This Too Shall Pass

“It’s funny, isn’t it? The things that matter? The truth is none of it matters. And the truth is all of it matters tremendously. It’s a wonder any of us ever get out of bed at all. And yet, we get out of bed.”

I’ve been watching the show Bojack Horseman, which is one of my favourite animated series, and this line hit me pretty hard because I actually rarely do manage to get out of bed. If I have showered or eaten, it’s a successful day for me, even if I end up returning to bed afterwards.

It makes me feel so concerned when I think that literally everyone in the world might be struggling to get out of bed, even the super successful, seemingly happy people – even the most disciplined, hard-working people with incredible amounts of willpower & ambition. It makes me worried because I think, “If even they have a hard time with this, what hope is there for people who literally have to summon all of their strength to leave their beds just to go to the bathroom?”

If people who got everything they wanted, who are living their dreams, who accomplished their goals, etc. still struggle to just live life, what hope is there for people like me whose frontal lobes are underdeveloped when it comes to inhibition, emotional regulation, task switching, etc. Yes, it’s possible to improve these skills & further develop these parts of the brain with lots of time & dedication, but when you’re trying to teach yourself how to improve teaching yourself stuff when you’re already like really bad at trying to teach yourself stuff, it just seems like you’re fighting this never ending uphill battle. After a while, you get tired, and you just wanna stop fighting. You wonder what the point of even trying is when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress, or if you are, they’re such small, slow improvements that are really easily undone if not continued to work at consistently that you’re still just as miserable, but now you’re miserable, stressed, & even MORE tired than you already were.

Sometimes, if you don’t have anything to prove to anyone, if there’s no external motivation, it becomes really hard to keep bothering to care or try. This may just be depression talking, but I think there’s a pervasive underlying apathy in our species that’s arisen for some weird reason. I think it’s part of why we all struggle to get out of bed. There’s this profound, “why even bother? What’s the point? What’s the use in trying?” I’m not sure how this happened or when everything changed to such an intense degree. Maybe it’s when we started having too much time on our hands so we can sit around and pontificate about this kind of stuff to begin with. Statistics have shown that people who have to work harder to just survive have lower rates of depression & suicide than those who have the privilege of lots of free time. It’s like free time is BAD for us. We need to be busy or our minds will turn against us.

It just sucks when that basic core survival mechanic of mustering the strength to push on through all odds & adversity seems to be lacking & the only reason you’re still alive is because you have people who are willing to care for you. Sometimes, it feels like you shouldn’t be allowing people to care for you when you don’t even want to be alive, but you don’t want to hurt those who do care. You don’t want to be so selfish, but you feel like just allowing people to care for you is also being selfish. It’s this horrible mental trap that just makes you feel worse. It all spirals out of control & you keep trying to distract yourself or reframe things or tell yourself that this is just negative thought patterns you’ve conditioned yourself into defaulting to for years. And yet, still, the idea of trying to bring yourself to do something else, to do anything at all sometimes, is just so painful it feels like every atom in your body is screaming this resounding, “NOO!!!!!”

It feels like every part of me is throwing a giant temper tantrum in unison & the force of it is keeping me stuck, frozen to the spot. I try to open myself up to a greater power, I try to let go of whatever these fears are, I try to release the attachment to being in control I know I still have on some level & embrace my powerless ness, but still, I’m paralysed. I try to surrender this sense of self, this idea of separate interest, I try to go deeper, but nothing changes, nothing shifts. I’m still stuck here, rooted to the spot, feeling the same emotions & bodily sensations, thinking the same thoughts. I feel like I’m trapped in a prison of my own skin, body, mind.

Ruminating on all of this isn’t helpful, but I’m told to not run away from it, either. I’m supposed to “sit” with my feelings. I’m supposed to be present & to simply observe without judging. I’m trying not to yell at myself for feeling how I do because that never helps. I’m trying not to chastise & berate myself for falling back into the same patterns as I always inevitably seem to do. I’m trying to be gentle, compassionate, & understanding with myself as I simply acknowledge that I’m having a hard time. I don’t need to make this into a bigger thing than it already is. I don’t need to give myself any more reasons to be distressed.

All I can do is take refuge in the one thing that’s consistently given me just the tiniest flicker of hope. It may not be a lot of hope, but it’s the one thing that I know is always true no matter what the situation is, no matter how bad things get, no matter how I’m feeling/what I’m thinking. The one constant in existence is change. The one thing that I know is always certain is that whatever is now will no longer be in the future. I can’t say what will be. I have no way of knowing. It could be better or worse than now, but it doesn’t really matter because all I know is that it WILL be different than what is right now. Every single moment in time, every single event, every single situation & experience is fully & totally unique. No two things are fully the same. Everything has its own slight variation from the other.

Because I know that the one thing I can count on is that everything is always changing & that every single thing is distinct from every other thing. If I can count on things always changing, this means, no matter how slim the probability given previous patterns & history, even if it’s a 0.000000000000000001% chance of it occurring, it’s still IS possible that maybe tomorrow, things will have shifted enough that I DO end up finding the strength/motivation to get out of bed & do something. Maybe, just maybe, later this same day it’ll happen. All I know is that nothing is static. All I can count on is for things to be different in each moment of each day of the rest of my existence. Everything is ever changing & just because I am not able to find the will to keep going right now, today, doesn’t mean I won’t eventually find it.

