Unmasked at Last: Poetry of a midlife journey to identity and autism acceptanceby Amy K. Alward, Joris Killian
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This book contains poems, written as necessary therapy, when an undiagnosed woman on the autism spectrum suffered from autistic burnout, going from just functional to not functional. Grief, loss, burnout, and diagnosis led to a stream of identity crises and lifestyle adjustments. Quality of life and acceptance of self (without denial about her autism) became the focus of her redesigned life.
The author documents her painful journey through the darkness and out the other side to a hopeful, authentic life through these free verse poems. The often dark verses capture the emotional upheaval of this time in the author's life, ultimately leading to healing and acceptance after a raw period of grief. As an autistic, the author confesses she does not feel as aware of her emotions as a non-spectrum individual. Yet, these poems clearly reveal a rich and intense emotional life--despite differently-abled neurological processing. Content ranges from romantic, mildly erotic love poems, to vengeance and anger pieces, expressions of grief, snapshots of what it is like to experience autistic meltdown or selective mutism, then ultimately turn to hopeful works on acceptance and self-love. Adult topics are covered and some language may not be suitable for children.
Tips about understanding Autistic neurology, resources, references and where to find similar voices among the autism self-advocacy community are included.
- Burning Raven Press, LLC
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 806 KB
Meet the Author
Amy is a dreamer, a cyclist, and fan of unusual or bizarre beauty. She first struggled with writing at the tender age of three, practicing her own name endlessly in black crayon in the back of a book she couldn't read on her own. She also took chalk to the unfinished walls of the new garage. No matter how she tried, the letters came out backwards and in reverse order. Hot tears and screams of rage led to wrist biting that she never let anyone else see. (But those secrets meant her sister got in trouble for the garage, because Mom thought Amy far too young to be the culprit.) Once a classically trained singer, a temp, a hospital administrator, a professor of accounting, and a scientist (not concurrently, of course), she now earns her keep in Southern California as a massage therapist, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic practitioner, and author. She's still trying make the words come out the right way, and you can catch her latest thoughts on her blog: Mom to two unique teens and two Siamese cats, life is never dull. In her spare time, she can be found supporting her cycling family at various charity rides, including working with the good folks at the AIDS/Life Cycle. She looks forward to leaving the bustle of urban life one day and having a massive organic garden to putter in.
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