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I watch them talk, express, emote
Studying every movement, every smile, I take note
Compiling the data in an organized fashion
Psychology books I devour with an unbridled passion
Putting on a mask like I’m at a masquerade
Underneath lies a little girl, alone in a big arcade
Practising my laugh in front of a mirror
Wiping away tears just to see it clearer
Searching “how to identify sarcasm” late into the night
Sore, tired eyes from my phone’s bright light
Relapsing into tears
Ridicule is one of my biggest fears

Why can’t I be like everyone else?
Another poem about masking autism and how it feels.
Lila Platt 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.
A line to define us is what you imagine,
When you hear the words,
Autism Spectrum Disorder,
It generally happens.

You place us in order,
Based on our physical representation,
And here come the words that I must slaughter,
Before you draw this misrepresentation.

We are not,
The terms ‘high functioning’,
Or ‘low functioning’,
In fact this is actually quite impolite.
To give a more representable label,
Please use the terms,
Severe Autism,
Moderate,
Or mild.

Every autistic person,
Has a different set of strengths and needs,
So do not presume the ‘functioning’ term,
As it tends to arrange and mistreat,
Every autistic person,
Who experiences challenges,
In different versions.

With these terms,
We have created the gap between neurotypicals and the autistic on our own.
When after all,
A better understanding is all we need to be realistic,
Because we all share the same bones.

So, no two people you meet with autism,
Are categorically the same.
We are a spectrum of many beautiful colours,
And we are all here to play the same game.
There are multiple areas where we can succeed,
And just like you,
Others, where we are not so great.
- Bethany Collery -
@poetry.bethanycollery on IG
Jaicob Nov 2020
"Tick, tick, tick,"
The little watch shouts.
He sits inside my pocket
And awaits me drawing him out.

Tic, tic, tic
It's time for me to rest.
Society and anxiety
Give me too much stress.

"Tick, tick, tick,"
His voice puts me to sleep.
I love his perfect rhythms-
The perfect time he keeps.

Tic, tic, tic
The second I put him away,
The vicious tics come back
I wish they wouldn't stay.

"Tick, tick, tick,"
Directly into my ear.
The only way to stay 'normal'
Is through the rhythm I hear.

Tic, tic, tic
Whenever I am stressed,
The painful tics come back
And cannot be suppressed.

"Tick, tick, tick,"
The second-hand marches on.
Enduring all his hardships,
He's rewound every dawn.

Tic, tic, tic
My fists are bruised and aching.
"What a crazy spaz"
Society's gaze is saying.

"Tick, tick, tick,"
My lovely watch proclaims.
I whisper the rhythm back;
The perfection keeps me sane.

- - -

I need my pocket watch beside me.
Though it may not seem I do.
You simply do not understand
The troubles I'm pushing through.

The terrible sounds and motions
Are so very, very draining.
The worry to always suppress,
Wears out by the day's ending.

My watch sits beside me,
Ticking as I write this
(Ticking so I don't have to),
And reading as a witness.
This poem is about how stress and anxiety often make my tics worse. I always keep a pocket watch with me, however, so I can pull it out and place it near my ear to listen to the perfect ticking noise it makes. This very unceasing rhythm is what keeps me from having a breakdown most of the time.
Jordon Rivir Aug 2020
Everyone else,
Has theses “normal” kids,
They think they are special,
When mine really is,
You can’t compare or empathize,
For what I produced
From between my thighs,
Has haunted me since his diagnosis,
Believing I can help him,
But I’m foolish,
Every parent is going to need help,
I need to admit that,
I’m better than no one else.
Vellichor Aug 2020
I hate myself for talking
I inevitably do
And I wonder if you’d been so mean
If you really knew

That I would cry for hours
Hate myself for days
Stare blankly into mirrors
Until my worn eyes glazed

That for years it would haunt me
I’d replay the words I said
Your disgusted look
Tattooed inside my head

That I’d lie awake at night
Clawing at my skin
Because I hated what I knew
Was lying deep within

And I wonder if you’d been so cruel
Had you truly known
What it’s like to live with autism
How it feels to sit alone
me Feb 2020
does my "less than" title
make you better
than me?
Moth Jul 2019
I'm no puzzle piece
it's not a question
or some problem

I'm a little different
but that's not wrong
I can just be myself

I'm not part of your ideal
I shake, smile, and stutter
and get nervous alone

I'm a lover of many things
just not touching you
or being put into boxes
Sorry for posting so many ASD poems I'm just really frustrated with myself and neurotypicals. I also really hate that puzzle piece symbolism, but blue is my favorite color.
Moth Jul 2019
dark room
draped in shadow

soft music
slipping in and out

gentle colors
flow into my eyes

fuzzy socks
will warm my soul

heavy blankets
help ease my pains
Today was a terrible day. I really needed to just get that out. I had a meltdown today and it ******.
Kelly O'Toole May 2019
I tiptoe across the floor,
I sway side to side.
I like to feel different textures, but some they make me cry.
I'm also a fussy eater, my beans can't touch my egg.
And god help you if you think I'm eating all that veg.
Bath time can be stressful,
I don't like water on my head.
It makes me feel weird and gives me a shear dread.
I know what's coming next,
The comb to my head.
I don't like the prickles, they feel just like the trickles.
The towel may be warm, but it irritates my skin.
The clothes are nice and bright but they just feel too tight.
My socks are never right,
My shoes rub off my skin.
The light flickers and the walls are caving in.
The music is thumping.
My head is pounding.
My mind is racing.
I feel agitated.
Panic has set in.
And my heart it is throbbing.
The humming of the oven,
The wish wash of the machine.
The dripping of the tap,
The whistle of the birds.
The bark of the dogs,
The cries of the baby.
The whispering of the walls.
I need my safe space.
I need to calm down.
I may self soothe as your touch could feel crude.
My emotions are overwhelming.
I can feel all the tears, it's like I'm drowning, so please stay near.
I try to do good, but I get frustrated.
No one sees my struggle, because I don't know how to say it.
I'm like a ticking bomb, ready to unleash thunder.
I scream, I roar, I hit, I kick.
I bite with all my might.
But I am in fright.
It's from the fight or flight.
But I am a gentle being,
Misunderstood it seems.
I might not like my toys,
But you bring me so much joy.
My eyes appear glazed and I may seem like I'm in a daze.
And though I might not say it, I love you in many ways.
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