I can’t in good conscience close myself off to the possibility of a positive shift strong enough to reframe my paradigm in a life-changing way occurring because that would be the same as saying that I can predict the future. Maybe it feels like it will never happen given previous experiences, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. Even if it doesn’t happen, I still owe it to myself to remain open to the possibility because I never want to become THAT arrogant. I never want to be someone who says that they know what will happen. I never want to say never again heh. I’ve lived my whole life in an extreme place of absolutes & rigid thinking. It’s been limiting myself with this warped interpretation of reality that’s helped cause me to get to this feeling of being stuck in the first place. I can see that now. So I am trying to do something about it. It may not look like much on the outside, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying my hardest to make changes. I’m just working on trying to effect change from within since that’s all I can do right now. Please forgive me. Please be patient with me.

I’m trying to be patient with myself despite feeling like I’m wasting my life away. I’m trying to not be upset with myself whenever another day passes, & I wasn’t able to get out of bed. I’m trying really hard to help encourage myself gently because decades of trying to “just do it” & overly stern self-talk made it all worse. I know I need to find a balance where I live even more in the now so I can “just do” things & not guilt trip myself if I fail at achieving my objective. I know there’s a healthier middle ground where I can push myself out of my comfort zone without overdoing it to the point where I have a meltdown & end up needing to recuperate from it for MONTHS at a time. I know there’s a better way, & I’m TRYING to get there.

I’m taking a long time trying to get there, but I’m still trying. I’m just going at my own very slow pace because I need to take steady, surefooted steps. If I’m not careful, I can misstep & fall, and for me, this has the same impact as straight up turning around & hightailing it back to where I came from. I’m so tired of regressing. I’m doing twice the effort & work to get anywhere because I just keep freaking out & retracing my steps in fear. I don’t want to do this anymore, so I’m going at a snail’s pace, which is incredibly frustrating, but at least this way, I can still keep moving forward. Little by little. Slow & steady. It’s all I CAN do, so I need to be okay with it. I have to accept what IS even if I don’t like it. That’s fine. I don’t HAVE to like it, but I do need to accept it if I want to keep moving forward.

I’m trying not to apologise for my limitations & instead just continue to do my best at working with them. I’m trying my best to not be ashamed at not being able to do the same basic things most others can do. I’m trying to not let myself feel all of these horrible negative things because they’re not true & not helpful. These thoughts & feelings don’t serve me, so I don’t need them. I can let them go. I will keep working to let them go. Life can be hard for everyone, but especially if you have illnesses or conditions that increase the difficulty setting when you’re already barely able to survive on Easy Mode.

It can be really, really hard. That’s okay, though. I can accept that it’s hard AND keep moving forward. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Even if I’m not able to walk at all sometimes. Maybe all I’ll be capable of is pulling myself across the ground with my hands. That’s okay, too. I’m still moving forward. And as long as I just STAY IN THE GAME, I still have a chance. I still have a chance to change, a chance to improve. Because there is ALWAYS a chance to change. That is the one & only thing that I will always have at every moment for the rest of my life. I know that anything is possible when the one constant in existence is that EVERYTHING changes. NOTHING can stay the same. And that, actually, is something that I can ALWAYS hold on to ❤

Stop Picking Your Scabs

A very close friend of mine who I have only the utmost respect & admiration for sent me this clip along with the message below it. Both the clip & his words resonated so deeply within me, I was inspired to write a post of my own about these subjects that I’ve been meditating on a lot lately.

“It occurred to me that ‘choose’ and ‘pick’ are synonyms. You can choose to learn from your mistakes and turn your pain into something kind, or you can pick your scabs and pick a fight.”

Josh Loomis, aka Blue Ink Alchemist

When I read those words, I thought about the fact that I have a habit of physically picking my scabs as a form of self-injurious stimming. It dawned on me how apt it was for me to do that because it seems a total reflection of how I do this internally/emotionally, too. When we pick our scabs, we reopen the wounds, and we don’t allow ourselves to heal properly. This is what life with complex trauma is like every day. This is what it means to have (c)PTSD.

While we didn’t necessarily choose to undergo the initial traumatic experiences that inflicted the original wounds, we do have the choice of how we tend to those wounds. Even if we are receiving the best treatment possible from medical professionals, if we are still picking the scabs, we run the risk of infection, of scar tissue developing, & so much more. It’s on us to do our part in conjunction with seeking out professional treatment because as this clip shows, if we don’t heal our pain properly, we run the risk of hurting others.

Even if we may not value ourselves very much, if we have any compassion in our hearts, if we do not want to perpetuate a cycle of hate, cruelty, abuse, & violence, it’s on us to make healthy choices & take personal accountability for the consequences of our actions, to learn to be mindful of what we are saying & doing. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect, so there’s no point beating ourselves up over making the wrong choice here & there. That isn’t going to help anything & may actually make things worse. All we can do is acknowledge that we could have made a better choice, learn from the mistake, and do things differently next time. We cannot change the past. Dwelling on it, fighting it, lamenting it, and getting angry over what has happened will not change it. All we have control over is the present moment & with each choice we make in the present, we are shaping a future trajectory.

