Now, I must admit something: I did go and watch The Masked Singer. Yes, the one with Jenny McCarthy as a judge. No, I do not think she’s the brightest crayon in the box. She did not even get the unmasked person right. I only wanted to see what the Twitter-fueled craziness was about. Honestly, it did involve me a little, but it did not seem too engaging. Honestly, I only enjoyed the Monster and the Peacock. Ask me privately if you want to continue further. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
But this brings up a key issue for us autistic people in general: people will disagree with us, even in the face of cold hard facts. It’s kind of like flat earthers’ stubbornness into seeing whether the earth is flat or round, even though they accept the fact that Mars is round, because they see it with their own eyes. They will always have an answer for whatever facts you can have. For instance, the sun, according to them, is about the same size as the moon. Also, Antarctica is a wall that surrounds the earth. Why am I sputtering this nonsense? To remind you that ignorance is a choice, and some people will put their fingers in their ears and scream “LA LA LA LA LA….” to avoid being wrong and found out.
This is very sad to say, but sometimes, you, the autistic in the know, must smile and grit your teeth, knowing that there are people who think things different from you. That does not make them right and you wrong. When the facts are revealed, they will get their just desserts.
Don’t expect a punchline. I think it’s wonderful.
While I know most people are expecting a punchline to a joke, I think the area in Texas (a rural one) needed a clinic, no matter where it popped up. People in rural areas do not get a lot of mental health care, much less the quality health care many get in the cities. For me personally, therapy is out of reach financially due to copays – and I live in a suburb of Lexington, Kentucky.
But back to why therapy at Walmart is wonderful. Sure, stigma might make it necessary for a secret entrance, but to have the clinic there where there would be none is a step up. Hopefully, it normalizes mental health care and reduces stigma. That there is stigma to mental health care is the biggest aid that the Walmart location can hopefully provide. Besides, why not learn if there is a reason you’re acting that way (and you know what it is), and get some help for it?
I tend to question harmful social norms, like mental health stigma. Maybe it’s due to me being me, but I find if something is harmful, it needs to end. I hope Walmart can normalize therapy and getting help. It needs to happen.
Now, for some Godforsaken reason, when I come out as autistic to some people, they suddenly see this:
And they will NOT STOP COMPARING.
Since I have to spell it out, point by point, I am going to. All questions will be rendered to Captain Obvious, standing over there.
- “You’re in my spot” – Sure, I have a “spot.” But I’m not entirely going to yell at people for sitting in it.
- Extreme Arrogance and Self-Superiority – “The Big Bang Theory” seems to equate autism with arrogance. I’m not arrogant. As a matter of fact, I have to be told on a regular basis that my voice and life matter.
- Reacting in the Worst Way – One of the hallmarks of Sheldon Cooper, and sitcom characters in general, is that they react to criticism in the most dramatic way possible.
- Empathy – Sheldon Cooper, in this aspect, is a false stereotype. Autistic people have empathy, and the fact that I have to tell you this well into the 21st Century vexes me to no end. In many online tests, and by people in the know, I have been told I am an empath. I may not express my empathy in “reading between the lines,” but I literally take on emotions of others. There is almost no boundary. I often hold back tears when someone else is crying. Anyway, I have also taught myself on such important things as facial expression and sarcasm – while Mr. Cooper sees no need to do the same, even when he really needs to.
- Sex/Gender – Sheldon Cooper is male. I am female. I and my fellow female autistics have been told by many professionals that we don’t exist. News flash, autism researchers: autistic women and girls exist! Autistic people of color exist, too!
- Savanthood – Apparently, Sheldon is a savant in physics. I have been told I am one in spelling and grammar. Not everyone is a savant, though. And not everyone is a physics savant.
- Physics Snob – Now, Sheldon is a physics snob. He looks down on other forms of science. I do not.
- Executive Function: Cooking – Can you imagine the high amount of money the group in general spend on takeout? I can cook, and pretty well, too. Sure, I have the occasional takeout, but I can fix quite a few meals, too. Even from scratch.
- Changes – I can deal with changes in relationships, hairstyles and even food, among other things. Sheldon cannot.
- Bathroom Schedule – I go when I need to. Sheldon needs a schedule.
- Diagnosis – I am officially diagnosed autistic (on paper). Sheldon is not diagnosed. At all.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. So stop comparing me to him.
EDIT: I erased the writings seeming to support Capitalism. I do not endorse one economic system over another. What I do support is more equal distribution of economic resources in order to support any current systems in operation today.
No, millennials are not killing the sedan. Ford is. But I have a bone to pick with the whole “millennials are killing ____” stereotype, simple because it’s not millennials at the root of the problem. Millennials are supposedly killing most industries simply because they cannot afford to keep those industries alive.
What’s the easiest way to kill something? It’s not be able to keep it alive. What do industries require to stay alive and keep feeding the owners of the industry? Money. Let’s imagine, for a minute, money is water, and the chosen industry is a plant. The image is an easy one, simply because plants need water the same way industries need money. If you neglect to give a plant water, it will eventually die. If you do not give money to an industry, it will die. The problem lies in this: the American dollar does not stretch that far these days. Even with most wives working in some capacity so their families can eat, it is getting harder and harder to achieve that end. See, part of the problem lies in the total lack of livable wages, now that the American dollar does not stretch that far anymore. If millennials do not make enough money to eat, let alone buy a house or car, how do you expect them to keep an industry alive? Sell their internal organs?
Millennials kill industries by involuntary neglect. If these titans of industry want their money, they need to pay enough money to their workers in order to get them to give some of it back. Sure, people say prices will rise, but haven’t they risen beyond reason already?