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I have asked Divine for an answer in my disability case. Instead, I have heard nothing. I also wished my spouse could go out with me at night. Unfortunately, that is not possible and may not be in the future due to a lupus flare.

I constantly check my privilege by reminding myself to be thankful that I have the privilege of being able to walk when I go places. I can cut through the community garden and take a shortcut because I don’t have to worry about a mobility device getting stuck on ground or not being able to fit on the narrow path. When I volunteer at the animal shelter, I have to put the stools back once I am done using them or else someone with a wheelchair or a stroller may not be able to get by. At those times, my carelessness and privilege can hurt others.

Because I am typing on a computer in a heated home, I am privileged. I have food, free water, clothing, and shelter. I also have a spouse who loves me very much and who I love very much. I have no right to ask for anything. I am already rich because I have the privilege of being able to go outside during the daytime without being burned by sunlight. My spouse does not have this luxury due to lupus, which causes extreme photosensitivity.

My watchwords are patience, humility, contentment, and gratitude. These are the four virtues I must keep in mind at all times. When I cut myself shaving, I complained about the blood running down my leg. Then I checked myself and said, “I am thankful for having blood in my body.”

I have to check, check, check myself all day long. It can be exhausting, but it is something I choose to do to keep a positive mental attitude. I am helpless to fix my spouse’s illness, but I have the privilege of making things easier by making medical appointments, running errands, cooking, and cleaning. That is my True Will and that is all I need.

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I am valuable because I help others. I am privileged to be able-bodied, physically healthy, and to live in a city with good public transit. I can easily get to the animal shelter where I volunteer twice a week. I love petting the dogs and cats and interacting with fellow animal-lovers. I also help my wife by handling the social calendar and cooking and chores.

At the same time, I can help others more and also help myself by listening more. When I listen more, I don’t worry so much about offending someone by saying the wrong thing and displaying social incompetence. Instead, I provide a valuable service with my two ears and keep my mouth closed.

Listening covers a multitude of flaws. My often judgmental and intolerant attitudes are not on display when I truly listen. People think I am a good person.

I will be more valuable when I listen more.

I made my living for years being the receptacle for others’ displaced anger. In other words, I did customer service. This was familiar to me, as I grew up being the receptacle for my father’s displaced anger. I would get yelled at occasionally because he was angry. My mother did nothing to stop this that I recall.

However, my father’s words were merely a drop in the bucket compared to the treatment I received from many of my classmates. As an autistic child, my lack of social skills made me stand out in many unfortunate ways. This made me the target of ridicule and exclusion. By the time I was twelve, I accepted harassment from boys as the penalty for being an ugly female. At that time, I had just been allowed to be mainstreamed, and accepted harassment as the price I had to pay for the privilege of association with normal children. My only coping mechanisms were ignoring the taunts, which I had learned from my special school, supplemented by self-injury. Luckily, I was never a cutter. Instead, I merely slapped myself in the face over and over and over until I made myself cry.

I took the anger from my classmates out on myself. As a girl, I was forbidden by culture and church from expressing anger. Anger was taboo for girls. However, shame and guilt were encouraged. Free expression of shame and guilt was rewarded with comfort from adults and the occasional compliment about how spiritual I was.

Now, I am apt to feel guilt where others would feel anger. I feel guilt as a way to displace the forbidden anger. If I say I am sorry, others comfort me (unless they know me well) and then I don’t have to express the anger. This is not a nice or good thing to do, for I manipulate others into doing emotional labor they should not have to do.

Instead, I should let myself feel the anger. As for expressing it, I don’t know how to do it well. I have been told I can sit with the emotions and let the thoughts pass without judgment. I am not yet at that level, unfortunately.

Some ways I can do this:

 

  1. Write it down here.
  2. Use the incident as story material.
  3. If I can’t write something down, I can simply excuse myself and go to the nearest bathroom to calm down.

 

If/when someone tries to stop me from leaving or follows me to the bathroom, I give myself permission to let them have it!

 

It is cruel for me to hang around people who have demonstrated they don’t like me. This includes being told by different members of a group to stop saying something. It is my obligation as a good citizen to go away and never come back to that group. It is better for both myself and the others to leave them alone, then sit quietly and process by myself.

