Kroger April Early Shock

Well, Kroger has decided to get their Autism Awareness out early this year. That was a shock. I know I was expecting it, but something inside me this year has decided to raise anxiety. I mean, stuttering has come out of me this year, too. I don’t like it. 

It’s not quite full-blown yet, but it’s starting up fast. Today I saw two women wearing the Kroger Autism Awareness Shirt – light blue with a “ribbon” made up of primary color puzzle pieces. They haven’t pulled out an infographic station yet, though. As I have said recently, you know how I feel about the puzzle piece. Anyway, the start has hit me hard this year.  

Maybe I ought to ask how those who wear the Autism Awareness Shirt are connected to it. If it means an autistic relative, maybe I can give a few tips on how to help. Who knows?  

I think I need to go self-care a bit right now.  

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Stoicism: How Displaying Strength Goes Wrong

CONTENT WARNING: Murder, Suicide, Drug Use 

“Man Up.”  “Be strong!”  “Real men don’t cry.”  

These are common phrases said when a boy, man or even woman or girl perceived to be “strong” is told at a young age. This model of strength, and masculinity in the case of males, is heavily influenced by stoicism. Stoicism is an Ancient Greek school of philosophy that argues displays of emotion are due to lapses in judgment, and true strength and rationality is emotionless. It has made its way into the Model of Masculinity in America. I can’t say if it has made its way into other nations’ Model of Masculinity, though I suspect it has. Some people will admit to murder before admitting to therapy, as most men in America will.  

Modern stoicism is best defined in the basic emotional philosophy of professional wrestling. I have only seen two major emotions defined in the ring, and yes, I watched pro wrestling for years: Rage and Lust. It’s as if any emotion at all that is not rage or lust does not exist. That kind of aggressive stoicism takes a toll on a person, woman or man. Want to know something really weird? Pro wrestling is chock full of early deaths – including one which, if I remember correctly, involved family annihilation. But the man who did that has become a sort of He Who Must Not Be Named. (No, not Voldemort, my dear Harry Potter fans.) 

He Who Must Not Be Named, Chris Benoit, I briefly touched upon. He killed his wife and child. Now, it has been revealed that Benoit had brain injuries consistent with CTE, sustained during his career. I wonder if he knew he was going downhill physically? I wonder if that prompted such an extreme reaction? Unfortunately, I have previous experience in family annihilation. It happened to a friend of mine at church. The theory floating around is that his father did not think anyone could take better care of them than himself. I wonder if it a similar case? 

More examples of Stoicism abound. Many men have died of suicide due to not being able to get help for themselves. I have also heard that the success rate of suicide is four times higher among males than other genders. Also, what does modern stoicism contribute to the usage of alcohol and other drugs to evoke the “proper” state of being? How many people have fallen into addiction due to pressure to Man Up or Be Strong?  

You may think I have no business talking about Toxic Masculinity or Stoicism, but Stoicism has made its way into dealing with female emotions. How many times, when crying, have women and girls been told they are “Hysterical” or “Irrational” and unable to deal with hard issues due to emotion? By the way, “Hysterical” comes from the Ancient Roman word “Hystericus,” meaning “Of the womb.” The very idea that women are too emotional is ingrained in us from the ancient world. How are they prescribed to overcome their womanly emotions? “Woman Up!” “Be Strong!” Stoicism!  

I suspect that emotions may actually be helpful to one, if used correctly. If you’re feeling bad, there may be something wrong. If you’re depressed and putting on a face at a party, something might be wrong. If you’re feeling too good, something also might be wrong.  

I must admit, I was inspired by a segment on Sunday Morning about the toll that modern masculinity takes on young men in our culture…based on recent school shootings, mostly done by young men. We need to remove the stigma and hate of emotion from our national psyche. The Dam of Stoicism will burst eventually, and like any other dam holding back giant walls of water, the ending will not be pretty.

