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Autistic Body

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

How Stripping Taught Me to Communicate With My Body


by REESE PIPER


Growing up, I used to bump into desks, fall over curbs and down steps. I dropped objects on my feet. Bruises would decorate my body. Like a puppy who grows too quickly, I struggled to understand how my body moved through space. I might have avoided being teased for being clumsy and ditzy in school had that been my only physical quirk, but I also couldn’t eat without making a huge mess. When I sat down for lunch, crumbs and sauce smeared across my plate, my cheeks, and somehow even my forehead. On top of that, I didn’t know when to stop. I ate and ate, shoveling down fries and chicken nuggets until I puked. I ate completely unaware of when my stomach got full, just as I ran around all day oblivious to my expanding bladder. I barely felt when my lower abdomen began to press, telling me it was time to pee. Only when it pounded with alarm did I sprint to the bathroom. Often not until it was too late.

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