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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

Hello all.

I have been missing in action for many moons now working on some intense issues privately. It’s quite a shift to be stuck in your head for years and then have the opportunity to express yourself to many. Quite a great opportunity, but yet I’m not a reality show.

I’m just a guy, a non speaker trying to navigate a world that denied me and continues to deny me. I have a message of hope and healing to share after taking an even deeper dive into the trauma not being presumed competent and not having a voice has caused. I’ve had to process in private before showing up for all the world to see my wounds and scars-some of which were buried so deep that a peeling away of layers had to occur.

I’m sure this is the same for neurotypicals but a big but is: I COULDN’T call foul on any wrongdoing. I COULDN’T ask for help. I was thought to be impervious to all the things that hurt humans. I COULDN’T deal with anything or anyone outside of my own head. And there were many anythings and anyones: lost opportunities, discrimination, injustice, bullying, shame, ugly words, no hope for a future. I could go on and on. Again the takeaway here is although many people have experienced these things, non speakers without communication can alert no one.

So what do we do? We might fight as our bodies whack out at the constant assault on our humanness We are then treated even worse and the cycle spins. The cycle need to stop and I am one voice who seeks to stop it.

This is me Noah and I’ll be around.

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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

Updated: Mar 28, 2019

It’s a simple, straight forward sentiment: don’t worry, be happy. Simple but not easy. It’s true too. We all struggle with what if’s, uncertainties in the future, and potential pitfalls to what we have planned. We spend our entire present not being present but trying to secure our future.

It’s interesting that before I could spell to communicate, my future was already determined and it wasn’t a pleasant one. Why cry-or worry-over spilled milk they say.? And my spilled milk was soured, dried up and crusted over. I didn’t need to stress over my future because I already knew what it held: more nothingness, more unrealized potential and a big dose of a wasted, purposeless life. I had years to get comfortable with an ongoing, constant level of frustration and anxiety that became a part of who I am.

In a way it’s easier to worry now that I have a voice and hope for a future. Before, there were no potential pitfalls or obstacles, just certain ones. I had a constant level of anxiety, but now I have a constant level with sky high spikes because I have sky high hopes. It’s miraculous to have access to learning, relationships, communication, but there is a nagging that sits in the back of my brain whispering each time a door is shut and a mind is unaccepting of my abilities. It tells me ‘You still aren’t going anywhere. Society will never accept you. Forget about being embraced or valued.’ This is a lie, but my body chemistry gets tricked every single time. My rational thinking is overwhelmed by the wave of my emotions and the accompanying physiological response. Fight or flight when threatened? I fight.

So who says autistics don’t have emotions? The same people who complain about our ‘behaviors’. I hope you can sense my sarcastic tone because I beg to differ. We have emotions alright, big ones that manifest in big, weird ways sometimes. Our bodies aren’t always able to cope with them or handle them as discreetly as neurotypicals. We can’t help it, try as we might. Instead we get labeled and stigmatized and punished and isolated. But not supported like we need to be: we need profile specific support in anticipation of each of our unique body reactions. We also need access to communication to help guide this support and to give feedback when situations are misinterpreted. We deserve to speak into our own lives, just as every other human can.

I thought we’re all about diversity and tolerance these days? Why should I be discriminated against because my brain and body were created differently? I can strive to be my best me. Why can’t you give me the support and grace to help me do that? We preach equality based on skin color, gender, age, ethnicity, but not neurodiversity? NOT COOL.

Neurodiversity: it’s a thing.

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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

Loss has found me once again at my new address. One of the friends I found, after that devastating move*, has been taken away, this time by death. He was my first new friend, He was Luke Renner. He was my friend despite the turmoil and upheaval in that season of desperation.

For that I will always have a special place in my heart for him. He will always be alive there and alive in my memory. Corny, sympathy card sentiments I know, but true nonetheless. As is the fact that he is now with Jesus. Is this some measure of comfort? Yes it is. Is it enough? No, not yet, but maybe it will be someday.

Grief finds me revisiting the uncontrollable body dysregulation and escalation that is triggered by big negative emotions. They are so ingrained and automatic and they rear their ugly head as my heart breaks. I will combat that heartbreak, in part, by celebrating Luke and our friendship here. My body cannot bear to attend his memorial, so this is my memorial to him.

Luke and I could not communicate directly when we first met, but there was an unspoken camaraderie and acceptance between us. We shared similar interests and struggles which was a lifeline to me on this strange new frontier in North Atlanta.

Luke was happy go lucky. He enjoyed life’s pleasures like yummy food, pretty girls, and fun. He was the quintessential teenage guy regardless of his autism. Autism just complicates things making it difficult to see the real person underneath. What people saw front and center at times, not unlike me, was a teen trapped in an uncooperative body that acted contrary to his wishes too much of the time. I won’t pretend this wasn’t true just because he’s gone. After all, that’s what friendship is: loving the whole person, the good and the not so good.

We had many fun times together riding thrill rides, swimming, walking his dog Coco, eating popsicles, playing putt putt, going to the movies, attending camps and other group activities. We shared the tough times too, when our unruly bodies got the best of us. Brothers in struggle.

Our lives went in different directions then. That doesn’t mean our friendship ended. Life and moments shared with those we love are very precious, whether shared yesterday or last year. Really they are all that matters-not material things or accomplishments. We all want to love and be loved for who we are.

Luke you will always be loved as a friend by me. Though you are gone, you live on in those whose lives were touched by yours.

*see my previous post

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