La Tortura

Pain is the feeling of injustice expelling from my body through hot tears running down red cheeks whenever I try to pay a my utility bill and I can’t remember my password or my account number or my Paypal account and I can’t navigate the website or the phone system.

Pain is being misunderstood when I say something and people just assume I’m bragging or being egocentric but really I’m trying to relate.

Pain is reading a story about an octopus that managed to escape from a tank at an aquarium and then thinking about every sentient being on Earth that yearns for freedom but is trapped in a tank or a cage or a home or a country.

Pain is reading a story about how sunflowers face each other when the sky is cloudy and worrying about every sunflower that never had a companion.

Pain is the fear that an itchy tag on a shirt will turn into a full on meltdown at the grocery store when I can’t decide which tomato sauce to get.

Pain is having to take my glasses off in public because I see too many details and count everything I come across, including how many other women on a ten block walk are wearing the same dress as you.

Pain is standing in front of a Chagall painting and feeling the vibration of his colors for hours afterwards.

Pain is standing at a barbeque and not being able to hear what anyone is saying because the smell of the meat on the grill is too loud.

Pain is trying to listen to the conversation over dinner when I can hear four other conversations around me, feel the energy of the people, distinctly know every song that is playing and figuring out the algorithm used to select the playlist.

Pain is the four years I exiled myself from music altogether because my heart was so broken it couldn’t stand to listen to two notes together.

Pain is being able to recall almost every aspect of every hurtful thing I’ve ever experienced with almost perfect clarity, down to what I was wearing, and feeling it as intensely as I did then. Pink collard shirt, white short overalls with pink flowers and pink suede shoes from Esprit the day those bitches in middle school cornered me before gym class.

Pain is having to wait while someone fact checks something I’ve said because there is no way I should know it off the top of my head when it is something they’ve studied for years.

Pain is playing dumb while dinner companions say completely inaccurate or plain wrong or plain callous things with authority.

Pain is filling a glass with ice and remembering that water crystallizes into ice, and that ice floats, and that is why life can survive underwater in winter, and that is how evolution occurred during ice ages, and if that is not some sign of a vast plan then what is, and why did we treat the Earth so badly, and how awful is it that we are all trapped on a tiny planet in a vast expanse of space and maybe we are all alone…and then realizing I’ve just overfilled my glass.

Pain is being overwhelmed by the immensity of the entire NYC transit system while riding on the C line to class.

Pain is reading five newspapers a day and being able to pick out patterns that no one else can see and no one will believe until it becomes a headline and it is too late to do anything about it anyway.

Pain is the ineptitude I feel when I think of all the women my age, and those who came before me, who never knew that their isolation had a name, and that it was autism, and that they were worthy of love.

Pain is the feeling I have when I think of all the girls who’ve yet to learn the things I know and will suffer needlessly because I can’t teach them all the lessons that came to me through experience.

Pain is knowing that people like me need some kind of lifelong assistance and I have no one to ask for help. And no one’s acknowledging that maybe I’m not doing so well. Or maybe they don’t care. Or maybe I don’t matter enough for anyone to assist.

Pain is writing a blog about my life and having a troll comment that I’m a basic bitch who is only claiming to have autism because I don’t have a personality.

Pain is being the smartest person in the room and wishing someone was smarter so as to give me the answers that would make my life just a fraction easier.

Pain is being in the presence of the “enlightened” who mock others, who are without compassion or grace or humility. It’s feeling drained after having to lend all my energy to compassion and humility for those who should know better.

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