studying neuroscience
(16/F/studying neuroscience)   
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