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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.
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  • 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.

alphabet

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.
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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?

malware

May. 29th, 2013 11:40 pm
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I wanna know what this 'site that must not be named' is on socialanxietysupport, just because I'd like to see where all the other exiles went.

Also, I did the AQ test and got a score of 29, which seems about right. Like, I'm not quite autistic enough to qualify for a diagnosis but I'm not quite neurotypical enough to pass for 'normal' either. It's not purely down to the social difficulties, though I can see how social anxiety could inflate someone's score; it's also just general weirdness, like the dermatillomania and the obsessive tendencies and hypersensitivity to smells and textures.

Also, I want to know why Comodo is flagging Captain Awkward as containing malware? I know wordpress.com can't be trusted but malware? the hell?
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It strikes me that unquestioning acquiescence and mindless cheerleading are pretty much the exact opposite of the qualities which make effective activists. Or, indeed, useful human beings. (Not of course that people have to be useful, but it's generally better for their self-actualization if they are.)

What I am seeing is this awful dynamic where women who have already been socialised into believing that their own opinions and thought processes are not to be trusted, because hi, that is what bullies and abusers do to people, are being further cowed into not asking questions, not dissenting on even the most minor points, and, I suspect, in a large number of cases (including my own) not saying anything at all. They have to walk on eggshells if they don't want their commenting privileges revoked, and even that may not be enough, because it's in the nature of eggshell-walking that you can never tread lightly enough unless you actually have the power of flight. Which, you know, most humans don't.

I mean, the only two comments I've made there have been met with swift thread-closings, and that's after spending at least half an hour drafting and redrafting them so they actually get published and I don't get banned. And I'm sufficiently paranoid and a sufficiently nuanced writer that I could possibly get another two or three through before my thoughtcrimes were noted and the banhammer fell, but my problem is that I am not often moved to comment by stuff I think is 100% correct and awesome. I am driven to have my say on posts which I don't totally agree with. I am contrary. I am rebellious. I do not have massive amounts of truck with authority. I am too much of a goddamn feminist, is my trouble.

I feel like this would not be a problem if Melissa just quit pretending her site was for anyone other than her and her BFFs. It would make the onerous task of moderation significantly easier if the only people allowed to comment were those who have already been vetted. Obviously one could never be allowed to suggest this because that would be telling Melissa how to run her site and OMG DEHUMANISING! And it might make it harder to get donations.

But now! I am going to unsubscribe, because life is too fucking short to keep obsessing about my exclusion from a party I am no longer interested in attending.
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I am troubled by the assertion that discrimination based on belief is trivial compared to discrimination based upon supposedly innate or immutable traits such as gender, race, or sexuality, because I am not convinced that belief is actually something you can control.

I can't make myself believe in things which aren't real. My brain won't let me.

As for aligning your beliefs with a particular identity, that's not necessarily something you can control either. If I'm obliged to keep quiet about my atheism in order to avoid unpleasantness or discrimination, that is a form of oppression regardless of how important my atheism is to me, or whether I'm interested in proselytising about it. You can't tell me white girls in hijab don't get some kind of kickback; and no, of course it's not possible to separate Islamophobia from racism, but if visible signifiers of belief are an integral part of your own belief system then you don't get a choice to go stealth.

Taken to its logical conclusion, I guess this means I can't be mean to misogynists because it's not their fault they hate me.
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My single sister is whining about how much she hates Valentines Day and I am like, meh, whatever. I cannot get upset about this stuff anymore. Celebrate whatever holidays you want, this one has nothing to do with me.

This is what bugs me about so much feelgood self-improvement rhetoric. This idea that everyone has a right to be loved. No. It is not a right, it is a privilege. Everyone else on the surface of this planet has the right not to love you, and their right to choose trumps your sense of entitlement. If you're a child then your parents have a duty to love you incurred by their decision to inflict life upon you; but people neglect their duties all the time and it's not as if love is something which can be compelled. So no.

