The Right to Remain Silent (Trigger Warning)

I have so much going on that I have been silent, because writing hurts. Typing sends sheets of agony down my spine.  My belly is swollen and lopsided and no one knows why. I might have a brain tumor or a billion other things making my testosterone levels skyrocket. (Meaning if you think testosterone makes you a man I am more man than you, if you are indeed a dude.) I have been fighting for access to the same care a non disabled woman would have gynecologically, while being torn for a pap by the speculum because the doctor decided that I did not have the right to a less painful exam. THAT has never happened to me before medical fragility or not.I have been struggling. I have also seen every day in the news a murder, maiming, medically questionable treatment usually reserved for animals., continued institution and many other horrible things being done to autistics.  This is true of other disabilities but not to the degree that autistic children and adults have been deprived of the empathy that their victimization should have.  Here is where I should link you to a few brilliant pieces I read but I cannot handle the triggers to read the truths again.

Two nights ago before bed, due to a technical glitch I had a talk with another autistic advocate and we both acknowledged that as children we were taught to be compliant, pliable and to NEVER say no. We were taught that certain abuses, things taught to even children with good parents who are taking the advice that is being given in the form of ABA and other wretched training methods that use violence and pain as therapy, have been used to silence us. Every autistic advocate I know has PTSD from treatment, abuse, and some of that abuse was preventable if they had known that NO was an option. I am not always the most vocal advocate, especially when things are as bad as they are medically, I focus more on staying alive since that is very helpful with the whole fighting for your rights thing. So I am always relieved when I know that other advocates ARE out there. They are persistent, present and even if one of us takes a small step back for our own needs others are there to help with the event horizon of advocacy. Autistics are not seen by most people as people. We are not seen to have pain, rights, or needs. We are seen as a burden, an imposition and a chore.

This shouting anthem should be read with as much loud punk music as your brain can conjure.  It is as close to stating how I feel about all of this as I can manage. My words skim the surface like a waterbug. I want to scream. I want people to HEAR it. To feel it. Take the punch in the gut, take the flag, rise up and listen. No one knows more about autism than we, the autistics. Not the parents of autistics, even the ones who DO listen to us. No one can speak for me. No one. Now if people just listened when I do speak we’d be golden.

The Right To Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent
That is what they say to the criminals anyway
but being born with an autistic brain
doesn’t make you a bad person
Not unless you maybe rob a bank.
So I am writing this out in the hopes
That you will hear the song behind the words
Flap your hands, look away from their eyes
Defy their toxic works.

You have the right to shout
You have the right to rock
you have the right to sing
you have the right to be
You have the right to no
You have the right to live
You have the right to no
You have the right to remain…

Don’t take their word for what you are
You have value even if they can’t see
Our words are taken through violence every day
but being born autistic doesn’t mean it has to be that way
Trained from birth to take abuse
We are people
Gonna rise and shout
Scream it
Say it
flap it
rock it
paint it
feel it
breath it
SHOUT IT OUT

All the people we see and hear
don’t seem to think we should speak and say
I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am a human
I am a human

Raised to say anything but what I really feel
Taught that my words cannot be valued
Do they rape me?
Do they break me?
Do they beat me?
It’s just therapy
Do they drug me?
Make it hard to think?
Make me want to scream?
Do they cause me pain?
It’s just therapy
Silent hands
quiet hands
eye contact
scrubbed skin
Get used to it
Cause it’s just therapy
Don’t say no
Don’t say pain
Don’t say truth
It scares them
Less than them
That’s a lie
Its the lie
Fed to us

So shout it out
tell the truth
Since when does the abuser get to say
What is right
For their victims
We’re the survivors and we’re going to stand to say

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am human
Where’s my equal rights?
Fuck the ADA
I’ll take the social equality the hard way.
I may not stand
I may not speak
I may just breath
I may sing out
I may write out
I may say it too
I have the right to expression
I have the right to truth
I have the right to bodily autonomy
I have the right to … everything you do.

The first chorus has risen, the second chorus too
Remember that you don’t have to be silent
They threaten to cage us
They threaten to maim us
Sometimes that is where our lives begin

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a subhuman
I am not a monster
I am not a freak
I am probably a geek
I decide my identity

Say No
Scream NO
Live NO
Fight
Fight
FIght
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal rights

You have the right to not remain silent
You have the right to bodily autonomy
You have the right to medical care without fear of being

silenced.
You have the rights everyone else does
We are people
We have thoughts
We have feelings
Fuck you’re empathy excuses for infringing on our CIVIL

RIGHTS

Don’t tell me to be silent
That isn’t very civil
Don’t tell me to keep my hands still
That is an act of aggression
Don’t tell me my anger is invalid because it isn’t yours.
Who fails to see
The human in me?
You are the nightmare monster underneath the bed
The shadows in the closets in every autistic child’s fears
You are the screams without answer when we have no words
You are abuser. You are wrong.

So listen, hear this. Read it. See it. Tactile paintings were

just not enough. I am going to keep shouting because it is ME

who I love. Selfish? fuck yes! Survival! I did it.

Say No
Scream No
Shout No
Live No
Fight
Fight
Fight
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal Rights
This is LIFE

 

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1 Comment

  1. Totally punk rock. I love it! Yes, you do have the right to advocate for yourself, to speak (and write) in your own voice, to not have to let parents or others speak for you.


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