Defying Expectations: A Poem In Honor of Autism Awareness Day

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The diagnosis began with a test.
I was called out of class
and was asked a lot of questions.
The results of that test were kept hidden

Until a classmate did a project
and the questions began their resurrection.
My mother revealed I had Asperger’s
I didn’t really know what that meant or what to do with it

Years later, I came across an article
about a model who had this strange condition
I watched her story play out, her struggle resonating with mine
It was as if she was saying “You are not alone.”

In time, I became more open about my Asperger’s
And found people who understood or were surprised
I guess I was more “high functioning” than I thought
But even so, there were dark clouds looming on the horizon.

One dark night, I was caught in a tidal wave of anxiety
Screaming for help in the riptide, I drowned instead
I washed up on the frozen shores of the Ice Queen’s land
Where she exiled me and wanted off with my head

For years I struggled with nightmares and wandering
Trying to find myself again through something, anything
I almost ended up losing myself entirely
Through the lies of someone else’s manipulative words

But I broke free of the lies that she said
I started my journey of finding myself again.
My broken dreams were scattered behind me
And all I could do was move forward out of the woods

Diagnoses and cold judgment were their short-sighted expectations
I ran from that insanity and with time, I found my way out
I ran out of the woods and made a leap of faith
I fell down into an ocean that became my cocoon

In the ocean, new words taught me to swim
A new voice became my light in the darkness
In the deep waters, I grew wings
And one day, suddenly, I found myself flying

From the ocean to the sky, I soared
The words of the naysayers a distant memory
The ghosts of the pasts can no longer bring me down
I defied the gravity of their expectations

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