ambergris: (Default)
[personal profile] ambergris
So everything you do is aimed at making the world in general a little less sucky and your space in particular a safe one. I support that. It's important.

And I accept that the only way I can support it is by not participating. Because I'm awkward. I will inevitably say the wrong thing, in spite of my best intentions, because that is what always happens. And I won't be able to cope when you call me on it, because I have a whole cornucopia of issues which prevent me from dealing gracefully with being criticized by strangers. I know that sounds like I'm making excuses. But I know myself, and I know my limitations, and the amount of linguistic policing that has to take place in order to make your space safe is more than I can currently handle.

I'm not good enough, basically. I'm sure you would hate me pointing this out, but it's true. Just as trolls and Nice Guys aren't good enough. Your space is a china shop and I am an elephant.

So when somebody posts about how great it is for her and how much she loves it? I am triggered. I am tearful. I am reminded of how my disability excludes me from basically all forms of community. I am reminded of how I will never have friends, of how I don't deserve them, of how I cannot be trusted not to upset someone whenever I open my mouth. Because pretty much everything you say is going to upset someone, somehow. That woman who posted about how great your community is and how much she loves it had absolutely no idea that her innocuous comment was going to send me spiralling into a pit of misery and self-hatred. And that is as it should be. She should be able to express sentiments like that without having to preface it with a content note, without having to worry that some random lurker is in distress because of something she said.

I am not safe for your space. But your space is not safe for me, either.

Well, the trolls and the Nice Guys manage without access to your community, don't they? They find fellow trolls and Nice Guys to congregate with. But I'm avoidant. We can't be around people by definition. The very concept of an avoidant community is an oxymoron. Which, among other things, means there is no activism, so there is next to no awareness of the fact that not everyone has friends, not everyone has relationships, and not everyone is capable of interacting with others in socially appropriate ways. And it is ableist to pretend that my disability doesn't exist, or isn't a disability, because, seriously, if something which prevents you working / living independently / making friends / having sex / having children fails to qualify as a disability, what the fuck does?

So part of me wants to crash around breaking all the china and screaming, hi, I exist, and you are erasing me and excluding me and all that other stuff you try so hard not to do.

Except that I am always already excluded. Because that is what being avoidant is.
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ambergris

October 2013

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