April Post 10: Meet the Angry Autistic Woman 

Looking over my behavior when I am alone, it disturbs me. I swear, I give obscene gestures to random people that are not there, and I am a constant simmering volcano of emotion. I don’t know where all this anger comes from. My mother does not know about this  I don’t like being an angry woman. I don’t like wanting to explode at people all the time. I don’t like having to relive every single day simmering at the edges, and literally stuffing down my emotions with anything I can find in order, like ice cream, to protect everyone else from my feelings.

But, when I look over all the injustice that I received as an autistic person, I get why I am so angry. The rage I feel inside when I see anything that reminds me of my childhood is unbearable at best. Tonight, I saw an episode of “The Goldbergs” which revolved around theater. I never really fit in anywhere in high school, not even theater. I even tried to spell it “theatre” in order to fit in. Then, as I learned later, I was made fun of behind my back for talking to myself. There is a post about that called “Facebook and the Mellaril Nightmare” if you want to read about it. Truth is, the only time I ever really felt accepted in school was on Grad Night. I guess everybody was trying to make a good last impression. Truth be told, I was finally relaxed and relieved that it was all ending.

I spent years trying to find love and acceptance, because I was always unacceptable. I was unacceptable in class, unacceptable with friends, unacceptable in theater (pretentious snobs!), unacceptable in church, even unacceptable in ASAN (for being too politically conservative). Honestly, I am currently an angry, bitter, lonely recluse, and that’s what everybody wants me to be. They only want me to go away. Is it any wonder I am an Angry Autistic Woman?

Can We Talk, Chicago Med? 

I’m loving this inclusion and casting of Dr. Latham. However, a colleague in autism brought up a very good point in the storytelling. There is a troubling thing about the narrative, which I think ought to be reconsidered as well as my colleague: the cure narrative. While the cure narrative is the most common in the autism media universe, it is not one which most autistic adults refer to in living. There is a lot of trouble in pushing the cure narrative.

As for one, autism, as it stands today, cannot be cured. There is no cure known for autism. As for Dr. Latham’s radical treatments, they are fine to some extent. But why not show some of the side effects? I like that the treatment Dr. Latham is receiving is shown as temporary or needing to continue. I think we need to continue with that aspect.

2- I think I need to stop for a second and express a point here. There is also a big, foul prejudice reeking in the narrative that we need to address: ableism. Ableism, by definition, is adding stigma to a perceived lack of ability. As I have defined before, adding stigma to the perceived lack of communication is wrong. Even the language, “lack of” being the focus here, adds stigma to autism and other disabilities. It’s as if you have to experience things exactly as the neurotype in power, and all others is wrong and a tragedy. Autism is not a tragedy! The trouble is, there are scared, desperate autism parents looking at this show, hoping to find some answer to “fix” their “broken” child. They turn to risky, strange and even abusive treatments to do this “fixing.” And when those treatments do not work, the child might be permanently scarred, or even killed in some cases. Also, there are broken relationships, running away and suicide to consider. Is it any wonder very few autistic people talk to their families of origin unless forced to? What is there except autism acceptance?

I’ve got a question: Why not consult real autistic adults on their struggles and triumphs? Have you even considered that autistic adults are real people, with real opinions, real knowledge and real experience? Or are we still complete morons in your eyes? So, what about it, Chicago Med? Is Dr. Latham a moron? That is what you say if you do not consider a viewpoint from real life autistic adults.

No More Self Hate 

Recently, I’ve been going over some of my posts. I’ve noticed a pattern of pity and self-loathing. Will I die alone? Am I pretty enough for love? Am I too fat for love? It has come to me what I have been doing, and what drives these posts. I have been listening to what the haters say, and not what the people who love me say. It’s a vicious cycle. The haters scream and shout, while those who love you are drowned out. It’s vicious what I’ve been listening to. Well, it’s time to make a definite change. I’ve come here to say NO MORE. It’s time I reverse my ears and listen to those who really love me – those who say that love is there, even if it’s not in a partner.

Autistic people find love. I have known a chemist/inventor who has been in Time Magazine, and she has been married for years. Of course, no one has to marry their partner, but isn’t that sweet? I have decided this: If I am bound to find a soul mate, they will come at the right time. If not, oh well. Maybe I can look at the other ways people can be loved – you know, without partners.

I’m going to go off script and talk about this – it’s related: Ashley Graham – yes, the plus-size Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model – says she’s not ashamed of her body. Why should she be ashamed of it? She’s a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model! Even now, I can hear the cracking and crumbling of the plaster statue of broomstick beauty dictatorship. I’m not a broomstick, but why does that have to shut me out of love and acceptance? It’s sickening.

The worst part of it is this: It recurs almost every now and then. It’s like a pain that flares up with this trigger or that trigger, and I want it to stop. I want to stop feeling like I am inadequate to find and give/receive love. I’m tired of being disqualified because of things I can barely control, let alone things I can NOT control. I can’t control that I’m autistic. I can’t control that I’m short and stocky. I can’t control your attitude, either. So why lament about it?

Politics: Choosing Between a Douchebag and a Turd Sandwich

Midterm Voter Turnout Drops to 72-Year Low: March 20, 2015

The above headline is quite predictable, in my viewpoint. The trouble is, this is the nation which gave birth to modern democracy, in which everybody has a say in their political process – at least since 1975, when most people above 18 have been given “permission” to participate in the process. I have always cherished my right to vote, no matter how hard a person has had to fight and wait for it. Why don’t people use their right to vote? I believe there is a real set of reasons people are disillusioned and disenfranchised – they think their vote does not make a difference. However, there are some reasons why a woman like me might not want to participate in the process:

Most political ads tell you who to vote against, but who am I supposed to vote for? There are usually more than two people running for the office. For instance, I cannot remember the name of the Republican running for Attorney General of Kentucky, but I certainly know about Andy Beshear, the Democrat. (I may even vote for Andy Beshear if I don’t get someone telling me who the Republican candidate is – just to set the haters off!)

