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  • Category Archives Aspie Specific
  • just doesn’t work like that

    Some of the NT things that just don’t work for me:

    I’ll Sleep On It
    Most people generally get clarity on a subject after sleeping on it.  With me it’s just the opposite.  I had a decision I had to make and I slept on it and I was less sure the next day.  I generally have a very utilitarian take on it.  I balance the pleasure of the sin against the pain of the punishment.  Lately I’ve been so stressed that when I wake up I’m ready to go to bed.  I am trying to cut things out of my life but unfortunately I don’t have any power in my life because I am in the hands of my handlers.

    Trust Your Gut
    This is also a mystery to me.  My “gut” has told me so many things that have turned out to be patently false that what it is is obviously not what an NT would have.  Also with regard to religion a lot of “God’s guidance” comes down to trusting your intuition.  I don’t have reliable intuition so times when I was a Christian I just floundered.

    The Room Will Warm Up to You
    I have been told that in order for church people to accept me I just have to show up week after week.  Of course that does not work for me as demonstrated multiple times.  However for NT’s without disabilities that is socialization works.  They can say, “the people in this room will warm up to you eventually” because they want to string you along.  When the people don’t warm up to you it is framed as your fault for not having “social skills”.



  • Stigma Around Pointing Out the Obvious

    One of the things in the NT world is there is blow back for pointing out the obvious.  For example:

    “Death is nothing to us. When we exist, death is not; and when death exists, we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain” – Epicurus

    An after life is an NT thing, people on the spectrum generally only believe in things that have been shown to be true by scientific evidence.  My grandma just died and I’d like to think she is in heaven but you know what, heaven is a fantasy.  That doesn’t mean that people don’t have the capacity to believe it is real.  It’s just that that takes faith which I do not have.  If there is no evidence for something, it’s not true.  The thing is, if I pointed this out to my immediate and extended family who are mostly all Christian, they would have a fit.  I think this is because they know deep down that faith is the only thing keeping their belief in heaven intact.  If they were to let their guard down and lose this faith then they would be back to where I am believing only in things that have been shown to be true by scientific evidence.

    The other thing I wish people would have let me know that I would never get a job above a janitor job because of my visible visual impairment physical disability.  My dad did mention this once in 2002 after me talking to him for a long time but I didn’t take it to heart.  The thing about unwritten rules is NT’s want the world to appear more just than it really is so when someone outs some unwritten rules that show it to be less just, they are not looked kindly upon.  If I would have known I could never get a job because of my thick glasses I would have invested my time and energy elsewhere.  No point in learning programming if you aren’t going to be able to get a job in it due to a disability.



  • Disability… in Slow Motion

    Pretend intelligence is smartphone quality.  The better quality the smart phone the faster frames per second it can record.  So for example you can do super slow motion shots of people jumping off the diving board with the most expensive phones.  Now bring it back to intelligence, the smarter you are the more information you can process in the same amount of time.  So you could say a smart person trusting their “instinct” is processing a huge amount of information on the fly.

    So what does this have to do with disability?  Well, unlike racial prejudice, disability based prejudice doesn’t go down as much as IQ goes up.  I think this is because disability introduces some additional negativity and fries people’s sacred cows on the griddle.  During the process of encountering a person with a disability, intelligent people are unconsciously thinking things like the below.  It’s kind of like a row of balloons being popped in this OK Go Video.

