A Poem About The Ups And Downs Of Living With Autism Spectrum Disorder

'See Me': A Poem About The Ups And Downs Of Living With Autism Spectrum Disorder

"Some people still call it Aspergers, but that's okay."

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I have autism spectrum disorder. Some people still call it Aspergers, but that's okay. According to Mayo Clinic, ASD is a "condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication." Living with it can be difficult in several ways.

As stated above, people with ASD have a hard time with social interaction. This includes poor eye contact, being unaware of other people's feelings, preferring to be alone, and having trouble initiating and maintain a conversation. Symptoms vary from person to person, of course.

This has been my biggest problem for as long as I can remember. I was extremely shy growing up and never wanted to play with other kids. I had a lot of anxiety trying to even talk to my classmates. My lack of social skills did not go unnoticed to the kids at school, and it was rare with someone asked me to play with them.

Another characteristic of ASD is developing specific routines. Even the slightest change in schedule can be overwhelming to people with ASD. I didn't realized this was an issue for me until after I tried moving away from home after graduating high school. Everything was different, and the shift in pace was horrible.

Then there are intense interests. Someone with ASD can be fixated on something that will be their main focus, and that focus can switch to something else in a heartbeat. When I was a kid, my interests changed several times. At one point, I was obsessed with Pokemon. Next was Full House. Then Spongebob. The list goes on.

Other characteristics include sensitivity to certain stimuli (sounds, touch, taste, etc.), clumsiness, repetitive movements, and difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues.

I wrote a poem expressing what it's like to have ASD. I titled it "See Me." I called it this because ASD can be hard to detect. I actually wasn't diagnosed until I was eighteen. Whenever I tell people I have ASD, they all say the same thing: "I never would've guessed you had that!" I understand though; not every disability is noticeable.


I am invisible.

The human eye cannot see me.

You have to tell someone I am there.

Or else I just do not exist.

I am a part of you.

I can give you relief, sometimes grief.

I make you unique, set you apart,

But you sometimes feel ashamed.

No one can see me.

I make it hard to make a new friend.

Eyes to the floor, tongue twisted, anxious.

I make it hard to work with groups.

Scared of sharing input, letting everyone else do the talking.

But I help you work alone.

Sometimes that's the best way to go.

No one can see me.

I create your passion, things that spark your interest.

From writing to drawing, from Star Wars to football.

I'm the reason why you get overwhelmed by stuff, like

Loud sounds, stinky smells, that tag on the back of your shirt.

I'm the reason why you prefer your "me time."

You feel safe, content, happy.

No one can see me.

Who am I, you are wondering?

My name is Autism Spectrum Disorder,

But my friends call me Asperger's.

No one can see me.

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13 Signs You Grew Up In The 2000s

Get ready to feel nostalgic
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The 2000s, generally referred to as the decade falling between 2000 and 2009. However, these 10 years were so much more dear to our hearts and definitely cannot be limited to this simplified definition. From hopes that you had the best kooky pen collection, to dreaming about making it to see the year 3000, there was never a dull moment. So, put on those terry cloth sweatpants, charge up that nano iPod, and read about the signs that prove you grew up in the best decade:

1. You might have jammed out to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne on your nano IPod

Yes you had one, and your playlists consisted of the best songs the 2000s had to offer; All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, The Killers and of course Avril Lavigne.

2. You treated your tamagotchi as if it were your child

This hand held digital pet probably occupied a little too much of your time. You spent your days feeding it scones and watching them reach a new life cycle.

3. Your wardrobe consisted of every color Juicy sweatsuit and Ed hardy tees...

Thank god these terrycloth outfits made a comeback!... Right?

4. ... Oh, and gauchos, you LOVED gauchos

These pants took over your wardrobe before yoga pants came into your life. Gauchos flooded the playground in pink, blue and tie-dye. I miss you gauchos.

5. You had the debate with your friends over whether Webkinz or Club Penguin was better, but you begged your parents for a membership to both

As soon as you logged onto your account your afternoon was booked up. While on your Webkinz you visited the curio shop, got a checkup with Dr. Quack, made a hamburger in the employment office and played cash cow in the arcade.

6. Your friends always had these in their pantry

At the end of a long, hard day of multiplication, going to your friends house for a playdate and indulging in a cosmic brownie was a necessity.

7. This was your first experience with makeup, and a cell phone

This accessory gave the lyrics "my lipgloss is cool my lipgloss be poppin" a whole new meaning. Pretending to answer the phone while smearing your lips in every color imaginable; this was the perfect mix of feeling like you were a teenager while also staying true to your child like self.