At any moment we can choose to step back & reevaluate what kinds of choices we have been making. It’s never too late to decide that we want to try a different approach. There’s nothing shameful about admitting that the way we’ve been doing things the majority of our lives hasn’t been working very well. There’s no need to be embarrassed. It takes courage to look inside ourselves, to reflect on our choices, i.e. the only things we truly do have control over, and it takes strength to make the choice to start doing things differently. It takes patience to see the change after implementing a new course of action, a new behavioral model, a new way of seeing things. These things may be hard, but it’s already incredibly difficult to just exist on a daily basis due to the extreme degree of the severity of pain & suffering one feels just being alive when they’re living with complex trauma & wounds they keep reopening, whether deliberately or not.

The first step in paving a new trajectory, in learning how to change our behaviors & our reality, is to acknowledge that we may not always be fully in control of ourselves, that we may not have all the information, and to accept personal accountability for the fact that each & every thought, word, & deed of ours has a direct, tangible consequence. We need to stop seeing ourselves as only victims & start giving ourselves more agency so we can take responsibility for how we may be hurting others with the choices we’re making, regardless of it being our intention or not.

Most people don’t intend to hit a child who runs into the street suddenly if they’re driving, but if they do hit that child & that child dies, that death is the driver’s responsibility. Similarly, if you say something that hurts another person, it doesn’t matter if you MEANT to hurt them or not. It’s done. It happened. You have to take responsibility for your actions & apologize. You have to learn what it is that you said, why it hurt that person, and what you could have done differently. Then & only then is it possible to reduce the likelihood of hurting someone like that again going forward. If we don’t even accept the fact that we might’ve done something wrong, how can we ever grow & change for the better?

How can we say that we truly care about other people, that we are compassionate & empathetic, that we actively strive to NOT hurt others because we know how much it SUCKS to be hurt, when we are not taking even the most basic of steps? It all starts with accepting that we are all both capable of being hurt AND hurting others, no matter how hard we might THINK we’re trying not to. The fact of the matter is, what we THINK only goes so far. What our intentions are only matters so much. We still need to be able to accept culpability when we hurt others & actively work on improving ourselves so that we don’t hurt them again in the same ways. It’s a constant process. It’s called growth. It’s never ending. Up until the moment we die, we can be actively striving to do this.

Let’s help one another understand that it’s okay to mess up. Let’s give each other space to acknowledge our wrongdoings, take accountability, apologize for hurting one another, and talk about what we could do differently next time. Before we dismiss someone or condemn them because we were hurt, let’s instead assume that there might have simply been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Let’s consider that someone who hurt our feelings may not have meant to & that it’s possible they were only responding the way they did because we accidentally hurt their feelings, too. We can overcome these self-imposed cages of isolation we’re creating for ourselves. We can melt the ice that has frozen our hearts. We just need to allow ourselves the opportunity to learn, grow, & heal so we can discover how to help others do it, too. We can only be there for others if we have learned how to properly be there for ourselves. It’s okay. We can do this.

We can break the cycle ❤

Prema Dharma

During this incredibly difficult time, I’ve been fortunate to have a comfortable home, a good support system, & my needs mostly provided for by my parents & the State. I’m in relatively decent health & am an incredibly introverted person by nature who typically prefers to be alone, so for me, this seclusion hasn’t really been a hardship but actually quite a blessing in many ways. I’m grateful for the reprieve from worldly obligations/responsibilities & am doing my best to try to utilize this time to focus on healing, growth, & offering nourishment to the other souls who are suffering worse than I am. This time of external calamity has been & continues to be a wonderful opportunity for us all to work on sewing & watering seeds of compassion & devotion in our hearts & in the hearts of others.

This time of forced physical isolation, separation, & distance is an perfect opportunity to meditate on the concepts of union in separation, and what good association & devotional service actually mean in a deeper way, not just on the physical/external platform. I actually feel very grateful on so many levels but also recognize that I have been more fortunate than many & thus am very interested in doing what I can for those who are in greater pain & need than I am currently. I am trying to pay it forward, so to speak, & share the mercy that I’ve received in the hopes that it may help soothe some of the pain from the raging forest fires of material suffering we all feel. is a website dedicated to the teachings of the Bhakti Yoga tradition that have saved my life on numerous occasions & that continue to keep saving it every moment of every day. There are many other websites, fb pages/groups, youtube channels, & more resources including livestreamed daily classes, audiobooks, ebooks, etc. that are all freely offered for no reason other than to try & help mitigate the suffering we all experience just from being alive in this world. If you’d like to learn more, have any questions, and/or would like me to provide you with links to resources about specific subjects, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

My heart goes out to you all. I post these things because nothing else has helped assuage my daily suffering to the same degree that learning about/practicing these teachings has. Because I know just how unbearable it can get, I cannot in good conscience keep these teachings to myself. I love you all very much. Please continue to do your best to take care of yourselves & one another with compassion, patience, & understanding. We are all in this together.

Hare Krishna! ❤

Sorry, I’m Asimoving. Could you expound on that?

One of the most universally “autistic” struggles I undergo is requiring a certain level of precision of language in order to be able to process the new information I’m receiving in a meaningful way.