    • I have innate worth.  A person with a disability really puts to the test the idea that everyone has innate worth which deep down most people know is a lie.  But this person is shoving this lie in your face by showing you a test case of someone who, if innate worth were true, you would think would be worth something.  But in acknowledging this individual’s worthlessness you acknowledge that your worth is based on function and nothing more.  But this is not something you appreciate being shoved in your face.
    • I can express myself in any way I choose and still be accepted.  Individuals with disabilities also test the limits of free expression.  What you find is that just like tan skin is tolerated but only if you’re not a minority, disability is only accepted if it is seen as temporary.  So for example if you have a cast on your arm but are expected to heal people will treat you well but if there is something wrong with you they perceive to be permanent then they won’t.  “You do you” only applies to things that aren’t irreversible (for example a funky hairdo).  As an individual with a disability you understand how life giving conformity is and see through the “be yourself” ruse normal people are never required to.
    • I want to bring children into this world.  Almost everyone becomes a temporary antinatalist (someone who thinks procreating is cruel) when they encounter an individual with a disability.  I always thought “I wish you were never born” was communicated through disability based prejudice (as opposed to race based prejudice which is “I wish you’d die”). Disability reminds people that their life, on balance, could contain way more suffering than joy. And why would you bring anyone into this world if that was what was waiting for them? Of course after the encounter with an individual with a disability ends instead of moving towards antinatalism these people project their negativity on that individual. And why not? Cognitive dissonance is experienced as emotional pain by most people.
    • Medical science can fix people good enough to function as good as new in society.  As an individual with a disability I have gotten this one a few times.  On a diet of seeing shiny new smartphones we’ve been brought up on this narrative that science is going to fix everything which is far from the case.  For both my disability and mental illness I’m basically using treatments that were invented in the 90’s.  And I’m the lucky one, for others there are even less treatment or none at all.
    • God can heal people.  People of faith (particularly Charistmatic Christians) do not like encountering individuals with disabilities because they demonstrate God’s inaction in action.  A question mark is an enemy of most people of faith and a question that gets brought up is, “what does God really promise?”.  If nothing, is the faith really worth it?


  • moated

    Most people are moated, particularly those society deems worth engaging.  This means there are barriers to getting into their life and often these barriers are insurmountable.  I have been in situations including a college surrounded by people society deemed worth engaging and it was generally useless trying to get into their lives.  It’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.  The only people that don’t seem to be moated are people on the spectrum and a subset of those who struggle with mental illness.

    Of course no one tells you this fact.  This is because it is one of the unwritten rules society is ashamed of.



  • Authenticity, an Existential Threat to Christianity

    I think another reason a lot of people on the spectrum (including myself) are not Christian is we often don’t have the social skills to know what should be said only in private verses what can be said in public.  Even if we do know this we had to learn it by intentional cognitive effort, it wasn’t something we could ascertain on auto pilot.  As a result we consider public and private information on equal footing where neurotypicals have an easier time of brushing the private things under the rug.

    So that brings me to Christianity.  The problem with Christianity (particularly the Americanized version which God promises certain things, principally prosperity or at least that your life would make some kind of sense) is it can only survive in an environment where its successes are lauded but its failures are swept under the rug (because we don’t talk about them).  Mental illness (God telling people to do crazy stuff), early death, chronic conditions, no experience of the divine whatsoever, vocational failure, etc.. are all things one can’t bring up in public.  Church has the feeling of Instagram where we present our highlight reel while keeping the behind the scenes as tight of a secret as possible.

    I think one of the reasons millennials are leaving religion in droves is because of their authenticity.  They’re willing to ask 3am questions at 8pm.  To them authenticity is truth, they don’t want to subscribe to some life script that feels too much like a real life version of social media.  They already have an Instagram.



  • Christianity takes…

    Intuition: What is this intuition you speak of?  My intuition is as good as the foam package it came in.  Over and over trusting people, including good friends and just getting my head handed to me.  And of course in social situations being awkward as heck.  I don’t think a lot of people on the spectrum have intuition, I think intuition is largely an NT thing.  Intuition being the ability to size up a situation at a moment’s notice.  I don’t think the autistic brain works that way, at least mine doesn’t.  Christianity takes intuition because so much of “God’s guidance” is just what non religious people would call trusting your gut.  If you are like me and “trusting your gut” has gotten you no where then your faith is going to suffer (as mine did).

    Imagination: Atheists say God is imaginary.  They have a point.  Engaging a god takes a robust imagination which modern life with all its instant entertainment screens works against.  The way church services are designed is to point to a world beyond the one we see here, but without imagination all one sees are the props.  Loss of make believe makes one worse off faith wise than almost any other loss.  Additionally the loss of prophetic imagination leaves one unable to picture a world better than the one one finds them self in.  A lot of the good in Christianity has come about by people imagining a better world and fighting toward that end.  Without imagination it’s harder to fight because the reward is not in front of your face (like how the rest of modern life works).

