I’m aware that the way that I am is considered “disordered” and wrong.
That people expose laboratory mice to infections in order to try to recreate the way I naturally am. In their efforts to “help” me to be something I’m not.
I’m aware. Very aware.
I’m aware that an invisible caste system has been created, and that Autistic people who look like me – Black and brown – reside near the bottom. If they are women or nonbinary, a little lower still. If they happen to be nonspeaking, even lower. White, cisgender Autistic males – those similar to characters portrayed in all the media depictions of what a “typical” Autistic person is like – occupy the top rung.
To the world, they are the real autism. We, on the other hand, are just inconvenient shadows.
I’m aware that the world largely misunderstands what it’s like to be me. Views my very existence as a form of “overcoming.” My very life an anomaly. Or genetic mistake. Or an environmental one. Pick your theory…
My mother was too old when she had me, or perhaps it was my father? It was something she inhaled during pregnancy. Or something she ate. Or didn’t ear? She failed to snap her fingers and blink her eyes three times while standing on one foot in a field of dandelions, and therefore I turned out Autistic.
It’s her fault. I’m sure of it.
Of that I’m aware.
I’m aware that in 48 hours the month I have come to dread more than any other month will be upon us. Thirty days of hell.
A month long sentence of puzzles pieces and blue lights and autism-inspired inspiration porn, all in the name of “awareness.”
I know what’s coming. I loathe it; I fear it. But I cannot stop it.
I’m aware that it’s coming.
I’m aware that my voice is but one small blip in the cosmos. Insignificant and minuscule; possessing minimal influence and minimal impact in comparison to the avalanche that is April.
I raise it anyway.
I’m aware that I am outnumbered.
That I cannot defeat the monstrosity that calls itself Autism Awareness Month.
But I’m aware that I am not alone.
And though I cannot avoid it, I shall survive it.