Which makes me think, not for the first time, that love privilege is a Thing, because clearly your life is going to be substantially easier if you are easy to love, and something of a struggle if you are unlovable. If you have people who care about you, you will cope better with whatever other shit life has to throw at you. And not everyone does. I keep googling variations on 'how to recover from depression when surrounded by abusive people' and there is NOTHING out there. There is plenty of advice on disentangling yourself from abusive people, but it is heavily reliant upon you not being depressed and having non-abusive people who are willing to help you, ignoring the fact that interacting with abusive people is fucking depressing and that they are also really good at cutting you off from non-abusive people. Not that they needed to make the effort in my case, since by the age of about twenty I was like 'ok, enough of this crap now, NO MORE PEOPLE.'

I was just so damn tired of everyone turning out to be untrustworthy. Still am. But I don't delude myself that I somehow deserved any better, because people are what they are, and I am what I am, which is not pleasant enough to draw pleasant people to me. I am not good at pretending to be nice; and even if I were, I would be reluctant to add falseness to my list of flaws. You only get found out in the end anyway.

Sometimes I wish I lived in the Middle Ages, when hermitude was a valid lifestyle choice and the church would give you the means to pursue it. There are some people who are just not a good fit with society, and we should be allowed to wall ourselves up in our cells, dreaming our dreams and thinking our thoughts, without third parties trying to control our behaviour or guilt-tripping us about our failure to be 'normal'.
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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.
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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.
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A short selection of things my family have considered it acceptable to say to me in the past year:


  • No wonder you have no friends

  • You have had every advantage in life. You're just too lazy to get a job.

  • You can find yourself somewhere else to live

  • Why don't you just kill yourself?

  • I hate the sound of your voice

  • You are dirty and disgusting and you smell



Then there are the more subtle forms of abuse by outsiders. The pseudostepmother who thinks it's OK to make you stand in the corridor when your dad is in intensive care because 'it's a different kind of love'. The pseudostepfather who pretends you don't exist. The waitresses who pretend they can't see you, the cashiers who demand ID even though you have grey hair, the Big Issue sellers who hassle you. All the little unkindnesses.

My sister's best friend lied to her that she had cancer. My pseudostepmother omitted to mention the fact that her rich husband was twenty-five years her senior and had a granddaughter. My mother lied for over a decade about having an affair. I don't know anyone who is honest. I don't know anyone who isn't judgmental. I don't think I even know anyone who is nice.

It is a lot like my phobia of dentists, actually. It doesn't deserve to be called a phobia because it is entirely rational, and justified, and based upon empirical experience. And when I overcome my fears, it turns out that I was right to be afraid. Guess what, dentists do inflict unnecessary pain on you in exchange for vast quantities of money! Just like they did before you stopped going!

I was scared of traffic even before a car knocked me over. If I'd been that little bit more anxious, it would have saved me from getting in an accident and the greater anxiety that resulted from that. Yeah, anxiety stops you living life to the full. But sometimes it's the only thing which keeps you alive at all.
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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.

spoons

Jan. 15th, 2012 09:40 pm
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About now is when I would have gone to socialanxietysupport.com 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.

olivedrab

Jan. 14th, 2012 02:05 am
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you are olivedrab
#688E23

Your dominant hues are green and yellow. There's no doubt about the fact that you think with your head, but you don't want to be seen as boring and want people to know about your adventurous streak now and again.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

jaded

Jan. 13th, 2012 10:06 pm
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I know I am mostly burned out on people in general, but sometimes I'd like to have a friend who didn't think that 'fat' and 'autistic' were terms of abuse. And who didn't think it was ok to fling said terms of abuse at me on a semi-regular basis. And who didn't judge me constantly. That would be cool.

Actually, if I knew anyone like that I probably wouldn't be so jaded with the concept of humanity in the first place. But I don't. So I am.

