Saturday, December 21, 2013

Smaller



My brain is a physical organ.

There are physical differences.

There are little parts in all of our brains, and mine aren't like yours.

That's not something I'm imagining.

It's real. My struggles are real.

A physical brain difference.

It's not the same thing you do. It's not something "everyone goes through sometimes."

It's not "sometimes" at all. It's not "that's not just Aspergers, it's everyone, dear."

Frequency. Severity.

Read that again. Frequency. Severity.

It's not all in my head. It's not self-doubt. I am not selling myself short.

It's not a lack of effort.

I don't just need to try harder.

I am not a failure. I am not failing at "overcoming" my "imaginary" struggles. I cannot control it. I cannot control this disability. I can deal with it. I can cope with it.

I cope with it all day. Every day. That takes effort.

But I can not stop it from being hard. I cannot spontaneously reorganize my physical brain.

I'm not exaggerating it. I'm not hyperfocusing on it. I'm not making a big deal out of it.

If I struggle, I struggle. It's not a mountain out of a molehill. It's not a little thing that I'm making a big thing. If I say it impairs me, that's because it impairs me.

It's not the "Autism card."

If I say it's related to my Autism, that's because it is. It's not because I'm trying to "blame everything on Autism." It's because Autism causes some problems for me.

It's not admitting that "everybody makes mistakes." It's not admitting that "nobody's perfect."

Being told this every time I mention my disability means that I'm not allowed to admit that my disability affects me at all.

Because every time I do, I'll be told that I need to "own up." Be responsible for my mistakes like everyone else.

My disability may affect me in some ways, but not in this specific way right now. This specific time, it's the Autism Card. All other times, it can be real.

It is not the Autism card. It's a disabled person trying to explain what went wrong and why.

I cannot control it. I'm not imagining it. I'm not exaggerating it. I'm not making excuses.

I should not have to explain this.

You should not act like it is your duty to doubt me.

Every time I talk about my disability.

Every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME I mention that my disability causes me to struggle,

I am told that "everyone goes through that."

Or that I'm selling myself short and need to work harder to do everything everyone else does with little effort.

That I can do it if I just try.

That I need to believe in myself.

That I shouldn't make excuses.

That I shouldn't focus on my problems.

It is a disability. It is not an act.

Every time I try to talk about my struggles,

They are minimized.

My disability is minimized.

I am minimized.

Minimize = make smaller.

You make me smaller.
And smaller.
andsmaller

9 comments:

  1. You have a gift. This is how I feel about PTSD.

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  2. You are amazing, you have a wonderful gift. The way you express yourself brings tears to my eyes.

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  3. This frustrates me as well. Having people minimize my boy's struggles every day. You put it perfectly.

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  4. Your words are beautifully written! You should write a book, it'd be so insightful for those that have no idea what the world looks like through your eyes! I believe you would inspire people! You inspire me!

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  5. I used to be " Normal" till 9 years old I came down with JRA it affected my brain hete and there. I dealt with that an idiot at some things a genius at others it didnt help being right brained msking me want to draw my homework. But then a few months back I had one of those seizures that knocks your you know whst in the dirt. They didnt know if I would make it now things seem strangely different. In addition to the weirdness I already had in my life. This changed them to a point of no return. I wished I could say that things were inspiring right now. Maybe later,for now they are diffrent. Relearning my art my pieces my dog where did I go etc etc . Congrats your work is wicked cool. ...Doug

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  6. Wonderfully written! This is exactly how I am feeling, I could not say it better myself. I deal with this every day; people telling me to "try harder", "everybody is going through that", "don't focus on the problems".

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  7. Remind people to focus on solutions not colloquial-isms? Focus on you and people who do get it. You can't change most people but some will respect your view maybe if you state this point (maybe by handing out copies of this post) EVERY time you feel this minimizing.

    It doesn't MATTER if it was unintentional or misunderstood hypothetically by you (in their heads). What matters is that THIS HURT is what you feel and THAT is what matters. The other person HAS to change their approach to addressing your needs because of this "difference of opinion" (meaning they don't THINK what they said should be interpreting the way you are BUT it doesn't matter what they think, it matters what YOU think!).

    I am seeing comparisons to cultural differences. People from some countries do NOT shake hands with their left hand I think it is. Why? Because long or go or perhaps still that is the hand you wipe your bottom with. In our culture we think that is silly, we wash our hands it doesn't matter! BUT we wouldn't go to THEIR country and expect people to shake our left hands just because WE think it is okay!? No, we have to conform to their views if we want to interact with people whether we agree or not.

    Now visions of head coverings and modesty standards are coming as less gross examples but Doritos & car companies are NOT showing racy American commercials of women in bikinis in the Middle East. It's just NOT right. These companies must understand their clients not expect their clients to get over it or try to see THEIR point of view.

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  8. I know my analogy is awful but you guys can think of an example that your friends & helpers & family can understand. Maybe using differences between regions in the country or politics?

    Please show everyone the right way to discuss solutions when your disability is prevention you from achieving your desired outcome. Focus on solutions not why past experiences or successes. Today and the current limitations are where to focus.

    Lowell I assume you mean the change is now for the worse. Is everything you do right now or wrong or you are or are not challenged or respected. Have faith and patience with the RIGHT people in your network that you CAN successfully express your concerns with about these changes. If you are out of options, FIGHT to find the right options for you.

    Your art sounds like a great way to share these ideas. I hope you all find the path to help us learn.

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  9. I see you feeling small. And in a way those not inside your head have a disability, they don't know what it is to reside there. Perhaps they do not seek to diminish you but to find common ground, to say we are different but equal -only they lack your eloquence. Keep sharing and hopefully what follows us caring.

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