When I read this post from someone else’s journal, I was struck by the awesome amount of negative reaction I felt in the back of my head. I do not know this author from Adam/Eve, so I am not going to comment about their journal, nor am I going to direct about the post directly. The reason it is linked here is so the discussion may be framed properly.
I will, however, quote in full the comment I posted on that post. It reads as follows:
Okay. I am autistic, too. The fact that I do not waggle my hands in the air like I am being electrocuted at intervals I am not going to bother quantifying does not make me any less autistic.
I am not going to conform to your stereotype. It is no less a harmful stereotype from my point of view than was the Rain Man stereotype. I am genuinely frightened to have nervous tics mistaken for hypoglycaemic symptoms, with all of the resultant assaults on my person it entails.
Waggle your extremities in public to your heart’s content. I will not try to stop you. But stop making that out to be a qualifying condition of being autistic. It is not, and nor will I submit to suffer the effects of people mistaking it for such. I am very sick of what I refer to as the Involuntary Breakdance being confused with such.
You are doing me more harm this way than the Rain Man pushers ever did. They at least admitted their stereotype is a stereotype, and apologised in public for it.
Now, if the comment I quote above sounds a bit rambling and confused, it is for a reason. I wrote it in the aftermath of yet another early morning bout of hypoglycaemia. Stop acting surprised.
We need to go back in time a bit for all of this to make complete sense. Please be patient with me.
Like a lot of autistic people, I have a very baffling set of difficulties with sleep. I never like to be accused of bragging or talking myself “up” without merit, but my difficulties with sleep would qualify as being quite intense. Sleep does not come easily to me, and when it does come, it comes in patterns that are not conducive to living a nine to five existence. It comes in patterns that are broken. It comes in patterns that require the use of medications in an off-label manner to maintain. (Specifically, the medication known to chemists as Quetiapine, an expensive and very much potentially dangerous medication.) It is one of the worst aspects of my life that helps make an already difficult existence that much harder.
Unlike a lot of autistic people, I also have diabetes. This subject is a whole minefield, unfortunately, because people who believe themselves informed often like to display in public that they do not know their arse from their ear where the subject of diabetes is concerned. The kind of diabetes I have is the kind one gets diagnosed with when they are a child. That is, the kind that results from your immune system mistaking your islet cells for foreign invaders and destroying them. The kind that requires subcutaneous injections of synthetic hormones to live with. For the rest of one’s life.
There are numerous side-effects listed for synthetic insulin, and side effects of synthetic insulin have all their own symptomologies. (Yes, I made that word up on the spot, eat me.) But one of the most incredibly powerful effects of low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia in scientific-speak, is sleepiness. And I do not mean your garden variety sleepiness resulting from an eighteen hour shift. I mean the kind of sleepiness one feels after having been locked in a room with search-lights shining into their faces from every conceivable angle. In other words, the kind of sleepiness that you maintain in other people as a form of torture. The kind where all one can think about is getting sleep in any form, even if that means the permanent kind.
Does diabetes sound like fun to you? Something you would aspire to have because it seems nice or beneficial? Yes, I am asking for a reason, normies, because the times I have heard it quoted as mentioned on conservative shithead radio makes me wonder. Who in the hell could mistake diabetes for something anyone would ever want to live with?
There is a reason I am mentioning my diabetes so much in this post about a post in another person’s journal. Namely, people who I will not mention here mistake my diabetes as a license to put their nose up my arsehole further than it should otherwise be possible to go, and keep going.
This brings me to the subject of extraneous bodily movements. Many people, for reasons very complex and variable, exhibit what scientific folk refer to as “nervous tics”. The late actor Heath Ledger apparently licked his lips a lot, for example. This nervous tic, I can only speculate as to how he developed. In most of the films he was employed in, he hid it well enough that one could watch his entire life’s work and not know about it. However, interviews demonstrate that his habit of licking his lips was something he had to work fairly constantly to suppress. Except in one role where he incorporated it into the character, exaggerated it, and turned it into an added creepy detail in a character that was already beyond most peoples’ tolerance levels for creepiness.
