So I wrote a slightly longer/more coherent version of this, for the shameblog. Which is currently taking recommendations for Relatable Fictional Stuff about shame/internalized ableism/etc., if you have any.
I have a whole bunch of other fictional things I’m going to post about (if I can remember them all…) but the problem is I have to Actually Write About Them. And maybe it’s silly because I do run the blog but I feel weird posting too much of my own stuff. It’s not supposed to be all me.
I don’t feel like I did That Much stuff yesterday, but my brain is definitely mush. However, most of my holiday gift shopping is done, and I also got to the grocery store today. (Receiving packages in the mail is so fun. So fun. Now if they would actually ship this one package that’s stuck in “processing”…)
Sparkly told me ey is going to be attending an event for young Jewish professionals in a couple of weeks? I don’t really know what’s involved yet. But apparently the rabbi recommended em for it, which is nice.
1. Blame it on the psychologists who use the word dissociation to describe a continuum of stuff, from what you think of as “real” dissociation down to things that are totally normal occasional experiences for everybody. If somebody reads an authoritative-sounding informational thing that says “Most people experience mild dissocation once in a while, and that’s normal, but for a few people it’s more severe or more often,” it is not at all unreasonable that they would then use the word dissociation to describe normal/mild things.
2. It might help if we could come up with more specific words for things that are dissociation-ish but not exactly. It might also help if we could use the existing words for specific types of dissociation more often (e.g. depersonalization), instead of grouping them all together.
First of all, I totally get it. I’ve made basically the same comparison. I’m assuming you had the same experience I did where you read people talking about harmful therapy and went “Wow, that feels familiar” even though you were never in therapy. I get it.
But isn’t it… a little soon, to be saying “Bullying is bad because it’s like ABA therapy”? Shouldn’t that sentence be the other way around?
I mean, the group of people in which it’s unquestioningly accepted that ABA therapy is harmful is not that big.
I feel uncomfortable about the idea of using the harmfulness of ABA therapy as a foundation to stand on to talk about how much I was harmed by other things. It seems kind of rude to put that weight on them when they’re already more than busy with all the people who can’t believe a Scientific Therapy™ could possibly be harmful.
What I feel comfortable saying about ABA therapy and abuse goes in the other direction:
When people tell me that they were harmed by ABA therapy, I believe them even though I have no personal experience with it. I believe them because I do have personal experience with bullying and emotional abuse, and I can recognize that their experiences are similar to mine; their experiences are abuse coupled with medical authority. The basic premises and underlying worldview of ABA therapy are the same premises that underlie bullying and abuse.
That’s what I have to say about ABA and bullying. They’re harmful in the same way, for a certain sense of “way.” And I think that talking about that similarity is good for both helping people understand bullying, and helping people understand how therapy can be harmful.
But inasmuch as any kind of abuse can be said to be worse overall than another, I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that receiving that abuse mindset one-on-one, in a systematized way, from a person who you’ve been taught to respect as a medical professional, is a “worse,” more intensive exposure to it than receiving it haphazardly from your peers.
There’s this thing where symptoms (broadly defined) that aren’t a serious problem for the person who has them, become a serious problem because other people feel uncomfortable about them.
To the person who has them they’re a harmless nuisance thing, or they’re a problem but there’s a treatment/assistive thing/workaround that fixes the problem reasonably well.
But, in order to go around with this harmless nuisance thing occasionally happening, or to use your workaround assistive whatever, and just get on with your day– before you can do that, you have to get everyone who might see you doing the thing on the same page with you that it’s not a big issue.
Otherwise they might think something is seriously wrong and they need to help you, or they’ll question whether your workaround assistive thing is correct/allowed/necessary, or they’ll just feel really uncomfortable because you’re doing a Weird Thing, a Creepy Thing, a socially unacceptable thing.
People respond to those varied types of “this isn’t normal, something needs to be done” in a lot of different ways, some of them genuinely well-intentioned and even genuinely helpful. But I think the basic reaction behind a lot of those responses– even the helpful ones– is an uncanny valley type of discomfort. That’s the root of a lot of the trouble people have with being noticeably disabled in public. That’s the force we have to counteract to keep things that should be minor problems from becoming big stop-everything issues.
simply by whatever view gets there first?
(I feel like I mght have written approximately this same post before, but it was on my mind tonight so here you go.)
Continue reading “How much are our opinions shaped”
Our pseudo-Thanksgiving was good, though, and so were the leftovers.
It might get turned into something more detailed and posted here later.
Sparkly told me what ey wants for holiday gifts. This raises some difficult questions:
- What should I get my brother, who is impossible and who I’ve barely talked to since he graduated last spring?
- What do I want for holiday gifts?
(current candidates include: wool socks from Sock Dreams, kitchen gadgets (we need a whisk. and more spoons.), work clothes, a scarf, an amazon gift card for ebooks)