P is for poetry #atozchallenge 


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Over the last year or so I have started to write poetry.

A lot of the poems I write are very linked to parts of my life and are a way for me to express myself.

Here I am going to share a few of my poems and explain a little about each one and why I felt it necessary to need to express what is within these poems.

This first poem is about how using a wheelchair for me is a way of having freedom again and regaining so much of what I lost when I wasn’t using a wheelchair but started having mobility issues due to my Tourette’s.

To so many immediately a wheelchair equalled giving up and a loss of freedom, this poem expresses what was said to me by those people, but it also counteracts that with the reason why a wheelchair is better and gives me my freedom back.

Freedom

You’re my freedom

But others don’t see it that way

You’re my freedom

But others think of you as a restriction.

 

 

You’re my freedom

But others only see what I now can’t do

You’re my freedom

But others don’t see the benefits.

 

 

You’re my freedom:

less cuts and bruises.

You’re my freedom:

less falls.

 

 

You’re my freedom:

I can leave my flat.

You’re my freedom:

less broken bones.

 

 

You’re my freedom

But others see you as a negative

You’re my freedom

But others think you have destroyed my life.

 

 

You’re my freedom

But for others you’re an embarrassment

You’re my freedom

But others want you gone, openly tell me so.

 

 

You’re my freedom:

less head injuries.

You’re my freedom:

less pain and danger.

 

 

You’re my freedom

My reason for less exhaustion.

You’re my freedom

My reason I don’t get stuck in public and have to crawl.

 

 

Yes, I can’t hike up a mountain,

But without you I’d be stuck indoors.

I know you’re not restricting me.

Without you, I’m restricted so much more.

 

 

And no, I’ve not given in!

I’ve done the opposite

by accepting

you’re my freedom.

 

 

It’s not my fault the world isn’t designed for you.

That ramps and lifts might not be there.

That dropped kerbs are often blocked.

That places are often too narrow.

 

 

You’re still my freedom.

The world just hasn’t caught up yet.

 

 

You’re my freedom.

 

You’re my wheelchair.”

 

 

 

 

Far too often Tourette’s is used as a joke, or seen as a joke. People decide it is just about swearing and so often the fact that it is a disability seems ridiculous to many. I wanted a way to get across to people what Tourette’s really is, how it really isn’t funny having Tourette’s and how it causes pain, exhaustion. So I decided a poem where I list a lot of various tics (and actually as I was writing it I was writing down tics that I had literally just done, so it was very real) I wanted to also get across the sense of how frequent tics can be for some of us, this is why near the end I talk about the space of time of the tics.

 

 

 

Not your joke


 

My neck snaps back,

Sudden.

Quick.

 

 

Simultaneously: my left calf tenses.

My eyes blink.

My eyebrows raise.

 

 

My shoulder raises.

Fingers jumping about.

My neck suddenly flicks to the side and I feel a click and pain.

 

 

My jaw clenches.

Now my neck is constantly nodding.

Stomach clenches, pain shoots through my body.

 

 

Legs kick out.

Feet,

And toes start to jump about.

 

 

Now my right arm won’t stay still.

Oh shit I punched my head. Thrice!

My finger flips up at an unaware passerby.

 

 

The sniffing won’t stop.

I’ve not got a cold.

And, no blowing my nose doesn’t help!

 

 

Random words come out.

Some end up forming sentences.

I say the strangest of things.

 

 

‘You’ve got a chicken on your head’

‘Fuck off’

‘I love boomerangs’

 

 

The time all this happens in?

I’d say 5-10 seconds.

On repeat constantly 24/7, only the content changes.

 

 

I’m exhausted.

My muscles ache.

And I’m in pain.

 

 

Tourette’s

 

My reality

 

Not your joke.”

 

 

 

 

This final poem is about learning (and trying to remember) that I am ok and enough as I am. Growing up, throughout my childhood and then as a young adult too, I got the message from all around me (whether they meant it or not) that I am not good enough as the person I am and that to stop being bulled and known as the weird kid I should change to fit in and make myself be liked more.

 

This is about how people wanted me to not be myself and how actually that didn’t mean I would get friends and ultimately starting to learn that I am ok as I am and I have a few friends now who don’t express wanting me to change in anyway.

 

 

I know…

 

You told me to

wear make up

like popular music

wear dresses and skirts

drink alcohol

not talk about history

keep still

keep quiet

talk less

talk more

make eye contact

not meltdown

not tic

smile more

be happy

not be anxious

be sociable

not stim

not talk about classical music

act neurotypical

 

 

So I tried it all

I tried so damn hard

You see I didn’t want to be the one who was tormented and alone

so I tried it all to fit in how you wanted me to.

 

 

I wanted to be liked

I wanted a few friends

But the friends I made were fake as they knew a fake me

They also didn’t care.

 

 

I know I’m different and that’s ok

I know I’m liked as me

The friendships I have now are genuine

as I’m no longer faking who I am.

 

 

I know I’m different and that’s ok

I’m a non-binary trans man and that’s ok

I’m demisexual and homoromantic and that’s ok

 

 

I have mental illnesses and that’s ok

I have Tourette’s and that’s ok

I’m autistic and that’s ok

 

 

I’m a wheelchair user and that’s ok

I know my special interest is the Tudor period and that’s ok

I love classical music and that’s ok

 

 

I stim and that’s ok

I have sensory overloads and that’s ok

I have meltdowns and that’s ok

 

 

I know I love history and that’s ok

I don’t want to drink alcohol and that’s ok

I love my beard and that’s ok

 

 

I know my limits and that’s ok

I know I can’t cope with many things

and that’s ok.

 

 

Every time you told me to fit in

to avoid being the bullied, abused person with no friends

I believed you

but any friends I had weren’t true friends who cared.

 

 

 

I know now that I can be myself

completely myself

and people like me.

 

 

I know that adults lie to young people who aren’t ‘the norm’

Because you all lied to me.

 

 

I know I’m different

and that’s ok.

 
I now know

I don’t need to fit in to have friends

 

I also know I’m not less

just because I’m different.”
.
 

 

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