Says Everyone: “But don’t all girls like flowers?”
Says No One: “She might have a weird interest in this flower thing…”
🤓 Today’s Aspergirl Video
Being a woman going to a doctor to find out if she might be autistic is somewhat like going to a proctologist for a pap smear; it’s just not gonna happen.
🤔 3 Takeaways
- My autism’s been full-blown challenged (“She’s not autistic!”) by family members and coworkers, even though I have a diagnosis;
- I was misdiagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (and prescribed a highly addictive drug) by Fresno’s MediCal hospital, Clinica Sierra Vista; and that was just one of many misdiagnoses and uphill battles;
- Thus I distance myself from people who decide, “She’s not autistic,” who deny the day I felt the dappled sunlight, dancing along me through the swaying boughs of tree-arms above, after having this specific experience:
When the diagnosis came, I cried with relief. I felt it was almost a battle that I had to prove to myself—that I wasn’t mad.
😄 So Back to Flowers
When I visit new places, I document my time there by taking photos of wildflowers, potted plants, and landscaping; and when I step on flowers, it’s as startling as stepping on a cat’s tail; and when people step on my garden, I cry like they stepped on me; and when I grow spices, I let them spike and flower, just to see what it looks like;
Because when my succulents flower, it feels better than winning twenty bucks on a nickel slot machine; it’s like a backstage pass to the inner workings of life; it’s redefining beauty through experience;
Because flowers feel like the evolution of our love for sunlight, color, and sustenance, it opens us up to reconsider and revalue these things.
Flowers chase the sun, glowing more vibrantly than most, (although, we are as capable as glowing as vibrantly as them,) and they embody the same colors as the numbers in my mind.
I think that’s why I like them.
Flowers are made
with the same bright colors
as the numbers in my mind,
and as a child, I found
they never minded
if I counted those numbers
on their velvet petals.
😎 In High School
I got hooked on this idea of attending a summer regional occupational program to learn how to be a florist. I wanted to transform into Final Fantasy VII’s Aerith.
But I struggled with transportation. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 18, despite trying since I was 15, including driving school, one-on-one lessons with half-a-dozen family members—each who could only handle 1-2 near-death experiences before passing me and my 1991 Maxima along to someone else—
And I tried the public bus,
but the smells of the people,
(and the way others judged
if I tried to explain
how the scent of people
Eventually Gra, my dad’s dad, finished up my driving lessons, and after my ninth driving test, I earned my license; but I never attended the regional occupational program to be a florist because, by then, I was working part-time as an administrative assistant for a construction company.
I don’t know how many potted flowers I bought, put out on a patio, then overwatered, underwatered, sideways and upside-down-watered… I spent my twenties with a brown thumb.
But I was determined to replicate the fluorescent green of the number three, to bring this number to the surface of visible nature; and to this day, I tend our backyard of vegetables and spices to surround myself in glowing green.
Of all our vegetables, my favorite is the tomato, with bright yellow buds that reflect the number two.
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Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.