This book chronicles, in poetry, my journey through learning about my true self, as a woman on the autism spectrum. It follows the process of realization and being diagnosed. It begins before and leading up to the diagnosis, and continues throughout the aftermath and joy.
Then it follows, through grief, sorrow, shock, and defensive resistance to being attacked for my enthusiasm in “coming out of the autism closet.” I got back up from that too. In the end there’s a coming to peace with realizing that this kind of thing will be inevitable, if I’m to do this work and be open.
After I got back up from a nightmare of a knock, which risked my health and safety, the experience had me realize important things about who I am. I was able to clearly see what I must do, in order to rise above. It's taken me awhile to be able to, and it’s still a process, especially with my recent health progression and diagnosis/acknowledgment of the connective tissue disorder Ehlers-danlos syndrome. But, it started there, and the journey continues.
I put my true thoughts and feelings on paper, expressing my deepest introspective views; of the world, of people and society, of hope for progression, change and social equality. It describes my growing discovery of injustices amongst humanity, post “awakening” into what was actually going in for me, in my life.
Heart of A Womanchild child is more about the feelings. In poetry, this book depicts a coming to be; a reawakening and realization of true purpose. It’s “sister” collection book (of blogs) “Diary of A Girl Outside The Box”, is more about the analytical and empirical activism side of it.
Writing introspectively helps remind me that I have to have the self-respect and faith required to fully rise above those who “don’t get it”, and to be as well as I can, in spite. I need to remember who I am, and my core truth, in order to heal from the years of hurt and trauma while “going under the radar”as well as the recent bad experiences of prejudice in my “coming out.”
I've also included a bonus section: the best of my teen poetry. I felt this was important, and the poems are good. I had some published. It chronicles what I went through as a teen, faced with difficulties unknowingly related to being on the autism spectrum, as well as in the midst of hardship and barriers. This included having a parent with cancer, and being in poverty significant enough to cause unduly stress, interference with just being a teenager and lack of opportunity in realizing my full potential at the time. The teen poetry begins when I first started writing at age 13, as a means to help myself through understanding my emotions. It carries through to age 19. Then, I stopped and fell into struggle for a long time, with no writing.
Poetry is therapeutic; especially for people on the autism spectrum.
Written words and rhythm, when used to pinpoint feelings difficult to say, are very releasing. When an autistic person loses the ability to use them, it often means things have gotten really tough and overwhelming. This is called selective mutism or shutdown, and often results from an overload or following a meltdown. This is a hard one for many, especially if they don’t know they may be on the spectrum/continuum. I think some try to fight it. However, I've learned that it's best to surrender to it; the fight makes it worse. The words will come when the processing gets there. When they do, it's like medicine!
I believe those on the spectrum deal with their strife and struggles a bit differently, both in better ways, and in worse ways at times. We are sensitive, vulnerable, and more easily traumatized; but we also have this incredibly strong will to survive, even when at the brink. Much of my poetry depicts that, and tells this story. There is so much to say in order to explain who I am and where I come from (Another planet? No...just joking.) The words in rhythm and rhyme explain it best for me.
I hope you enjoy, and maybe even relate to these words from the “heart of a womanchild.”
In the morning (diamante)
in the morning
body, mind, adorning
specks and streams of broken glass
stuck inside with candle wax
get under the heat
- Girl Outside
You can get all PDFs at http://www.girloutside.org/booksall/ (PDF layout is better honed than the blog format)