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I have given up wishing I had one nice person in my life and would settle instead for one who wasn't completely fucking unhinged. Just one.

And if they could also refrain from reporting everything I said and did back to the unhinged people, this would rock so hard I would actually think I was in heaven chilling out with god.
ambergris: (Default)
  • people who are unable to plug in a USB cable.

  • people who do not know what a CCV number is although the page in front of them is explaining in words and pictures.

  • people who cannot distinguish between the Asda website and the Amazon one even when invited to look at the address bar.

  • people for whom Gmail login is a complex process which cannot be attempted without supervision.

  • people who fail to clear their browser history after going to porn sites.

  • people who don't realise that they actually have to submit their Amazon order before they can get their stuff.

  • people who require another person to accomplish the following tasks for them: printing, scanning, bittorrenting, changing their wallpaper, installing Windows updates, remembering passwords, submitting forgotten password requests.

So, you know, when I encounter trolls it is scary to reflect that these people, simply by virtue of getting themselves online and managing to type ungrammatical shit into text boxes, are slightly less stupid than those I deal with on a daily basis. No wonder I have zero faith in humanity.


Aug. 27th, 2013 01:20 am
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Today I was informed, without apparent irony, that 'going to work and socialising' are 'what life is all about.' By another person whose disabilities prevent her from doing either.

OK, that's not entirely true. She could socialise, albeit with some difficulty as she's slightly deaf and English is her second language, but her primary carer is an ableist fuck who demands complete emotional dependence as well as physical dependence, and mocks, blocks, or otherwise undermines any of her charge's attempts to do anything outside the house or connect with any other people. This woman maintains that her adoptive daughter 'doesn't have feelings' and talks about her like she's a freaking rescue dog. 'Oh she doesn't like me going away because she thinks she's being abandoned again and she doesn't understand I'm coming back.' Uh, no, she doesn't like you going away because YOU have rendered her completely reliant upon you. And also you have this tendency to lie about where you're going, which can't help.

I just sat there. I wanted to tell her that life is about so much more than the things we can't do. That although it is cruel and ableist of her carers to assume that she's asexual, celibacy in itself isn't a terrible thing. That work is miserable for many people, and it's wrong for people to shame you for not being able to do it when you're NOT ABLE TO DO IT. That it isn't, actually, massively unusual not to have friends. That even if you're not earning money, you still have value. There are films and TV shows, there is music, there is food, there are sunny days and affectionate dogs and so, so many things which allow me to continue to live even though I can neither work nor socialise. That I could not understand why her carer was just sitting there and letting her spout this self-loathing shit, because what the fuck kind of care is that, guilt-tripping someone every time they go shopping?

But I knew I would be judged if I said this, that her carer would be confirmed in her belief that I am a lazy parasite, and so I just sat there.

I used to assume that people who cared for and lived with disabled people would automatically be more clueful than the rest of the general population, but no! It is just like how living with someone from Eastern Europe has failed to make her civil to Polish waitresses. She is quite happy to jump in and speak on behalf of the person in the wheelchair, exactly as if she were completely unaware of people in wheelchairs saying that they have issues with being treated as if they were invisible. I think she actually is unaware of this. I am not quite sure how she has managed to remain unaware of this, but then she also thinks it is ok to refer to people as 'coloured' so I think she is ignorant of pretty much everything that has happened in the world during her lifetime.

This. I don't know how you could love someone and not try to learn their alphabet. Even if the alphabet is hard and you are stupid. You are supposed to try.
ambergris: (Default)
And today she was suicidal because that guy who decided not to pursue a relationship with her three years ago defriended her on facebook?

What sucks is that she knows this is an extreme overreaction, so she beats herself up for being abnormal, so she feels worse. So I have to walk this tightrope between saying 'it's OK to be sad, don't hate yourself' and validating her own sense that the sadness is disproportionate, because, well, it is.

I try to be kind. I work really hard on being kind, because I generally wish people would be kinder to me. But it is also exhausting having to focus on other people all the time, and it doesn't take long before I get resentful. It is hard having to listen to someone weep about what a freak they are for having no friends, when you have been living without friends for several years longer than they have, and you are still learning how not to hate yourself or blame yourself for it. It is hard when you are living with someone whose moods are entirely determined by the random shit they see on facebook, and you do not have any control over whether today is going to be spent drying their tears or trying to sort out your own life. My therapist said I needed to define better boundaries for myself, but how are you meant to detach from a needy person without unleashing their terror of abandonment and making them cling to you even more?
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I feel genuinely sorry for extroverts.

For Christmas dinner I got this random old woman inflicted on me because my pseudostepmother is addicted to picking up waifs and strays. This, like most so-called altruism, is so she gets to feel good about herself rather than because she actually gives a shit about anyone else. If she were genuinely a compassionate or empathetic person she would realise that inflicting random strangers on three people with varying degrees of SA, without even bothering to consult them first, is pretty damn selfish. (For that matter, she wouldn't keep 'borrowing' her daughter's disabled badge either.) But anyway. Said old woman happens to be the most boring person I have ever met. Even my nan, whose short-term memory has been reduced by Alzheimers to that of a goldfish and who asks repeatedly what time it is and which members of her family are dead, is better company than this woman, who can only discourse upon her love of sprouts and her desire to make it to a hundred.

