By: Aishah-Nyeta Brown
Note to younger self that serves a purpose to all the younger selves like me.
If I had to write a note to the younger version of Autistic me, I would want the letter to be as honest as possible, and it would read something like this.
You might feel alone, and you might wonder, why me? You might think, surely nobody else is exactly like this. And maybe for most of your life, you don’t know what makes you think and see and feel exactly the way you do.
The world misunderstands you because humans are loud and selfish. You are sensitive in walking, talking, and considering; they could never understand, so miscommunications are common.
Gloomy as it is to feel invisible, something else is invisible with great power, too. Magic! I call this my invisible magic. People don’t know how to connect with magic or power, so they pretend it isn’t there, but I see you.
But one day, you’ll come to find that all your gloom is the least likely culprit, not because it’s unlikely, but because there’s a research gap. You’ll come to find that you’re Autistic.
You’re in a woman’s body, and that’s the only reason you got overlooked, because if you were in a man’s body and inhabited the world the way that a man does, you may be coddled and wrapped up in the motherly love of society.
You always had to work harder and prove yourself because you’re a woman, and if you’re anything like me, you had to work 1 billion times harder than just being a woman because you’re Black, too. Nobody will see your magic because they choose not to, but you are powerful.
Use it, and one day you might change the world.
Little Black Autistic Girl, what will the world do with you? Will they forget you? Will you go down in history as an overlooked and unsung hero that deserved more recognition while they were around?
Will a doctor believe your research, your words, mind, spirit, or aura? An even better question to ask is will you continue to hide? Will you continue to hide because you’re scared of who you really are?
It is so much better to find yourself shining in the light that you know you already are. The Autistic mind has a miraculous way of shining brighter than any star, more brilliant than any aura. Brighter, just brighter.
Don’t change your name, don’t change your stride. Be absolutely you. Autism is only “bad” because the world made the word sound so bad. Autism is in our hands. We get to tell Autism’s narrative because we are the ones who are Autistic.
So to you, I say make Autism as beautiful as you want the world to see it. Don’t hide it. There would be no point. Leave no room for doubt, because you matter.
-Autistic Black Girl No Longer in Hiding (AKA Aishah-Nyeta)