NaPoWriMo 2012: twenty four


Maybe You Have Noticed

that I don't like making eye contact
that my words are better when
they're rehearsed or written ahead of time
that I get excited, beyond excited
about the things that interest me
that I know a lot about the subjects
I am passionate about
that I go after things in phases

maybe you have noticed

how my legs twitch when I'm nervous
and I used to chew my hair
and I still chew my cuticles
and I spent a month in 9th grade
trying to fingerspell every word
that came out of my mouth
that I jump up and down when I'm excited
and flap my hands (my happy dance)
but I don't do it in public much
because I know it isn't following the rules
("No dancing in the supermarket")

maybe you have noticed

that I laugh inappropriately
(Hamlet dying, things blowing up)
that I am the most empathetic person
that empathy means I feel everything
and sometimes it is too much
and I shut down, completely down
and I have to go to bed early
that I am very sensitive to sound
especially when I'm tired
that I am fairly sensitive to light
that I love getting lost in crowds
but only if I feel safe
(and I feel safe because I know the rules
and I know I can get out if I have to)
that I always know the rules
and I almost always follow them

maybe you have noticed

that it is difficult for me to make new friends
that I am not shy, except when I don't know you
that I seem extroverted, but I need to be alone
to recharge myself so I can be social again
that I am a leader, not a follower,
but if no one will follow, I'll just go
off on my own and do my own thing

maybe you've noticed

how similar my son and I are
how very awesome I think my life is
how I don't think autism is a curse
because I think there's a part of me
somewhere on the spectrum, too

__________________________

Everything on this list is true, but describes only a part of me (how can a human being be reduced to a list?). We've talked a lot about genetics, my husband and I, and how so much of the things that Remy does applied to one or both of us (or still apply). Just more intensely, in his case.

In large part part, this poem was inspired by Stuart Duncan's series on his adulthood diagnosis. I have no interest in getting a diagnosis (and if I ever did, his post on the timeline of his diagnosis has convinced me otherwise: sounds completely awful).

I am an ally. I am an "aut mom." I don't need services or resources for myself at this point in time (though I certainly could have used them when I was being bullied at school). Probably, I have the broad autism phenotype (which is common amongst autism parents).

I'm not sure it really matters. What matters is that I love my son and I love my husband and I love myself and that we all have support in being the best "us" we can be.

Finally, a note about the photo. This is one of my newest obsessions: multiple exposures. (As have been the last two photos.) Made via picasa. I'm thinking about doing a tutorial. This one is titled "Exploding Tulip" because how could it not be? I'm quite in love with it.