We are the Lost Girls

 Our guest poet C.J.

Our guest poet C.J.

We are the Lost Girls.

The lost generation.

The girls they looked straight at but did not see,

The girls they missed,

The girls not diagnosed with Autism.

 

We are the girls who copied your words,

Copied your words so well you thought we knew what to say.

We are the girls who copied your actions,

Copied your actions so well you thought we knew what to do.

We never knew. We still don’t.

 

We are the hidden chameleon girls,

We changed our true colours to be happy.

We changed into masks to be normal.

We changed into actresses to belong,

We played so many roles we became what everyone else wanted,

We lost ourselves to fit in without even realising what we had done.

 

Lost Girls feeling odd, different and trying to fit in,

Anxiety causing us to feel like running sitting still,

Depression causing days to blacken and life to narrow,

Helplessness and despair causing us to fight for our own existence,

Anger that we could have been helped sooner so we wouldn’t have struggled.

 

Lost Girls who never had a chance but made it work somehow,

Too normal to be given help, but too different to be good at things.

Lost Girls who had to learn on our own,

Because no one realised we needed teaching.

Lost Girls who learnt from trial and error, mostly error,

Because we didn’t even know what we did not know.

Lost Girls who found so called “simple things” difficult.

Lost Girls gliding like swans hiding frantically moving legs beneath,

Hiding how much effort we were putting in just to grow up and keep going in life.

 

Lost Girls being told our children have Autism and realising we have it too.

Lost Girls with lives we worry our daughters and sons are going to have.

Lost Girls trying to protect you from the heartbreak we feel.

Grieving our previous perceptions of reality.

Trying to make the most of the rest of our lives.

 

But there is something worse than our lives as Lost Girls,

It is not that there were Lost Girls suffering years or decades ago,

It is that there are girls today who do not even know that they are lost.

Girls without hope of diagnosis, education or jobs,

Girls without hope of reaching their full potential,

Girls without hope.

Girls today who are Lost Girls.

 

These girls must be found,

These girls must be diagnosed,

These girls must be nurtured.

Then the lost generation can end with me.

Then I can be the last of the Lost Girls.

Then my suffering will not be their suffering.

Then they can have the help I never got.

Then all girls can come home.

I was only diagnosed with Autism in February 2017. I belong to a hidden pool of women around the world who only find out they have Autism when they are adults. Without my son, who was diagnosed in May 2016, I may have never been diagnosed at all. This lack of diagnosis put a terrible strain upon me, leading me suffering with anxiety and depression. It’s also disheartening to think of all the other girls out there struggling.