I myself have a lot of nervous movements, tics you might call them, that can be seen in similar terms to Ledger‘s incorporation of his tongue movements into the Joker. Scratching parts of my person such as the shoulders, corners of the head, or jaw, are motions that I do so reflexively and without conscious thought that I can continuously do this throughout conversations without so much as a pause for thought. People have commented to me that I often seem like I am itching terribly during my conversations with them.
It is not a coincidence that my most direct proxy character, Kronisk, is able to make people feel so uncomfortable in their own skin that said people will claw their own skin off trying to make the sensations stop.
You see, when I was young, I had an idiot male parent following me around who seemed to be watching every move I made, every breath I took (you know how the song goes) for any sign that I was “hypo”. That is, that my blood sugar was low. When one’s blood sugar is low enough, the brain’s control of the muscles suffers, and badly at that. But what can you do when you might put on as many as a thousand unconscious bodily movements in a minute when nerves are frayed?
(Oh, and that nurse/whatever in Westmead Hospital who told me to sit down and eat because I was “a bit vague”? This applies just as much to you, too.)
When your blood glucose level falls as low as 0.7 mmol/l, the ability to waggle your hands about in the air like you just do not care is not a right, a luxury, or even a vaguely nice thing. It is pure, unadulterated hell. Because on some level you cannot consciously control, your brain keeps exercising it at precise intervals that you cannot precisely anticipate, but feel an urgent need to suppress in order to get certain things done. Certain things with names like survive.
In case it is not becoming clear, when passives post things with words like “stim” in them, I read that passive-word (“stim”) as something entirely differently. I see the word “cunt” in its place, as in “I am a…”.
What I see also looks a lot like the above image. As in the people who write “stim, stim, stimmy stim” as if it is a requirement of being autistic look like the shit-eating wastes of Humanity that are in the above image. Seriously, I have seen more intelligence-demonstrating folk in Marsden Hospital (people with soft intellectual palettes should not click on these links).
I should probably also mention that from what I know of Marsden Hospital (for the intellectually handicapped, as they used to append to that name), if you were a resident there who waggled your hands about in the air like you just do not care, you were likely to get your hands tied, pulled behind your back, and so forth.
Some people feel a reflex of perceptive fear, paranoia, and recrimination towards others every time they move a fukking muscle. After years of enduring the feeling of having every movement of my body watched for the slightest excuse to force sugary product into my mouth by others, I am one of those people who feel a reflex of perceptive fear, paranoia, and recrimination towards others every time they move a fukking muscle. This means I am not capable of following your “stim, stim, stimmy stim” stereotype of autism at all, and find your constant pushing or “promotion” of same very offensive at the best of times. There have been many conversations I have had with Professor Anthony Attwood where I have not moved a muscle. Where such is my concentration on the words going back and forth that my entire physical form with the exception of my jaw, tongue, and throat seems to have stopped dead. As if frozen, in concrete, below the surface of a particularly frigid area such as Norway’s coastline.
Oddly enough, this did not make him reconsider his belief that I am autistic. Not one bit.
There is, always has been, and always will be, a way to build a positive role model of the autistic (child, adolescent, or adult). But what the loud hands stereotype crowd do not get is that when you replace one stereotype with another, you are essentially replacing one problem with another. You are not solving any problems, just substituting one for another.
I have positively no idea what my blood glucose level was when I was rudely awoken this morning, nor when I read the document I have linked at the start of this one. But what I do know is that when my blood glucose is sufficiently low that even gross motor control is noticeably impaired, the manner in which my body moves or does not move whilst I am trying to cross about fifty feet of floor in order to get the tools I need to rectify the problem brings to mind all of the herd-conformist passive “we be the be all and end all of the autistic” folk and their stimmy stim stim requirements of being autistic.
Think about that. The most unpleasant state my body has been in during the last twenty-five years (a list that includes getting pieces chopped out of my face to remove cancer) brings stimmy stim stereotype to mind.
(It should be noted here that a lot of the problem is because external people try to “treat” problems not because of any discomfort on the patient’s part, but because of how uncomfortable the identified problem is making them. A better recipe for bad medicine, I have yet to discover.)
That, ladies and gentlemen, says a lot about where this mass-herd-conformed stereotype of the autistic should be shoved.