When I was four-years-old, my family lived in an Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Townhouses lined up side-by-side in our neighborhood. Every house was a different color. It was like living in a box of crayons.
I’m not even sure how to start this off so please bare with me on this.
I have always been the only child for my mom. I didn’t grow up with my dad and only had a chance to see him once, 21 years ago when I was already 27 years. My mom got pregnant of me after being married for only 6 months, and she divorced him right after. He found out about me months later. They never allowed me to see my father or let him near me. At the time of our first and only encounter, he mentioned that I had a sister and two brothers, and told me their names.
The almond milk slowly tumbled out of the spout of the carton and onto the organic, gluten-free oat clusters. The days of cow’s milk, sugar-coated cereal, and Tang are far behind me, but the ritual will inevitably trigger a flashback of nostalgic memories.
"I hate my life! I hate my life! I want to get out! I want all of this to end!" I screamed angrily into my pillow. It was not a loud scream, but a soft one with all the ferociousness and intensity from my body of a loud one... I do not have the privilege of letting out my frustrations for the neighbor and their dog to hear.
Today I went out with family! Mom found my sister who was missing for months, and we decided to celebrate. She was not hurt, she was a bit dirty and looked like she had been hiding on the streets and stuff. Mom is gonna take her to get checked, and get her new clothes and stuff, and get her set up with an apartment!
For the first time in my life, I can feel myself aging.
The closing of the year 2018 could not come soon enough. It had been a good year. It had been a challenging year. It had been a year of tremendous highs and of deep and sorrowful lows.
Pop-culture glorifies the autism spectrum disorder. In mainstream media, it’s as if autism is merely a socially awkward disorder compensated for by gifted genius. Think Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, and Benedict Cumberbatch in everything. Admittedly, Rain Man is a good movie and The Big Bang Theory is my favourite guilty pleasure—not ashamed… okay, a little ashamed—but autism is grossly misrepresented in these depictions, at least in my experience.
"We've detected some neurological defects in your child that will follow him or her into their lives, have you thought about termination of the pregnancy?"