Eater of Trees

I’m Pretty Sure I’m an Unfriendly Autistic

Posted on: July 5, 2011

[Trigger warning: autism related self-injury]

…you know, with my “Actually guys if I want to peel off my epidermis or bite myself or stab myself with needles or bang my head on things, maybe you can let me decide for myself whether I can cope with the pain, okay?”

Yep. I’m the person who actually wants society to enable their weird behaviors and isn’t going to let allistic supremacy get in the way of my self-determination.

And it occurs to me that society has this habit of treating pain like it’s a nuisance and needs to be overcome when it comes to, for example, exercise (“No pain, no gain!”) or other things it has deemed beneficial, or will readily tell you that you need to be strong and magically get over your unpleasant reactions to things when said pain is coming from things that society doesn’t think should be painful.

I’ve been told to stop peeling scabs off my wrists, which, while physically painful, isn’t particularly an unpleasant feeling to me and generally makes me feel better, but when I point out that talking on phones can give me panic attacks just thinking about it and that I can walk to places I need to call and speak to people in person and there’ll be less sobbing in a ball on the floor, and I’m told Avoiding Things Is Bad.

It’s almost like society doesn’t really care about whether you’re hurting yourself and really just wants you to not look neurodivergent.

[End warning]

And related, I really want to start using “enabled” as a way to talk about people who aren’t disabled, especially wrt psychology.  Because the way enabling gets used in psychology to be like “We can’t accomidate your behavior! That would be ENABLING you to act neurodivergent!” (Because the goal is always to be Normal like the rest of the world) seems like… I just want to snark YES I KNOW THAT WOULD BE ENABLING MY BEHAVIOR THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!

Like, when you drive to a grocery store to buy chicken, the fact that there’s roads is enabling your choice to get around by driving and the fact that you can just buy it there is enabling your choice to not be a farmer.  But nobody ever calls those things enabling because they’re normativized. In fact, if you did choose to farm your own chickens in the city people would probably look at you weird.  They definitely often don’t seem to understand a preference for walking places because you can’t (and may or may not be able to) drive.

See, walking to a doctor’s office instead of calling them is dismissed as enabling your phone-phobia rather than “Yeah, that’s a really good idea, it also would get you excercise and that tends to help with depression too!”  That’s a problem.


5 Responses to "I’m Pretty Sure I’m an Unfriendly Autistic"

[…] there are many problems with how they’re discussed in the dominant narrative – mentally enabled people are centered, self-determination is completely disregarded or only given lip service, everything […]

Unfriendly autistics, unite!

See, walking to a doctor’s office instead of calling them is dismissed as enabling your phone-phobia rather than “Yeah, that’s a really good idea, it also would get you excercise and that tends to help with depression too!” That’s a problem.
UGH THIS. A few months ago I was speaking to my therapist about trying to get off the mandatory meal plan at my college, and he warned me that my petition might be rejected for “enabling my phobia of contamination and my social anxiety,” which he agreed with me would be a bullshit response, but it is still ridiculous that it was something I had to worry about. {sarcasm} It was great for my generalized anxiety and my OCD. {/sarcasm} x_x Rather than “You have trouble being able to touch doorknobs and serving spoons and being around crowds and want to cook your own food and not be forced to pay $2000/semester for our food? That’s probably a good idea that will lead to less stress for you in the long run and you’ll probably be able to do better in your classes!” (Thankfully, my petition to not be coerced into buying access to the cafeteria was approved.)

Yay at approval. And yep exactly my point about “enabling”

We want to enable people, enabling is good. People not being able to function is bad. About the only way you could conclude enabling is bad is if you’re anti-neurodiversity. Which, yeah. ><

[…] I’m Pretty Sure I’m an Unfriendly Autistic « Eater of Trees […]

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