Living in your world

I'm not sure how, I begin to tell you, how hard it is, for me, to live in your world. But I'm going to try.

Everyday, it is a struggle, for me. Everyday, it is a struggle to just put enough food and fluid, into my body, to keep it going. I barely move, so you would think, it wouldn't take much food. But trust me, it takes more than I can manage, almost each and every day.

It might be familiar. To hear an aspie say. I just want the world to stop. Just for a day. Just so I can catch my thoughts and process them. Well, the world has kind of stopped for me. But now I want my body to stop.

It's such a struggle. Each and everyday. To put fuel and drink inside this body, to stop the horrific headaches I get because I haven't eaten enough or drank enough. God, I wish it could just switch off this need, just for a while. To give me chance, to really dance. I used to be able to switch off the pain, easily. But now, I can't even do that.

I love food. I really do. I'm a foodie. I love cooking it. I love shopping for the ingredients, preparing it, presenting it and eating it. But I had to learn all that. Eating, is kinda your thing. Not ours. Eating is almost alien to me. I remember, being around the age of 14. And my friend, who I was with at the time. Went into a shop and bought herself a sausage roll.

A sausage roll!!! I remember it clearly. As if it was yesterday.

I was amazed, gobsmacked, confused, fascinated, scared, panicked, embarrassed, humiliated, my head was whirring, my heart beating faster, I couldn't catch the significance of this, the thoughts were coming, thick and fast, my legs got shaky, my breathing laboured, all of this, and more. All of this, all at the same time. What is happening? What's happening to me? Oh god, please let me die. I can't take anymore.

This was the first time that I learned that people actually like food. That not only do they eat food out of choice. But that they actually go out of their way, to spend their own money, to eat this stuff. It was all just too much for me.

My solution, or my reaction, to this new found information, was to move in with this girl. I left home and moved in to live with her and her parents. To learn the crack with this food eating lark. Boy was that a shocker. There was a lot to learn.

In this family, I not only learned to cook and eat more food but I can see now that I also learned to overeat, as well. My friend, was, is, much taller than me and so is her dad. They need more food than me. But I didn't know that, back then. Jeez, I was only just learning that people actually like food and that they do this thing  because they actually want to, not because they have to, because they were forced to. I didn't know how much of it you were supposed to eat. I didn't know what hungry was, and I certainly didn't know what 'full' was. I didn't know when you were supposed to do it, how, why or for how long you were supposed to do it for.

This is what life is like. We have to learn everything. It really is like I come from another planet altogether, not just a different world. I used to always want to die. To go back home, where I belonged. I didn't belong here, in this weird and scary world. Christ, I didn't even like it. It was so restrictive. And you had all these rules. Which, quite frankly, were just insane! How the hell do you begin to get a handle on them? There are so many variables. So many little nuances. It's almost all impossible. I don't know what to do!

But I don't want to die. Not anymore. Not because I don't want to die. Which I don't. Not really. But only because I've realised, that it's not, 'your' world. It's not your world.

All my life I've been trying, succeeding, failing, trying, trying harder, failing harder, succeeding some more, failing some more, just give it one more chance, try harder, go to sleep, sleep some more, pretend your asleep, just close your eyes, wake up, do it all again. Until finally. The crescendo. It's building up. I'm getting better and better, better and better, until yes, I make it. I really really make it.

Phew. I made it. I'm one of you.

Or so I thought.

Then I realised. I'm nothing at all.

Sure. I had the job, car, home, I even had a child. I had plenty of that thing you all seem to value so much. That thing called money. I had it all. Or so I thought. But there was one thing I didn't have.

I didn't have me.

Where was I? Who was I? Did I exist? Where did I go? Was I real? Is this just fantasy? Does this world really exist? Do I exist? Do you exist? Who are you? Who am I?

Yeah. That's it. Who am I????

So. For the first 50 years of my life, I have been trying to be like you. Trying to learn your language, your ways, to have your values, likes and dislikes. To learn it all and be like you. Well, I kind of managed that. To some degree. Like the perfect little replica, I was, at times. I even managed to fool myself. At times. But still. Still I wanted to die. Still I didn't want to be here, but I didn't really know why.

And then. I received the news. I'm human. I'm here. I'm real. I'm a person. I really am. I'm autistic. What a joy. What great news. This is terrific. It's fabulous. Let's celebrate.

That celebration though. The fizz finally went flat. It lasted a while though. I enjoyed it. It was good. But now. I'm back to where I always was. But not quite. Because now, I know that it's not 'your' world. It's my world as well. It's 'our' world. It's 'the' world. The only one that we really know. And I've got as much right to be in this world as you. I know that. Because I'm alive. I've got life.

But how do I tell you, that it's not your world, that it's my world too. We don't even speak the same language. You don't believe that. Because you hear us. S p e a k i n g. T h e. S a m e. W o r d s. A s. Y o u. That's because, Y o u. D o n t . U n d e r s t a n d. O u r. L a n g u a g e. S o. W h e n. W e. F a i l. T o. G e t. Y o u. T o. U n d e r s t a n d. U s. W e. U s e. Y o u r. W o r d s. A n d. Y o u. S t i l l. D o n t. U n d e r s t a n d. U s.

When we try to talk to you. Usually after you have pestered us. You don't hear us. You can't understand us. You say we're having a melt down. WTF. We're talking to you. WE'RE TALKING TO YOU. We're not throwing chairs or stools, or sometimes people. We're not banging our heads against the wall. Why would we do that? Who would do that? We're not doing that. That's just what you think we're doing. And you think that, because you don't understand us. You don't understand us because you don't speak our language. Yet, you expect us, to speak yours.

Well, I've learned your language. And you can keep it. I hate it. I hate your language. I hate your words. With all their rhythms and sounds. Their cuteness and their extravagance. Their tones, and different volumes. It's all noise, no matter how quite it is. It's all noise and I hate it. I don't ever want to speak it again. Your words. Put me in a prison. Your jailers didn't. Did you think that when I was behind the walls, in what you call jail, that I was in prison. Well no. I wasn't. But your words managed to do that. They put me in prison. But then again, so did this body. But none of that is true.

This body gave me life on Earth. I've just got to figure out now, how I live in it.