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The first lesson they teach us in EMT class
Is to never lose our compassion,
Never forget that every patient is
A human being with a story, a family, a life.
They tell us to keep our emotions in check
But to never lose our respect,
The trust in the competency and freedom of choice,
For we are the link of survival
On the worst day of their lives.
We were not there to know the reason that led
Up to the call,
But we are there to get them through the danger that followed.
Why then does the text book instruct us to abandon our respect,
Abandon the presumption of humanity
At the mere thought of the words 'developmental disability?'
Why do the words Autism and Down Syndrome suddenly
Make it okay to condescend and patronize as if to a child,
To infantilize an adult whose intelligence we are not qualified to assume?
Why is it my duty to respect a neurotypical patient
And my job to abandon it for the developmentally disabled?
I wonder if they would encourage my peers to treat me the same?
After all, who cares that I am top of the class and squad leader to boot?
Who cares that I answer the most questions or scored highest on the test?
I am autistic. I am considered less than human.
No.
The textbook is wrong,
Primitive despite being updated in 2018.
Respect every patient means Respect ALL,
No exceptions,
No diagnostic caveats.
'First, do no harm.'
Treat with empathy and compassion.
It is their own inhumanity that prevents them
From recognizing the humanity inside us,
The developmentally challenged.
I live on planet Autism,
Population 1 in 59,
No less of a person than any other,
Perhaps more human really.
That humanity is the force behind my First Responder drive.
Do not deign to treat me as small child or foreign planet inhabitant.
Forget the basis in the archaic.
Respect and compassion for all cannot be checked at the door.
I am not less than.
My struggles have, if anything,
Forced me to become more.
Julia Apr 2018
Rushing around
not being able to breathe right,
screaming in silence I’m lost;
I want to be found —
but not by anybody,
who will only have me feel lonely,
even in their company.

I’m just a soul,
with two hands one heart,
wondering if she’ll ever be whole.
A mind that hoards static of the past
like white noise,
that shouldn’t last.

Shattered mirrors within her eyes,
yet the world disregards
that her dimples lie,
it is too vain,
to emphasize what she desires most
which is to be enough,
not forgotten, like a ghost.
K Dupasquier Jan 2018
There was a time when I was afraid.
Not just scared in the traditional sense.
I was afraid of everything.
Afraid of my own failure.
Afraid of my own success.
Afraid of myself.
Who I was meant to be.
Afraid of expressing myself and afraid of the things that I always wanted for myself.
Afraid of accepting my own dreams, for fear of failure.

There is nothing more paralyzing than the fear of not achieving what you desire most.
Nothing more devastating than losing yourself in fear.
Becoming less of a person, just a shell of the person you once were, because the fear you feel is more consuming than the desire to succeed.
The loss of purpose.

How do you grieve for yourself, when you've allowed fear to fester until you no longer recognize the person in the mirror?
How do you recover from such self destructive behavior?
The suicide of one's inner most dreams?
The destruction of everything you once were?
It's self harm to the nth degree; it isn't physical. It's mental, emotional, spiritual.

You destroy everything you believed in, everything that made you yourself, everything that drove you, pushed you, motivated you, the intense internal struggle, the voice that told you who you are.

The joys, the highs and lows, the love and pursuit of those things that you felt so intensely you couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't hope or dream or function without them.

When you've lost the one thing that anyone ever truly possesses? Yourself, your thoughts, your dreams.
How do you cope when your inner voice is no longer your own?
When you've lost more than anyone can possibly lose?
How do you come back to yourself?

You can't.
There is no going back.
There is no do over.
No chance at recovery.

You can only move forward.
Become someone else.
A different you.
Built anew, from the ground up.
Parallel, but never the same.
Someone who isn't afraid.
Someone who will not let go, no matter the cost.
You know, all too well, the price that must be paid.
And it is not worth it.

The spiral, the dream catcher, the smoke on the breeze.
It unravels, slipping through your fingers.
It drifts away so quietly, piece by piece.
You cannot let go.
Don't you dare let yourself go quietly.
You scream, scratch and claw, and fight.
Ferociously hold on for dear life.
You know the end of this path.
No one escapes death.

But you can fight it.
As long and as hard as you can.
Until there is no longer a breath in your body, a dream to hold onto, no strength left in you.
You still fight.
There is no other choice.
No alternative.

You are no longer afraid.
What more is there to fear when you have faced your own death, fought for life, tooth and nail, and lived.
Survived.
There is no fear.
Only the razor edged purpose that cuts you to your core.
Knows who you are.
Feeds you.
Fuels you.
Drives you.
There is no place left for fear.

There is only you.
And your inner voice.
Can you hear it?
K Dupasquier Jan 2018
I'm a victim, and;
I'm angry about it.
I'm enraged that I identify myself as such.
It infuriates me to think of myself this way.
It isn't an excuse.

It's not my fault;
That I still feel the betrayal like it was yesterday.
That I still flinch and cower when I think about it.
That my body may be healed, but my mind will forever be scarred.
But it was what I was led to believe.

And I'm ashamed;
That I let myself be angry.
That I let myself feel betrayed.
That I will always bear this scar.
But it is not my shame.

It's a part of who I am now;
It has made me stronger.
It has forced me to find my voice, and allowed me to speak out.
It has shown me that it may always be a part of me.

But it is not who I am.

I am a victim; of your crime.
My anger; is the result of your actions.
My shame; stems from your shameful acts.

After all this time, I realize, you were the victim;
To your jealousy; of my power.

You took away my power;
Tried to claim it as your own.

I have reclaimed my voice; and it is you who is powerless.

I am a victim; of yours; no more.

You hold no power over me.

My voice will be heard.

— The End —