I have talked on this blog before about how I appreciate my autism. I have said that autism is beautiful and that I love it. But I have also talked about some of the hard things about autism. I have talked about why autism is difficult to deal with and understand.
I created this blog not to glorify autism or propose the cure for difficult behaviors or to show people how to make autism pass for normalcy. This blog was created as an attempt to help others understand autism better and to help me understand myself better in the process.
I hope that I have accomplished that in a small way and that as I continue to write and attempt to explain and show examples, that people will start to understand a little bit more.
Sometimes I wish I had the words to say everything I want to say. Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel dumb when I made a comment on someone else’s blog because I want to express sympathy and understanding and a connection to them and what they’ve said but what flows out of me is emotions, not words, and how can you possibly show someone your heart? Sometimes I wish I could harness my feelings and energy into something people could see or touch.
I wish that the explosions of emotions inside me could turn into a great tree with long crevices in the bark for the pain I can’t express and lots of sturdy branches reaching out for all the people I want to help but can’t because I’m small and weak and unable to express myself. A tree with large leaves filled with tiny veins to express the complexity of each of my thoughts that are ignored as they rustle in the wind and fall to the ground because they appear simple and unnecessary from afar. A tree with lots of tiny holes in it that allow it to breathe and take in everything around it because I feel everything and I breathe it in and it consumes me. A tree with bends and bumps and sap oozing out of it because I have been through things no one remembers, but they are a part of me and my emotions that sometimes ooze out of me because I take so much in that I can’t figure out how else to get some stuff out.
Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think that I must be a tree. Taking in carbon dioxide and trying to turn it into breathable oxygen. I am a tree that people carve into and saw branches off because they don’t understand how I need to grow. I am a tree that people try to shape into what they want because it’s their world and their yard and I am just a visitor here. I am a tree that keeps struggling to grow outward and upward, trying to stay alive in a world that doesn’t appreciate me, trying to change the world, trying to make the world more beautiful, trying to fill the world with something better than the grass of the rest of the lawn. I stand alone, watching the rest of the world as the grass seems to grow so quickly in comparison to my slow growth.
And yet, each tree is different like each person with autism is different. Each tree has it’s own strengths and weaknesses and curves and branches. But we all struggle to live in a world that gives us carbon dioxide and expects oxygen out of us. We struggle to shorten our branches because the grass is more important than the trees. We struggle to make a way for ourselves when the sidewalk cuts off our roots or we grow too close to a house because we know that ultimately the beautiful we would naturally become isn’t as important as the rules of the world we’ve grown into. And so we keep struggling in a world that loves the grass more than the trees.
This past weekend I hit a couple of milestones. This blog reached 50 follows and all of my blogs combined reached 100 follows. (These numbers don’t include facebook followers.) Now, in the internet world, this doesn’t sound like much. But for someone who has barely had maybe 15 good friends in my life, this is a huge accomplishment. To think that I could possibly make a difference in 100 people’s lives is an amazing thing.
I’ve always kind of seen myself as inconsequential. I’m the type of person that people say they wish they had gotten to know better, but then probably forget a few years later. But as inconsequential as I’ve probably been in the world, I feel like I have so much to share. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make the world a better place.
There’s just so much pain and hurt and misunderstandings in the world. I know I can’t change everything, but I plan to do my best to change what I can. The world needs more hope and love and understanding. And though I’m just one small person with lots of problems, I’ll do my best to make the world a little better.