8. Lizzie Mcguire was the first ever Bitmoji

You watched her on Disney Channel as Lizzie McGuire, admired her fashion sense, and sang to "Hey Now" an endless amount of times. Hillary Duff was the definition of goals.

9. The auctioning off of silly bandz in elementary school was basically Wallstreet

The must have accessory of the 2000s.

10. You would beg your mom to buy you lunchables when you walked down the frozen food isle

Looking back on it now, eating these was probably not the best idea.

11. You had a favorite Jonas Brother

And it was NEVER Kevin.

12. You dreamed of riding around in a JetX just like the kids in PCA

You put getting a JetX on your To-Do list right under making a key necklace.

13. Instead of homework, your after school activities consisted of watching THE BEST Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows

Disney Channel and Nickelodeon will sadly never be the same. Classics include: Hannah Montana, Ned's Declassified, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and That's so Raven.

Don't you want to just go back in time and bask in the simple days where all you cared about was how good your blue eyeshadow looked and when the next Disney Channel Original movie would come on?

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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The Inward Struggle Of Being Trans And Christian

When who you are does not match what you believe.

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I was probably 15 when I started to feel my gender was a little different from my body. This only really came with my periods and my chest. Every period, I was in agony not just because of physical pain, but because of mental pain as well.

I have always been a person who wants to know why.

Why?

Why is this happening?

Why was I born?

Why was I brought into this world only to bleed and be in pain while in it and why does no one want to seem to help with this battle.

I, so far, have asked two doctors for a hysterectomy only to be laughed right out of the office. What I really want is to be OK with my body, to feel secure in it, to be happy, and not to bleed. When I first shared these feelings with my father it was because I could hold it in no longer. I was at a breaking point. I had passed every single male I saw on the street and felt extremely jealous, not to mention the jealousy I often felt towards my own boyfriend. I felt this jealousy for my cisgender guy friends, boyfriend, my little brother.

I felt it for practically everyone.

As my father and I began talking, he brought up hell. Hell is something I actually think of quite often. It is something that I know the Lord sends people to when they do not believe Him. That is always what I have believed, however, this sort of shed new light. I never really thought of God sending people to hell for disobedience.

When I was 15 I started wondering why.

Why did I have to have a period?

Why did God do that?

Why must I bleed once a month?

Why was I not born a boy?

I wanted a flat chest, no uterus, testosterone, and I just wanted to shed the skin I was in. It got worse. It hit the worst when I graduated high school and went to college. College was a time of freedom. I had left my parents and was on my own, however, along with being on my own came a world. Life seemed so aimless, every period I had, I wanted for the next, and I did not want to go on hormonal birth controls to help or stop it due to the fact that pumping that much female hormones into my body seemed unbearable, not to mention the success rate of fulling stopping a menstrual cycle can be slim (however, more women should know that completely stopping your cycle is perfectly fine and healthy, but that is a different article for a different day,

I lost my purpose.

When I was young, I was bursting of life. I practiced my Oscar speeches and interviews with Jimmy Fallon or Ellen Degeneres in the shower every single day. I had dreams. As I got older, I felt them slip from me. I used to dream and dream and dream. But now I am lost in reality. When I used to dream, I always pictured a girl. I always pictured me. I saw myself winning Oscars, talking to Jimmy Fallon, and laughing with Ellen in a female body. I don't know what to see anymore. Because these days, I truly struggle with seeing myself as a girl. The little girl who was born in 1999 grew up to wish that event had never happened. I really can't picture doing those things anymore as Lizzie anymore, because soon she will be gone.

It feels serial to type that name out.

It feels odd to see it on paper. It is something my ears still perk up to and something I still feel a bit of a connection to which I will keep in consideration if and when I decide to change it. But overall, I am terrified. I am petrified of God, of life, of the future. Many times I have been told to pray and to accept this body, but doing such things are not even close to as easy as everyone insists. I am crippled by dysphoria. There is not a waking moment where it is not on my mind. I wake up anxious often, sometimes I even wake up in the middle of my deep slumber from nightmares. I dream of the blood coming from a place I never asked, I dream of the millions of others who have to deal with such horrors, I dream of hell and of Heaven.

My life with dysphoria is a living nightmare.

I want to give some hope. I want to give hope that it will not always be this way and that change is possible. I am hurting. I am closeted. I am disappointed with the lack of research of making the lives of trans individuals, women, and others seeking to suppress dysphoric bodily occurrences.

In this day and age, we shouldn't have to have periods. We shouldn't have to stay at home. We should progress in our technology and medicine. But these changes just never seem to come quite quickly enough.

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