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brandy Jun 10
i remember this one conversation
with such clarity it alarms me
in the dead of night
with a longing for ecstasy
seeping through his tone he asked me,
"could..you imagine....what..life...would be like...if we weren't..mentally ill?"
and with that question
my hanging heart
sunk even lower into its pit
due to jealousy and frustration
for my cursed blessing
and i was confused on how
for i had believed my heart already laid
at what i'd thought to be
rock bottom
well besides that,
he did provoke me
to question
is there is a chance
for my heart to find
its rightful place
in my body
yet again?
and maybe along with it
all of my chemical receptors,
and my neurological network of pathways
could all find their own
harmonious balance and natural sources
of dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine
and have them work "flaw"lessly  
just, way they were originally created to
when the goddess of mental
crafted these things with such care
and gifted those beautifully painful things
to humankind
****
the unholy things i'd do to obtain
the goddess of neurotypicality's
scientific? spiritual? situational?
whatever the **** is in her elixir of secret
for mental peace and serenity
that few were blessed with unconditionally
to me it just sounds like magic
but back to him the only way i could reply
was with,
"i could only dream"
for i believe
in a lifetime of mine past
i may may have made a deal
with the devil of neurodiversity,
a fallen angel without malice,
who simply forgot
to grant me the knowledge  
of how i would be reborn
into a world
where its society
would be unfit for me and my kind of mind
and with that thought lingering i added,
"but yeah...it must be nice"
try. to start loving yourself unconditionally and in entirety my dear, it's the very least of what you deserve, when you inhabit a world that will rarely show love or understanding to your uniquely beautiful soul. your road will be long, you will trip many times, and you will gather as many scars mental, as you possess physical.
but if you keep sailing through your hardships, you will eventually find your own way to keep wind in your sails, at some point in time during your story. i will always be proud when i see you inch forward into the unknown, and i pray you stick around, through your many obstacles, for your many turning points ahead. as those turning points are always the best part to any story plot when you look back from the future. please try to remember that turning points only follow major and minor falls (however you see fit to call them) or when the weight built up from the many falls in your past, start to feel like they're all crushing you at once.
there is always rain before there is sunshine. i beg you to try to hold on trough the storms until the clouds shift and the wind calms so that you can dance in the sunlight again. i promise you, you will dance again.
i just can't tell you exactly when
   ~The Devil of Neurodiversity
I have two facts for you that exist in my mind -
1. I am normal
2. I do not 'feel' normal
I have never considered myself to be normal.
I knew i wasn't normal when at the age of eight after my Dad left my school hired a counsellor just for me,
and i wasn't normal how after then i was the only pupil to be from a single parent family.
I wasn't normal when just after this abandonment my body entered early puberty,
and so feeling weird didn't stay a feeling, it became a reality.
Picked on for things out of my control, i felt like a freak.
Even at the age of eight, every aspect of my identity was up for scrutiny.
I knew i wasn't normal when in secondary school i would purposely get detentions
to spend time with teachers, because the the turmoil of the school yard was a teenage no man's land.
The company of those my own age is something i will never understand.
I knew i wasn't normal when i would hesistate in conversation when someone asked me who i fancied in my class.
The name of a random boy rolled from my tongue in an attempt to not blow my cover.
I knew i wasn't normal when my tweets coming out as bi were passed around like breaking news.
When i tried to defend myself in the interrogations, teachers would sternly say to me -
'That's not appropriate to be talking about in school' like my sexuality was a hushed secret, even though the straight girls were never silenced.
I knew i wasn't normal when i had to say i was bi, when in fact this was a lie. A lie to help me pass, pass and hold on to some straight privilege.
At the age of sixteen i questionned my worth and value as a person, trying to blame myself for the treatment i was subjected to.
I knew i wasn't normal when i decided to place my emotional pain onto a physical space, then patching up the damage as a form of ironic self-care.
I left school for a college, desperately seeking freedom from the constraints of a Catholic school.
I never felt comfortable in sixth form, being there my mind felt like a spinning waltzer i was strapped to for two years.
At seventeen i knew i wasn't normal when i was prescribed the maximum dose of sertraline, then mirtazapine, venlafaxine, fluoxetine.
By this point in my life i was on a tally of maybe six counsellors and two CBT therapists.
I knew i wasn't normal when i started to blame myself for the therapy not being successful. Maybe i was just meant to be depressed.
Changing my thinking styles, emotional regulation, journalling my feelings and triggers, i knew exactly what i had to do.
I knew i wasn't normal when i clung onto certin things as comfort, like my adoration for florence and the machine.
I started to experiment, toying between wanting to fit in and wanting to be myself, painting bright eyeshadow on my lids as a vibrant mask to carry me through.
I knew i wasn't normal when i reached out to the local crisis team experiencing auditory hallicinations, hearing sounds only meant for my ears.
My emotional states are a product of my trauma, which is difficult to navigate as the world's greatest performer.
Maybe i was meant to face this internal torment, or until now i hadn't considered i could be neurodivergent.
Justin Lai Jan 10
O brother, tell us where you've been!
What is the world like beyond these trenches?

