Today I am silent.
That is it's own form of communication. Choosing to not engage in the unspoken rituals expected of us. It's own form of saying, no, I'm doing my thing, what is right for me.
I make that choice. Limiting my speech to that which I choose, that which I deem worth the cost; that which I deem necessary; that which I deem worth enough to deal with the downsides. Otherwise, I can choose to be silent.
Smalltalk around me. I don't need to reply.
I can choose my self-care as more important than making others more comfortable with this uncanny valley person that is me. I can choose to say no.
I'm asked dehumanizing questions, the emotional labor expected of a token autistic in an unfriendly environment.
But I don't need to honor them. I can take care of myself.
It's my choice. My decision. My desires which matter. It's my needs which I value, as I say, I don't need to speak.
And that's why today I'm silent.
Because today, I rest.