Because I Can

The last time I visited my doctor,
I took a copy of something
That I’d written.
And I had him read it.
Then, we spoke about it
For a little while.

I told him,
“If the people I once knew
Had said such a thing to me,
Things would have been
So very different.”

He just nodded,
And smiled.
Because he knew
That I knew
Why they hadn’t.

“But they couldn’t.
Not one of them could have.
Because the social rules
They live within
Get in the way.”

It’s true.
I’ve always know that.
Always heard that.
All my life.

“Do you know how strong
You have to be
To say the things
You say?
To do the things
You do?”

No.
I don’t.
The truth is
Until recently,
I’ve never understood
Why other people can’t.
And now that I do,
I find my heart aches,
And my soul cries
Tears of pain
For them.

How can people
Go through life
So very much afraid?

Yes, I am autistic.
Diagnosed with an ASD.
An ASD that does not
Define me.

I do that.
I define me.

And when I see
Someone around me
Hurt.
In pain.
In tears.

I do what I believe.
What I know
To be true.
What I wish
My friends would do
For me.
In the times I’m hurt.
In the times I’m blue.

But no one ever does.

It’s not that they can’t.
That they don’t know how.
That they don’t want to.

It’s the social rules
They live within,
That fuck things up.

The social rules
That cause them to
Back away
When someone’s hurt.
So they don’t get hurt too.
So they stay safe, and sound.

But you see.
I don’t have those rules.
They don’t exist to me.
I don’t feel them.
I don’t see them.

The very thing that stops my friends
From doing what I do
Simply does not exist
For me.

So it isn’t strength at all
That lets me do
The things I do.

It’s an unchained
Heart and soul.
Set free
From those social rules
That keep other people
Safe.

But as you can see,
I’ve learned enough
In my life time
That I know,
And understand,
What’s happening.
Why people are surprised
At some of the things
I can do,
And say,
And write.

And I could elect
To be like them.
To behave
The way they do.
For I know
Why they behave
The way they do.

But if I did,
I wouldn’t do
What my heart tells me to.
I wouldn’t do the things
I know to do.
The things I believe
Are true.

So I elect instead
To simply watch
How those social rules
Cause so much pain

In a world
I never made.

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