High Functioning

We were supposed to be meshed. One unit, complete, unbounded. That’s how everyone else’s brains worked. But ours didn’t work that way. And while you passed all the outside information to me, I wept.

You don’t realize what it was like to be trapped inside, to be trapped underneath. You’ve never realized this, and you never will. But that’s okay. High Functioning,”, they call you. A mild case,” they say. But there’s nothing mild about you, and even less that’s mild about me.

It’s painful to watch you struggle to speak, to understand, to listen and join in. I know that you’re not quite sure how you’re different, but you know that something isn’t quite right. Our autism twisted me and filled me with a bitter rage, but what could I do?

I’m that part of our mind that would allow you to live just like everyone else, to talk like everyone else, and to understand, just like everyone else. But I’m locked away, and I’ve been watching us struggle since our parents realized we were different, when we were just two years old.

You learned very fast what it felt like to have part of our mind weep while the other part remained ignorant. The weeping part was mine.

What was I supposed to do, locked up inside our body while you struggled to handle all of these outwardfacing relationships? I was so afraid I’d spend the rest of our unhappy existence watching you wallow in the depths of autistic discomfort. High functioning enough to be thought of as normal, but not independent enough to enjoy it.

But you picked up a pencil and a piece of paper, and started writing, words that I never gave you, words that I’d never seen before. They surprised me.

I watched in awe as you scribbled away, then showed them to our mother, struggling to explain what was happening in your graphitescratched pieces of fiction. Our mother always encouraged you, and made sure that you had another chance to write, and another, and another. She even took you to meet an author that I’d always wanted to meet. But I couldn’t, of course, because I was locked away in the corner of your head that had a concrete wall where there should have been a window.

But that author told you something. And while he was telling you, I was screaming at you, trying to be sure that you never forgot what he said:

“Always give yourself the opportunity.”

And even though nothing I said could be heard by you, and even though I could never meet you, you created worlds where we did, finally, meet at last