What the fuck for? I thought. What do you have to look forward to but talking at strangers? Give me a choice between spending my Christmas by myself and inflicting myself upon people I don't know and who don't even want me there, and it is a no-brainer. It is like some horrible parody of what Christmas is meant to be. Because these waifs and strays invariably do have families, who clearly want nothing to do with them, and I cannot help but wonder whether this is connected to their obnoxiousness. Apart from anything else, if you are obnoxious then your offspring will probably be too, which makes it difficult to sustain healthy relationships.

And rather than try to mend fences with her granddaughter, this woman would rather go and talk at random people whom she has no actual interest in. I am quite sure she wouldn't be able to tell you my name, let alone how old I am, or where I live, or what I do for a living, or what I was doing at that dinner table in the first place. She wouldn't even be able to tell you whether I like sprouts. She just wanted some ears to talk at, and it didn't matter that I only issued two words in reply and barely looked at her. She didn't notice. She didn't care.

I suppose it is a step up from small talk, in that at least she has given up pretending to be interested in the other person. (The insincerity of small talk is what infuriates me. It puts my teeth on edge.) And it is a relief to be able to abandon the pretence in return, and stop fretting about your own social cues. But I would rather be struck dumb for the rest of my days than be reduced to that kind of fear of being alone.
ambergris: (Default)
So I was feeling kind of weirdly triggered by the way that anyone daring to disagree with the slightest aspects of Shakeville's postings on Jacintha Saldanha was getting shut up and sat on and silenced? I don't understand why exactly it is so terrible to point out that Princess Diana had a complex and mutually exploitative relationship with the media, or that Saldanha's identity wasn't actually made public prior to her death (we still don't know anything about the other nurse involved, which is as it should be), or that there was an entire culture of gross 'practical jokes' at the Australian radio station and that maybe it's unfair to put the entire blame upon two individuals, choosing to ignore the environment they were working in and the bosses who remain largely anonymous and unhounded by the media. Anything that doesn't directly serve the 'pranks are evil' agenda must be hushed immediately. Yeah, the 'pranks are evil' agenda is important. But so is a lot of other stuff, like how economic conditions in the UK forced Jacintha Saldanha to live and work away from the support of her family, or how catastrophically Westerners fail to understand Asian concepts of shame and losing face, or how the international media really needs to get over its inexplicable and occasionally fatal obsession with a bunch of random posh people who sometimes get married and have babies.

And I realised, that if those things were not safe to say, there was no way on earth I would ever be able to express my reservations about bullying the bullies, or assuming them incapable of experiencing sincere regret, or the appropriateness of calling them 'shameless dirtbags' when you have just been talking about how abuse can kill people. Because, you know, white people who work in the media and have a proven deficiency of empathy obviously have no triggers whatsoever and can take whatever is thrown at them.

And then I thought: whoa, you have been considering yourself not good enough for a space where it is not even safe to say that bullying is not OK. A space where they are fundamentally uninterested in anything anyone else has to say. The china shop is an echo chamber. It's not about you being an elephant. It's about you not being a mirror.

Which is fair enough, because I don't get to dictate the terms on which other people choose to blog. But I am kind of angry with myself for letting myself be cowed by it. Making myself feel inadequate because the straitjacket didn't fit.
ambergris: (Default)
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.


Jan. 15th, 2012 09:40 pm
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About now is when I would have gone to and posted about how tired I am of my dad Not Getting It.

Moving is stressful, but I could deal with it fine if I wasn't sick. Being sick for six weeks wears you down, especially when you can't go to the doctor because a) calling to make an appointment when you have social phobia is a Big Deal, b) catching four buses and sitting in a waiting room full of sick people when you have social phobia is a Big Deal and c) like I even have time to go to the doctor, when I am moving.

But to have it sprung on you that you are going to be having your Sunday dinner at a table of EIGHT, three of whom are total fucking strangers? Sorry. Not OK. Not OK at any time, really, but if you can drink, it might be survivable. If you can't even resort to alcohol because you've already vomited twice in the past day, then no.

I just do not think my dad gets that I have social anxiety. I don't think he even gets what social anxiety is. And when I try to explain, he doesn't want to listen. He has equal trouble acknowledging that I'm physically ill, and I've been coughing up slime for the past six weeks, so it's hard to see what more I can do.


Feb. 28th, 2010 07:22 pm
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I don't know why some people think shouting at a depressed person is an appropriate way of dealing with an admittedly exasperating situation. Seriously, what do they think will happen? Depressed person will leap to their feet declaring 'yes! you're absolutely right! I am a lazy good-for-nothing, but now you have been so good as to alert me to the fact, I am going to stop! I am now going to get dressed in my smartest clothes and reward you with a cup of tea before going outside and magicking up a fabulous life for myself!'

It seems to me far more likely that depressed person will merely snivel a bit.

Some people are so miserable and powerless in their own little lives that making other people suffer is the only source of joy they have. I learned this at school.

I am perpetually afraid of becoming one of them.


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