When confronted with hostility – real or “imagined” – my mind automatically shuts down, the so-called “flight mechanism.” But somehow, I am never allowed to flee from the situation, I have to stay and fight even though I clearly can’t which is why it’s invariably MY fault for “starting” the very fights I never wanted to engage in (and do everything in my power to AVOID) just so I can “get attention,” “gain sympathy” or because I simply like “being an asshole.”
That also happens in less tense situations as well, but they often escalate as I am unable to process information in “real time” (Auditory Processing Disorder) which is often perceived as intentionally “blowing off” their question which circles back to the above. This internal and external pressure to answer them before it can escalate basically overloads my brain and I end up standing there “looking stupid” and the recipient of a lecture that is as long as it is loud on how I can’t be so “rude” to people and often contains my least favorite “question:”
“What the fuck is WRONG with you?”
I do not care what anyone says, that is NOT a “teaching moment” – it’s an INSULT. Period. No-one ever “asks” that looking for an answer they’re pissed off and looking for ammo. Even if I somehow could answer them in the moment all they’d hear is:
“I’m crazy and I’m making excuses. Please continue yelling at me until I see the light.”
This is the part of the essay where I give an example. Believe me, I have plenty of them and none of them are pleasant – particularly since I cannot remember them in a distanced academic fashion but in a full volume “I am there” all over again until I literally wear myself out both psychically and mentally and definitely emotionally (not that anyone ever cared about MY emotions, they’re always “wrong” anyway).
I’m sorry, what?
You’re saying people with Autism don’t have emotions?
In some cases, yes… but my problem has always been I’m TOO emotional. Every attack on me is a “personal attack” and I take those extremely seriously. I submitted a post to one of my former favorite blogs once and they responded with a meme of Spiderman lying in a hospital bed with the caption “Your post was so STUPID it gave me cancer.”
Not only did it permanently ruin Spiderman for me (who I was previously neutral towards), but it’s the chief reason I don’t look at comments on this blog and why I’m absolutely petrified to read replies to comments I made on other people’s sites.
Heck, I wrote a comment on Theme Park Tourist’s Facebook page PRAISING how hard Disney’s CMs were working on a major holiday and one of their readers posted a presumably “funny” meme of a cat with a grumpy expression telling me to kill myself – that’s why I was literally crying in the middle of Hollywood Studios on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, that really was me (proving people with Autism have “no sense of humor” either). Yes, the meme is still there and, incidentally, the incident which inspired this post also occurred on Disney property.
I’m here the rest of the week… but don’t expect many photos anytime soon.