bookmark_border“I don’t care how you were raised, unlearn that shit”

So said an idiotic Instagram post that I had the misfortune of encountering.

“Being from another generation or culture isn’t an excuse for prejudice,” the self-righteous person pontificated in the caption.

My question is: why are other people’s opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives considered “shit” in the eyes of this intolerant and self-righteous person?

How ironic that in the very same post that this person condemns prejudice, they call other people’s perspectives “shit.”

Not realizing that considering other people’s perspectives to be “shit” is the epitome of prejudice.

In reality, the person who made this post is the one who needs to unlearn shit, because they are the one expressing intolerance of, and contempt for, other people.

If this person actually cared about combatting prejudice, the best way to start doing so would be by looking in the mirror.

If this person actually cared about combatting prejudice, they would be making an effort to understand and have empathy for others’ perspectives, rather than contemptuously dismissing those perspectives as “shit” that needs to be “unlearned.”

bookmark_borderVictory for Ian Smith

I’m a bit late with this update, but Ian Smith, the brave gym owner in New Jersey who defied the oppressive stay-at-home orders back at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, has won a complete victory in court. All 80+ charges that were filed against him for the “crime” of re-opening his gym – including violation of a governor’s order, public nuisance, disturbing the peace, and operating without a license – were dismissed with prejudice.

Read Ian’s full statement in his Instagram post here and below:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness)

Gateway Pundit covered the news, and Ian thanked them for accurately quoting him in this Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness)

As you can see, Ian has a unique personality and doesn’t pull any punches in his posts. Some people might criticize him for his combative style, but in my opinion he is 100% right. It is Ian Smith, and not Phil Murphy, who holds the moral high ground in this situation. Phil Murphy presumed that he had the right to dictate for other people what risks they should be allowed to take in their lives. While Ian Smith, on the other hand, stood up for the right of each person to make their own decision.

And he made a great observation in this post:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness)

“The victory is for all of us. It’s a victory for sanity in an insane world. So as happy you are for us, celebrate for yourselves as well. The more of these small victories we get, the better the bigger picture gets for all of us.”

Truer words have never been said.

In my opinion, Ian Smith is nothing short of a hero. 

bookmark_borderOveranalyzing the pro-Palestine posters in Malden

Lately, I have been seeing various pro-Palestine posters and stickers taped to stop signs and streetlights around my town. One such example is the below poster, which was displayed at the pond near my house:

The first thing that stood out to me upon reading the poster was that the pro-Palestine groups or individuals who put this up poster chose, in arguing against using tax dollars to fund Israel’s weapons, to list different expenses that the tax dollars could be spent on instead, rather than arguing that the tax dollars simply be returned to the people from whom they were taken.

I guess there is nothing wrong with providing households with public housing or solar electricity, as long as the selection process is fair. Same with elementary school teachers and N95 masks.

But I’m puzzled that the flyer mentions specifically that 326 children could be provided with healthcare. Why isn’t providing adults with health services considered a worthy goal? Health services are something that apply to all ages equally, after all.

And advocating that tax money be used to cancel the student loan debt of 24 people is even more problematic. Canceling student loan debt is discriminatory and unfair. People made sacrifices to save up for college under the assumption that if they didn’t, they would have to take out loans and pay the money back. When loan debt is canceled, people who saved up are stuck having paid for college, while those who chose not to save are rewarded by having college made free. You simply cannot make a product free after some people have already paid for it, because that makes the product free for some people and not others. I would much rather see tax money spent on weapons for Israel, or almost anything for that matter, than this. 

As I alluded to earlier, the best argument against spending $939,024 on Israel’s weapons is the fact that the government could instead simply return this money to taxpayers, or even better, not collect it in the first place. This solution is the simplest and fairest one. Allowing people to keep more of their own money benefits everyone, not just politically favored demographic categories. Why doesn’t the poster advocate for this instead?

Probably because benefiting politically favored demographic categories is exactly what the left values. 

