By Emily Atkinson-Dalton
People look with pity in their eyes.
They think I don’t know,
I’m too young, Too different.
I am different,
I look back on the days before I really knew,
Before I knew why my sister would be afraid of me,
Before I knew why my mother paid me more attention than the others,
Before I knew why the woman came to watch me.
They always watch me.
I was scared, I am frustrated, I didn’t know.
I didn’t know why this woman watched me, filmed me, followed me.
I lashed out but not at them,
I would never hurt them. But I couldn’t tell them that.
A lump on the head, or a few weeks late talking.
A frustration or fear displayed as anger,
A small problem in a young mind has tainted me forever,
I’m different now.
Years later and it still haunts me, follows me,
Their eyes and their words change when they know,
When they know what I am.
But I’m different now.
I know why I was different, now.
A curse bestowed upon me as a small child,
Created the ghost that mocks me today.
People ask where I went to school,
People ask why I’m in a bad mood,
“It’s okay, hes autistic”.
I’m an unpredictable embarrassment,
A child of no future or hope,
Every thing which makes me unique,
Is all part of it.
But that’s not who I am.
Please do not fear me,
Stare in awe preparing for the next time I do something strange.
I am not a label but a person,
Just like you.
Emily Atkinson-Dalton is a 23 year old woman from Bath. She has always loved writing poetry and short stories, and is attending University in September to study Creative Writing. She draws inspiration from her own life and the lives of those around her, as well as general political and social issues, often writing about mental health issues, animal rights and women’s rights. She has recently had two poems published in the anthologies “Joyful Tragedies: A Collection of Poetry” and “The Barefoot Vegan Poetry Book.” Emily Atkinson Dalton dedicates this to her autistic friend who has expressed his feelings, from family life and growing up to his school years and beyond to her. Many parts of this poem are what he has conveyed to her.
Header Art Work: Moontain Dreamantra II – Follow him on Facebook.