Things to think about:

  1. Do I really like these people? Or am I just trying to fit in to prove to myself that I am socially competent? I am autistic, and the definition in the DSM-5 says we have problems with communication and social skills in general.

2. I can be socially competent and still have people not like me.

3. I am not obligated to try to fit in everywhere just because a group of people are nice, evolved, funny, etc. The commenters on Captain Awkward meet all those criteria. However, the moderator repeatedly told me to stop saying certain things on different threads. I am not tactful enough to speak properly in “safe spaces” that emphasize social justice. I find myself having to constantly apologize for saying something wrong. Then I go into a downward spiral of self-negging, which is manipulative as hell. This is followed by self-doubt and guilt and shame. Lather-rinse-repeat. I do not fit into social justice groups, although I am civically engaged. I vote in every election, donate blood, and volunteer at the local animal shelter. I can do all that without socializing in social justice circles, since I tend to piss people off all the time there. Safe spaces are not for me!

 

 

My greatest fault is being judgmental of others. At age forty-three, it is perhaps too late to fix this without devoting the rest of my life to this. However, I can do something that will yield results immediately: Not offering my opinion unless it is specifically asked for. That way, my thoughts will stay private and I won’t cause people as much pain by hurting their feelings.

Yesterday, Captain Awkward told me yesterday to STOP. I will not comment any more on captainawkward.com because I have hurt too many people too often. I am more than willing to forfeit the privilege of speaking when it hurts others and embarrasses me.

Also, not talking about sex or religion in public, online or offline, will help keep me out of trouble, too. As for politics, it is OK, because almost everyone in my town has more or less the same opinion of the Thing In The White House as I do. When I go out of town or go online, I will not talk about politics.

A letter to Captain Awkward about someone whose boyfriend repeatedly ghosted on them triggered my anxiety about the LW getting pregnant, finding themselves with a STI, and/or finding out their boyfriend was married.

When I got married the first time, I told my ex I was polyamorous. He never said anything, but I knew he didn’t like it. I caused him much pain. I always was vigilant about birth control and STI testing to the point of paranoia.

Finally, we divorced due to unrelated issues.

I know I never contracted anything or had a pregnancy due to great good luck and that inner voice which always nagged me about taking my pill or getting the STI check. I never let up on myself, not for a minute. Whenever I hear about someone else whose partner is potentially irresponsible, I felt like I had to remind them about pregnancies/STI’s.

I know now I come off as slut-shaming. I will never, never, never talk about any aspect of sex online again. I feel like a nasty-minded, dirty, judgmental whore. I need to shut my nasty, filthy, whore mouth.

That’s why they always tell you to never talk about sex, religion, or politics.

I was diagnosed with PTSD on June 12, 2017. My college roommate had told me I had PTSD. At the time, both of us were going through a religious-nut phase. Well, she called it right!

On the way home from an appointment today, I read some Seventh Day Adventist stuff. I had a book with me as well, but I had read it several times before. I wanted something new to read. Besides, I’ve always been interested in other permutations of Xianity. The pamphlet said the same old boring BS about not questioning or being discouraged, that facing trials meant you were being tempered in your Xian life, and implied that constant trouble meant you were a genuine Xian. Yuck. Barf. Out of my hand and onto the seat next to me it went.

Tonight I watched Hellraiser: Inferno. I started out feeling nothing but contempt for the dirty cop protagonist. Towards the end, though, I started feeling like I was him, because he was being punished for his sins. I can relate to that, since I grew up fundy. When Pinhead told the cop he destroyed his own innocence and hurt others around him, I said, “Yes, we all do.” I also kept repeating stuff about sin and corruption. I was floating back into Xian brainwashing nonsense. I had to remind myself that it was only a movie and that I was in my bedroom and that Pinhead was played by an actor, not a real entity.

Then I went to take a bath and had to sing the song I learned at PantheaCon in 2015.

It’s wonderful to be alive

My hear is full of miracles

Love blossoms in my wake

And everything is possible

My hands are ready

My heart is bright

With focused intent I ignite my light

With greatest joy I craft anew

The world that comes into my view

As process is the pleasure

So practice is the measure

I embrace my growing still

Good for all, none for ill.