To end this post on a somewhat happy note, it seems that another Malden resident isn’t a fan of the pro-Palestine posters either. This is what happened to an identical poster on a nearby light post:

bookmark_borderApril Ajoy is a bully

I came across the below Instagram post which, to put it bluntly, really pisses me off:

I am not sure what Ajoy means by “temper tantrums.” It does not constitute a “temper tantrum” for people to express a view that differs from her own. Evangelicals may be opposed to pride month, and may indeed be expressing that opposition. They may even be expressing their opposition in a vehement and passionate manner. But expressing opposition to something, no matter how vehemently or passionately, does not constitute a “temper tantrum.”

It’s ironic that Ajoy ends her post by writing, “You’re just a bully,” because in reality, it is Ajoy who is the bully. It is the epitome of bullying to characterize beliefs that differ from one’s own as “temper tantrums.”

If Ajoy disagrees with the views of evangelicals regarding pride month, then she needs to actually argue against those views, rather than insulting, ridiculing, and dismissing those views as “temper tantrums.”

A differing perspective is a differing perspective, not a “temper tantrum.”

Making things even worse, the comments on Ajoy’s post anger me as much as the post itself.

“They eat pork and then hate on LGBT people,” writes a stuck-up, contemptuous jerk called downtoearthqueen. “They literally pick and choose which OT laws they believe Jesus fulfilled.”

Well, excuse me for breathing. I absolutely despise this contemptuous use of the word “they,” which is ubiquitous in posts and comments from people on the left-hand side of the political spectrum. This usage indicates that the person views people who are different from them as “less-than,” as things to gossip about and analyze, as opposed to actual people with thoughts and feelings. It is infuriating and enraging.

A commentator named Sandi Joy repeats the same infuriating use of the word “they” when she asks “that they stop using Veterans as a pawn in their bigotry.” And then she ridicules people whose views differ from hers with the infantile “OuR vEtErANs OnLy GeT oNe DaY” and “trooooops.”

What is so incredibly infuriating about Ajoy’s post and the comments on it, is not the views themselves (although these are certainly wrong), but rather the way in which Ajoy and the commentators express their views. Instead of simply expressing their perspectives, they express contempt towards those who feel differently. Instead of making counterarguments, they mock and ridicule. Enough already. This behavior hurtful and mean. And then, making things even worse, these very same people, in the same breath that they express contempt towards people who are different from them, claim that the targets of their contempt are bullies. Not realizing that the truth is the exact opposite. Not realizing that in reality, the bullies are themselves.

In conclusion:

If you characterize other people’s perspectives as “temper tantrums,” you are a bully.

If you treat other people as objects to gossip about and analyze – “they” do this, “they” do that – you are a bully.

If you caricature other people’s opinions with the puerile alternation between capital and lowercase letters and deliberate misspellings of words, you are a bully.

No, April. Evangelicals are not bullies. It is you and your mindless, sycophantic followers who are bullies.

P.S. I have no idea what you are “tired” about, given that your beliefs are shared by the entire political establishment, media establishment, and all major sports teams, companies, and brands. It is posts like yours that make me exasperated, demoralized, mentally exhausted, and, yes, tired. You have nothing to be tired about. I do.

bookmark_borderFour years ago today…

Four years ago today, a sequence of events began, which changed my life completely.

Over the past four years, I’ve experienced unimaginable pain. Pain more excruciating than I thought was even possible for a person to feel. Pain so overwhelming that for the first few months I was reeling, in shock, unable to truly comprehend what was happening or to find adequate words to express how I felt about it. Pain that will take a lifetime to fully process. The events of the past four years have made the world a worse place to a degree so enormous that it is still not fully comprehensible. For a large percentage of this time, I believed that suicide was the best option, given the extent to which the things that make life worth living have been destroyed.

The BLM movement, the “racial reckoning,” the push for racial justice, the statue takedown movement, DEI, political correctness, “woke” ideology…. whatever term one uses, this movement and this ideology did not originate on this date four years ago, but they did rise to power and prominence. What happened four years ago enabled this ideology to become mainstream, to dominate our society, to become the norm. And make no mistake: it is an ideology of authoritarianism and intolerance that has inflicted tremendous harm.

