In this new series I will be discussing something or several things that have really gotten on my nerves as of late. These posts will be a bit more off the cuff, crude, and coarse. Yes, there will be swearing, if you are easily offended….Eat me!
So for those of you that have been following my blog, you will know that I have recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I suspected for quite some time that this was the case but only recently had the courage to actually check into it. That said, it really wasn’t fucking easy and so this is why the next few paragraphs are so bothersome to write.
My psychologist recommended that I go to my general practitioner and ask for something to help me sleep at night. I’ve taken Ambien in the past and it worked well for me, so that is what I planned on asking for. I also needed to have my asthma checked so my wife made me an appointment for Tuesday.
Now a bit of background information. I’ve been seeing the same doctor for nearly a decade. He’s a really nice guy and easy to communicate with. I’ve never had any issues with him and so I didn’t expect any issues this time around. I was wrong.
After checking my lungs and recommending a new medicine for my asthma the doctor began talking to me about the insomnia medicine. He asked why I was looking to get on medication and I told him that it had been recommended by my psychologist. He asked me why I was seeing a psychologist and I told him that I had recently been diagnosed with Autism. The very first thing out of his mouth after that was, “Oh, you don’t look like someone with Autism.”
What the fuck is that supposed to mean? What does Autism look like? I have several friends and family with Autism and none of us fit any sort of “Autism look.” Now, since I’ve had time to process it, I believe that he might have been meaning it as some sort of complement but it definitely didn’t come off that way.
I said the only thing I could think of at the time, “Well, you can’t see my brain.”
The appointment went on from there and I did get the insomnia medicine that I need. Still, my mind has gone back to that comment over and over again over the last two days. Would you look at someone who is of average size, who just told you they have bulimia and say, “Oh, you don’t look like someone with an eating disorder.” Would you tell someone who just told you they had PTSD, “Oh, you don’t look like someone who has triggers…”
The whole thing just pissed me off so fucking badly. I had already spent months second guessing myself before even seeking a diagnosis. To have him say that made me feel like maybe I had been right. If this had happened earlier, I don’t know if I would have ever actually sought the psychologist. So to you, Mr. general practitioner….EAT ME!
Okay, so this time I have to say that in the past I have been just as guilty of this but over time I have realized just how upsetting it can be to people. Nearly every day I hear someone say something along these lines…
“I just can’t stand a dirty kitchen, I’m OCD about that.”
“Sometimes I get really upset, I’m a bit bi-polar in that respect.”
“I don’t like eye contact either, but I don’t think that’s a sign of autism.”
Wanting a clean kitchen is not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!
Getting upset sometimes is not Bi-Polar Disorder!
Simply not liking eye contact does not mean you are autistic!
So for the first two, people are simply repeating cutesy lines that they hear from television. OCD and BPD are not things to take lightly at all. I have friends and family who suffer from these disorders. I was married to someone who was truly bi-polar and let me tell you, I wish it was simply that she got upset with me from time to time. Try she was upset about anything and everything for months at a time, and then she would magically be in love with anything and everything for several weeks.
OCD disorder is not simply wanting something done a certain way. OCD is feeling a compulsion to make sure that something is done in a certain way and having mental and physical symptoms that worsen until you feel as if they have been done in the correct way or order. Think a clean kitchen is OCD? Try cleaning a kitchen 10 times over because you needed to finish in a certain amount of time, doing each step in a specific order, until you are capable of moving on to the next task. For example, I had a friend who would wash his hands while humming the ABC’s, he wanted to finish washing his hands at the very end of the song. Sometimes he would remove his hands a bit too soon or a bit too late and would start the whole process over, it was excruciating to watch him go through this pattern several times over.
No one, at least to my knowledge, associates their autism with only eye contact. In fact for me, eye contact was one of the last things that I realized pointed to a diagnosis for autism. Generally someone will make a statement along those lines when I have tried explaining my symptoms to them. Anyone with autism that has tried to explain exactly what it is will probably understand this fairly well. Since it is in how my brain works, it is nearly impossible to describe my mental functions in a way that seems to make sense to a neurotypical person. It becomes even more excruciating when they respond with a statement like that.
Basically, what I am saying is this, unless you understand what a certain condition or disorder is, you shouldn’t claim that you have this condition or disorder. Imagine these statements…
“Man, some days I just don’t have the energy to get up out of bed, probably cause I’m a little HIV positive.”
“Sometimes I’m a bit immature but other times I’m very serious, it’s my split personality.”
“I was working and I thought you called my name, must be cause I’m a bit schizophrenic.”
Can you imagine anyone pretending to have these ailments? No, then you should be able to see why these other statements are so offensive to people who have these conditions or disorders. So to you people, who might read this post and yet continue to claim these disorders as your own….EAT ME!
I’m getting really annoyed at all of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy’s that I am running into lately. This happens from both atheists and theists and they are equally as infuriating.
A theist might say, “No true christian would ever leave the faith.”
An atheist might say, “No true atheist likes gospel music.”
Well let me tell you something, I did leave the faith and I do still enjoy some of the old gospel songs that I grew up with in church. Neither disqualify me from my former faith or from the fact that I am an atheist now. Let me try to put this in a simple form…
Atheist = Someone who lacks a belief in a god or gods.
Theist = Someone who holds a belief in a god or gods.
I was once a Christian Pentecostal minister who prayed to and believed in God. AKA I was a theist.
I am now someone who lacks a belief in god. AKA I am now an atheist.
Anything else that you try to add to this equation is your own opinion and is absolutely meaningless. It doesn’t make you more of a theist because you haven’t fallen away from the faith. It also doesn’t make you more of an atheist because you dislike gospel music. Anything else is exactly that, something else.
The only true statements that could be made in this manner would be as such:
No true theist doesn’t believe in a god or gods.
No true atheist holds a belief in a god or gods.
Outside of those two simple facts, if you try to add anything else, you are just being an asshole and guess what, you can fucking EAT ME!