 

Blessed Be!

 

I had to keep singing that song over and over until I was through with my bath. I need to go to the library and get out some new books so I am not tempted to read religious rot ever again. That makes my PTSD act up.

 

I remember hearing the story of Martha and Mary, two sisters who were honored with Jesus’ visit. Martha rushed around, busily cooking and cleaning, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teachings. Martha, naturally, complained to Jesus that her sister was sticking her with all the work and said, “Make her come and help me!” Jesus told Martha she was trying too hard and Mary was doing the right thing by sitting and listening to him. The traditional lesson from this story is that it is better to attend to the things of the spirit than the things of the world, etc.

I now see this story in a new light. My spouse often complains I don’t listen to her enough and often rush away to empty the trash or do some other chore. I panic when the chores pile up and feel like I have to do them NOW or disaster will happen. Instead, my spouse wants me to sit quietly and listen to her, as Mary did with Jesus.

My spouse is not a deity, prophet, or anything of that sort. However, her love language seems to be respect. She perceives it as disrespectful when I pay more attention to the chores than to her. Therefore, my first priority should be to sit quietly and listen to her. After all, the chores will always be there, but she will someday die. My time with her is limited, so I need to honor her now. When she does not need me to listen to her, I can do my chores.

I have known New Agers and Satanists and have even had friends in both camps. As philosophies go, however, both are extremely distasteful, even tedious, to me.

New Agers, with their denial of evil and, often, of their own dark sides, make me sneeze. 🙂 That is without their more obvious departures from reality, such as their insistence that bad things only happen to those who aren’t positive enough. Seriously, I have read their sites online and they have been so arrogant and heartless as to blame Holocaust and natural disaster victims for their own misfortune.

Satanists are a different case. The atheist Satanists, including The Satanic Temple, have done good work to advance religious freedom for all and keep would-be theocrats in check. Satanism is a clever way to gain publicity for their cause.

As for the types who seem to actually worship Satan…from what I have observed, they either are nice people who practice their faith and keep to themselves….or things take a turn for the worse.

It is the latter group I am discussing. I have not met any of them, except for a fifteen-year-old nuisance at a long-ago party who would not shut up about waving the Satanic Bible in people’s faces at the mall. I quickly cornered said kid and started making up a fake chant involving Bible camp songs and made-up nonsense from Tolkien. It helped that I was about six inches taller than the twerp and wearing a long white dress that day. He screamed “NO!” and shut his face after that.

No, it wasn’t nice. But afterwards one person thanked me for shutting him down and another person said what I did was funny, so I was not the only one sick of the brat’s yapping about the Devil.

Anyway. As tedious as that kid was, imagine entire websites/YouTube videos going on and on and on about black magick and how EVIL they are. Y-A-W-N. Yes, you are shocking your parents. Good for you. Yes, you are so GRIM and DARK. You’re boring me – and by ignoring the positive altogether, you guys are just as unbalanced and tedious as the New Agers.

 

 

 

When I was sixteen, I read some dating advice from a Xtian teen magazine my grandma had gotten me. (Xtian teen magazine. From my grandma. Two strikes against it already, right? Teenage me didn’t know any better, unfortunately.)

It actually told its readers to, “Forget about Prince Charming. Just concentrate on being the perfect princess and God will send you the right man.”  What the actual barf? First of all, condescending much? The advice was given to teens, not five-year-olds. Second of all, it was a lie. The takeaway I got was to focus on improving myself – good. However, I also got the bright idea to not worry about what the guy had to offer. That led to some – interesting – boyfriends later on in life.

Also in my teens, I read the Reader’s Digest.  It said that in marriage “passion is the elevator.” In other words, passion was a mere frippery, something that was a distraction from Real Love and Lasting Marriage.  Certainly something not to be paid attention to. Again, I took that to heart, leading me to ignore physical attraction entirely in my choice of marriage partner. This caused serious pain for both of us and ended up in divorce. (Seriously, teenage me??? Why were you reading stuff that’s meant for people your grandparents’ age???)