Just Stimming…

A land we can share (a place I can map)

your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful

with 29 comments

The thing about not-being-a-person is:

They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all.

They will have no idea who they are talking to.

You yourself will start to forget, too.

They will say a million small things that sow the seeds for violence done against you, and you will smile and let them.

You will do math, constantly.

How much do I want to be a person today? How much do I want this project to succeed? How much honesty can I afford? How much dishonesty will kill me? What is the cost of coming out? Is there a way to delay, soften, transmute? How long can I survive as half a person?

Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing.

And you will be grateful.

And no one else will know. And so it won’t be real.

You will become an expert at folding away pieces of yourself, quietly and automatically and with perfect obedience.

And you will forget that, forget all of it, forget yourself, and then come back to yourself violently as someone smiles and talks, academically or hatefully and there’s no deciding which is worse, about those people.

And you will remember that you are not a person. And you will have to decide, all over again, how much longer you can take that.

Written by Julia

March 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

29 Responses

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  1. That’s how I feel about identifying as queer and appearing (so I’m told) quite straight. There are a number of people I’m out to offline, and I’m very out online. Offline it’s a question of coming out again and again. I’m not out to some senior citizen friends, or to a friend who’s closer to my age but very religious. It’s a strain to remember to watch what I’m saying with them. Even the senior citizens know I’m gay-friendly, though. I say what I can when I feel I can afford to, and I’m not so proud of that.

    I have several invisible disabilities, some of which are more socially acceptable than others, like diabetes. That’s something I decide to talk about, too. It’s probably clear enough those times when my attention span is very limited, or when I’m having social anxiety.

    I have a very vexed relationship with passing and frequently enough not wanting to, particularly for sexual orientation. It’s a relief that I have support, particularly with a couple of GLBT groups I’m involved with. It can still be an hour by hour thing.



    March 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  2. […] your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful appears here by permission. […]

  3. Why you gotta be so eloquent about this stuff? That is all.


    March 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

  4. beautiful. you are a talented writer


    March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  5. this is so gorgeous, and so painfully true. resonantes around my own issues with inivisible disabilities as well as other partially hidden identities. so much ❤ to you.


    March 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm

  6. I always read your posts and wonder how it is possible that there aren’t like 500 comments telling you how amazing it is. So maybe I should tell you that myself instead of getting annoyed that not enough other people are. This is beautiful.

  7. This is amazingly eloquent. Thank you for posting it.

  8. Academically or hatefully…sometimes I feel I am the only one who sees this. We are so used to giving honor to academia, whether it is earned, or not. We never look at the man behind the curtain critically, although he may put us under a microscope. Time to rise up and call BS, I say.


    March 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  9. “They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all.

    They will have no idea who they are talking to.

    You yourself will start to forget, too.”

    Beautifully written as always, Julia.

    Lydia Brown

    March 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  10. Heart ache


    September 13, 2012 at 3:44 am

  11. […] Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful. […]

  12. That’s *excellent.* So clear, and so true. Thank you.

    Michele Cox (@Gramina)

    January 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

  13. The fear. The fear. So much fear.

    This week I was at a meeting for my professional program and there were pictures of people all over the wall, they thought they were positive images but they were horrifying. And most of them looked like me.

    And that made me distress-flappy, all day, in front of everyone. With the pictures on the wall of the not-quite-people who look like me and move like me and…

    …there is one person in my program I can discuss this with, and I showed her the pictures, and she understood and… knows I’m a person anyway.

    I hope that makes it possible to hold on and to break through and make more space for us. I hope so I hope so I hope so.


    January 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

  14. Have you seen the “Smother Autism” campaign?
    Evidently we don’t even get to breathe anymore, and we’re told we should be grateful when we complain about the abusive wording. As though changing the words at the request of the people they claim to help would ruin the campaign and there exists no other viable title.

    Ren Thorpe

    April 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

  15. I read this and I cried, for every person that has had to hide themselves, but especially for my sons who struggle every day in a world too narrow to appreciate their vibrant beauty.
    I wrote something about the same topic, but FAR less eloquently, so thank-you for expressing what I wanted to say, what I fear my boys feel in such a stunning manner.



    January 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

  16. Hello. The last reply to this was a year ago, and it was written three years ago, but I want to say something on it anyway.

    I am not autistic. I am disabled, I am severely mentally ill, I am queer and a woman and I am an alter, but I am not autistic; we are not the same person and we do not share the same experiences, not always.
    But I cried when I first read this, over a year ago–fall, I think, maybe winter, of 2013, because someone said it, because I recognized every word in my bones even though I had never read them before, because I needed to hear them.
    Since then, I have read this a thousand times, and it has never stopped being less true, less real.
    Now, I know every word by heart; if you listen and look closely, I sometimes whisper snatches of this post, or doodle sentences in the margins of notebook paper.
    It has taken me all this time to post a comment because I cannot find the right words (these are not the right words either, they are not, but they are something, and something is infinitely better than nothing) or I am too afraid to put them out there, afraid that they will be met with the familiar refrain of notreal.
    And these are not the right words, not even close, these are tangled and jumbled and knotted and confused, but I just wanted to say thank you, because this post is true and it has helped me so much and it makes me feel less alone and sometimes it even makes me feel like I can exist, thank you.
    Thank you.

    Sofia Rose

    January 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    • Hi. I wrote this comment over 3 years ago.
      Yesterday, my therapists voted and decided not to use our names.
      I keep coming back to this post. It’s still true. It’s been 5 years, since I first read it, and 6 years since you posted it.
      Thank you. So much.


      March 9, 2018 at 11:39 pm

  17. Reblogged this on Rambling Justice.

    Andrea Shettle, MSW

    January 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm

  18. Reblogged this on Appalachian aspie part two..


    March 13, 2016 at 1:49 pm

  19. Wow. Yes. Exactly.


    April 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm

  20. F**k me. This is so brutal, so true.


    November 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm

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