I am moving in with someone who still thinks it is ok to make fun of people because you don't like their shoes. If I wanted to devote my life to someone with a mental age of twelve I'd have got myself knocked up when I was twenty-two. Oh wait, I couldn't. I was incel when I was twenty-two. Oh well, never mind.
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I am dreading Christmas and this fact is making me sad. I loved Christmas when I had a family, but now I don't have a family, not really. My mother ran off with an aspie guy who doesn't have anything to do with her children, which is fair enough really because it's not like I want to have anything to do with him either. And now my dad is shacking up with this control-freak domestic goddess who is completely obsessed with what size beds my sister and I are going to have in our new flat. I think she thinks it would be wasteful for an asexual to sleep in anything larger than a single, but, hello, I'm bigger than I was when I was ten, so why shouldn't I upgrade to a wider bed?

(I'm not out to her, exactly, but then I'm one of those people who doesn't really need to come out, like an obviously camp gay man or an unignorably butch lesbian. I'm always a little puzzled when aces complain about invisibility because I don't think I have ever succeeded in passing as sexual. I never get asked out, and I never get asked whether I have a partner. The rest of the world figured out I was asexual long before I did, even if they lacked the terminology to describe it. Please don't ask me how, because I have no idea.)

So basically I am now expected to spend Christmas with a bunch of random strangers (her siblings, their children, their grandchildren, plus various waifs and strays she's picked up along the way) and I won't get to see my mother, or my nan, or my uncles, or my cousins, and this is making me sad.

I'll never get married or have my own children. That was the only family I will ever have, and now I don't have it any more. And yeah, I know that the nuclear family is this horrible destructive patriarchal construct which goes wrong far, far more often than it goes right, and that contrary to popular belief not all humans are social creatures, and that Christmas is an ordeal for most people once they are past the age of twelve... but I am still sad. I am still sad that life stole Christmas from me, the way it stole pretty much everything else that was good and glittery. I don't know why the world couldn't just leave me one thing that was OK in the unrelenting sea of uneventful shit that passes for my life. Apparently that's too much to ask. Just like everything else.

PG-13

Nov. 9th, 2011 04:21 pm
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According to 750words.com, the last 1500 words of my nano, wherein my genetically-engineered moon-hooker whines about how much she hates semen and narrates her disastrous first attempt at oral sex, is only rated PG-13? WTF, 750words.com? Or rather, I suppose, WTF, me?

I honestly did not mean for my genetically-engineered moon hooker to be quite so underwhelmed by sex, especially since I have another character who is asexual by default, being an android child with no genitalia. But it is what it is. The day before yesterday managed to reach the dizzy heights of NC-17, so not all is lost. Obviously I can never show this dreadful porny stuff to anyone but meh, whatever, it is WORDS.
ambergris: (Default)
tw: rape apologism, misogyny )
ambergris: (Default)
and I don't know why they're hinting I didn't read their comment policy etc. in the comment immediately after it. Maybe they're not aiming that specifically at me, maybe it's just standard-issue social anxiety-related paranoia. It's hard to tell whether you're genuinely being shunned or whether you just assume you are because you're so used to it happening.

Anyway...

I am profoundly grateful that my invisibility has spared me harassment and assault (most of the time, anyway; when I do get jeered at it's always by teenage boys who seem mortally offended that I do strange things like wearing winter coats in winter.)

But I used to wish that there was some kind of switch I could throw so that I could be visible to people I found attractive while remaining invisible to the rest of the world. It makes me sad that avoiding unwelcome attention also deprived me of attention that would have been welcome. And sometimes I've even wondered how I can be a feminist when I'm not perceived as a woman, and therefore have trouble perceiving myself as a woman, and am not affected by most of the issues which affect women. It feels kind of appropriative, like I don't have a right to complain about things I'm lucky enough not to have to deal with, however sad and angry I am that other people have to deal with them.


I had more to say, about how sometimes I wonder whether I'm really demi or whether I just got so screwed up by years of being read as asexual that I started to think I must be, because, really, how can everyone you meet be wrong about something like that?

But then I remembered I have a blog for that.
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