Last night I watched the original Disney cartoon of Alice in Wonderland and after that, spent some time reading Livvie Owen Lived Here, a book from the perspective of an autistic girl.
My allergies were bothering me, so before heading to bed, I took some Benadryl.
I fell asleep and found myself in a terrifying world where everything was upside-down. Somehow I knew that if I said the right words, everything would be okay again.
But the words were elusive. I tried and tried to say them, to capture them with my tongue. Words and sounds came out, but they were all jumbled and wrong.
I woke up in a cold sweat, mumbling nonsense phrases desperately like a mantra. Stumbling into the kitchen, I poured myself a glass of water and drank it with shaking hands. Still, over and over in my mind, phrases and words strung themselves in circles.
I grabbed a blanket and headed for the couch, not wanting to wake my husband.
I slipped back into my dream as if I’d never left.
All night I waged a war, trying to commandeer my words. They pranced and danced about me, just outside my grasp.
It suddenly struck me this morning- is that what it is like for someone who is autistic? A world upside-down? Filled with backwards things and elusive words?
Is Alice’s nightmarish Wonderland the way our world appears to an autistic child?