Buried Gifts

Fifty-seven years and I grieve
Please turn back the clock
Give me my reprieve

By not listening you ruined my life
And here I am at the end of days
Sat on a rubbish heap for the lost
In realisation that it is too late
Gifts discarded to the four winds
Potential held by regret
Special interests wait to create
That life I dreamed was mine to get.

Dots placed carefully under your nose
Not an expert but I persevered
As ignorance misdiagnosed
Passing years embedding pain
No answers, no kind words
Etching patterns in a struggling brain

Age seven dreams were binned
Stigmatised for decades to come

The only sin was difference
With a burning desire
To impart knowing and learning
Great notions of fun
My middle name was ‘teacher’
You called me dumb

Possibilities waste away
Fade with the descending sun
As I remember a child full of life
Until they said ‘your behaviour is wrong’

And now heading towards those end of days
Anxiety and worthlessness bow on my stage

Tell me, where my future lies?
Tell me, who will care?
What do you see when you look at me?
A little girl lost in older age
Still bursting with creativity
Burning with ambition for that career
To set her free with peace of mind
Independence and security

But you shoehorned me into your beliefs
Crushing any sense of self esteem
Taking away the truth of me
Filling the vacuum with fear

Trapped still awaiting my chance
To be heard, to be seen, to be nurtured
And… to be loved

Instead I stand here fighting to survive
Alone, isolated when all flew away
And everyone died.

Opportunities gone beyond
No children, no family
No reason to be

And you gave me regrets
That will haunt my deathbed

When all I wanted
Was a reason to live
Purpose to share
A place to belong

Fifty-seven invisible years
Unseen unheard untapped potential
Wasted by judgement
Generations never given a chance
To truly dance in this world

Disappearing… my light fades
Gifts… buried in my grave

Unknown I’ll drift out to the stars
Forgotten in life
Forgotten when gone
The forgotten is who we are.

Copyright © 2019 Debbie Freeman


I was honoured to be asked by Marion Armstrong to read two poems for her talk about her experience as a late diagnosed autistic woman.

This was in March for the Power of Women Festival held at The Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent. Buried Gifts was my first poem. The second poem will follow in my next blog post.


2 thoughts on “Buried Gifts

    1. Thank you for your lovely words Christine. Yes, Buried Gifts was written from the heart to express the feelings of so many of us. I will post my second poem soon. A more uplifting offering.


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