Today I went through many letters and poems from my childhood. I came across a few poignant pieces that signify how I related to my world during my youth.
I find these old writings telling of my journey.
The words validate a young girl who didn’t understand why she seemed so different from many of her peers. I was able to mask well. Very well. I was a cheerleader (even the homecoming princess at one point). But I was extremely isolated and depressed; crying most days. My small world seemed empty and void of hope. We can’t judge a book by its cover. We need look out for our neurodivergent kin and for all children and adults feeling alone.
Why are you laughing?
Why are you whispering?
So, I don’t see as you do, or look as you.
Perhaps my hair is wrong or face too square.
Children, children, why do you stare?
You have a heart, maybe so far behind.
You’ve forgotten or lost it.
But mine is kept here.
I may not be who you think I should be.
But I have something none of you have.
I am me.
When you start talking, behind each other’s backs.
Start lying from jealousy, or making up facts.
I’ll be here waiting, for I’m not a mirror.
My friends are people.
My friends don’t crawl or fear to speak freely.
For I am myself.
You may say, “Nonsense. You are a fool.”
I may say, “Darling. It’s time you were you.”
~ Marcelle Ciampi, age 15 (aka Samantha Craft of Everyday Aspergers)
The last line reads: A tear for you A tear for me A tear to wash Away–so freeAge 16
What type of people do you want to be around?
People who understand what I’m feeling.
People who care about others and don’t hurt each other.
People who are happy with themselves…
People I can trust.
Outside the birds are singing,
Outside the world is yours,
Yours to laugh, yours to play,
Inside the babe is crying,
Inside the babe is you,
Yours to be,
Yours to see,
The way the babe does grow,
Inside the babe is crying,
Inside the babe does weep,
Outside the children laughing,
Smile as they sleep,
Wind sweep by and take me,
Leave my shell to die,
Send my wings to soar,
Through the world outside,
The birds are singing, call us there,
Calling urging love to spare,
Lift me up around the sea, above the clouds,
For me to be,
Above, beyond, outside to all,
Marcelle Ciampi (aka Samatha Craft) is a respected autistic author and community advocate, is best known for her writings found in the well-received book Everyday Aspergers. A professional educator, she has been featured in various literature, including peer-reviewed journals, Autism Parenting Magazine, The Mighty, Project Aspie, Art of Autism, and Different Brains. Marcelle works as the Recruitment Manager and Outreach Specialist at Ultranauts Inc., an engineering firm with a neurodiversity-hiring initiative, and is a consultant for Uptimize and Spectrum Fusion. A contributing author of Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, Marcelle speaks globally on the topic of neurodiversity. She also serves as the founder of Spectrum Suite LLC, the co-founder of the Spectrum Lights Inclusion Summit, co-executive of LifeGuides for Autistics (neuroguides.org), and a contributor and advisor to autism organizations and conferences internationally. Some of her works, especially The Ten Traits, have been translated into multiple languages and been shared in counseling offices around the world. She resides in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. with her sons and life partner.
“Everyday Aspergers is an unusual and powerful exploration of one woman’s marvelously lived life. Reminiscent of the best of Anne Lamott, Everyday Aspergers jumps back and forth in time through a series of interlocking vignettes that give insight and context to her lived experience as an autistic woman. The humor and light touch is disarming, because underneath light observations and quirky moments are buried deep truths about the human experience and about her own work as an autistic woman discerning how to live her best life. From learning how to make eye contact to finding ways to communicate her needs to being a dyslexic cheerleader and a fraught mother of also-autistic son, Samantha Craft gives us a marvelous spectrum of experiences. Highly recommended for everyone to read — especially those who love people who are just a little different.”
~ Ned Hayes, bestselling author of The Eagle Tree