The last few weeks have seen an upsurge in passionate posts, all across the board. Twitter lighting up like an electrical storm. The blogosphere seeing more posts. And always the news cycles. Always that.
It . is . so . tiring…
And I wonder, what’s the point of it all?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but to me, it’s all about learning to listen. Really hearing what others have to say, regardless of how I feel about it. Really understanding where they’re coming from. Even if I disagree and believe their words and actions are hurtful, nobody does or says stuff for no reason. And I wonder what pain, what disappointment, what difficulty, has brought them to that point.
It all seems very academic to me, in some ways. A lot of the folks I’m observing, I will never meet in person (and I don’t want to, to be honest). I don’t engage with them personally, unless I have to. I avoid them – and it’s easy for me to do, because I’m definitely autistic in so many ways, including social. Self-referencing. Self-accompanying. Self-focused.
But at the same time, it’s important to me, to try to put myself in their shoes… to understand the source of their thoughts and actions. And to use my own pain and discomfort and sadness as a springboard to understanding theirs.
Or understanding anyone’s really.
At this moment, there are countless individuals in the world who are suffering terribly. They feel alone. They are overwhelmed. They don’t see a way out. And the world isn’t offering them many shreds of hope. They fear for their lives, for their families’ lives, for their other loved-ones. And they despair. Constantly.
I am not in that sort of situation, myself. I shift in and out of it, with the past several weeks being more trying than most in recent memory. I find myself in a funk. But that’s inside my head and in my biochemistry, not in the world around me. Outside, the world is not trying to kill me. It’s not trying to wipe me from the face of the earth.
… oh, wait – sorry, yes it is. In certain parts of the world, people very much want to eradicate people like me. Autistic. Queer. Non-conforming.
I do live in a world like that — though the threats are less overt (and nicely portrayed as respectable and “relatable”, like a certain M. Pence).
And in times like this, I wonder just how much longer I’ll be able to hold out.
And I wonder… as I grow older, and I lose more and more of my connections with people (they die or move away, and I don’t replace them, because I just don’t have the energy or time), what will become of me? Who will know about me? Who will care? Who will pay any attention to whether I live or die.
I’m an autistic, childless woman/lesbian without a husband, well past my childbearing years, and completely lacking in the inclination to inspire spontaneous erections in the men around me. I don’t have a lot of money. I’m not an enthusiastic consumer. I don’t keep up on the latest trends, and I don’t care what other people think about me (other than whether or not they pose a danger to me). Being autistic sets me on the outskirts of society — voluntarily and also by default — where non-autistic people glance askance at me, wondering “what’s up with that one?”
Who the hell cares about me?
What purpose can I possibly serve? What’s the point of my existence?
Well, I don’t know about what others think, but I serve a purpose for myself. And the point is… well, just being and doing what and who I am.
And in times like this — probably for the rest of the year — I need to really focus on that. I have a number of projects going on that are near to me, and I need to really pour my attention and passion into them. Because they are what make me feel fully alive. They are what remind me that Yes, I exist, and Yes, I matter. I make things, and those things are a little like my children. And they bring me tremendous joy, when the rest of my world is sinking into a pit.
It’s noontime. It’s time to eat lunch.
I’ve finished the major part of my Sunday morning to-do list, and now it’s time to feed myself.
Day’s like this, when I am feeling so terribly low, that’s the best I can expect — and do — for myself. Just to take care. And be.
Oh, and go back to bed. To read something absurd. Something deliciously absurd.