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  • Category Archives Aspie Specific
  • Noble Lies

    One of the issues with those on the spectrum (including myself) is taking society’s noble lies at face value.  This has been a cause of consternation in my life.

    One of the noble lies I believed was that friendships would last forever (in some capacity) if both parties were close enough at a certain point in their life.  Of course I lost my closest friend from college to low status-itus.  I could have saved myself a lot of grief if someone had gotten it through my skull that most of the idealistic things people say are aspirational rather than actual.  Noble lies are a way for a culture to save face while not changing things structurally in any meaningful way.

    For example the idea you have innate worth.  Pretty people didn’t like the idea that they were just getting by on their looks so they invented the idea that everyone had worth regardless of looks.  Of course if a noble lie is true for you (you happen to be pretty) then it is easy to believe and transmit.  But when you are on the bottom (like a good portion of those on the spectrum are) all the noble lies are definitely lies.  You must keep frame of reference in mind because a noble lie is often true to the person telling it so they are behaving in a rational manner.

    The bullshit of noble lies are like bacteria in your gut, some is needed to digest everything else.  However those of us on the spectrum need extra help teasing out aspirational beliefs from the ones that actually hold true.



  • 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.



  • 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).



  • 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.