The Diary Of My Mind

The Internet and Communication

I honestly don’t know what I would do without the internet. I remember the very first time I got online. I was around twelve years old and the school had just gotten hooked up with it. A new and wonderful world was opened to me. I could research absolutely any topic that I wanted and learn absolutely anything.  For someone who had read my grandmother’s entire encyclopedia collection, it was quite the experience to find out all that was still out there that I could learn.

However it wasn’t until we got the internet at home that my world was actually completely opened. Chat rooms and message boards opened up a way for me to communicate that was nearly impossible for me in a face to face fashion. To this day I am still far better at expressing myself on-line than I am in any fashion off-line.

This is a point that I want to make. Since starting this blog, I’ve had numerous people tell me how much better I communicate and express my feelings than other people on the spectrum that they personally know.  I appreciate their enjoyment of my writing but at the same time I feel like maybe they are getting the wrong picture. Maybe some day I will make a video of myself speaking and then it will be far easier to understand.

I speak in a very monotone voice, my mannerisms and ways of speaking are broken and when stressed I have a stutter that bothers me greatly. People have called me emotionless and cold my entire life, I don’t tend to get excited in my speaking and many times I have been called boring.

I write this to let you know that the internet has provided me with an ability to speak and communicate that I wouldn’t otherwise have in the outside world. I met the love of my life on-line and most of the friends that I have come through the internet. Conversations on-line are far easier to keep track of, if I ever misunderstand something I can simply go back and read it again. Writing on-line also comes with the wonderful ability to edit what I have said, fix issues that may exist, and re-word things in a way that is far more acceptable for conversation.

So thank you for complimenting my writing skill, it is something that I have worked on a great deal over the years. I love to write and I love to read your comments and e-mails. My only hope is that you don’t see my ease of writing and think that I am far more advanced than those people on the spectrum that you know in the outside world, your friends and your family. I believe if you ask many people who are on the spectrum they will say the same thing as I have about communication and writing on-line versus communication and speaking off-line.

I look forward to your comments and questions. Thank you so much for reading!

 

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The Diary Of My Mind

Sometimes I Wonder….

I often wonder if I would be different today if i had been diagnosed as a child. I wonder this for several reasons…

I have talked with many people over the last few years, some with an early diagnosis and others with a late diagnosis.  From this I gather more questions about myself.  I wonder how my parents would have been? Would they have treated me differently? I assume my father would have been relatively the same but I think my mother would have been far different. She was already a helicopter mom but would have been ten times worse if she had known I had autism as a child.

Something else that I’ve considered is that fact that not knowing that I had autism forced me throughout life to come up with my own strategies at coping with life. Would I have used my autism as an excuse for not challenging myself to the fullest? I really don’t know the answer to that question.

At this point I also wonder about why there is such a huge deal about labels. I seem to notice from the many blogs I read that people with ASD will call themself an autistic person, while the blogs written by parents prefer to say child with autism. It seems to me that there is almost a sense of shame in the people who prefer the “child with autism” label. I don’t know if this is true or not but it seems to add even more stigma to the word than it attempts to take away.

Life is confusing at times. Maybe it would have been less confusing if I had known about my diagnosis at an earlier age, but maybe not. Would I have been as upset about being different if I had known why I was so different? To these questions I also have no answers, because I can’t put myself in that state of mind.

This brings me to my next item, I hate not being able to figure out the answer to things. I want to be able to just google or pick up a book and understand everything I need to know, but matters of my own mind are far more complicated. Sometimes I love the way my brain works and sometimes I hate the way my brain works. I hate how I get overwhelmed and shut down, but I love the peaceful calm that I feel when a shut down occurs. I love that I can remain silent for hours on end without ever feeling the need to break the silence.

Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts. I’m always told to tell people I am sorry if I offend them, even though I’m not really sorry…once again something I just don’t understand. Is it better to tell someone a lie than for them to be hurt by something I said, isn’t lying hurtful too? Maybe some things I will never understand and I guess that is supposed to be ok, even though it bugs the hell out of me.

 

Something Different Saturdays

Something Different Saturday #6: Sex

For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.

So for today’s article I’d like to talk about one of the most taboo topics in all of christianity, something so wrong and evil that everyone who is alive today is the result of it. That topic is of course sex, intercourse, the horizontal polka, fucking, screwing, making love, and doing it.