Is it safe to crawl out —
we heard the wolves were just 'were-' with a sweet tooth.
Won't you help us sniff out the lotus from the roses,
their thorns so cleverly hidden…

Sisters, we're tired of hiding in the dark,
our eyelids shut by the nurse's damp cloth;

To our champions: were you blessed in your travails?
Did you find the loving,
the caring,
the fabled Happy People that
Nashville balladeers croon about?

brave children, remember to return;
we dreamed of setting foot in a place of our own, too.
does one exist in their world ||

// NOT THEIR WORLD
NOT OURS EITHER
BUT ALL OF OUR
UNIVERSE //
I was thinking about minorities and marginalised groups, that it takes individuals braving uncertainty and doubt to blaze a trail for everyone else. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

(Giha Village is an underground village from the anime Gurren Lagann. Happy People is a song written by Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters and recorded by Little Big Town.)
Sometimes I hope that someone might notice my difference,
Might intuit that the first approach,
The handshake, the "Can I join you?"
Is simply more difficult
And make the first move.
Sometimes I hope that people will realize the hand motions,
Foot tapping, slight rock of the body or toes
Are not merely a restless fidget,
Not impatience, nor disrespect.
Sometimes I want to be invisible,
Normal,
Neurotypical,
To be just another human being,
But mostly I wish to be accepted,
Autistic, quirky, kind, creative,
ME.
"You can join our group," he says,
"But only if you look everyone in the eyes."
I freeze.
Surely he is aware by now that the words
Autism Spectrum Disorder
In my chart were not placed there for fun?
Surely he is aware by now that finger twitching, body rocking,
     gaze avoiding
Are not for my frivolous pleasure?
Surely he is aware by now the absurdity of what he asks?
I am autistic.
Burning irritation of the eyes and panic aside,
Staring creepily into another human's eyeballs
Would render group a waste of time, no possibility to listen.
He knows this.
It is his prejudice that keeps him rooted to the spot.
I can feel the weight of his expectations boring into my forehead.
Explaining what it is to ask this of me,
I remind him that drawing this line would be excluding me because
Of my autism.
I tell him he would be losing a valuable participant,
A deep thinker, a creator, an avid listener.
I tell him he would be discriminating,
That I am protected by law.
Oh, no.
He budges not,
For he does not dislike autistic humans
So long as they act like they are Neurotypical,
So long as I pretend to be
Someone I am not.
Autism Speaks don’t speak for me.
Cause I reject their reality.
What if I felt the exact same way
about their neurotypicality?
See, normal?
It’s a peculiar word,
and I guess it means I’m not following the herd.
But I don’t see why you want me gone—
At least I’m alive. At least I’m strong.
******.
My existence a crime.
A baby they’d abort if they’d only had the time.
Early detection.
Eugenics by another name.
Autism speaks till you silence it without shame.
Auschwitz for Autism, soon to be in business—
Neurotypical Nazis, only trying to finish us
Yeah, to you we’re hardly people,
and driving off a cliff with your daughter isn’t evil?
Well, here’s another wakeup call for the sheeple.
You exterminate so much you make the Daleks look peaceful.
Well, aren’t I human? Answer me please.
Because your fear and “awareness” has me down on my knees.
A slam poem about the atrocity that is Autism Speaks.

— The End —