Both sides, left AND right, can get to downright screaming and mudslinging. I mean, let’s take the Kentucky Governor’s race. Do I vote for Matt Bevin, a pathological liar, or Jack Conway, Obama’s nasty little minion? I think South Park got the dilemma right when one of their kids refused to vote because the choice was between a Douchebag and a Turd Sandwich.

Nobody wants to talk to me, the independent. Currently, I am a registered Republican, but I am not a pure Republican – maybe it’s because I am a woman, or an autistic? Who knows? Most of the ads and speeches are used to “energize the base” to vote and cancel out the other guys, but who is wanting to try and change minds? I would like to hear a speech or see an ad based on that.

So, which would you like to choose for a leader: A douchebag or a turd sandwich? I think the system, as it is currently, is designed to disillusion and disenfranchise the regular voter, even more so than things like, say, society and Jim Crow laws did in the South. I currently used examples running around in Kentucky, but feel free to apply your own disillusioning political race.

Better Off Dead?

http://www.vox.com/2015/9/17/9346685/republican-debate-trump-autism

Wow. Thanks a lot, Donald Trump. You have reiterated why I have to go over the same ground in the war for my safety and the safety of others like me. I know I am autistic. I just do not want to be pathologized, pitied and feared for it. Calling autism an “Epidemic” and “out of control” makes it sound scarier and harder than it really is. Do you have any reason why I find that offensive? I find it offensive because it makes me feel like a tragedy. I know I should not listen to people like you, but you invade my head and make tunnels in my brain. You make me think I ought to get off the planet, because that is the only way I can make it a better place. How do I put this? I am not going to get off the planet for you. I am not a tragedy. I am not a burden. I don’t know what I have to do, or how much money I have to make for you to value me, but I am glad I don’t have to prove my value to you. I prove my value to those who really care about me every single day, and none of them are you.

Let me bring up another point to this debate: Leaving aside the fact that the so-called link between autism and vaccines has been left unduplicated, debunked and left the man who published the study without a medicine license, you, Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaxxers are simply saying this, by withholding vaccines from diseases that maim and kill:

“My child is better off dead or maimed than autistic.”

Thank you very much, Donald Trump. You have proven to me that your reliance on emotional anecdotes and wanton ignorance of science and medicine knows no bounds, and your tongue knows not the poison it carries and strikes into the hearts of your followers.

Where Were You? Hurricane Katrina Edition

On this day in 2005, hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm, breaking levees, flooding neighborhoods, and killing 1,833 people. Let that sink into your head a bit. Do you remember where you were ten years ago? I do.

I was in California, watching all of this on T.V. as it happened. I was at home from my job, so it was a Monday or Tuesday. I watched and prayed for the entire city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in general. I knew hurricanes were an annual thing which peaked at about this time, but what I learned was that the city of New Orleans was willfully unprepared for the tragedy it was facing as time wore on. There were rumors of violence in the Superdome, which were later disproved. People chanted and screamed for help. When help did finally arrive, it was almost always overwhelmed. Families were shoving and throwing their children on buses to nearby Houston and other places. I was literally numb with pain for all of those people, and due to the largely black makeup of New Orleans’ lower classes, I always wonder: if this were an earthquake in Beverly Hills, a mostly white and rich area, would the response be more effective because it was a mostly white and rich area?

We almost lost our respect for authority in those times. One rapper even said, “George Bush don’t care about black people,” which is literally untrue and the lowest point in the administration. I don’t think the problems with the Katrina disaster could have been solved through George W. alone, just like Hurricane Sandy’s problems could not be solved through Obama alone. In a disaster, it is usually a

Ten years later, I have decided to write about Katrina because I am seeing the uneven recovery that New Orleans is experiencing. Much of the Lower 9th Ward, a lower-class neighborhood, lies in ruins, while the French Quarter is better than ever. It makes me wonder if we still treat the poor like trash, when this should not be. New Orleans is rebuilding, but can it survive another Katrina? Will the government make these things sure? It shudders me to think that maybe this might not happen in time. I care a lot about the poor and disadvantaged, because they are getting frustrated again, and might turn to feared and hated ideologies in order to meet their needs. This happened in Russia; it can happen here.

Hold Your Comments, Save Your Heart

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”                   -James 3:6

I recently got a sermon on James 3…the famous “tongue” chapter in the Bible.  We got a good smattering of “the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.” You can go read it yourself in any Bible. This got me with the usual yes, don’t gossip and keep your tongue in check. But God gave me another insight: Any comments section on the internet is made up of nothing but people’s tongues, wagging and insulting in all their fury. Have you noticed how unnecessarily negative any comments section is? How quickly it turns to something like drugs or destruction? Often in the first three comments, and sometimes even in the first comment, people turn to negative or ugly things. The best example of this would have to be Facebook, because Facebook almost feels like Hatebook sometimes. Maybe I’m just ranting and letting my own tongue loose, but even I have had to delete and regret a few comments myself. Just so you know, it’s not that I don’t want comments and critiques, it’s that I want your comments that disagree with me to be done kindly, and factually. I appreciate comments…just make sure you are doing them kindly. It helps get your message across much more effectively.

I came to this conclusion of writing my thoughts out on comments because I wanted to share my insights with all of you-whoever you are. We have enough tongue wagging and barb-flinging in this world. I have severely limited my time reading comments because of this. I have often not read them altogether-to save my sanity. I mean, what’s the point of putting death threats to somebody online? It only reveals that you have evil in your heart you need to get rid of. We’ll expand on this more later.