The World Has Tortoise to be Afraid
I recently looked after a friends tortoise.
He would tentatively ease his head out into the world,
If something came too close, he retreated, quickly.
The moment something frightened him he pulled his head back into the safety of that hard shell and stayed there for a long time, not trusting the outside world not to harm him.
I am a tortoise.
When I finally trust the world not to harm me again, I apprehensively leave the perimeters of safety I have built around me.
The moment something invades my mental or physical space, I swiftly hide myself away again until the wounds have healed and I have forgotten that the world out there was not made for me.
Autism is a tortoise in a human world. She doesn't fit with the others. She is burdened by this heavy weight that no-one else seems to bear. She looks wrong and feels wrong and sounds wrong. Everyone is bigger than her, stomping around confidently with giant limbs that threaten to crush her.
Often it's much safer in the comfort of her shell. Quiet and dark, away from the loud noises and bright lights and confusing human language that she doesn't understand.