Because I don’t have a lot of the same basic social/cultural context most humans do, partly because I avoid mainstream media/news, partly because the autistic brain doesn’t intuit or infer stuff in the same way the allistic (non-autistic brain) does. Autistics typically require things to be clearly articulated & spelled out in ways that allistics can find redundant or overkill. The ability to be able to just “get” something without a ton of extra details & clarification can literally seem like some sort of magic osmosis process to autistics.

I realized that one of the issues I run into a lot when attempting to have important conversations with allistics is that they’ll often accuse me of interrupting them a lot, which is true & I do hate to do it, but it’s because I’m requiring additional information/further clarification on points being made. This can seem nitpicky or pedantic & people will accuse me of arguing over semantics. 

The reality of the situation is that I’ve come to realize that my brain runs similarly to a computer, which is why I relate to robots/AI a lot. I have a base framework that I’m operating in. I have no ability to understand or relate things back to what hasn’t already been pre-programmed. If I come across a new set of data that I’ve never encountered before & have nothing to relate it back to, my processing speed will come to a halt until I acquire additional information to help me assimilate this data. The same thing happens if someone is using inaccurate or imprecise terminology. Because I, & afaik most other autistics, denote rather than connote, which means use words according to how they’re defined in the dictionary as opposed to how they’re used in common parlance if there’s a difference, and because allistics tend to do the opposite, there is a lot of confusion & miscommunication between allistics & autistics even on subjects that seem super simple & straightforward. 

This is where the autistic literalism comes into play. It’s not that we’re overly literal. It’s that we are using different context than the majority of the world, so most humans are very uncertain as to why we are having difficulty understanding what to them are basic jokes, expressions, and statements people typically seem to just “get.” This is where the stereotype of autistics being slow or lacking in humor comes from. We’re not slow. We just don’t have the same framework we’re operating under. We find plenty of things funny. They just not be the same things most people find funny. 

My mom & I came up with an expression that I can now use going forward when I feel that I’m struggling to understand what an allistic person is trying to communicate to me & require additional information to be able to process the conversation. When I need someone to clarify what they mean when using certain words or phrases, I’ll say that I’m “Asimoving” or having an “Asimov” moment. I could potentially even use “Asimov” as an interjection, depending on the person, as a way to say, “wait! I need further clarification here because I’m confused as to what it is you’re trying to say right now.” Obviously, this will all be dependent upon the CONTEXT lol I’ll be testing this new expression out with some friends of mine who I trust to give me good feedback.

If you want to know why I chose “Asimov” to be the word I’ll use in these situations going forward, the reason is because it was inspired by SciFi writer Isaac Asimov’s short story, “The Last Question.” In this story, humans asked a supercomputer that had the processing power to theoretically solve any problem a question it couldn’t answer. As the years went by & the tech progressed, the supercomputer continued to not be able to solve the problem, and when asked the question again & again, would continue to answer the same way, 

“There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer.” 

When I heard that phrase, it was like something resonated inside of me super deeply. That’s how it feels when I’m trying to follow conversations sometimes. My brain is going going going, doing its thing processing all the new info coming in, then suddenly it goes to a full stop. It’s in these moments when I can get frustrated &, in turn, start to frustrated my conversational companion as I interrupt them every two sentences to ask for clarification. I don’t want to derail the convo or cause too many tangents to happen, but I genuinely will get so lost & confused that I’ll totally forget what the original point was to begin with. Hopefully explaining this & my intended usage of the word “Asimov” will help others to have a bit more patience with me when it comes to my request for extra attentive precision of language. I know not everyone will be willing to compromise & meet me halfway here, but at least I’ve devised a method on how to ask going forward.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Just a gentle reminder about what effective communication entails.
Emotions can cause us to forget simple truths.

A fact of human psychology is that people respond better to gentle dialogue that’s geared toward facilitating comfort, safety, & validation. What that means is that if you’re serious in trying to change people’s paradigms, which is arguably one of the hardest things to do in life as people identify their paradigms as realities, it’s imperative that the person you’re speaking with is in a receptive mindset. You can correct someone until you’re blue in the face, but if you’ve not communicated in a manner that’s effective, it was nothing but a waste of time for everyone involved & can possibly cause the opposite of what the original intentions & desired results were to occur. This is a huge problem that we’re seeing in the online activist communities. This is why the phrases SJW & PC Policing have become very negative. Even the word intersectionality has acquired a bad connotation because of how the people who were using it were behaving.

Part of facilitating an effective interpersonal exchange is meeting someone halfway. You can have your goal for the conversation in mind when you go in, but you have to adapt & adjust how you are approaching the person as they reveal their own personal paradigm. If someone’s paradigm is so contrary to your own that you’re struggling to find common ground, it’ll be extremely difficult to effectively communicate anything to one another. We have to learn how others think & process things in order to figure out how we can get them to actually listen to what we’re saying & implement any desired changes they agree with.

We cannot force anyone to do anything against their will. This is a fact & a basic human right. To do that is to use violence to try to get what you want. The only respectful & ultimately positively productive way to facilitate change in our society is to treat all humans as individuals who are unique & deserving respect, regardless of what their faults & flaws may be. All humans have both strengths & weaknesses, including you & me, so we have to work with one another to develop strategies that are healthy & inclusive to the different ways people think/feel/act.