This movement claims to be all about diversity, when in reality it is waging a cruel and brutal campaign to obliterate from the world all forms of diversity that actually matter.

This movement claims to value inclusion, at the same time that it calls for anyone who is different from the norm to be attacked, condemned, and exiled from society.

This movement claims to strive for equity, when in reality it has perpetrated injustices so egregious that they shock the conscience.

This movement claims to fight for the oppressed, yet it itself is the cause of oppression.

This movement claims to help marginalized people, while stomping on the faces of those who are truly marginalized.

This movement insults and shames me for allegedly having “privilege,” when its adherents are the ones who actually hold privilege in our society.

This movement condemns people who have done nothing wrong for allegedly “causing harm,” when its adherents are the ones causing horrific, agonizing, and indescribable pain.

This movement lectures people about empathy, at the same time as it itself demonstrates appalling lack of empathy.

Black Lives Matter, people chanted in the streets, repeated mindlessly in their social media posts, and pontificated in self-righteous press releases. But what about my life? Why does my life not seem to matter in the eyes of society?

People pontificate about “the harm done,” but what about the harm done to me? Why does that not seem to matter in the eyes of society?

It boggles the mind that a movement and ideology could portray itself as, and be perceived as, something so much the opposite of what it actually is.

Because this movement and ideology are profoundly immoral. This movement has inflicted immense harm on the people who deserve it the least. Its ideology is cruel, intolerant, destructive, totalitarian, and completely lacking in empathy. At its core, this movement and ideology are about compliance and conformity, about obliterating all meaningful diversity from the world, about condemning and destroying anyone who dares to be different, to challenge authority, or to diverge from social norms in any way. That is why underdogs and rebels are its targets. This movement is about awarding further benefits to those who are already the best-off in our society, providing further validation to those who need it the least, and inflicting further hurt on those who are already facing the most significant challenges, struggles, and difficulties. This movement’s rise to power has been, by far, the worst thing that has happened in the history of the world. Its adherents do not hold the moral high ground.

But the events of the past four years have also caused me to realize what matters. For too long I had been spending my time and energy on things that are not important, things that I felt I had no choice but to do, because other people expected them of me. But now I have realized that historical figures are the true purpose of life. This does not make the atrocities that have been committed any less atrocious… but I have found a meaning and purpose that I did not have before. The historical figures will live on through me. I will continue to share my perspective, because despite what our society says, it is just as valid and correct as anyone else’s. I will stand up for the historical figures and for myself. I will do whatever I can to honor them and bring them justice.

bookmark_borderUnjustified and baseless belligerence

I recently saw a social media post that said: 

“I hate when people say autism doesn’t have a look. Cause for many of us, we look autistic… Stop trying to erase visibly autistic people.”

The post listed things such as flapping hands, stomping feet, screaming loudly, and vocal stimming as attributes that make a person allegedly look autistic.

There is a problem with this logic. The things listed in the post, although characteristic of autism, don’t have anything to do with a person’s look. The things listed are behaviors and mannerisms, not attributes of a person’s appearance. 

A person’s look refers to attributes such as hair color, hair length, hair texture, eye color, skin color, height, build, etc. A person’s behaviors and mannerisms, such as flapping hands, stomping feet, screaming loudly, and vocal stimming, are not part of their look, per se. 

So yes, it’s absolutely true that there are behaviors and mannerisms associated with autistic people. Autism, by definition, is a collection of traits, and some of these traits have external manifestations. It’s also true that autistic people vary in their ability and willingness to hide (“mask”) their traits by refraining from the associated behaviors and mannerisms.

But this is an entirely separate thing from a person’s “look.” 

Some people act, and behave, autistically. Some people have behaviors and mannerisms that make them obviously autistic. But that’s not the same thing as looking autistic. Autistic people can have any hair color, hair length, hair texture, eye color, skin color, height, or build. Therefore, contrary to what is claimed in the post, autism does not, in fact, have a look

Honestly, posts like this make me angry and exemplify what is wrong with the online autistic community. This post is problematic not just because it is completely false and based on an incorrect understanding of what words mean, but also because of its belligerence and nastiness.

