A story of love and misunderstanding
Something deviating from the established norm this week.
This is a short story I wrote, randomly at first, but it expresses the real effects that conformity can have on autistic people. This story will be made into a film and both will be channelled into my theatre show Compass.
Part 1: Dead
Approaching my end, I tread along the High Bridge overlooking the river and I am ready to jump. My last few moments set in a loop reverberating around my tortured mind’s echo chamber.
And yet I smile at the irony of the water’s ripples that seem to symbolise the potential of a new beginning. The past is in my hands but inside I am lifeless.
But it is too late for me.
I have found solace in solitude and it is time for me to go. My sins command me to cleanse my soul.
Part 2: Dying
My son is so challenging. I love him but...is that always enough? Can’t you have tough love? Is he enough? Well, anyway, he knows what he’s doing.
He is always having tantrums and his stress causes me stress. Always up late, handing me notes like a child. I’ll talk to him like an adult when he decides to be one.
Trapped in his own world, he looks so sad. and frustrated. I wish I could put him out of his misery. Out of mine.
I wonder what type of future he will have. I mean, it is every parent’s fear. In a way, I wish I had someone to guide me because he is not telling me anything with those bloody notes.
I never know how he feels!
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if he feels anything.
Part 3: Alive
My dad doesn’t care for me. He wants me to conform. I can’t handle that pressure. I struggle with speaking but that doesn’t mean I am voiceless.
My notebook is my companion, my creativity and my communication in life but, like me, it is rejected in favour of ‘typical’ development.
I write him notes so he can read my thoughts but he doesn’t see them and would rather I ‘talk like someone my age should’. But that doesn’t always work with people like me, you see...
When I am so often overwhelmed by the confusion and chaos of this world, this world that is unsuitable for my needs and wants, I turn to my notebook.
I’m not locked in my own world but I want to be free from this one, that’s for sure.
I can show you a horizon of communication, of deep and meaningful connection but if only you would broaden your view to see it.
Engage and embrace me!
My needs and wants can somewhat vary depending on how the world is behaving but really we’re all worthy of basic human rights and stuff, aren’t we?
Still, I am punished for
being who I am and not who you want me to be and I am writing this now to tell you that I am done with it all. I cannot continue with theses lies.
The lie that I am good enough to be your son. The lie that I am happy.
The lie I tell myself that you will one day read these notes. Well you can finally get around to it now that I am leaving this place.
I’ll leave them out for youDo you hear me now?
Part 4: Revive
I found what was left of my son.His body had pulsed with purpose. He had left behind ink and paper and that should have been enough for me but I wanted more.
I wanted him to be...someone other than himself and I am so sorry about that now. I feel like I killed my son.
So I took his glass bottle filled with his passion, his communication to the High Bridge with me and I asked my son and myself for forgiveness. I’m about to jump.
But before I do, you will know that I threw his messages, and mine, into the river above in the hope that others can learn from the mistakes I made and learn from my
autistic son. My beautiful autistic son.
You must do away with conformity. Instead of forcing autistic people to to take your journey....like I did...take a journey together. I never found my son. He left home two days ago.
His name is Jacob Parman, 16-years-old. If you are reading this, tell him that his father heard him.