A lot of my life was spent bashing my head against the walls others threw up against me, but I was only hurting myself doing that. It made me look foolish & inconsiderate so it caused people to be even less willing to listen to me. I realized that I had to adjust the way that I was interacting with others if I wanted to successfully share my perspective on things. It’s very hard to do, & I’m always learning, growing, changing, adapting, etc., but it’s a very worthwhile endeavor. Ever since choosing to work on my outward presentation in discussions, I’ve had far more successful, positive, & productive interactions than negative ones. I hope to help others learn to develop similar modes & methods for communicating. One thing that I found to be extremely helpful was Marsha Linehan’s DBT module regarding interpersonal effectiveness.

If you haven’t already heard of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, I highly recommend checking it out. There are many DBT groups that are covered by health insurance. I can’t stress enough how life-changing they can be! I struggled a lot the first time I took the IE module. Even the 2nd time I took it. 3rd time was still tricky, but it got better as I started to implement the suggested techniques in my real life interactions & really did my best to take what was advised to heart. I’m still learning, always learning, will never stop, but I can already tell that I’m leaps & bounds ahead of where I once was, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. My life has improved SO much just with me choosing to reflect on how I react to things & altering those behavior patterns. It’s hard work, but it’s fully possible for everyone to do. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please let me know! ❤

Thoughts About The Horror Genre

Omg, The Ring is on Netflix.

It came out when I was 12 & I remember feeling very uncomfortable watching it with all the girls in my grade who were laughing when something messed up happened. I didn’t wanna be “uncool” or made fun of so I tried to ignore the fact that I was disturbed by their reactions more than what was going on in the film.

I remember a couple of images got into my head & spooked me when I was alone in the night (I did have a fascination with creepy imagery though so while I was into it, I would have preferred my mind not try to play tricks on me) & just kept thinking that if I let anyone know about that, they’d never let me hear the end of it.
While I’m sure the film won’t affect me the way it did when I was younger since it was the first time I’d seen some of that kind of stuff, I’m going to rewatch it for nostalgic factor & hope that I can maybe lay some of that childhood tension that I still feel in my bones to bed. I am starting to think that a lot of why I developed so many psychological health issues is because I wasn’t allowed to process my reactions to things in a healthy way.

I remember everyone criticized the movie for being “so lame” & not as good as the original Japanese version, but there was just something that sat wrong with me that kids were not allowed to appreciate the horror of a disturbing situation for what it was & instead had to pretend to be amused or entertained by it lest they get labeled as weak & picked on. This just strikes me as a very unhealthy coping mechanism & it made it so that I internalized this toxic reaction to exhibiting emotional vulnerability. I started to bully & rip on others who would show sincere emotional reactions, too. I stopped being able to express how I was feeling about things for fear that people would reject me & ostracize me for being a “pussy.”

There is comedic horror, but there is also something to be said being able to appreciate the emotional horror of a situation even if the production value isn’t excellent. But regardless of all of that, I now don’t think it’s ever okay to make fun of someone for expressing emotional vulnerability even if you personally don’t feel the same way. ESPECIALLY if the person who is feeling disturbed or uncomfortable is a child. It’s very sad to me that kids get peer pressured into acting “tough” or more accurately, heartless, to be accepted. That’s pretty sick. Way sicker than anything that happens in these fictional horror movies, imho.

Nowadays, while I don’t really get “scared” by horror, it’s hard for me to even get spooked or creeped out because I’ve been so desensitized & oversaturated, I let myself cry if I feel the emotional horror of a story moves me to feel that way. It’s cathartic & it lets me know I’m still a human being with empathy & compassion. Horror is one of my favorite genres because it tells the story of the depths to which humans are capable of sinking. They’re cautionary tales to me. That’s what’s horrific, not necessarily the gore or violence or creepy imagery. It’s about the themes of emotional & psychological violence that’s what’s disturbing & I think I picked up on that when I was a kid since I lived in a real life horror story with my very own real life monsters terrorizing my dreams AND waking life. I didn’t find these films “funny” because I was a child & didn’t have any greater context other than knowing what it meant to feel unsafe constantly. I can laugh at things now, but I think being forced to hide the fact that I didn’t find these things funny at the time did some real psychological damage so I am speaking out against that now.

Things have ratings for a reason. We’re supposed to protect kids from watching things for a reason. They don’t have the emotional & intellectual maturity to understand what’s going on & while people can argue that they were exposed to all kinds of messed up stuff as a kid & they turned out fine, let’s really examine that stance. Did they REALLY turn out okay? Just take a look at our society, our world. Suicide, homicide, & mental illness rates are sky high. People are obsessed with all kinds of unhealthy & dangerous behaviors. Empathy & compassion are rare, undervalued traits. No one knows how to communicate with one another. We aren’t there for each other. No one feels safe or cared for. It feels like we’re alone in the world & everything is out to get us. Maybe if we could make some more room for emotional safe spaces for one another (AND ourselves), things wouldn’t be going the way they are. Just a thought.

And on that note, on to enjoy some silly old horror film with the hope that I can get some sort of closure/catharsis from this conscious, deliberate viewing as an adult. Maybe it won’t bring anything so profound & will just be a fun way to pass a few hours, but one can hope, right? ;P

Recent Thought Trains

Here is some of what I’ve been thinking about lately.

