I swear, people’s opinion of whether something is a normal state of being or a disease/mental illness depends about 80% on whether they’ve ever been told it’s a disease or heard it talked about in a pathological way. (The other 20% being whether it actually causes someone trouble in living their life, whether it’s out of character for them, etc.)
Sparkly thinks (as far as I can tell, anyway) that my reluctance to talk on the phone is a problem I should get over. Because it’s something she’s heard of as a social anxiety thing. So feeling that way makes me abnormal, and it’s something to be treated/recovered from/cured.
Sparkly has never once questioned that I don’t like some foods because of the texture (And it’s not even that many! Soggy bread. Almost everything else is fine.) even though to some people that would totally be a Problem or a Thing to be Cured. Partly I think because it’s not something she’s heard of, partly because she has that kind of food aversion too.
Neither of these things, for either of us, is actually a serious problem. I manage to call people. I eat a wide variety of things and get good nutrition, and so does Sparkly. So whether people think of them as pathological or not is just a matter of perspective.
I have to admit, I worry that just telling Sparkly that what from one point of view are my preferences and quirks could from another point of view be Symptoms could fuck things up. That suddenly it’d become off-putting and pathological and not okay for me to just accomodate and cope with those things. I think she’s kind of especially vulnerable to that way of thinking and it worries me. Some people won’t listen to “I don’t like _____” but will listen to “_____ is hard for me because [mental illness]” because they take it more seriously. Sparkly does the opposite. She’s okay with people having quirks but worries about people having Problems, even well-managed Problems.