This poem was written about my recent stay in mental health facility where I was admitted due to a meltdown. Miranda Wallace Ireland
Catch and Release
I am autistic because
when everyone else laughs
and I don’t think it’s funny
I don’t care to mimic you
No monkey see, no monkey do
I am autistic because when someone is cruel to me, I dare wonder why
I do not see
the part of me that’s broken in your eyes
I stare into your disrespect so you think I don’t understand
It’s me you send your laughter to
But I do
I’m just not going to fight you
Until you push and push and push
your demands more exhausting, exacting, absurd than the last and I CAN’T
Give in to you one more time so out I lash and suddenly I’m the one
who is less human
I only hurt you
when you hurt me first
you know your coercion, control
are abuse, that hurts
You dont treat me like a human
you treat me like a fish
slippery, with a silvery magic but to be gutted
Fish don’t feel pain
fish don’t remember
the prisons you build
NONE of it true
Fish feel everything you do
I am not slippery
(but my magic is true)
You just can’t catch without
my making you
Miranda Wallace Ireland is lifelong writer and artist who uses the pen, the camera, and many other mediums in order to cope with life in Neurodivergent society. She is 36, has two children, and lives with her partners on Vancouver Island.
Wow, l relate to this poem. It can be so hard to capture these experiences with words and I’m so grateful you did. Thank you for sharing this with us
The moment you said you were treated like a fish …
Dear Miranda – Welcome, and thank you for your courageous sharing.
I had a major meltdown in my teens that sent me to hospital, where things got worse. The NT world, doesn’t understand, and therefore does not know how to treat or heal us, esp when our autism becomes driven into extreme places, from which the only way out is a meltdown.
During my meltdowns, all of my normal defences [mostly social delusions] that kept my life organized and connected to the common reality collapsed, sending me into emotional/spiritual chaos. It takes time to reorganize or convert that emotional/spiritual chaos back into some order from which life can proceed.
Why does this happen to us? I believe that autistic people are simply spirits that too large and powerful to fit properly into these tiny human Earth bodies. The parts of our spiritual nature that don’t fit into the human shell, stick out, and become problematic to us and others. These troublesome bits, like my eyes that have trouble connecting with other eyes, often seem like disadvantages, but they can grow into our greatest strengths.
I find deep comfort and fulfillment, in tending mindfully to my extraordinary spiritual nature and needs.
I love this poem. Thank you.
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