Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


It’s nice to believe that we all fit in somewhere, but do you think it’s really true?
Some of us find fitting in's not so easy, no, it’s not so easy to do.
Always being the odd one out, the misfit wherever you go,
Try as you may to find where you fit, seems it might never be so.
Have you been broken, have you been bent, crushed, or pounded to make yourself fit?
Have you been rotated, overturned, relocated? But still excluded. Sounds familiar, don’t it?

If you’re autistic, you’ve gotta work extra hard, for the same rights as everyone else.
When you’re faced with a problem, no one else will deal with it, so you’ve gotta handle it yourself.
Self-advocacy’s not for the faint of heart, it might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
But if you lie down and take it, your needs will be trampled, self-advocacy starts with you.

You’ve got to be a hard-ass.
A hard-ass:P.
You got to show them that you should be heard, and accepted. It’s the only way to be free.
Might mean you feel like the bad guy,
But it’s well past time to be the nice guy.
Your own troubles matter, above and beyond, don’t worry ‘bout how they’ll react.
Your own wants and needs matter, know this and remember, and you’ll find the courage to act.
It’s not enough to have the right.
You still have to fight the fight.
And be a hard-ass.
A hard-ass:P.

Self-advocacy takes everything that you’ve got, takes you out of your comfort zone.
It’s gonna take spoons, when you’re all out of spoons, got to dig deep, find strength of your own.
When you’re feeling your most attacked and most battered, you can simmer, and seethe, and slow burn.
Or say enough is enough. They wanna play rough? Show you’re not to be messed with. They’ll learn.

Say you want peace and quiet, when loud noise surrounds you?  Well guess what? You got to get louder.
Got to get their attention, stand up for your sensory needs, it’s all in your power.
Say you’re given directions, that weren’t so clear? It means that you’ve got to be clearer.
Explain you’re confused, and which part, and why – you’ll find understanding is nearer.
And if you wanna fidget, and they tell you sit still, don’t let them interfere with your motion.
Keep right on rockin’, cause it don’t hurt nobody. Rock their world with a tolerant notion.
And if they want you to speak, when you want to write, you have the right to insist.
Same words, different medium, so choose your own. When you make sense, who can resist?
You got the right to exist. As you are.
That’s how to be a hard-ass.
Be a hard-ass:P.

You might think that it would fine with most people, if you were to just disappear.
"They’d be okay with me out of the way. What they don’t understand, they fear."
But you do have a place, the same rights as the rest, and the only way in is to shove.
And you’ll find that you fit, without breaking or bending, when you stand your ground and get tough.
You might get your way or maybe you won’t, but you won’t find out ‘less you attempt.
And you may find you matter, you may find respect, much more than you ever had dreamt.
And you’ll tell ‘em, “Damn right, I’m a hard-ass.
“Autistic and proud, you see.
“I’m a bad-ass, and you know it. Dude.
“I’m a hard-ass:P.”

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Breaking Binge

Caught in the week-long dead zone between Christmas and New Year’s, with little to do but wait for the calendar to turn so my normal routine could resume, I found myself desperate for a diversion. Diagnosis: terminal. Terminal boredom.

I grew increasingly amenable to any potential escape from the post-holiday doldrums.  And thus, I took a step down a dark path, with a click of the remote.  Namely, “Breaking Bad.”

Here was a show whose entire run I had avoided, as much a polar opposite to my TV tastes as murder to Walter White's morals pre-cancer. Me, whose viewing habits were confined to Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, and reality shows. Me, who swore off "The Bridge" as too disturbing. This line of viewing, it didn’t suit me. But, in the “Pro” column, there was nothing else on, and I had time to fill. Just one episode, what’s the harm in that?

The next day, the same old boredom was there. So was the all-day marathon. It wasn’t too far of a reach to click the remote over to AMC again. And I found I couldn’t watch just one. I don’t binge, ever. A few hours of TV a day is excessive for me. I knew full well I could Netflix it on my own schedule. But I couldn’t stop – I wanted it all, right then and there. I Broke Binge.

“Breaking Bad” became my life, just for a day, straight through from noon till 3 AM. And then a second day of the same. Armed with a helpful hashtag, I willingly allowed mild spoilers from Twitter, in exchange for knowing when to turn away for the gory parts. Luck was on my side. I let all else go, save eating and bathroom breaks. I nuked my sleep schedule, with the rationale I’d catch up later. I had my escape from the real world, and it was glorious!

But at what price? This show will mess you up. Now that it’s over, I’ve seen things I cannot unsee. I’ve put myself in the shoes of morally deranged characters, and through the emotional wringer. I’ve got that god-awful Marty Robbins song stuck in my head. Worst, I must live with the fact that I’ve become one of “them.” A binger.
In the end, I have no regrets. All the binging I did, I did it for me. And I liked it! However, I’m never binging again. I’m out! Do you hear me? Out! ... Well… we’ll talk about it... Perhaps inside each of us, there’s the potential to give in to temptation, and go off the deep end, and Break Binge. If the binging beast is within me, then it's within you too.

So now what? I’ll tell you what. Time to go back to season 1 and watch again! … Albeit at a more leisurely pace.