The audio you are about to listen to may be triggering.
INTENSE VOICE DRAMATIZATION / DIALOGUE
It depicts strong emotions related to childhood abuse, neglect and emotional abandonment. Please take care while you listen.
To enhance your listening experience, close your eyes.
Remember to take care of yourself while listening. Open your eyes and remove the headphones if you start to feel triggered.
Jackie Pilgrim (ALL VOICES ARE JACKIE'S)
There is no video, this image remains throughout.
Image: Shadow of a human form in a dark corner, with bright light coming through retangular window on left.
I am a Christian woman, a mom, a relative, a friend, a neighbor, an activist/advocate, an artist, a poet…a person who lives on the spectrum. I don’t think my parents or people generally saw me as human, even though, by circumstance, I am proven to be one. Most of the time, I still struggle with believing I am human, trapped in the conundrum of having worth or not. Even still, I can’t equate my life being one with the sole purpose of being a source of blame, shame, and stress relief for my parents through beatings and sexual abuse.
I was that strange kid in your class. You know…the odd one who rarely talked. When I did speak, I was a wealth of information. You’d find me sitting in the far corner of the classroom. Face positioned approximately 2 inches above the desktop, holding a brand-new pencil, freshly sharpened to exactly 1 inch in height, carefully and precisely writing letters and forming words. Usually speaking to no one…looking at no one.
I am lost in the sweeping sounds of my #2 pencil moving across the fibrous paper and that lovely tap each time the lead touched down on the hard surface of my desk. I’m mesmerized by the lead leaving its imprint. My pencil is tightly held, forming the perfect pencil-shaped callous on my middle finger, perfect for a non-slip grip. This is just what I need for my penmanship’s limited range of motion.
I’d turn my desk to face the wall, but my teacher would make me turn it back to face the front of the room. I hated that. I hated the bright light too. I’d much prefer to hear my world and allow my imagination to be my eyes. I didn’t like interactions with my peers. I preferred the company of adults. They offered stimulating conversation - once they got over the fact that I was a child - more so than the mind-numbing, boring conversations of children.
I’m much older now, and I still find some conversations with peers to be mind- numbingly boring, but I guess they, too, say the same about me as I still get caught up in my love of sharing information, whether considered useful or not. I received a formal diagnosis of Asperger’s at the age of 46. Like many other women diagnosed later in life, it was not until I had my child that I realized I, too, was on the spectrum.
A voice once beaten and tortured away, I can now share my words by the grace of God and His infinite mercy. Though not perfect, they are honest. I am taking the pain of my past and turning it into something useful, maybe even beautiful. They Them Us Me is a poem I wrote several years ago after recalling vivid childhood memories. Writing this poem allowed me to explore emotions bottled up and long forgotten. This poem marks the beginning of my healing. I created and recorded the poem, They Them Us Me. All the voices are mine. For the best listening experience, use headphones. ~ Jackie Pilgrim