What if?

What if you were told that the way you experience the world is wrong? What if you were told your body lies? What if everything you felt and experienced was challenged, tested, doubted, disbelieved?

What if they told you the way you move is wrong? What if your body language and movement was monitored, policed, and controlled whenever you were around people? What if other people saw you slip up and laughed and made fun of you for it? What if they told you that you were a freak and freaks should die? What if they urged you to kill yourself? What if they hurt you? What if authority figures insisted this treatment was your fault and if you tried harder at moving right it wouldn’t happen?

What if they told you the way you talk and think and write is wrong? What if they dictated and micromanaged to you how you would say things, and demanded that you comply before they’d give you what you want? What if they did that even involving things you need? And what if, despite saying that compliance with their standards is the way to get what you want, they routinely ignored you if you were asking them to stop?

What if talking about this treatment was met with disbelief? What if people accused you of misunderstanding your own experiences when they weren’t there? What if they called you a liar? What if they said you had to be exaggerating, it couldn’t possibly be that bad?

What if you could never say no? What if any resistance at all was met with physical force, someone grabbing your arms hard enough to hurt and forcing you to do what they wanted? What if this was not called “assault,” but “therapy”?

What if parents who hurt kids like you were treated as the victims? What if the kids were blamed for their abuse because they move and talk and act like you and therefore deserved it? What if the media focused all stories on filicide of kids like you about how hard you are to take care of? What if parents of kids like you talked ominously about how there would be more deaths if access to services didn’t improve? What if protesting the idea that it’s okay to kill people like you was seen as unreasonable?

What if, in spite of all this violence against people like you, it was you who were scape-goated whenever violence was talked about. What if the moment a major violent act hit the news, people were speculating that the perpetrator must have been like you? What if, when you expressed hurt at this, people called you the one who lacks empathy?

What if you were told you had to do things that hurt you, because refusal is a “behavior” and behaviors are bad? What if people willfully and capriciously denied you the ability to comfort yourself as they forced you to do things that hurt, day in, day out, and then blamed you for the explosion when you couldn’t take it anymore?

What if people consistently made you do things you’re terrible at without any guidance? What if they berated you and called you names when you inevitably failed? What if they refused to let you work on anything you enjoyed or were good at until you succeeded at the thing that made you miserable? What if protest was met with insinuation that you were lazy and spoiled?

What if anybody who doesn’t move or talk or act like you was seen as better? What if there were entire organizations and research groups and societies dedicating to making you move and talk and act differently?

What if there was an organization whose sole purpose was to eliminate people like you? What if they pretended to be about helping you, and were the main group people thought of when they thought of authorities on people like you? What if this organization completely excluded people like you from positions of power and did its best to erase and discredit the words of people like you who challenged it? What if this organization trumpeted the “therapy” that you found so hurtful as the only thing that could fix people like you? What if, when you told this organization to stuff its eugenic “help,” it acted as if you were in the wrong and it was the victim?

What if people in the organization talked on video about their fantasies of killing people like you, and insisted that everyone in families like yours thought about it sometimes? What if this organization spread words of hatred and dehumanization about people like you? What if others acted on it and hurt and killed people like you? And what if the organization steadfastly refused to tone down its rhetoric, in spite of the perpetrators of these acts being close followers of it?

What if, even after all that, people thought you were the unreasonable one for protesting?

4 thoughts on “What if?

  1. Sonnolenta says:

    Reblogged this on Sonnolenta… A Neurodivergent Journey and commented:
    If you read one blog post about Autism today, make it this one.

    An incredible post from ischemgeek asks the eternal question… “What if?”

  2. BARF BARF BARF! What if people like us – EQUAL PEOPLE – continue to be unreasonable and refusing about such treatment until it’s universally unacceptable!?!?

  3. Ellie says:

    One day, when I have enough of an audience, I plan to tell people that I have an idea for a story, another YA dystopia novel or whatever, in which a group of people who Don’t Fit In are abused and threatened to conform to the standards of the Oppressive Society, in which there’s a highly supported organisation trying to wipe them out under the guise of a charity, in which they’re sometimes murdered for being different and then blamed for it. And then I’ll go, “Wait, did I say this was a novel? I meant it’s literally my life.”

  4. Reblogged this on Melissa Fields, Autist and commented:
    To all of those reading and following my blog, and who want to understand my entire way of being as an autistic adult, and my autism, i am requesting that you read this following blog.

    This is how i actually grew up in my own home, my own family. I did not get the professionally abusive ABA therapy that most autistic children are sadly subjected to that is 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day, i got the 24/7 family special ABA.

    Folks, if you have a sibling, aunt, uncle, child, parent, friend, etc., who is autistic, or you work with an autistic person, i am requesting that you read this blog.

    We autistic people are human beings. We are wired differently than you, and we cannot change that or who we are.

    You do not realize how deeply it hurts to be told over and over and over again that we autistics are wrong, broken, and need to change or else you won’t love and accept us.

    To be treated like this is a behavior, and not a real meltdown. That when you trigger our very real sensory triggers, you are causing us to have that meltdown.

    We are not broken. We don’t need to be fixed, cured, and erased. Listen, have patience with us, and learn about us by really hearing us and showing UP for us, and having our backs.

    Thank you!

    (Blog follows)

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