Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Friday, March 15, 2013

Strangers Fate

So there is a band that I listen to a lot, called PONS. They used to be called High Tide. And there is one song, which I'm honestly not sure where you can get a copy of it besides from a person who has one since their podcast site stopped existing, called Strangers Fate, that is the one I'm talking about right now. It's one of their oldest ones, from I think 2006. And the refrain sticks out for me. 
Breathing down my neck,
Waiting for just one wrong move,
Just one bad step.
I'm a failure to you,
A failure to you,
Yes I'm a failure to you.
You can probably guess why this sticks in my head so much, if you've been reading my blog for a while. Yeah, it's about autism. Well, the song isn't, as far as I know. I'm pretty sure none of the band members are Autistic or have autism or have Aspergers or anything like that. But the reason that the refrain sticks in my head is about autism, in a way. Just one wrong move, just one bad step. When you're not considered a failure, there is some leeway for error. When you're already a failure and trying (in vain, of course) to redeem yourself, every error is more proof of what a failure you are. Just one wrong move, just one bad step, just one more sign of how broken you truly are, how much of a failure you are. And things that shouldn't even be considered errors are now wrong moves. Things that anyone else could get away with are bad steps. And I think that's what they're talking about here too, because it applies to anyone who has been predetermined to be a failure, regardless of reason. It doesn't have to be "You're autistic, and that means you're a failure just for existing." It can be anything. It can be anyone.
Breathing down my neck, waiting for just one wrong move, just one bad step... 
That's what it's like. It feels like someone is breathing down our necks all day, every day, waiting for one sign of our neurology, one sign that is the proof of how hopeless we are. One flap. One time that we "should" have made eye contact and didn't. One repeated word. One hint of perseveration. One wince from a sound that hurts but that others have determined shouldn't be an issue. Just one "wrong move" that isn't even wrong, shouldn't even be wrong, shows what failures we are because that's how you see us.
Breathing down our necks, waiting for just one wrong move, just one bad step. We are failures to you, failures to you, yes we are failures to you.


  1. Alyssa you are a success and a source of inspiration. The failure is anyone or any group of people who would pass such judgement on others or expect all people to conform and hide the beauty of our individuality and diversity, which is the true gift of life. True success would be measured in being a good person who respects others and helps and supports people in need and one's own self. A desire or need to force conformity comes from an underlying insecurity based need to control and this is in itself a problem. Alyssa, you have always been wonderful, beautiful and successful and your strength to speak out helps so many to feel better standing tall, to be free to be, whatever that individual may be. I hope that each and every one of you who reads this feels the beauty and success in your own self. No one should ever make you feel you are a failure because you are a success. I stand in support. I stand with you and am with you.

  2. You just made me realize why I have trouble with people standing over me as I work on something: When I was a kid struggling with handwriting (and being tortured with handwriting sheets - I do not use that word lightly. Suffice to say that stories of bad ABA are highly reminiscent of my handwriting lessons, and handwriting for more than about ten minutes causes me severe pain to begin with, and the lessons would last two to four hours at a stretch), my parents would stand like that. And it emotionally brings me back to being in pain from my hand and from my mother's nails digging into my shoulders forcing me to stay in the chair and my ears ringing from shouts of, "This isn't hard!" (often from my father who was lying because his handwriting is atrocious like mine and he could never do cursive either) and so on and so forth.

    So. I get that refrain.


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