Part of my black or white, all or nothing, rigid thinking includes me vacillating between thinking that I have super awesome unique talents, skills, traits, and attributes that are worthwhile, positive, useful, helpful, and beneficial and feeling that my strong personality, preferences, opinions, and ways of expressing myself are too difficult for people to find worth tolerating or putting up with.

I often worry about things like finding a career that I love or a meaningful relationships when I wonder why anyone would bother accommodating me when I struggle so much with super basic “common sense” things that the majority of other humans just seem to innately pick up. I worry about people thinking I’m faking my confusion or inability to understand what they consider to be super basic and straightforward instructions when they see me using high level vocabulary and forming articulate arguments using advanced critical thinking when expressing abstract concepts in casual conversation. It gives me anxiety & dread to think that if I don’t try to dumb myself down, people might assume I’m looking for pity or hand-outs or trying to exploit the system by asking for additional resources and support in my daily life when I don’t seem to have a “severe developmental disability.”

The truth of the matter is that I haven’t even really started living my life fully out of fear because each time I’ve tried to venture forth by going back to school or getting another job, something’s always inevitably come to challenge me in a way that overwhelms me & send me running for the hills again. It’s not like I want to just waste away in my room all day every day. This genuinely makes me sad & stressed because I feel the minutes of my life just slipping away. I’m a normal person like everyone else in that I have hopes, dreams, goals, desires, etc. but because anytime I’ve tried to work towards an aspiration of mine, it feels like a million dangerous roadblocks get erected no matter what path I try to take, I get drained, discouraged, and disheartened.

Despite being a decently articulate & introspective individual, it’s very hard for me to explain in a detailed manner exactly what’s “wrong” with me in terms of why I need “disability” services. I don’t even know why I struggle a lot of the time or what it is that I do that’s inappropriate or ineffectual. Over the years, people have used certain language to describe my thought & behavior patterns and sometimes it’s been difficult to accept their assessments as accurate because I see everything from a totally different perspective, naturally. I almost feel incapable of seeing things from the “mainstream societal perspective” so I don’t think I’m the person to ask when it comes to my challenges a lot of the time. That being said, I’ve developed some defense mechanisms where I’ve been able to hide a lot of the qualities in me that would initially stand out to others as red flags or unusual/abnormal as a survival technique. This is called masking & because I’ve gotten so good at it in certain settings, a lot of external observers can’t tell what’s going on inside of me that’s causing me to feel like I’m struggling so much. This has actually worked to my detriment because now I don’t know how to explain these difficulties AND many others don’t even see me struggling.

The past few years or so, I’ve been trying to “unmask” more & be a bit more true to my authentic self so that outside observers could give me additional feedback on what they think might be going on so I can get more/better help. It’s also just exhausting to mask & it makes me feel like I’m being dishonest about who I am, which I absolutely hate, so I’m also doing this simply to feel more comfortable in my everyday life & interactions. However, the less I mask, other new obstacles arise that I’m having to learn how to contend with. I know that life is never going to be obstacle free, but it definitely gets tiresome to be working to minimize difficulties in one area only to discover ten more popping up somewhere else.

I know a lot of people in my life are unsure as to why I talk about Autism so much, and I know that many remain skeptical about my being on the spectrum in the first place despite having received an official diagnosis from a specialist. I know that others dismiss it as just “another label” & think I shouldn’t be putting so much focus into it. I just want y’all to understand that the reason this has been so important to me is because receiving this diagnosis has given me the language I was lacking when it comes to trying to explain a lot of the difficulties I face on a daily basis. Being autistic explains so much of why I feel, think, express myself how I do. I know this may be hard to understand when one’s grasp of what Autism is has been misinformed by stereotypes, outdated information, or limited personal experiences.

In the end, all I hope people can take away from me sharing my thoughts & feelings is that while a person may “look” or “seem” a certain way to you, that may not be the case. We are all very unique & have our own vastly different experiences, strengths, weaknesses, etc. and that’s great. The thing is, since we are all so different, this means we gotta try to understand, when others are struggling in ways we haven’t, we can’t possibly ever fully know what exactly they’re going through, no matter how similar it may seem to something we have experienced or something we have seen someone else experience. Instead of trying to offer advice or share personal anecdotes of how we underwent something we THINK is related, it’s more productive to wipe the slate clean and assume this is a fully new & unique situation we have never encountered before because that’s the truth of the matter. Every since situation that occurs, though it may seem similar to others, is fully unique & new, and thus needs to be treated that way. I advise trying to learn more about the specifics of each new situation, person, event, and ask about what you can do to be supportive to the people in that situation.

A lot of the time people won’t actually know what can be done, if anything, because that requires a lot of introspection & the ability to verbalize what might just be a jumble of nebulous feelings in a constructive & concise way. That’s a very rare & valuable skillset that has to be cultivated over a good amount of time with the help of professionals, especially therapists. Things are always changing, and this can be confusing, especially when it comes to the medical fields of psychology & neuroscience. There is still so much we don’t understand about our brains & bodies, so all we can do is be patient and work together to further our collective understanding to the best of our abilities. I hope that with continued efforts & courage, I’ll eventually be able to make significant headway when it comes to finding the appropriate resources for my personal situation, and that that will help me finally be able to actually start living my life in a more decided, deliberate, dedicated way.

