Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed By Negativity

I'm not sure where this post is going, or how to begin in the first place. It's partly formed inside of my head, but mostly it's just a big ball of emotion that I am untangling as I move along. I think blogging might help me to untangle it more, thus freeing me up to be able to feel unhindered, because right now I do feel hindered, and weighed down a little bit.

There is this thing that seems to drive a lot of human behavior. I don't know what it is called, or even if it has a name. It seems to be a sort of cohesion within groups that moves people together united in a common goal.  I don't understand it. I don't like to be involved in it. I feel completely overwhelmed when people around me are engaging in it. This is not just as autistic thing, because I have seen autistics engage in this form of socializing as well.

I can try to describe what I mean with examples.

Usually, this phenomenon begins with an accusation of outrage. Someone has done or said something that is upsetting to someone else. They then claim outrage. They take this outrage to friends, who also claim outrage and now the drama is on.  They are united in a common cause against this insult, this injustice, this miscarriage of humanity. They want the perpetrator of the insult to recant, to retract, to absolve their words and the harm they have inflicted with their words, or actions. They form a mob that will not let up until their attention gets turned somewhere else.

There is also the lesser form of the same behavior. Where there is something said (I'm going to use autism here, because that is the community that I am involved in, but I think this sort of thing isn't limited to the ASD community) in a book, or a news article about autism and the community goes wild with accusations of 'stereotyping' and 'prejudice' because what was said does not fit the definition for their own autism, or their child's. No matter, that the spectrum is broad and that it may fit others, usually quite a lot more severe than themselves.  It's as if no one is allowed to have an opinion, or use descriptive terms about ASD unless it is all inclusive of the whole spectrum, even those with Asperger's. I find that to be an impossibility most of the time.  The spectrum is wide and varied.  I also know that those same people will likely have all kinds of negative things to say about the way I used 'severe' to describe autism, because anymore there seems to be no way to describe anything within the autism community without being judged as this or that, or as being pushing stereotypes. I was on board the autistic's rights movement, until it derailed into this mess of no one being allowed to even speak for fear of being a target of voracious arguments.

When I am in the midst of this much negativity and complaints I soak it up like a sponge. No matter how much I try not to, I still do.  I feel heavy, and emotional. I get so weighed down in the negativity that I can't function all that well. I don't like this feeling. I'd rather be building up what I think is right, rather than finding what I feel is wrong and making it my mission to out this wrong.  For someone who has a history of depression my brain can only handle so much, before I start to feel down and out by it all.

Like, last winter my husband was not as busy with work as he usually is. The brought with it financial woes, but also time on his hands. He chose to watch the news with quite a bit of this extra time. So, here is someone who is already sensitive to negativity due to life circumstances watching 24 hour news networks where there is always something bad happening.  He started to become even more depressed and outraged the more bad stuff he saw. Everyday, there is no shortage of injustices for the media to report, and they make it a point to keep us upset and fearful, so that the drama and suspense keeps us coming back for more.  I finally had to tell him to shut it off and find something else to do with his time. He was getting too wrapped up in the drama and it was not doing him, our family or the world any good to dwell on all that negativity.

I am starting to feel that way with my autism newsfeeds. I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the negativity from all the bad things that can, do, or might happen. The drama that is always present, because there is always someone in the media somewhere that said something that was un-pc about autism. It's not that I think it's okay for people to say bad things about autism, but I can;t let myself get worked up every time someone disagrees with the way I see the world. There's simply too much good to be doing for me to do that. You know the saying "Some people look for fault like there is a prize for finding it"? That is how I am feeling about a lot of the things I'm seeing in the ASD community lately.  I have unliked pages and hidden quite a few. I won't argue. I will just simply redirect my attention.  This is what I need to do in order to maintain my own sense of wellness.

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