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  • Kristy Forbes

We are Proud Autistic Women


We are Autistic women.

Deeply empathic-painfully empathetic.

Born into a time, place and world we spend our lives trying to understand and belong in.

Performers, introverted extraverts or intensely shy, extraverted introverts.

Self involved. But not in the way you think. A lifetime of intensive, comprehensive critical self analysis. Why am I different? Why am I profoundly sensitive?

We live with the burden of insight and confronting forms of self expression. We write. We sing. We dance. We paint. We design. We create.

We are real. Authentic.

But mostly, we are here to heal and help. We want others to have peace. Self love. Self acceptance. And we do all we can to provide it whilst dismissing our own needs.

As children, we are often people pleasers. Apologetic. Not wanting to take up too much space, too much energy. Always in trouble, never quite understanding why.

We are often loud, energetic, opinionated and oppositional.

Or

Quiet, agreeable, pleasantly non existent for others in order to avoid trouble.

We feel responsible. For everyone and everything.

We’re acutely aware of our difference. Energetically, spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally.

We long to fit. To belong. To understand. To translate the thoughts, actions and words of others. All the while, maintaining and sustaining an almost perfect, whole body mask representing a person more typical in appearance than most typical people.

But we aren’t.

And the greatest tragedy is going through life disconnected from our brilliant lights, because we see ourselves as broken versions of neurotypicals.

And all the while, we are perfectly complete and whole versions of our beautiful, magical, inspiring, resilient, strong autistic selves.

Our bodies desperately try to reconnect us to ourselves.

Mental health battles, internalised anxiety and depression. Screaming at us to give up the fight to be normal. Begging and pleading for us to relax and breathe into who we are innately.

Being surrounded by many, yet feeling completely alone.

A complete misalignment with many of the things that society deems as necessary, important and useful. “Why do I need to learn this?” “Why do I need to learn this way?” “Why is there a right and a wrong?”

We see the magic others miss. An ocean, a gumtree, a speck of sand, the colours in a rainbow, our children’s faces, a string of words.

We are awakened and enlightened through intense, prolonged suffering.

Unnecessary suffering.

We wait for permission. We long for someone to normalise us, but not normalise us into your normal..

We agonise over all the parts of ourselves that don’t fit the norm and we wait for the answer as to why and the time when we will learn that there is a reason, a name for this existence, that makes it normal, that makes it okay for us.

Addiction. Alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, anything that disconnects us from the pain of being us.

We ask why.

Why me? What’s wrong with me?

Agony.

And then, for some of us, we are diagnosed.

It might be through our children’s diagnosis that we learn more about ourselves. We might read something that leads us to the answer. But when we have that answer, it is life changing.

Transformational.

It answers every single question we ever had about ourselves. It normalises every perceived abnormality.

And sometimes, others will want to take that away.

They’ll be happy to say we’re certainly different, there’s no denying that.

But autistic? What?

Please don’t do that to us.

With diagnosis, we are more empowered, we have the permission to step into who we are, who we have been all along.

We have purpose. We have power. We have self love, self acceptance. We find our voice. We meet ourselves. We know who we are and we can now explore and discover the great gifts our autism bestows on us.

We now can learn what WE need as autistic women.

And our lives can be as they are meant to be.

We can begin to heal, to recover, to make amends to ourselves, to make peace with all the parts of ourselves that we previously rejected; hated.

The struggle doesn't end.

But it isn't as hard as when we didn’t know who we were.

When we stand in our truth and say who we are with pride, we attract our tribe.

And we move forward.

We listen, we pay attention to our bodies.

We honour our neurologies.

Please allow us that freedom.

We’ve worn many labels of disorder. Anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar, borderline personality..many times misdiagnosed.

Or

We've pathologised all of these very normal characteristics of..

Female Autism.

Please know that when we say No, it requires courage. A depth of courage out of this world.

Please know that when we show up, it requires courage. A depth of courage out of this world.

Please know that when we open ourselves up to you, it requires courage. A depth of courage out of this world.

And please acknowledge that anything and everything we do proceeds a life long history of struggle and unwavering resilience.

We are autistic women.

Proud autistic women.

We are wise, intuitive, tuned in, and bound by the laws of nature.

We have no defence against who we are and how we are.

We are deeply connected to something not of this world. Source, God, universal energy, the earth.

We don’t entirely understand it, but it leads us.

We are illuminated by the moon, swayed by the ocean, unravelled by the elements, grounded by the earth.

We are awake.

We autistic women. Proud, autistic women.


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