I’m starting a blog because I might be trying to go back to school next year and I need to have a well established blog first. I will explain.
Who I Am and What I’m For.
I just turned 30 and I’ve spent most of those 30 years knowing that there was something terribly wrong with me or the world or both. For most of that time I’ve been torn between three different responses to this knowledge: 1) find the people like me because they must exist 2) find and advertise something valuable about myself 3) figure out what the heck is going on with me and then decide what to do. Lately the three have combined; the answers have always been the same. I’m on the Autism Spectrum. That is both what is wrong with me and what is wrong with the world. I’ve found my people and I’ve found what I’m for.
I’m for showing people worlds, mine, other people’s, and fictional ones. I think that in figuring myself out, I have found things, normal people don’t need to know, even about themselves. I’m not here to speak for anybody else, but I will speak about possible ways to be other that the exact way I am. This blog is about the wide open universe of ways to be human, not just the part I live in, or even the part my community lives in. This blog will seem to be about a lot of things, but its all really about different kind of mind, real and possible.
I am not a self-narrating zoo exhibit. There is nothing special about your side of the bars. The Neurotypical mind is just the best kind of mind evolution could produce for the benefit of being an average hunter gatherer. There is nothing canonical or sacred about it. Any particular interest it holds for me is only because it is both practically very useful for me to understand, and that there is by far the most available data about it. What I’m saying is you’re in the zoo too.
I care about people as people, but I get that special autistic obsessive joy when I try to understand them intellectually. This may seem to distract me from caring about people personally, but it allows me to care personally in a way that is as accurate as possible and that, for me, is worth it. It makes me a better person that I ever could be by trying to be natural or intuitive. Misunderstandings hurt people.
So What the Starfish Does the Title of my Blog Mean?
Something I wrote when I was 15 during a backpacking trip, after a half an hour spent staring and picking at a patch of small herbaceous plants that caused me to believe in a god again, because the world had so much detail it had to be holy: “Why doesn’t the world seem to have a place for me when there is world enough for me in every little patch of mossy ground.” I named this blog after that quote. I think I know the answer.
The smallest world I have ever found is the world of things that societies of normal people will admit matters. There is not world enough for anyone in there. I know that the inner lives of neurotypicals is not so impoverished, though I’ve wondered before. I know they are silencing themselves and each other as well as me and my people and other people who are different. I know they do this because they are afraid and ashamed, the same reason Autistic people often try to pass.
Freedom For My People
I want to be part of the fight for freedom for my people, for Autistic people. But I love many people who are not autistic or even that abnormal. I see how they are also held back by the cage they built around us and everything else but themselves. I want to save them too. I don’t think these things can be separated. So I do the only thing I know how to do to help; I will try to show wonders to the world that make people want to open up the zoo cage and let the world in.
Obviously my life is not all joy and wonder. Lots of things have hurt me and lots of things still do. Lots of them happen to other people too and I want to stop as many people from getting hurt as I can. But the first step is to let them exist in the first place: let the people who are being hurt exist, and let the pain that they feel exist. All of the pain in the world is still happening to us whether we admit it is real and say that it matters or not. A main benefit of the tiny world outside the zoo is that it can pretend to be safe simple and just. But nobody gets to live there and when people go home to their minds they are still hurting in silence. It usually doesn’t help anything or anyone to look away. Pain is still there if you look away, but it can only be beautiful and wondrous if you look.
Consider the above a trigger warning for this entire blog.
This blog may also contain:
*Discussion about Autism and the Autistic Community and the politics thereof.
*Discussion about childhood, parenting, school and child abuse in those and other contexts.
* Discussion of writing and other forms of artistic expression of possibilities
* Random speculative philosophy
*Proposed new technical vocabulary for various types of experience or mental phenomenon that I try to make catch on.
*Discussions about language and communication in general and how it works, what it affects and how it might be broadened.
*Some discussions of my everyday activities and struggles, because I am allowed to speak for myself and I’m a passably good test case for all this theory.
*A certain flamboyant rhetorical style that I use to overcompensate for not being good at certain kinds of social signaling.
*Lots of jokes about sensitive subjects along with a principled distinction about what sort of such jokes are okay.
*Occasional poetic hymns to math
*Lots of long bulleted lists.
Why I Need a Blog to Go Back to School
So yeah. I have a blog now. I guess I’ll tell you why I need it to go back to school. I’ve been up against enough difficulties from both inside and outside at getting my life to work or getting anything done that I’m pretty sure it’s not worth my doing just for the normal benefits of being a “productive member of society.” I’m not going to fight that hard to live inside normal. I’d rather die out here, if it was down to that. I only bother keeping myself out of an institution because I have friends that I can talk to about who and what I actually am. If I’m going to go to college, get a job, anything like that it has to be as myself or I’m not interested.
So I need to feel I am welcome, that I’m invited in or I just won’t manage to go. I don’t need to feel invited by everybody, but I do need to see that those same people who tell me that college is important and my measure as an intellectual, want me. I need the society that tells me its a good idea, that would be impressed to say “I want you, actually you”. Fooling them wins me no honor.
I’m done hiding, like some fugitives are done running. Sometimes that gets them locked up or killed. I don’t think that will happen to me though. I think that I have things worth saying and somebody will care. So I’m putting this out here because I believe somebody is listening.
This sounds really immature and I know it. That’s okay; sometimes immature feelings are the truth. I’m only just barely beginning to figure out how to be an adult in the world. I have more knowledge and perspective than a middle schooler, but I’m feeling a lot of the same things they feel. Pretending that I’ve been an adult since I was 18 would accomplish nothing. I wouldn’t be mature; I’d just be shy.
Assertive Concluding Statements
I’m done being shy. This piece of the internet belongs to me and several trillion small herbaceous plants. We have something to show you.