navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • ideation

    Great article on suicidal ideation.

    At 27, I’ve settled into a comfortable coexistence with my suicidality. We’ve made peace, or at least a temporary accord negotiated by therapy and medication. It’s still hard sometimes, but not as hard as you might think. What makes it harder is being unable to talk about it freely: the weightiness of the confession, the impossibility of explaining that it both is and isn’t as serious as it sounds. I don’t always want to be alive. Yes, I mean it. No, you shouldn’t be afraid for me. No, I’m not in danger of killing myself right now. Yes, I really mean it.



  • Fight or Flight

    Great post on fight or flight from The Realistic Autistic:

    This reminded me of a theory I read years ago regarding deer, humans, and human society. Deer have two modes: calm and upset. They mainly live in calm, unless predators or some kind of threat occurs. At which point they switch to upset, and fight or flight their way through the situation until they’re out of it. After which they switch back to calm.

    Humans used to work similarly. When threats occurred, we fight/flighted to deal with them and then returned to being calm. The theory goes that as human society developed, we also developed things that register as a threat but can’t be dealt with appropriately using fight/flight. Money problems and angry bosses at work, for example. These situations put us into fight or flight mode, but because they can’t be dealt with so simply, we can get stuck in fight/flight instead of returning to calm.

    The theory posits that this is part of where depression and anxiety come from, and possibly other forms of mental illness as well. Heart disease, poor sleep, and other physical symptoms follow as well. Living “on edge” all the time has costs to your mental and emotional health, after all.



  • God’s Blessing / God’s Wrath

    From 2009 Xanga entry

    God’s blessing is never given by the cupful.  It is always given in more–the cup overflows.  When you are given the blessings of riches and success they always spill over (you find a significant other who benefits).  The whole social system benefits as you produce a net gain on the system.

    Conversely God’s wrath is never given by the cupful.  It is always given in more–the cup overflows.  Mental illness and disability drag the people around you down.  Someone stays single because you are forced out of the dating pool.  You are a net drain on the system, your needs being paid for by loved ones and/or the state.



  • Repeated Albums

    These are the two albums I listen to over and over again.

    Durufle Requiem (Robert Shaw Atlanta SO version) – some of the best classical choral arrangements, there is so much going on that it keeps things fresh.

    A Hidden Wholeness by Luke Brindley – This is an album for orphaned believers if there ever was one.  You really have to pay attention to the lyrics to get the full effect of this album.  A Christian site gave it a good review.  It’s not a Christian album, it’s not a non Christian album, it’s kind of somewhere in the nether regions between the two.  Ultimately it’s about struggling through life without giving up hope, something I do not practice in my own life.



  • poetry time!

    capitalism is an open air prison

    the thing modern psychology and religion hate the most
    is you owning your poor self image
    because this keeps you from renting it from them

    could signs and wonders be decoupled from revelation?
    Prophet Yaweh was able to call specks into the sky
    and he had a bunch of crazy UFO theories on God

    modern psychology likes to guilt those of us with disabilities
    who let our disability define us
    I say “how can’t it define me”
    my disability is the first thing people notice when they see me
    it’s the reason people won’t hire me
    it’s the reason I’m treated like shit in church
    and it’s the reason, in a room, people talk to everyon but me
    (the idea that you get to define you becomes hard to swallow
    when doing so means pushing back against literally EVERYTHING)

    people bemoan the lack of kindness in the world
    while not taking into account the fact that kindness
    and being a winner are often mutually exclusive
    because modern life is very competitive
    and you often have to play dirty to get ahead

    after your heart gets broken
    everything that should go there
    gets rerouted to your brain
    (which makes for a totally different person)

    depression puts your brain in Chinese handcuffs
    the harder you think
    the tighter they get

    hearts are like meat
    the more tender they are
    the more enjoyable they are to devour

    the lower you go
    the more your life resembles war
    your responsibility is to hold territory
    and the rest of the world’s responsibility is to hurt you for doing so

    call me infantile
    but I want my reward NOW
    I don’t trust later

    if the power of religion came from God
    and not belief
    it would sustain you
    even while you were losing your belief

    so let’s be clear
    if the hope God promises to give you never materializes
    you’re on the hook for the sin of despair?



  • Taking On a New Thing

    People tell you to improve your life you need to take on a new thing be it a job, a medication, volunteering, or something else.  What they fail to tell you is if you are on the bottom it is very difficult to impossible to actually quit that new thing you tried.  This is because if you are on the bottom you generally don’t have much control over your life, your handlers have control of it.  It’s like the cars that had their accelerators suck.

    I want to quit my job and my volunteering but I can’t.  I would not have started volunteering if I had known I didn’t have the option to quit.  But when you try things people assure you that you can quit them.  This is a lie, they know if they told you the truth, that you couldn’t quit, you wouldn’t try anything.  So they lie.



  • The easy route is to not forgive

    Following up on my Forgiveness and Indra’s Net post, I think a lot of times forgiveness just makes things more difficult.  I know this is not an opinion that is going to be popular with religion or modern psychology but my experience has been it’s been true.  Wrongs never go away in my mind, particularly ones that have caused the most fallout.  I still try to treat the perpetrators of these wrongs well and this s a lot harder than just cutting them off or treating them like crap.  And this non ill treatment is what’s the hardest.  I think people who are jerks to people who wronged them are generally not rabidly evil, they just don’t want to put forth the effort to take the high road.

    Underlying all of this is a current in neurotypical culture where some things people say are true while others are knee jerk dissembling reactions to hard truths (generally noble lies).  The idea that forgiveness always makes you feel better is one of these noble lies (like money and status aren’t everything for a man).  Forgiveness can really be healing but it can also be wounding and subject the forgiver to increased depression.



  • the DIS in disability

    Often the the DIS in disability grows larger as you get older.

    For me it was obvious because by 16 my vision was too bad to drive so I was suddenly different from everyone else.  At 24 when I was too mentally ill to live on my own I was again different than everyone else (back then there was still a lot of stigma around people living at home).  I never found a real job after that largely due to disability based prejudice.  Failing to live on my own the stigma grows with each passing year.

    Adulthood is no picnic to those of us with disabilities because adulthood itself is marked by milestones like having a car, a job, a place, a community that accepts you, etc..  and a lot of us don’t have any or many of these things.  Childhood has its own pitfalls but for a lot of us it was better (except for those who were bullied all the time).



  • what is this eudemonic pleasure you speak of?

    I don’t feel eudemonic pleasure.  I volunteer a lot because I can’t find paid work and don’t get pleasure from it.  The pleasure I feel is hedonic like when I listen to a good song or are with friends enjoying tea or a chai latte.  I think there are a few reasons for this, first being that I’m on the bottom so any time I help people it’s not happening by my own free will, it’s happening because disability based prejudice is keeping me from fully functioning in society (via getting a job).  Also generally classes that have been oppressed (such as African Americans) get less eudemonic pleasure out of uncompensated labor because it was forced upon them in the past.  The second being I have untreated depression and I think depression (at least as a male) makes you feel your station more at the expense of anything else you could be feeling.  So if you’re volunteering you’re thinking you are on the bottom instead of how much you are benefiting people.  Thirdly I can’t read social cues so when people are grateful it doesn’t often reach me.

    Society likes to denigrate people who only feel hedonic pleasure labeling them as selfish and entitled.  I don’t know what to say to that other than a lot of times it is something out of our control.