By Kat, published with permission. Original blog posted here in 2015.
I pretend things will be okay, when I fear they will not – acting as if these series of actions will result in a measurable end point. A satisfying end to things I have trouble picturing.
I pretend to be normal – as Donna Williams says she does – attempting to say the write things at the right time, only to find myself in a game of conversational tetherball: Oh, there it goes – my words, this dialogue; it’ll come around again, I suppose.
I see my words overlapping others, finding their place, as the grip of my pen grows ever tighter and more painful. I suppose this means we’re getting somewhere. Where I’m not ready to go.
I pretend to understand – you, this situation – hoping that, believing that sense-making will lessen the pain of this experience. It doesn’t.
If I just knew how and why I’d feel better – longing for a coherent narrative – I create one, invent one, collage one out of the pieces of my life:
The ever-present real details and scenarios. These utterly terrifying things that happen to me, about me.
I’m finding the words for these seemingly indescribable visuals, the concepts and labels I’m not sure are mine. They are.
What if someone in this room could tell you who you are?
I can’t, won’t, shouldn’t.
But you can.
These are your bits of narrative. Claim them. Embrace them. Feel them out. This is not a rejection of the self you knew – this is a renaming, an honoring.
Not weird – othered or strange – different perhaps, quirky – autistic in a way you haven’t all the way acknowledged. Every word but that one. Yes, this is a thing.
Pretending is something you do when you’re working through what is, imagining what could be. Acting as if – as you become the person you know you are.