Don't bind me

poem by Sondra Williams

I see the dark shadow coming and fear begins to consume
I feel the uncertainty of those, whose confusion looms

Feeling naked and exposed where fears abound
Lost in a world where confusion is found

Coming to rescue me from my fantasylands
Only to bind my feet and shackle my hands

Fearful of my so-called delusional way
As I see them approaching, I have no words to say

Wanting desperately to pull me from the safe I hold
Saying I am crazy and lost in a world so dark and cold

Yet, I am happy and content in a place that others can't see
It's an inner place that playfully exists within me

Safely playing in my dream world with harmony and song
I find this place safe, others see it as wrong

Wanting to transform me into a normal human being
Not understanding what their thinking and words are saying

I shout out my fear as it rips at me, I screamed as loud as I could
For all I see is others ripping me of my dignity and personhood

Others may not understand my reason for being, or the gifts I might bring
Some see me as much different, not human, but a thing

Inside this shell exists my soul, uniquely designed by God
For there is purpose, even in this special, but unusual path I trod

It is not meant for you to transform me to who you think I should be
For God created this soul, and knowingly he create the whole of me

So please don't bind my feet or shackle my hands, but set me free
Let me exist as I am, for I simply just want to be me

Take the time to know me, for in me exist a person too
Although I am different, I am uniquely created just like you

This poem was written out of my frustration and pains of my teen years where I was to be so much misunderstood and was often restrained for simply being born autistic in a time when little was understood about high functioning autism. I was often so fearful of the people in the wards as nothing truly made any sense to me, I often could be to sense things but did not read the events well so when I would become overwhelmed by fear, I would try desperately to find safe for me and would stim and or pace and do much self talk in trying hard to calm my system and then seeing the staff approaching me confused by there approaching my space and would be to tackle me quickly to the floor to have me restrained thinking I was in the mist of delusional thinking for this self talking things that many with high functioning autism and Aspergers do when stressed or alone in self play or even when in deep thinking.

These years hold much painful memories for me, as there was no one there to comfort me, no one to interpret things for me, so alone lost in the world being forced to enter your world that I quickly learned caused me pain. People not understanding I had autism thought it was mental disorder or emotionally disturbed, neither was true of me I simply had limited training and or support to learn how to effectively express myself and or how to socially behave. It took years for me to figure out how to pretend to be like others in life, but even that was difficult for many years because much of what I had to imitate from were with mental disorders and so it was hard to find much typical role models to imitate, but it did pay off in time as by late teen years and young adult years I could imitate much typical people and pass in some settings as being typical but odd.

I no longer pretend, I simply allow self to be who I am in the real of life. I use what I call the chameleon effect only in my work and in some public places for brief amounts of time. Not an easy task but for sake of being employed I force myself to stay in this scripted roles.

Written by Sondra Williams
Copyright © June 28, 2002

First posted 22 Oct 02.
Sondra will be offering a booklet of her poetry for sale in the near future.

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