“Just Be Yourself.”

Ah, the words.
I’ve heard them
All my life.
In answer to the question
“How do I fit in?”

“Just be yourself.
And everything will be alright.
Just be yourself.”

Yeah,
Right.

I’ve tried that
Time and time again.
Tried to be myself.
To behave naturally.
To just be me.
Around other people.

And every time.
Everybody
Left.

Yep.
That’s the honest truth
Of that.
Seems that no one
Can deal with me
When I’m just me.

I just don’t get it.
They tell me
To just be me.
To be honest.
To be real.
And then
They kick me in the teeth
When I am.

No one seems to understand
That for me,
Being in the same room
With most people
Is just like being
In a meeting at work.
There are rules
That you have to follow.

And if you break those rules,
There’ll be trouble.

There are things
I just don’t understand.
Like how come people behave
As if nothing’s wrong
When they work with someone
That’s deathly ill?

What the heck’s up with that?

I’ve heard this answer
Many times before.
“I don’t want pity
From anyone.”

My autistic self translates that
In one way only.
“I have my pride!”

So tell me, fellow humans.
Does the word “pride”
Have the undocumented meaning of
“stupid”?

And why is it that people
Who obviously care
About someone they know,
When that someone
That they know
Is so very hurt,
Refuse to ask that someone
If they can help them
Get things done?

I don’t get that one
Either.

It’s like I told my doctor
Half a billion times now,
“And people tell me
That I don’t make sense.
When they do such
Irrational things.”

Where’s the logic
In the way that works?
It’s broken math.
Like saying “2+2=8“.
Let me do the math
For you.

Jimmy has a broken leg.
He can only walk
With crutches.
And can’t put any weight
On his broken leg
At all.

So he hops down the hall
When he gets to work each day,
Using his crutches.
Carrying his lunch box
By the strap
In one of his two hands.

Watch that sucker
Bounce around
As he hops along.

But by God,
No one help him.
That would just be flat damn wrong.
Now wouldn’t it?

No one asks him,
“Did you need some help?”
Or
“Can I carry that for you?”

Why the heck is that?
Hell,
Anyone with eyes
That work like they’re supposed to
Can see
That he could use a little help.

It’s like there’s some
Unwritten law.
That you’re not allowed to help.
That the injured person
Has to do things
On their own.

It’s the kind of thing
That I see around me
Every day that I’m alive.
I see this happen
All the time.

I flat don’t understand
Why people are this way.
Sometimes I think
That people would watch
As the whole building burned
Right down to the ground
Instead of helping someone
Put out a tiny fire
That got started
By an accident.

And it’s these people
That try to tell me
That to fit in
All I have to do
Is just be me?

Yeah,
Right.

I can’t just be me.
Because just being me,
I’d help someone
When they are hurt.
I’d do what I could.
It’s just the way I am.

And that’s just not
How other people
Behave.

So don’t tell me
That I should be me.

Because I know
That the words
“Just be yourself”
Are a flat out lie.

No one wants me to be me.
No one at all.
All they want
Is for me to be
Just like them.

And I thank God
I’m not.

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