So first off let’s try and figure out exactly why sex is so sinful and taboo. In the book of Genesis we find that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they saw that they were naked and were ashamed.  Yet it doesn’t mention the sex act whatsoever. However many modern fundamentalist christians will point to this passage as a condemnation of sexual intercourse without ever knowing why. They will make broad assumptions to prove this point, stating that eve had sex with the serpent, or that the fruit was actually sodomy, but nothing in the Bible points to this. These are nothing more than explanations of original sin doctrine that have been passed down since at least the time of Augustine.

“Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.” – St Augustine

To Augustine, sex was seen as an act associated with the downfall of man. He taught that god excused sex between married couples but only so far as for reproductive purposes. Sex for the purpose of fun and enjoyment was seen as incredibly sinful. Note that in the Catholic church not much has really changed in this regard, their hatred towards any form of contraception is the evidence that their ideals about sex are still firmly centered around reproduction.

The Protestant church has their own mascot in the form of Martin Luther.

“Intercourse is never without sin; but God excuses it by his grace because the estate of marriage is his work.”

Once again we see that god only excuses sex in regards to the reproductive faculties of marriage. So is it any wonder that these beliefs have been passed down through the ages in one form or another? Perhaps you would believe that christians themselves are chaste individuals who have sex far less frequently than the rest of the world yet this is not what we find in reality.

People, regardless of if they are Christians or not are having sex with one another with great regularity.  Teenagers of parents who teach an abstinence only style of sex education are much more likely to get pregnant by having unsafe sex, most of these being from the faith community. So then if this is the case then why do Christians still regard sex with such shame?

Homosexual relations are completely shunned by many denominations and churches within christianity. We can point to scriptures that actually condemn such acts, yet there is no condemnation for sex in general. I am not saying that homosexuality is wrong, I am simply saying there is a biblical basis for those who speak out against it. Homosexuality is completely natural, exists throughout the animal kingdom and should not be shunned whatsoever.

From my own opinion, the only reason that sex is regarded with such shame is that generation after generation, since early christianity, have been told to view the sex act with shame. Today, folks no longer actually have any idea why this began and yet the meme continues on down through the years. I have my own assumptions as to why this was originally promoted. The following should be taken as opinion and not as a statement of fact.

Sex creates a euphoric feeling, if it’s good, you may seem to reach heights of pleasure unfound in the rest of the world. Sex is also fun and cheap for the most part. It is something that people can enjoy equally from the richest to the poorest of people. Sex can provide feelings of comfort, security, intimacy, joy, desire, etc… You might also note that the church promotes itself as the only true source of these experiences. Why would anyone want to pay tithes, offerings, and spend years in service to the church if they can get the same experiences in a safer and much cheaper way?

So the next question is, what effect has the churches feelings on sex had in the real world? Already mentioned is the high number of teen pregnancies in the faith community, but much more than that is found when you look deeper. Having a celibate priest system in the Catholic church has led to numerous issues which we all know very well. As Christopher Hitchens would have put it, “No Child’s Behind Left.”

Just as serious are the effects of sexual repression in the psyche. When sexual urges are repressed, they have a tendency to come out in violent and sudden ways. Men begin to view women as the enemy, carrying around with them a pleasure trove that is incredibly sinful. Women face the fear of rape on a daily basis, many times due to sexually repressed men acting out in a dangerous and unsafe fashion. Would these have still occurred if religion didn’t stand so strongly in objection to safe and consensual sex?

The fact that the church has promoted marriage as an excuse for couples to have intercourse has led many couples to marry when they are not actually compatible. Now coupled with the guilt of a possible divorce, these couples continue to procreate, and in many times abuse the children of this procreation. A child born into an unloving home is much more likely to have a rough life, filled with the same mistakes that their parents made. They are more likely to have drug and alcohol abuse issues, as well as even more mental health issues.

To try to end on a happier note. I find the christian churches stance against sodomy to be quite funny. Not due to the prohibition, but due to the fact that almost no one in the christian church understands what sodomy actually is. Sodomy, according to the Hebrews that condemned it, was any sexual act outside of vaginal procreation.  So if you are against sodomy, make sure you aren’t enjoying any oral sex, no hand jobs, no heavy petting, or toys. Vaginal sex in the missionary position is all you get.

Fun Fact: It might come to some people’s surprise that every single bible purchased today comes complete with a softcore porn story.