Autism Reality Show: A Reality Show No One Wants, But One We Need 

I Just read an article about a TV show concerning an autistic character. According to the review, it is simply the same “Experts because they know someone autistic” who gets a LOT of autism wrong. The show has not even come out on Netflix yet, and I’m disappointed. Maybe it could apply to one autistic character or person, but not a great majority. See, there is autism in all races, cultures, genders and sexualities.

I somehow think that the best interpretation of autism on TV is one which groups several autistic people together, of different ages, races and genders, and simply follows them around. You know, an autism reality show. No inspiration porn, no neurotypical censorship, no getting autistics wrong. Just autistic people, navigating a world that is not for them. But I think nobody will take it. Neurotypicals like to get autistic people and put them in a little box. Trouble is, if you don’t fit in this little box, you’re not autistic. Even professionals withhold help because women and people of color, and successful people too, do not fit into this little box. They withhold help in the form of refusing to diagnose autistic people with their autism. This is why we need an autism reality show in the form I described.

Besides, if you were a bird who could fly, would you rather not learn how to fly from a bird?

Expectation vs. Reality: Valentine’s Day 2017 –

Via Daily Prompt: Expectation

Let’s get one thing straight: Often, reality does not meet expectation, let alone surpass it. I was expecting to be attached to somebody romantically this Valentine’s Day, but I’m not, for example. To me, though, expectation is no big deal. I can deal with a single Valentine’s Day. I have been for years. There is a no-worry plan to deal with Valentine’s Day, or as some singles like to call it, Singles Awareness Day.

1) Drop expectations – What do you have to worry about if you don’t have anyone to expect anything from? You’re totally free from it. I mean, sure, your friends or family may have something to celebrate or expect, but you, don’t worry about it. There is nothing to tether you to expectation.

2) Surround yourself with things and people you love – I’ve done it already this morning: I’ve got my new Doctor Strange Funko mug. I’ve already got my chocolate, my coffee, my favorite pajamas, and my later plans to go out to lunch with my mother, whom I love dearly. Love is the theme of the day; surround yourself with people and things for it.

3) Don’t get bitter – Why get bitter? Maybe you don’t have what they call a “soul mate.” Besides, the “soulmate” theory came from a belief that the human soul was divided into two genders, male and female. I’m not going to get into it, but I believe 1+1=2. You are a whole, complete person by yourself. Besides, would you really want to be in a relationship where the person abuses you because you don’t want to be alone? You know there’s various caveats to that, and that’s one of them. Besides, just because your life hasn’t worked out right doesn’t mean others haven’t either.

4) Celebrate others’ relationships – There are plenty of people to whom Valentine’s Day has a more special significance. For example, my own parents were married on Valentine’s Day. Find someone who has this kind of significance – like a birthday, perhaps? People were born today, too. But I digress. Sometimes you have to absorb another’s positive energy, sometimes you don’t. Don’t worry about it.

I hope I may have been helpful with some suggestions in dealing with this day, if you are having trouble.

ADDENDUM (8:15 p.m.):

My experiment actually worked. We went out to a pretty good place to eat, and I realized this: I could eat onion. (Onion curls, but I digress.) I survived this day just fine.

 

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?

Who Is Cambria?

Who Is Cambria?

This is a question I had yet to ask myself until recently. Everybody, whether good or bad, told me what or who I was.

“Cambria is autistic.”

“Cambria is a cutie; she looks good.”

“Cambria is a psychotic sack of ****.”

“Cambria is my daughter.”

I did not even have to learn who I was for a long time, because I had never had a lack of people telling me who I was. So, when most of the people abandon you in one way or another, what are you then?

“Cambria is worth abandoning.”

My mother ran off to Florida to be with a man (but she learned and redeemed herself later); my sisters used me up and spat me out; my friends, God knows where they went; and my father sent me to my mother and then died. I am not trying to be fair or observant; I am relating how I was feeling at the time. Feeling abandoned is one of the major issues in my life – I feel it all the time.

Now that I know better on where everyone stands, I can see that I have no idea who Cambria is. Will you come on my journey to discover who I actually am – without the restrictions of my haters, and with the support of those who really love me?