There’s a golf ball lodged at the base of my throat and a straight jacket constricting my in breath. I can just about avoid freaking out as long as no new information infiltrates. As long as no one asks anything of me at all.
All day, I’m fed on a steady stream of nourishment via the Internet from my autistic friends. They remind me that I am not alone. At times like this, they take virtual hold of my hand and stay present with my fear and worry.
They read my long posts asking for advice in secret groups and I read theirs and we walk together down the twisty spiral staircase to the basement where it’s dark and murky and we don’t see so well.
They provide the counter weight to the constant stream of confusion that comes with being on social media.
To the pain of more news of autistic people being abused.
To the anxiousness when we worry that someone’s vague reference to something is really about us.
To the brain fog that makes it hard to make sense of everything that everyone is shouting about.
To the trauma when another picture of a refugee child invades our chest cavities and pounds our heart muscles until we sense them raw and over exposed.
It is not safe when the world assaults our boundaries. It is not safe when the virtual world that helps to remind us that we are not alone is the same one that throws stones at us.
My intestines have had enough twisting and I want a log cabin far away with a force field that repels bad news and comments that I don’t understand, and fights that I want no part of. A cabin with no seams to dig into me and no whispers in the walls. All smooth and dark and still.
We need a safer virtual space, autistic friends. One that is sectioned off from the neurotypical world so that we can go there together when the noise gets too loud.
So we can remove the bells and whistles of the world and catch our breath for a time and share out our spoons with love and hide out together until the tsunami has past.
Will you come with me to search for that place?