The person who made this post is literally expressing hate towards people who use the word “look” correctly by claiming, correctly, that autism does not have a look. The person who made this post is accusing others of “trying to erase visibly autistic people,” when all we are doing is using words correctly.

Using words correctly, as opposed to incorrectly, does not constitute erasing anyone’s existence, and it does not make a person deserving of hate. The belligerence and nastiness expressed in this post have no justification, because they are aimed at people who have done nothing wrong whatsoever. 

Posts like this are not harmless, not merely illogical and wrong. They inflict pain on innocent people. Even though this post was not addressed to me specifically, it hurts to be subjected to hate and false accusations merely for using words correctly. It hurts that the autistic community is filled with so much unjustified and baseless belligerence, directed towards people who have done nothing to deserve it.

bookmark_borderA small reversal in the trend of intolerance: Confederate school names restored!

A sliver of good news that gives me hope in these dark times: two schools in Virginia have restored Confederate school names!

Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School (named for Turner Ashby and Robert E. Lee) had been renamed to Mountain View High School and Honey Run Elementary School during the nationwide war against people who are different that began following the death of George Floyd. (Waging a war against people who are different in response to a cop killing a person who happens to be black is about as logical as it sounds.) But now, in a triumph for true inclusion, diversity, and human decency, the school board has voted to change the names back!

This is fantastic news. This is a victory for all people who are different from the norm, like me, because Confederate place names, holidays, statues, and monuments are symbols of inclusion and acceptance of people who are different. The restored school names send a message of inclusion and acceptance of students who are different. They make a statement that it is okay to be different. They send the message that students who have trouble fitting in – whether they are nerdy, dress differently than the other kids, like different music, watch different TV shows, have different interests, or are on the autism spectrum – deserve to be included and accepted for who they are.

Taking the Confederate school names away was a cruel and mean-spirited decision amidst nearly four years of ubiquitous and soul-crushing cruelty and meanness. It is a tiny iota of justice, and brings a tiny glimmer of hope, that the names have been changed back.

Sources: Monuments Across Dixie and Confederate States of America Facebook posts

bookmark_borderThoughts on the article, “Avoiding the Last Straw in Cases of Bullying”

I came across this article, titled “Avoiding the ‘Last Straw’ in Cases of Bullying,” by Joni E Johnston Psy.D. in Psychology Today. The article explains how professionals can intervene with victims of bullying to prevent the victims from becoming bullies themselves. 

What struck me about this article was that it places the responsibility for preventing bullying on the victims, rather than on the original bullies. The article outlines the interviewing, questioning, and interventions that bullying victims should be subjected to, while failing to advocate that bullies be subjected to any type of consequences for their behavior. 

“Let’s pretend that a school counselor is concerned that a bullied teen might become violent to get revenge,” the article hypothesizes. “They call in a threat assessment professional to conduct an interview.” The article discusses the types of questions that should be asked during the interview and encourages adults to “intervene early,” to develop “an appropriate intervention plan,” to provide “comprehensive, compassionate care,” and to “guide them toward healthier, nonviolent coping mechanisms.” Johnston also characterizes bullying victims who are angry about their bullying as having an “aggressive behavior problem.”

But bullying victims do not deserve to be grilled by a threat assessment professional. Bullying victims do not need intervention. They do not need “care.” They do not need to be guided towards different coping mechanisms. Being angry that one has been bullied is not a medical problem, it is not a psychological problem, and it is not a behavior problem. It is completely justified. By targeting victims for intervention, Johnston is treating victims as if they are the ones who have done something wrong. But victims haven’t done anything wrong; bullies have. It is the bullies, not their victims, who have an aggressive behavior problem. And it is the bullies, not their victims, who should be subjected to intervention.

The article discusses the personal characteristics of bullying victims that allegedly make them more likely to turn into bullies. For example, victims who “are socially awkward,” and who lack “protective factors, such as abstract thinking abilities, empathy, and self-regulation skills.” But it is wrong of Johnston to scrutinize victims’ personal characteristics at all, because this sends the message that victims are somehow to blame for being bullied, due to a lack of positive traits and skills. In reality, the only person to blame for bullying is the bully. It is the bully, not the victim, who should have their personal characteristics subjected to scrutiny.

