Echoes

So many autistic people have spoken.  Spoken up, spoken out, spoken like a boss.  Spoken as though they know what they’re talking about–because they DO.

In the beginning, they gave me a gift: the window to my Within, the login and password to my operating system.

Now that I’ve leveled out my learning curve (for the most part, anyway), these people–and others–come forth and speak for me, too.   They’re not meaning to.  They’re intending to speak for themselves.   But their words and their stories echo and mirror mine.

For a long time, there was a canyon.  I stood on one side.  The world stood on the other.   I could never figure out how to cross it, or even to build a bridge.

But even the Grand Canyon has an “Echo Point”, a place in which you can perch and shout and be heard throughout the land, as far as the ear can hear.

It turns out that not the whole world is on the other side of this canyon, inaccessible to me.   It turns out that there are plenty of people on my side, too.  And collectively, we’re finding our echo point.

Light travels faster than sound, though.  We think at the speed of light, the speed at which one brain cell can transmit electrical signal to another in a coordinated handoff.  So we may think and dream and imagine, but our voices only carry so fast at once.

And then there’s sleep; we all have to do it sometime.

So we can take turns standing at the Echo Point, probably several of us at a time.  And we’ll echo each other’s voices when applicable (which, often, it is), and even when we go to sleep or engage in another activity, our voices will echo and ring.

So many of you, by speaking for yourselves, are speaking for so many others.  Whatever you have to say, there’ll always be someone else out there nodding, me too.  You never know whose life you saved or whose game-changing turning point you spurred just by reaching out. 

I’ve come across blog posts that were written 4-5 years ago.  They still spoke to me in the spring of 2016, and they still speak to me now, and I imagine that they will probably speak to me my whole life.

By speaking “for”, I mean that they’re expressing what I could not, naming what I could not, explaining the mysteries, and solving the puzzles.

I’m eternally grateful for those people.  And I’m equally grateful to all who have come forth and thrown their hat in the blogging ring since then.  And I’m grateful in advance for those who will in the future.

Grab your microphone and tell your story.  Don’t worry too much about the first-person singular or plural forms.  I’ve noticed that those who pour out their hearts and minds are generally those of genuine intentions.  Your voice matters.  Sing it loud.  ❤

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43 Comments

  1. we speak
    we seek
    they aint
    no fucking me
    cos as you see
    i am me
    not you
    your path
    is not mine
    which is fine
    as a kid
    i can tell
    you of a living hell
    and then
    having
    it minimised
    by son tom
    and his mom
    a wound that will not heal
    you have no idea
    how angry i am
    nor how i feel!

    Like

  2. Thank you for writing this! It’s often hard for me to keep speaking when there’s so many people out there who want to shut everyone down, but you’ve reminded me that speaking out matters & that I shouldn’t be afraid of letting my voice be heard 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

          1. Excellent! It may be a long time before I can get over there but when I do, I will certainly leave a comment on your blog or something to let you know! It might take me a few years to save up the money for a trip but I really really want to 😘😘😘😘💟💓💟🙌🏼🙌🏼💪🏼💜💙💚🌷

            Like

  3. Made me think of this song…. I copied part of the lyrics…😘😘😘🎵🎼🎶🎤🎶🎶🎵🎶🎶🎙🎶🎶💪💌💌💌

    One Voice

    Barry Manilow

    LYRICS

    Just one voice 
    Singing in the darkness
    All it takes is one voice
    Singing so they hear what’s on your mind
    And when you look around you’ll find 
    There’s more than

    One voice
    Singing in the darkness
    Joining with your one voice
    Each and every note another rock
    And hands are joined and fears unlock

    Liked by 5 people

      1. See how brave I am?! I admitted to knowing a Barry Manilow song. Not only knowing *a* song, but knowing one that fits the subject matter. 💪👍😝
        Maybe instead of brave it just makes me old😕😒😩🙊😆💌💌❤💛💚💙💜💖🌻🌴😎😘

        Liked by 3 people

          1. I wasn’t brave back then. I was a co-dependant mess for a long time. Lots of therapy and self examination. Learning to love & like myself, that’s where I learned to be brave.
            Do your post from school. I always love reading your thoughts and experiences😍😍😘😘☯☮💖🌻🌴😎

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes!!! Love this! I can tell you that getting my voice out there ( on *my* terms and not a publisher’s 😉) and hearing voices of others echo back really bolsters me. I felt like I was just a crazy, sad little thing wandering in the desert by myself till I began to hear others’ experiences like my own. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts, soul sis.😘 Thank you to all who are bravely sharing their stories! 💓💓💓💓💓

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Your blog is such an inspiration to me being a mom with a daughter who is autistic and has what seems like the world against her at times… I love reading your posts and hope the best for you. I also nominated your blog ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for writing this post. I am so grateful for all the autistic voices out there, I wouldn’t be where I am without them. It’s a curious phenomenon, and one that still keeps me from definitely “coming out”: when I listed to all these voices, read all these blogs, I feel part of the community, because I can see myself in other people’s experiences. Not all of them, obviously, we are all individuals, but I see that I have enough in common with them to feel that I’m like them and they’re like me. But then, when I pick up one of the more medically orientated books, or look at the official criteria, I can’t see myself anymore. I’ve disappeared. I’m not there. There is such a gap between the two viewpoints, and it’s very difficult to make sense of it.
    It’s all of you out there, your #actuallyautistic voices (and the voices of friends and allies), that keep me sane. One motivation for writing my own blog was that I wanted to give something back to the community which is giving me so much. So thank you, all of you, and thank you, Laina, for putting it all so well in your post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re very welcome, dear friend! ❤️❤️

      You said it so well:

      “I listed to all these voices, read all these blogs, I feel part of the community, because I can see myself in other people’s experiences. Not all of them, obviously, we are all individuals, but I see that I have enough in common with them to feel that I’m like them and they’re like me.”

      That’s totally how I feel, too! 😁💞💞

      And here:

      “It’s all of you out there, your #actuallyautistic voices (and the voices of friends and allies), that keep me sane.”

      Hell yeah!! 😘👍🏼

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support and encouragement, my dear one. I can never put into words just how much that means to me! 💚💙💜

      Liked by 1 person

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