Since February 22nd 2017 I have been acutely aware that I am autistic. It has opened up my world significantly and lifted the severe burden I’ve felt for my behaviour all my life.
I have a good friend of mine to thank for this awareness. Her name is Selena. She is also non-binary and autistic.
I struggle around people in general, but I don’t struggle around Selena so we tend to do social things together. Last night she invited me to a bit of a DIY, house party gig.
We got fairly wasted. Towards the end of the night, she got up and did this spoken word piece. The room was silent and enthralled by her every word, especially me because every word rang so true in my heart and in my head.
I’ve asked for her permission to share this here and she delightfully agreed.
Too Much Information
Aut meaning self
An ism of oneself
A glass jar I live within
As I watch you all
Detached from your presence
I see you
I see your silver hooped earings
As you tick tock your head to the rhythm, they dance along
They snatch the light, bright
Like floodlights in my line of sight
I see you.
I see the gravelly knit of your sweater
Like volcanic pebbles
Tumbled and tossed for a million years
And for a moment I am there
Wading, my toes cold in the spring water
You, I see too
Your hands clasping the tight lens of your camera
Twisting your fingers around the dials
I see the grain of the wood
The dampness of the soil in the jars and the harp and the German stoneware
I dive into the pattern of the mandala-like tapestry behind me
I’m hypnotised and I count
I like that word
Like a mantra
In my head (mandala)
My head is tight
I’m taking in too much information (mandala)
The light from your earrings
They’re beautiful because
They match the solver of your hair
Is that ok to say?
I never really know you see
Do you like this pattern?
It reminds me of a mandala
I love that word
She’s not answering me
Her earrings are so shiny
It’s loud in here
I can hear the people breathing
Their sleeves rustling as they lift their arms
Slurp of their lips on their cans of SA
My heart is racing
I look at the mandala
I want to be here in the room
But I’m not
I’m in a glass jar
I can see you
But I’m not really here
On my face is a smile and my tongue is rowdy
Yet inside I’m shrunken
Drunken with over stimulation
I’m curled up in a ball, small and tight as my fist
Shielding my brain from all the information
Cos it’s loud and inside I’m screaming
It hurts and it’s really, really uncomfortable
I may look like like I’m not paying attention
But I want to be here
It’s just too much information.
By Selena Caemawr