Here are some tough feelings I have been heavy with this week. Thank you to Unrestricted Interest for sharing this in your newsletter, The Listening World (I recommend subscribing for more poems from neurodivergent authors, including some of my friends)! Link: https://thelisteningworld.substack.com/p/all-i-can-say
I am so hoping this resonates with you.
This poem expresses the deep and unyielding truth: my disability limits me. It is an unflinching message that I and many others reckon with internally, but often feel afraid to share. We are so pressured to be beacons of hope and inspiration, to make others feel better. And for much of my life, I have been told by ignorant educators that I am more limited than I actually am, so I am also reluctant to acknowledge my real limitations.
It sucks. To put it more eloquently would be to sugar coat it. It doesn’t mean that my life is hopeless or worthless or not full of beauty and joy. It is the unvarnished, grainy truth. And of course it gets me down. I am human and I feel disappointment and frustration. I don’t need comfort, but I so need compassion.
Those who know me are aware that I am generally a positive person. I love much about my life. My autism can truly be a wondrous experience, full of light and color and intelligence and mirth and profound feelings. And I hope that I can convey that acceptance of the challenging parts of my life is a part of truly acknowledging my existence in its totality, along with my many joys.
All I Can Say:
Sometimes I have to face that being disabled sucks
All I can say: Sometimes I have to face that being disabled sucks
I love the word absolutely
And its emphatic authority
For excitement or for firm denial
And I love the word wow, wow exclamation point,
And also totally,
And I so love so,
So so so much
I love to spell hmmm…
And truth be told I love to spell profanity
Not the word profanity, but that subset of words deemed impolite
And I feel my heart flow out of my body into the world
When I string together my poems
But it is one of those days when
I feel so absolutely, totally
The so so so harsh reality
That I laboriously, painstakingly, so fucking painstakingly
Have to point out each little letter
And so much of my glorious so glorious
Universe can never be shared.
by Danny Whitty
2 thoughts on “All I Can Say”
Wow, this intro and poem are so important. You’re ability to articulate the complexity, and here the hard, while holding your audience to account of not devaluing autism entirely is impressive. I’ve witnessed so many disabled friends try to describe this and I must say, this is one of the best I’ve read. Thank you for sharing. Your friend,
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Wow, thank you, Monica! I really value your opinion.