I’m kind of a quote-fiend. I’m always saving quotations. I used to even sit around typing what people said into a file of quotes, but I also save them in my head.
Maybe it’s because of my Mrs. Who approach to language (which is how I conceptualized it before I heard of echolalia):
“Finxerunt animi, raro et perpauca loquentis,”, Mrs. Who intoned. “Horace. To action little, less to words inclined.”
“Mrs Who, I wish you’d stop quoting!” Charles Wallace sounded very annoyed.
Mrs. Whatsit adjusted her stole. “But she finds it so difficult to verbalize, Charles dear. It helps her if she can quote instead of working out words of her own.
So this page is going to be a collection of quotations, whenever I get around to adding them. I will also, hopefully, be putting hyperlinks inside the quotations, to point to relevant articles or posts, as well as linking back to the sources where applicable, which of course if I had my way everyone would be reading. ;-) I like funny quotes as well as quotes that express something I couldn’t express on my own. I’ve handled language for a long time as collections of quotations that I can maneuver nearer and nearer to what I mean the longer I live and gain experience in the world. So whenever I add more of my favorite quotes, this will be the page you’ll find them on.
You keep finding all the reasons to close the door
You keep minding that we’re too many to ignore
We may seem in the gutter from up there where you are
Maybe you don’t know we still see the same stars
Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.
— Gandalf, from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings
It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.
— Sally Kempton
There are worse things than having and accepting autism, and one of them is not accepting autism.
— Alan Winston
I’ve been a good patient, and I’ve been a bad patient, and believe me, being a good patient helps to get you out of the hospital, but being a bad patient helps to get you back to real life.
— Judi Chamberlin, “Confessions of a Non-Compliant Patient”
The tight weave of traditions that makes a comfortable hammock for some just as surely makes a noose that strangles others.
— Anneli Rufus, Party of One: The Loners Manifesto
What I resent is this: It is not the expediency or even the current fictions of psychiatry. It is the black and hollow lie that is called help.
— Rae Unzicker, from Beyond Bedlam: Contemporary Women Psychiatric Survivors Speak Out edited by Jeanine Grobe
It just warms my heart so, to see that so many people are taking the time to talk amongst themselves about what they want to do to us.
All people are real, in the deepest sense of that word. That means there is no such thing as a non-human human.
— Eugene Marcus, “On Almost Becoming a Person”
Nobody achieves sainthood by having an autistic kid.
An inability to read body language or intonation or even auditory comprehension is not necessary to ‘sensing’ when a ‘brick wall’ is approaching you.
Because there is no way for good people to admit just how bloody uncomfortable they are with us, they distance themselves from their fears by devising new ways to erase us from the human landscape, all the while deluding themselves that it is for our benefit.
— Cheryl Marie Wade, “Thoughts on the Right to Die with Dignity”
Disability inspiration is a form of propaganda that glosses over oppression while simultaneously reassuring normals about the superiority of their ways.
— John B. Kelly, “Inspiration”
I have been told many times that I am an exception, and that others will never be able to reach my potential. I find that ironic when I look at my past – a young boy who was not supposed to be able to learn anything. I guess I was classified as low functioning then. Now all of a sudden, I am high functioning. I am neither high functioning nor low functioning. I am who I am! I am Patrick Worth.
— Patrick Worth, “The Damage of Labels”
It is not uncommon for engineers to accept the reality of phenomena that are not yet understood, as it is very common for physicists to disbelieve the reality of phenomena that seem to contradict contemporary beliefs of physics.
— H. Bauer
People, it seems, communicate principally vocally, and their clacking and chattering goes on interminably from morn till night and, believe it or not, some of them even continue to talk in their sleep.
— Cica the cat, from The Silent Miaow: A Manual for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats by Paul Gallico and Suzanne Szasz
Sanity is a treatable condition…with psychiatric help, involuntary hospitalization, the extensive use of restraints, neuroleptic drugs, ECT, and the guidance of NAMI, Sanity can be fully and permanently overcome. It happens every day.
This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
If a cat does something, we call it instinct; if we do the same thing, for the same reason, we call it intelligence.
Those who think I am too much in the public eye, should stop and think whether they would really like to be so visible and subject to the vile criticisms that come with it.
— Larry Arnold
Momo listened to everyone and everything, to dogs and cats, crickets and tortoises — even to the rain and the wind in the pine trees — and all of them spoke to her after their own fashion.
Many were the evenings when, after he friends had gone home, she would sit by herself in the middle of the old stone amphitheater, with the sky’s starry vault overhead, and simply listen to the great silence around her.
Whenever she did this, she felt she was sitting at the center of a giant ear, listening to the world of the stars, and she seemed to hear soft but majestic music that touched her heart in the strangest way. On nights like these, she always had the most beautiful dreams.
Those who still think listening isn’t an art should see if they can do half as well.
— Michael Ende, Momo
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend — we were all equal in the end.
— Pink Floyd, “Two Suns in the Sunset”
There’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see, but everywhere I go I’m looking
— Rich Mullins, “Here In America”
My past, and the pain I have endured, is not Purina Vulture Chow.
No, I’m not an uppity autie. I’m a goddamn roll-over-and-play-dead autie who’s afraid to do anything other than to keep going “yes sir, yes sir” out of terror that someone may get so angry about my “defiance” that they’ll start yanking away all of the “privileges” they’ve granted me and more, just to punish me.
When many of us who have become leaders in the [psychiatric] consumer/survivor movement compare notes, we find that one of the factors we usually have in common is that we were labeled “bad patients.” We were “uncooperative,” we” were “non-compliant,” we were “manipulative,” we “lacked insight.” Often, we were the ones who were told we would never get better. […] All those “unmotivated clients” I keep hearing about are the ones who are on a silent sit-down strike about others’ visions of what their lives should be like. […] Let us celebrate the spirit of the self struggling to survive. Let us celebrate the unbowed head, the heart that still dreams, the voice that refuses to be silent.
— Judi Chamberlin
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
— Arthur Conan Doyle
I can be as free as I want in my own life, but while my friends and others are being tortured and humiliated, my personal freedom is not good enough.
— Irit Shimrat, from “Freedom”