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[personal profile] amorpha
Do not post when you're angry. No, really. Do not post when you're angry. Nothing good will come out of it. Do not post when you're angry. The world will not change overnight to fuck you over if you do not say exactly what you're thinking right now. You can and have come down out of this state and posted calmly and rationally before.

I think the major problems here are:

1. Years of unresolved inability to vent about things. Like people assuming using certain words always equals holding certain beliefs or ideologies. As well as compounding warning signs of people who are Not Getting It and thinking they are getting it, over a period of months or years. And unwillingness/inability to deal with confrontation because our expressive language can crash to rock bottom in a matter of seconds if people agitate us in specific ways. (As well as the problem of people throwing out those warning signs that they don't believe our type of neurology, the type of neurology that can do that, even exists-- that it's all excuses, or runs so contrary to their set ideas about how people and brains work that they just refuse to believe it.)

The inability to confront and address things directly is the real problem here. And this goes not just for things like... having to admit you've been forced to hoard a grudge against someone for months or years because they insulted or dishonored you and we weren't capable of, at the time, telling them "Look, if you believe we don't understand X and need to have it explained to us, in my book, that's both untrue and a serious insult/dishonor and we have to talk about this right now." But also for... positive things, personal life things, that we want people to know about. Somehow it can end up being just as hard to write about those.

I know it's learned behavior, and what's learned can be unlearned. Growing up autistic and having trouble with indirect communication, in a variety of environments where you're punished for communicating things directly, plus a bunch of doctors and therapists who all have their own ideas about what's going on with you, is a "great" way to end up with fucked-up communication styles. I know we have been working on it actively for years, and we're much, much more direct than we were ten years ago, and much less angry and passive-aggressive. We recently described to someone else, some of our attempts to explain certain nonlinear things, when we were younger, as "verbal trainwrecks."

(And that also feeds into the worry that people who have known us over a long period of time believe the things we described as verbal trainwrecks, and the aggression/passive aggression, are still "who we really are" and what we really think, and we're just hiding it the rest of the time.)

2. We still don't like Tumblr. We don't want to be on Tumblr even though almost all our friends are, not even just to reblog pretty pictures. It's not just that it's full of drama and fail and even mining it for pretty pictures, or to follow friends, will run you into drama and fail and more drama and fail sooner or later. It's that we know if we tried to get involved in the drama and fail (and some of it involves plurality and people who can't get the idea that several minds/selves/consciousnesses in one body is a philosophical issue, and possibly a neurological one, that has nothing inherently to do with doctors who used it for their own ends), it would take a lot of time away from things we need to be doing much more nowadays. We used to let that happen with LJ-multiplicity back when we were one of only two mods, and it did take away time from more important things we needed to be doing offline. And we're afraid we wouldn't be able to help ourselves from getting caught up in it again. We don't trust ourselves not to.

And sometimes it seems like everyone interested in any kind of self-advocacy anything is now on Tumblr, and any time something Big And Important happens with those issues (or even minor dramas that get turned into a tempest in a teapot) it's on Tumblr. And we feel like we "should" be there posting something big and important about it, except no, our expressive language rarely works that way even on our best days. Hypergraphia does not equal ability to do directed writing, to write directly about a specific issue instead of whatever your brain is steering you towards like some kind of weird amusement park ride. It's not that we don't want to be self-advocates, far from it. It's just that the way the dialogue is being done, especially on Tumblr, is in a way that's neurologically inaccessible to us. It is also frequently full of words that bite our brain.

(And by the way, if you think this is about not liking "political correctness" or if you have some ideology in which you've defined "self-advocacy" or "activism" as a bad thing, don't think you're on the level with us opinion-wise or that you understand what we're going through [you don't] or can sympathize with us [you can't], or that you can rope us into your particular little ideology just because we don't like this stuff for a different reason than why you don't like it. It won't work, it won't happen, you aren't on the level with us even if you think you are. If you can't deal with that, then stop reading our journal. This also goes for people who have ideas like "neurodiversity is about the idea that there are absolutely no downsides to being autistic!" No, stop it, just knock it off, go away. In fact, defriend us if that's what you think.)

3. This applies broadly to any kind of marginalized group, but we get really tired of feeling like we can't vent in public because we're supposed to somehow represent our entire group, and that if we have bad days or get annoyed like normal people, and dare to speak up about it, it "makes our whole group/movement/etc look bad." Or that we're somehow supposed to be some kind of shining paragons of perfectness, proving to all singlets everywhere that Plurals Can Be Functional (tm), and apparently that means not ever being allowed to have any intersectionality stuff that can screw you over for reasons unrelated to plurality. And people with more privilege can and will do no-holds-barred public takedowns of you for things like this-- or passive-aggressive takedowns based on how they want to make you look to other privileged people (e.g. some of the people still fixated on Sybil and/or therapy scandals of the 80s and 90s, and apparently can't take any of what we say on its own merits or accept that the way we live has no connection to any of that stuff).

We never thought we were a Shining Paragon of anything. We were just a plural system who wanted to make a website to cover some things we thought weren't adequately covered or mentioned on other websites, and got roped into the "if you are not constantly perfect in every way, you are not a good representative of your group!" mentality before we knew as much about how patterns of oppression work. We found out pretty quickly that even disclosing minor "weaknesses" will attract people who will hold them up and parade them around gloating about "Ha ha, these people aren't as functional as they claim!" Some of them... based in complete misreadings of what we were actually saying. Like the guy who thought our mentioning that in singlet/plural relationships, you should work out beforehand if you want to have a monogamous relationship or a poly one, meant we ourselves went around sleeping with as many people as possible and saying it was because we were plural (uhhhhh no) and told us it was no wonder we'd had problems with anxiety, depression, and various other things because we probably couldn't keep a boyfriend (...because everyone is cis and heterosexual, amirite). So we ended up having to remove a few things from our page because we didn't want to deal with more crap like that.

But apparently, because we had a webpage and moderated a community, some people thought we were claiming to speak as some kind of unified voice of an entire community, or to be this shining paragon of functional something-or-other. When we found out that even some people in the plural community thought we were presenting ourselves as role models, we were actually frankly shocked.

We're less tense about it nowadays, only because we know this whole "you claim you want rights but you have all these problems, nyah nyah nyah!" and deliberate misinterpretations of what you're saying as an excuse to shit on you, happens to just about every marginalized group out there. It happens to disabled people, it happens to people of color, it happens to poor people, it happens to women, it happens to GLBT people, it happens to fat people, it happens to any group whose minds or bodies or identities or beliefs or lifestyles differ from a dominant culture norm. (And no, that doesn't mean we're condoning every single group or every belief or practice or difference out there as okay and great in some moral relativist way. Yet another one of the traps people will try to spring on you, that you have to constantly remember and prepare for. *sigh*)

The one thing we still don't know how to deal with at all is how to prevent people from thinking you're some kind of big leader in a community when you never saw yourself(selves) as one or signed up to be. But we know people in other communities who've gotten hit with that and are still trying to figure out how to deal with it too, so at least we know we're not the only ones.

-S.
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amorpha

January 2013

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