Every spring the showers start
Fresh ideas tumble from my mind and heart
Like a basket of mewling kittens
I turn each one over with care
Make sure they are alive and well
I’m tired of the autism war —
of the name calling;
of the taking sides;
of fighting over funding;
of folk assuming the autistic one I love is not me
I’m sad it took five decades to find my identity
How I must compete to be the worst victim
To qualify for supports
I’m not ageing out; I’m ageing out of sight.
Orphaned by the death of parents
Gone before I knew myself better
Orphaned by research almost always on males
And again by lingering, decades-old stereotypes,
Words thrown like darts — ‘rigid’, ‘extreme’, ‘insensitive’
When I am fluid, mild and too compassionate
Do I even have value if I perform below
What society deems me capable of?
While I live and breathe I have worth
When the naysayers get me down
I make the best of what’s still around
Let’s strike a chord for peace and autistic engagement
I’m sending out this S.O.S. to kiss the world better
As a wise friend says — To have it right
Is not as important as to love.
Drop the poison pen
Backspace through the fear and hate
Embrace the beauty of each aspie face.
With the dawn of each new day comes the sun
I choose not to be outdone/undone
I choose hope this and every April
As I stumble toward the light.
Beware the Ides of April, 2017
I love the sound of words; paired with music they have so much power in our lives.
My friend and fellow autism advocate Jackie McMillan coined the term ‘tuning’ for the songs that run through my head, often even in my sleep.
We ‘tune’ or ‘script’ to help lift our spirits, get words and/or feelings out, or keep alarming thoughts at bay.
While writing the above, I was tuning to:
Dave Loggins ‘Pieces of April’ (the original, not the remake);
Sting in his Police days; and
Martyn Joseph ‘Kiss the World Beautiful’, and ‘Dic Penderyn’ because it’s Easter
About Christine Jenkins
Christine is a certified voice teacher, trained singer and former radio producer with a degree in journalism who also gives piano lessons on her century-old grand. Ms. Jenkins is a peer mentor to many women who suspect they are on the spectrum. Her current special interests are research into and widespread use of female diagnostic tools, avoidance of misdiagnosis, and wellness for senior autistics. She speaks at conferences and was interviewed by CBC radio and the Ottawa Citizen. Christine co-founded the Asperfemme support group that hosted their first women’s conference in 2013. Late diagnosed in 2008, she estimates she is in Philip Wylie’s 8th of 9 Stages of Autism, Unconditional Service to Society. Christine speaks French and German (Swiss heritage), loves writing, reading, sewing, hiking, canoeing, tea and cats. www.facebook.com/CJenkinsMusic