I once was a girl with a dream to belong, to overcome, to change the story written for her. I once was that girl who couldn’t walk, couldn’t count, couldn’t win, couldn’t love, couldn’t fit in.
By Martina L. Beattie
I once knew a girl with red-brown hair to her back and hazel-green eyes that looked like the earth. She was nice to everyone yet had no friends. She didn’t mind that though, she would just play with the superheroes that lived inside her head. There she could be anything, a famous singer, a dancer or broadway performer … even a superhero. You see life started roughly. She couldn’t walk, couldn’t speak the words that people could understand, couldn’t do anything but imagine a life with no limits, rules, or boundaries; she had the music of life inside her head. Nonetheless, She craved to be heard and she knew she needed to show what she imagined, who she truly was! … Not too much though, we can’t let autism show because if So you will never grow.
I once knew a girl much older than the last, heart-shaped face, skin of porcelain glass, and her hair up to her ears, she seemed to have no fears. She was a pixie full of glee and powers beyond the seas.
She was young but to keep her mind at ease she cooked and cleaned. You see, She was a business girl through and through and even dreamt of dancing with kangaroos. She sold lemonade and made all her customers laugh, she collected change to bring back. She couldn’t count the change, it just didn’t click, yet the pennies were her favorite, so simple yet so unappreciated.
Most of the time she felt like a penny, worth like gold but treated like the last.
Like a penny, she felt small and disregarded, never looked at for more than just a glance. How she knew one day this will pass, Just don’t let them know, don’t let your autism show.
I once knew a girl about 15, she’s pretty but won’t ever know. Her hair was dyed black her eyes didn’t match, she lived in her head to escape the people at school. She was loud and unruly, even the teachers were cruel. They didn’t understand the fuel that ran her. “Too bold, too loud,” she never fit in; it was never her thing. She would fight and say what was on her mind even if she got denied. She was powerful and outspoken but stood quiet and often got abused. Yet she didn’t just let them walk all over her; she was very headstrong. So she did what she knew best she fought and fought not caring about the consequences before her.
You are never getting anywhere with a mouth like that…I promise you, don’t fight back… We don’t believe in you … we don’t trust you … too promiscuous, too stubborn, too out of the box.
Whatever she did she still couldn’t do right in their eyes and nothing was ever good enough. It felt as if they made it their mission to watch her fail. She knew she could never get what she wanted. She must leave and she ended up fleeing even though her grades were mostly Bs. She never looked back even now after she still gets attacked, “stupid … waste of space,” … “How dare she go off alone?” “You can’t make it on your own,”… “failure.”
They didn’t hold back. This did bother her, yet she pushed to find the real her but to do so she could never let her autism show.
I once knew a girl older and wiser who lives in her head yet she still makes her bed. She has her place, yet made many mistakes but wouldn’t change a thing at all. She has eyes of emerald green and hair that changes like a mood ring. Though she’s old she treats her stuffies like gold. And when she’s not in her head she dances instead. She works all the time and has a place she calls her own, yet she’s not alone. She lives with a best friend who she’ll soon call her husband, he’s someone she can trust. He’s someone who saw her as big when she was still small, he was someone who supported her through everything, autistic and all. He never said her autism was showing like the ones who come now and then.
People say they are proud of this girl but for only what she has: a good house, a good job, a good life. She thought praise is what she wanted and sure that’s what she got. Yet, she knew if she told them who she was truly they would treat her differently. She knew they would say she was “incapable,” “unworkable,” “unfit.” That’s okay though all I have to do is never let them know, never let my autism show.
I once was all these girls, lonely and small, big and strong, unsurprisingly perfectly imperfect all at the same time. With words as loud as her soul and eyes that reflected her path, choices, and decisions she would never give back. I once was a girl with a dream to belong, to overcome, to change the story written for her. I once was that girl who couldn’t walk, couldn’t count, couldn’t win, couldn’t love, couldn’t fit in.
I reach out for that girl with the world in her eyes and the song in her mind, the girl who walked with a dance, a skip, and a smile. When I look at her with stars in my eyes admiring her strength and determination with no regrets besides one.
You are autistic and you should let it show, it’s your power and your glow. It’s your kindness in your heart, the glitter in your eyes, it’s the voice in your mind telling you what to do, it’s your superpower, your pennies, it’s unbreakable you.
Autism comes in many shapes and forms if you are autistic please don’t feel like you are alone. 1 in every 160 is diagnosed with autism worldwide and in the United States alone, around 5.4 million people are autistic.
Some people’s autism shows more than others and tends to get misdiagnosed especially in girls.
This has to do with a thing we do called masking. Masking is a way of covering up the show signs of autism that aid in diagnosis. Often girls with autism aren’t correctly diagnosed until later in life while autism in males can get diagnosed as early as 6 months old.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed or experiences autistic traits treat them as they are, perfect, smart, and miraculous. The greatest minds of the world have had some form of autism, like Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, and Emily Dickinson, or more recently Elon Musk, Dr. Angel Durr and Anita Cameron.
You see, autism does make you different, but that is not a bad thing!
Be different, be outspoken, be imperfectly perfect, be Autistic, Be you! For I truly believe we are superheroes that will change the world one difference at a time.
My name is Martina L. Beattie, 18, Ansonia, CT and I’m autistic. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 8 years old but always told I didn’t look autistic this of course caused a ton of problems for me growing up. I was bullied even by people who were meant to guide me, I was also looked at like a liar or burden. I went through life not normal enough to be “normal “ and not autistic enough to be autistic it felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I then dropped out at 15 years old, it wasn’t the easiest path and definitely not for everyone but it was the best choice I could have ever made for myself. I got a job, apartment, I went to a school that supported me and I even got published on mental health awareness.
I grew into a very independent, strong, miraculous, autisic woman who makes the world her classroom and even though some days are worse than others I’m proud that I can finally say “hello I’m Marti and I’m autistic.”