The article lists potential events that could trigger a bullying victim to turn into a bully, including:

  • A new, severe bullying incident that feels like the “last straw”
  • Seeing their bullies receive acclaim or reward, which feels profoundly unjust
  • Feeling publicly humiliated by their bullies
  • Perceiving that adults have failed to protect them or take the bullying seriously

It is interesting that by listing the potential triggers above, Johnston is actually admitting that the things that cause a victim to turn into a bully are entirely within the control of the adults in the situation. This further supports the idea that the burden of change shouldn’t be placed on the bullying victim. If adults actually handled bullying correctly – namely by punishing the bully – then no one would have to worry about bullying victims turning into bullies.

Going down the list of triggering incidents: if adults actually punish bullies significantly, including by removing them permanently from the environment if necessary, then bullies will not be in a position to perpetrate any additional bullying incidents or to publicly humiliate their victims. If institutions don’t bestow acclaim or rewards on bullies, then victims won’t have to see their bullies receive acclaim or rewards. And if adults protect victims and take bullying seriously, then victims will not perceive that adults have failed to do these things. 

In other words… instead of providing “care” to victims to help them cope with seeing their bullies receive acclaim and rewards, maybe we should, I don’t know, not give acclaim or rewards to bullies. Maybe the reason why seeing a bully receive acclaim and rewards “feels profoundly unjust” is because it is profoundly unjust. 

In conclusion, the approach recommended in this article makes victims the target of intervention and places the onus of change on them, when in reality, it is the bullies themselves who should be subjected to interventions such as interviews with threat assessment professionals and scrutiny of their personal characteristics. Victims of bullying don’t need care, they don’t need monitoring, and they don’t need to be guided toward better coping mechanisms. They need, and deserve, justice. Instead of subjecting victims to various interventions in an effort to help them cope better with being bullied, our society needs to actually punish the bullies. 

Returning to the title of the article, the way to avoid the “last straw” in cases of bullying is to avoid committing it, and to prevent bullies from doing so. This means for our society to punish bullies severely, to unanimously condemn them, to refrain from giving them awards of any sort, and to prevent them from committing any more bullying incidents by any means necessary, including by removing them entirely from the environment.

One final note: I noticed that throughout the article, the author equates seeking revenge with becoming a bully. A few examples: 

  • “some seek revenge and become bullies themselves”
  • “the victim’s internal world differentiates those who seek revenge from those who don’t”
  • “being frequently bullied ups the odds for a desire for revenge”
  • “it’s the latter type—this angry rumination—that fuels the desire for retaliation”
  • “a bullied teen might become violent to get revenge”

But seeking revenge and becoming a bully are not even remotely the same thing. For a victim to seek revenge on their bully does not make them a bully; it makes them someone who defends themselves and stands up for themselves. Taking revenge on a bully is completely justified, because bullies deserve punishment. For a victim to turn into a bully, on the other hand, involves harming innocent people who have done nothing wrong, which is unjustified. Harming the original bully (justified) and harming innocent people (unjustified) are two completely different things. 

Just as Johnston ignores the distinction between justified and unjustified violence by equating revenge with becoming a bully, she ignores the fact that bullies deserve to be the targets of intervention while victims do not. To lump all violence together goes along with the mentality of placing the burden on the victim to fix the situation. Johnston clearly values preventing violence and making schools safer, which are worthy goals, but she is ignoring something even more important: the entire concept of fairness versus unfairness, justice versus injustice, right versus wrong. 