    Patience: I always thought that if Jesus could make things go faster, the church would be packed with millennials.  Fast is expected of us and we need a higher power that can make things go faster.  In modern life waiting is almost always a negative and a sign that you are on the wrong side of an imbalance of power (for example waiting for someone late at a party).  There is also the issue that often things come either instantly or not at all because there is not much trust in the system.  Wait implies hope and trust.  Christianity asks one to trust and wait on God.  These things are counter cultural. People (including church people) are looking for results in your life right now, not in “the fullness of time”.

    Attention: We are distracted by all our screens and other things.  But Christianity is like a hard to read book, it demands our full attention.  But often we don’t have full attention to give to anyone or anything.  Additionally faith is communal property and authentic relationships require people paying their full bandwidth of attention to each other.  That means putting the smart phone down and being present in conversations and tasks.

    Social Skills: The same social skills needed to navigate through life are needed to conduct conversations with a deity.  This puts people on the spectrum at a severe disadvantage because often talking to God is just seen as talking to ourselves (which a lot of us do).  Also to get accepted in a church one needs a certain amount of social skills, sometimes even more so than the secular world.



  • Forgiveness is an NT construct

    Forgiveness is like the horizon.  Everyone says it exists but you can never get there.  Forgiveness is like lotto winnings.  I remember being at a gas station and there was a LED ticker denoting winnings in towns around us.  And we hear about the big wins in the news.  What this sets up is we think lotto winnings happen more than they actually do.  The same goes for forgiveness.  We are taught from the cradle that it exists and, especially with Christian upbringing, read and hear about it all the time.  So it makes it seem like it happens a lot more than it actually does.  Which is bad because we think we can wrong and be forgiven when this is usually a lie.

    As for me people have done things to me that have ruined my life and I don’t have the capacity to forgive, I can treat them cordially but I can’t change my emotions around what happened.  Of course therapists would want to guilt me for not being able to let go, because guilt is like the jackhammer you pull out when none of your other manipulative tools have worked.  You wrong me, the wrong stays in my muscle memory for future dealings with you.  You can label me bitter and angry (which implies I am culpable for my emotions which I have little to no control over).

    For the NT world I would offer the advice, “don’t fetishize and romanticize forgiveness and pretend it happens more than it actually does”.  I have found (particularly looking at my brother’s divorce) that the words you say are either water off their back or mercury in the blood (remaining in them indefinitely).  Everyone opines about forgiveness but, especially for people struggling with depression, damage of words and actions is often permanent (because people struggling with depression often don’t have control what pops and remains in their mind so your wrong’s effect is amplified).

    Also stop demonizing people like me who say forgiveness is a farce.  Because more often than not, it is.



  • life

    In a calculus proof the outcome is subject to the laws of mathematics.  Christianity is not like that.  Whether Christianity is true is itself incarnational.   The only way you show it to be true or false is the way you live your life.  This is why youth directors and even the Jars of Clay are dead on people listening to Nine Inch Nails.  Because Trent Reznor is such a powerful voice who earnestly sought God and found nothing.  This is why his first two albums are the ones Christians like the least.  Pretty Hate Machine in particular is all about apostasy.

    As for me I have earnestly sought God and found nothing.  And gotten handily rejected by the church.  And I am a pretty virtuous person.  People on the spectrum have much higher rates of non religiosity than the general population.  We don’t have the capacity to concoct God!  The fact that God could just be all in your head is an affront to Christians.  But if Christianity were really true wouldn’t the people who couldn’t concoct God be the ones that found him the most easily instead of the least easily?

    As I have gotten older I’ve lost the parts of myself I would need to exist to be faith filled.  That doesn’t mean God doesn’t talk to me, it’s just that the conversations normally revolve around wanting me to commit suicide.