I wanted to put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions. The problem is that no one really asks me anything. Mostly when people ask things, it’s the same question, usually from depressives who want to know how I survived depression. Since the honest answer is “therapy”, it makes for an abrupt and disappointing back and forth.
That just leaves me with questions I either get infrequently or not at all. Mostly the latter. Anyway, here’s my mostly-fraudulent version of a FAQ post.
Do you wish you had been diagnosed with autism as a child, instead of as an adult?
Yes. I think. There would have been downsides. Still: yes.
Were you relieved to finally receive an accurate diagnosis?
No. I was too self-hating to respond in a positive way. Mostly I wanted to be someone completely different, so the diagnosis hit hard at first and I was bitter.
How did you learn to start feeling okay about yourself?
It was kind of a long process, but I had to learn to objectively map out the way my mind works. I had to learn the specifics of my nature, my cognitive and sensory differences, and I had to learn to see those things without the use of a self-defeating, depressive framework. It was also necessary to slowly root out the evaluations of other people. People suck. Their reactions and judgements are reliably inaccurate and manipulative and unhelpful. Evaluating my internal states more objectively and independently ended up making a difference.
What does Invisible Strings mean?
Something, something human connection? Or, something about the way body language feels fake to me, like using marionette strings? Or it’s both. Mostly it’s a free-floating metaphor. I thought Invisible Strings would be a fine blog title, but now, any time I search for my blog online, google just shows me pictures of thongs. In retrospect, checking the most common usage of the phrase might have been helpful.
What do you think of Neurodiversity?
I like it. It’s good. Frankly, it’s just reality and it’s humane and it’s nothing to be afraid of or against.
What is Neurodiversity, exactly?
Why did you stop making You Tube videos?
They few I made sucked. It’s an art deficit thing. I can’t art.
What are you reading right now?
A mix of science fiction and history and comic books: a few books by Alastair Reynolds (the Akinya saga), The End of Power by Moises Naim, along with vol. II of Fukuyama’s Political Order series, and the graphic novel Turning Japanese by MariNaomi. I used to read a lot of Heidegger and Sartre, but my therapist told me I had to start reading other stuff.
What are your favorite books?
I like the first two Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake. I think Proust’s Lost Time books are a lot of fun, I would recommend them to incurable people-watchers, particularly the second and third volumes. I like Kobo Abe a lot, and Stephen King and Balzac’s Vautrin sequence. I like the old Incal comics by Moebius and Jodorowsky.
Why have you been posting less over the past year?
My mind isn’t always cooperative.
Why are your posts so long and rambling?
My mind isn’t always cooperative.
What makes you think you can speak for me/my child?
I can’t speak for anyone.
Why did you turn the comments off?
This needs to be a safe place for reading the kinds of things I write. Over time, google latched on to some of the posts about depression. More people were reading those. The comments became increasingly volatile and unsafe. Ultimately, I could not find a way to responsibly leave some comments up…nor could I find a way to responsibly delete heartfelt, but profoundly dangerous, comments. Turning off comments became the only option I could see working over the long run. I don’t believe it is the best option, it just became the most practical way for me to balance the various reader/writer safety issues involved. In short: I want you to be okay.
How is your Werner Herzog impersonation?
Terrible, but I do it anyway. I like to narrate breakfast as I’m making it. “Into a cold, ceramic shell, M pours the indifferent flakes of wheat. Milk…the liquid nourishment of cattle, stolen away for the callous enjoyment of humans…spills into the shell, drowning the flakes, which inexorably wilt into a flavorless mulch.”
Why do you suck at social media?
I can’t tell. I may not be hard-wired to operate very effectively within that context.
How did you survive depression?