Inshallah ❤

Q&A Series: So are you a male mind in a woman’s body?

Not quite, but that’s a good starting point.

See, the thing is, this whole “gender/sex/identity/etc is a spectrum” thing is a lot less complicated than it’s been made out to seem.

After education became standardized by government mandates, the curriculum taught to children was structured in a very unhelpful way. What we are being taught in schools isn’t actually factually accurate most of the time either due to a lack of information that we haven’t discovered yet, a misunderstanding of the info we currently have, or simply a straight up altered/fabricated fact that has been woven in for political control of society.

In terms of science (i.e. biology & other related fields), gender/sex has NEVER been binary. There is no single living entity or species that is purely binary because our world is a complex webwork of infinite interconnected shades of gray. There is no pure black nor pure white, cut & dry facts dividing things into neat little boxes the way that we’ve been trained to desire since birth, and this is a huge part of why it FEELS like it’s so confusing & complicated simply being alive. We’ve been brainwashed into desiring things that are either nonexistent or unattainable. This is part of what’s contributing to the skyrocketing numbers of suicides & homicides. It’s why everyone is so miserable & thinks life is hell. We’re living in a hellish reality that’s been carefully constructed, but it’s our choice to keep living that lie. We don’t have to live like that anymore. All the information you need is at your fingertips now! Google, google, google! But don’t forget to cross reference!

For too long now, we have been taught that there are only two biological sexes & two gender identities that exist in human beings, but this is veryyyy far from the truth & is actually only a recent belief that’s been forced onto everyone. Those who are “coming out” as “non-binary” in the modern western world are simply challenging the preconceived notion that those ideas are fact. We are simply saying, “Hey, wait a sec, guys. Before you try to assign categories & put people into boxes, maybe just try to get to know them as people first & focus on the inside more than the outside.” We aren’t trying to invade your space or make you do anything you don’t wanna do. We are simply saying that we are here, too, so if you’re struggling to accept our existence, perhaps it’d be beneficial for you to take a look at what you think you know about certain subjects & do a bit more research before forming any super firm conclusions or opinions on it all. Just take a split second to think about stuff & maybe gather some additional information before reacting to what’s happening/being said. That’s called being respectful & considerate of another living being. No more, no less.

I was hesitant to make public claims about something I feel is so unimportant in the scheme of things lest people start to believe that I’m someone who identifies with their physical form in some significant way. I don’t. My body couldn’t mean less to me other than that it’s my vessel of experience in this particular lifetime. I want to do my best to take care of it because it will operate better if it’s healthy & satisfied. I’m making some changes because I believe it will make my overall quality of life better, & I unfortunately need to bring up some specific subjects & conversation topics for people to get a better understanding of why/how it will all work exactly. I’m sharing this info not because I care to some excessive degree what others thing about me, but more out of a desire for less inconvenient & draining social interactions in the future.

Part of being an introvert means that I get tired when socializing very quickly. Writing blog posts like this isn’t socializing. I’m just sharing thoughts & feelings as they are arising within me. Answering questions, while I totally am happy to do so if they’re respectful & well-intentioned, can drain me a bit, so it’ll sometimes take me a bit longer to respond to them, but the thing that drains me the most is casual small talk where I don’t know exactly what the QUD (question under discussion) is, i.e. what the other participant(s) of the conversation are desiring to get out of it. People will say that they don’t want anything; they just want to talk to talk/spend time together. This is actually false. Humans get together to socialize to grow emotionally closer together, to receive validation on their own experiences, to understand things better, to entertain/be entertained, etc. There are myriad reasons why people socialize, but the truth is there always is a reason. If I don’t know what the reason is going in, conversations can get dicey because I don’t pick up on the subtle non-verbal cues others are throwing in to try to help guide me. When people aren’t picking up on cues, the one dropping them may feel insulted, offended, confused, hurt, etc. This is also for many reasons, but this is all topics for another discussion than the one I’m having in this post.

The reason I mention how draining it is for me to socialize is that a lot of social interactions with people I don’t know (and unfortunately even with some I DO know), is because it relates back to my decision to transition my outward gender expression in this new year. Gender is an expression. Biological sex is a description, but it’s only relevant to medical professionals, so it’s no one else’s business. I have chosen to attempt to withhold expressing a lot of attributes of my personality because it was inconvenient to have to attempt to manage the reactions I was getting with my limited social energy reserves that are so easily depleted. Now, I am making the connection that if I did put a little more energy/effort into some form of outward self-expression, take this a bit more into my own control instead of allowing others to dictate it, I might get LESS drained in future social situations because even if there will be the occasional extreme reaction like hate speech or hate acts coming from a place of fear/lack of understanding, this will not be the norm. At least, not if I choose to keep living in safe/supportive communities like I have been. I know not everyone has this privilege, so I do consider myself extremely fortunate in this regard.