Perhaps this article isn’t about preventing victims from turning into bullies, after all. Perhaps the entire article is actually about preventing victims from taking revenge on their bullies, something that Johnston inaccurately characterizes as victims turning into bullies. If this is the case, then not only do I object to the idea of placing the burden for change on victims, but I object to the entire goal. For victims to take revenge on their bullies isn’t something that should be prevented at all, because revenge is exactly what bullies deserve.

bookmark_borderA meltdown caused by blogging time being cut short…

Today, I feel horrible. I woke up to find little pieces of paper – the remnants of the envelopes and advertising that had come in the mail – still scattered all over the floor. My throat is horse and my head achy from screaming, again and again, at the top of my lungs. My hand is bloody and swollen from punching the granite kitchen counter. My feet and ankles are sore from stomping again and again on the floor. I am concerned that the foundation of my house might be damaged from all the stomping, and that my hands might become permanently damaged from these repeated injuries, if they are not already. This is a particularly disturbing possibility given that my job centers on picking up, lifting, and handling objects with my hands. I feel guilty and demoralized. I’m angry – angry at others, angry at myself, angry that instances like these keep happening. My body feels heavy and tired. My chest is tight, my arms and legs leaden, my stomach twisted in knots.

Yesterday, I had a meltdown because my blogging time was abruptly cut short.

I was at my parents’ house, and the plan was to watch Survivor, as well as the Bruins game. Survivor was on from 8:00 to 9:30, and the Bruins game started at 7:30. So, in addition to being able to watch a half hour of the game before Survivor, we would also be able to watch the end of the game, because it would almost certainly still be going when Survivor ended. Then, after the game ended, I would go home. My parents and I all agreed to this plan, and I was looking forward to the night of TV watching.

Personally, I never just sit and watch TV. It doesn’t work for me to sit and passively watch without anything to occupy my hands. Plus, I live with a constant backlog of topics that I want to blog about, making it foolish not to take advantage of every potential chunk of blogging time that I get. So whenever I am watching a TV show or sports game, I blog at the same time. Usually, it works well.

The thing about blogging is that it is highly momentum-dependent. It’s not the type of task that you can do a little bit of whenever you have some time. Blogging works much better when you have large, uninterrupted chunks of time, because it is mentally laborious and requires focus and concentration. Usually, once I sit down to work on a blog post, it takes me some time to get momentum going, to get into a state of flow. Once I am into this flow state, I am very productive. The writing flows effortlessly. I can keep writing and writing and not get tired at all. Because I work full time and own a home, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to get into this flow state. And when my momentum is interrupted, it’s difficult to get it back.

Yesterday, when Survivor ended and my dad changed the channel to the game, the third period was just beginning, and the Bruins were losing 3-1. My dad asked me what I wanted to do. I was surprised, because I thought everyone had agreed to the plan of watching the rest of the Bruins game after Survivor. Why would he be asking me what we should do, when the answer to that question had already been decided upon? *

Plus, for the preceding two hours, my blogging hadn’t been going smoothly. I was getting bogged down. What I thought would be a quick, easy blog post turned out to be more complicated and difficult than I had anticipated. But as Survivor was ending, I was finally making great progress. I was finally getting into a flow state, and finally starting to feel good about how the writing was going. My dad’s suggestion to leave came at the worst possible time.

My dad indicated that he was okay with staying for the rest of the game, unless the Panthers scored another goal, making the score even more lopsided. Naturally, about 30 seconds later, the Panthers scored. And so my blogging time was abruptly cut short. The momentum that had just started to get going, came to a screeching halt. **

There was something about having my blogging time cut short, without warning, that made my brain explode. It’s not just the fact that I had to leave at 9:30 as opposed to approximately 10:00. It’s the fact that I was expecting to have until 10:00, only to find out, without advance notice, hat I only had until 9:30. It’s the fact that I was counting on having until 10:00, only to find out at 9:30 that I was expected to leave immediately. I hadn’t gotten my belongings together or put my socks or shoes on, and I had been planning on getting another helping of ice cream and another helping of water. I wasn’t prepared to leave, because that’s not what I was planning on. I thought that I had an additional half hour of time left. It was another instance of the type that I’ve written about before – an instance in which things did not unfold according to the picture I had in my head. ***

And so I exploded.

I simultaneously knew that my anger was irrational, and lacked any ability whatsoever to stop it.

