Portfolio of Hope

book front page

Autism is displayed in ways that exist far beyond having an obsession with trains and a disposition to misbehave. It can be seen in the way that we try our hardest to melt into the background at social events so as not to draw attention to ourselves that might warrant conversation. It can be seen in the way that we divert our eyes from side to floor to back again during the conversation we haven’t been able to avoid, doing so, not because we’re ‘rude’ or ‘ignorant’, but because eye contact feels like someone can see right through us into all the parts we want to keep hidden- all the ways that we think highlight our ‘wrongness’, ‘too muchness’, ‘not enoughness’- all the ways that we think prove that we are lacking. It can be seen in a multitude of ways- some that make us feel really vulnerable and uncomfortable and make us want to scream at the sky ‘why can’t I just be normal?!’, but all that, even if we can’t see it for ourselves, makes us who we are- sensitive (which isn’t always a bad thing- it makes us more patient with others because we know what it’s like to feel misunderstood and unheard), passion, sometimes the ability to not feel very much but, sometimes the ability to feel things so intensely that we feel like we could burst from it all- love, when we feel high on life. And, the ability to think about things intensley too. To understand that there is far more to existence than we can comprehend as mere humans, to sense that the universe is looking after us, to trust in its ability to provide for us what we need in a world which is so hard to navigate…

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