In having these discussions in a public forum, I’m hoping that I can help show others that these are not things to be afraid of or embarrassed by or intolerant of. There’s nothing weird or abnormal or unhealthy about any of this. It’s simply talking about things that were swept under the carpet in our society long ago. Thankfully with the advent of the interwebs, we can now disseminate information that “the powers that be” may not be too keen on giving out. Knowledge is power, right? So if we share all the new info we are getting with one another & checking the validity & soundness of it amongst ourselves, it’s only a matter of time before the cultural consciousness & zeitgeist naturally shift, thereby forcing the political hands. Let’s stop focusing on what all of these relics of the past are doing & get on board with the way of the future. Free information flow! Helping each other by constantly working to improve ourselves!

Right now, I’m working on getting my mind/body healthy & finding a way to participate more fundamentally in human society whilst still feeling that I’m maintaining as authentic of a self-expression as possible at all times. I feel like I’m getting closer. Talking about it all in the public eye helps because then I can reflect on all of the feedback, comments, questions, and reactions, and use that additional info to further refine my own mental paradigm.

It’s scary to choose to be happy when you never thought you had the power to make such a decision before ever. You wonder if it’s a trap, a deception. You wonder if you’re just going to get hurt again if you allow yourself to dream, to hope once more. So, let’s be brave! Let’s allow ourselves to take the chance to risk our emotional safety for the possibility of greater gain! Life is scary because it’s about coming to terms with infinite unknowns & the fact that we don’t have any control over anything but our own experience of existence. But scary isn’t bad! Scary can be great! It’s thrilling. It makes you feel alive. And EVERYONE is scared. Even the people doing all of the things you WISH you would/could do. They’re scared, too. After all…

Personal Accountability

If you remove the gender commentary, this post is actually just a really great observation of how human society as a whole has been acting in general lately. It’s worse than ever before because it wasn’t as easy to act like a total troll & get away with it like we can now in the past. This is typically what it feels every time I try to have a basic convo with someone. It’s like, “Woah, woah, woah! No one is trying to start a war here. We’re simply asking you to take responsibility for the consequences of your own actions! Calm tf down already! It’s all okay! Just think more first & react less!”

Yes, our egos hate to fess up when we mess up because it’s embarrassing to make mistakes, especially publicly, or to be shown the error of our ways when we didn’t even realize that what we said or did was impacting another person so severely, but that’s no excuse to act a jerk & blame everything/everyone but ourself. This will just perpetuate the problems instead of addressing them to ensure they won’t happen again, or at least with such frequency/lack of awareness. We have to use our brains to think about our thoughts, feelings, words, & deeds, how all of these things are impacting/might impact us & others BEFORE deciding to implement them.

It still is a somewhat radical notion in modern America, but the truth of the matter is that we are fully capable of changing our thought patterns, which means that what we choose to spend time thinking about/the language we use when thinking about stuff actually will influence our behavior, feelings, & actions. We are literally shaping new worlds for ourselves to live in & project onto others at all times, so isn’t it our responsibility to try to make sure that we’re doing our best to keep them as healthy, positive, & productive as possible for all impacted by them?

Google Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Dialectical Behavioral therapy is related, but focuses more on the emotional/interpersonal elements, but also uses a lot of CBT in it) if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. It’s beneficial & very helpful. If you change your world, the world you’re creating and projecting onto existence, you can literally change your quality of life 🙂 

Emotional Vulnerability

Just a random factual statement made w/ neutral intentions:

I appreciate when people let me know they care about me, but sometimes I feel smothered or overwhelmed if people do it too much.

It can kinda freak me out & make me fear that the person is being insincere, à la “methinks the lady doth protest too much.” I can be a bit standoffish emotionally if someone continues to inform me of how much they care about me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the affection, but rather, I simply show mine differently & am kind of uncomfortable expressing myself in those context/circumstances. You don’t need to tell me that you care about me if you want me to know it. Show me you care by trying to learn about the things that I talk about a lot because it means they’re important to me. Tell me you’re thinking about me by sending me something that reminded you of me & tell me why because I won’t necessarily get it if you just send me a pic or quote with no context. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy to get it – just means I’m genuinely confused & trying to figure out what it means to you heh.

I get that I can seem rude or distant or condescending or even callous & lacking in empathy at times. The truth is, I probably am just confused because I’m lacking context. This is actually my general state of existence. The reason I ask so many questions, talk about random stuff all the time, am always consuming tons of media & fiction, etc. is because I’m desperately trying to gather more information on what it means to be human & how to establish healthy, positive, productive meaningful relationships/connections with other living beings. It’s pretty tough for me. I feel like Jane Goodall observing the monkeys – trying to mimic their behaviors to fit in/be accepted as one of them, but really & truly being in the honest darkness & just doing the best to figure out what’s going on. It’s nice when the monkeys are trying to mimic me & that SOMETIMES helps me to get a better idea of what’s going on, but a lot of the time, I’m still just as lost. I see you trying to communicate with me, but I still don’t know what you’re trying to say. I’m trying to communicate with you, but I don’t know how to say what it is that I want to say in order for you to hear it the way that I mean it to be interpreted.

Also, know that I like almost all other animals more than humans so the Goodall/monkey comparison isn’t meant to be patronizing or inegalitarian in any way. Just an example of two different species trying to communicate with each other. This is largely why I feel so alien. Please forgive my awkward stiltedness when we’re communicating going forward. I’m working on smoothing out the bumps, & sounding less like an arrogant, inconsiderate prick. I promise.