The rational part of my mind was fully aware that it did not make sense to be that angry at something so relatively unimportant. The rational part of my mind was even aware that if I hadn’t gotten so angry, I would have been able to open up my computer upon arriving home, resume working on the blog post, and possibly finish it, all while watching the end of the Bruins game on my own TV. In other words, if I hadn’t gotten so angry, I would have been able to avoid the very outcome (the premature end to my blogging time) that I was so angry about.

But none of this knowledge had any power to make me any less angry. Rage coursed like molten lava through my veins, overtaking my mind and body and soul. The anger was so strong that nothing could stand in its way. It took over my entire consciousness. Logic was feeble and powerless in the face of the overwhelming, uncontrollable fury. Like an erupting volcano, or an exploding bomb, once the anger started, there was no stopping it.

So I was completely consumed by anger, while simultaneously knowing that it was irrational. I feel guilty, because my dad didn’t really do anything wrong. One day my parents will be gone, and I don’t want incidents like this to be the main thing that I remember from my time with them. I feel frustrated and demoralized, because I’ve tried so hard to prevent these types of incidents from happening, yet they still keep happening. I feel conflicted, because I truly believe that autism is a gift and a superpower. I’m proud that I have it, I don’t consider it a disorder, and I don’t wish to be neurotypical. But these beliefs seem to be incompatible with the fact that my autism causes me to feel and behave in ways that I know – at the exact same time that I am feeling in behaving in these ways – are irrational.

I know that my ability, and need, to hyperfocus are part of my autism. I know that it is part of my autism to have problems with transitioning from one activity to another, and with unexpected changes to my plans. It is due to autism that I need such copious amounts of blogging time, due to autism that it causes me such distress to have that time interrupted, and due to autism that once I get into a flow state it is difficult for me to stop.

Perhaps the reason why my anger exploded so severely yesterday is because I initially tried to suppress it. I reluctantly agreed to my dad’s request to leave after the Panthers’ 4th goal, pretending that it was okay with me, even though it wasn’t. I didn’t want to inconvenience him, I didn’t want to be high-maintenance, and I didn’t want to cause a conflict. It wasn’t until I got back to my house and shut the door behind me, that the anger exploded. Perhaps I should accept my needs as an autistic person, even if they seem unreasonable to others, rather than suppressing them. Using willpower and self-discipline, forcing myself to tolerate things that upset me, might work in the short term but are not long-term solutions. Acting as if you do not have the needs that you have, does not cause you to stop having those needs. It causes the needs to go chronically unmet. And that will eventually result in an explosion.

* When my dad and I discussed this today, he explained that for him, it’s not enjoyable to watch a game when his team has no chance of winning. He would rather watch a competitive game between two teams that he doesn’t care about. For me, although I prefer the Bruins to win, the score has no impact on whether or not I want to watch the game. The important part of watching the game, for me, is watching the athletes warm up, make their entrance, go out through the tunnel, etc. and watching the video montages and the interviews before and after the game. All of these things take place regardless of what the score of the game is. And all this is, of course, in addition to the blogging that I was counting on doing while watching the game.

** “Couldn’t you just finish the blog post at home?” you might be thinking. But unfortunately, the mere process of having to pack up my laptop, put my shoes and socks and jacket and hat on, get into the car, get out of the car, check my mail, unlock my door, and unpack my stuff again, is enough to shatter my concentration and ruin my blogging momentum. More often than not, once my momentum is brought to a screeching halt by the process of leaving, it is sufficiently late that it doesn’t make sense to start up again, and so my blogging time for the day is done. And also more often than not, the following morning is filled with various tasks, and then I have to go to work, and then I get home too late to start blogging, so I don’t end up having another opportunity to blog until my next day off.

*** There were also a couple of other things weighing on my mind that may have contributed to why I became so angry. Recently, I made the decision to completely quit socializing (as radical as that may sound) but was second-guessing that decision because I heard about an all-you-can-eat ice cream event that actually sounded like it could be fun to go to with a particular group of friends. Additionally, two people have asked me to do drawings, which is flattering and awesome, but cuts into blogging time, making the blogging time while watching TV even more crucial.