2259 Disorderlies.

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First of all, thanks to all of you who sent well wishes for the holiday. Rather than respond individually I decided to do a blanket reply. Second of all, to those of you who sent me gifts with no sender information, thank you very much. I know you probably did it so I wouldn’t be able to offer you something in return, you sneaky little readers… I will try to make something interesting with your gifts.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment so I won’t burden you with further reading.


Oof… war flashbacks. As I may have mentioned, I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, when mental illness was both an emerging issue as well as at its most stigmatized, and where the preferred way of dealing with autistic kids was to toss them in a padded room when they didn’t do what you wanted them to, pinning them down until they couldn’t breathe (guess why I know that). Ugh.

I can relate, I was born early 90’s, and my abusive mother decided her degree in 70’s psychology was perfect for raising….abusing an autistic child.

Hell, she tried to guilt trip me. She got diagnosed with anxiety like 3 years ago. Im still suffering from PTSD she gave me. She fully expected me to “empathize, put my entire life on hold (again), and give her the emotional support she needs.” Her words.

I know the pain of this all too well. I was born in 1990, so as a kid with Asperger’s I was given so many different types of medication that warped and harmed my mind and body as well as causing all manner of body weight fluctuations. I’m still scared by it to this day.

I was lucky in that my father (who was a full-blooded Asian man, you can guess how that went) was smaller and weaker than I was, so he could never force me to take medications. Trying to take away the stuff I loved as punishment just led to me threatening to destroy his (much more expensive) stuff if he followed through; before you think me a monster for that, remember: full-blooded Asian man. He thought nothing of lying to his eight year old son about not being able to afford a $7 action figure and buying $30+ of coral for his thousand dollar tropical fish tank as the next stop after the toy store.

Thankfully, he’s gotten a lot better since then. Just took me cutting him out of my life and him realizing he was losing his only son to do so.

We don’t stigmatize physical illness. I never understood why we stigmatize mental illness. I mean come on you ever heard someone get stigmatized for having the flu? Then why get it for having depression.

Most people don’t understand mental illness at all. There is a lingering belief that mental illness is not actual illness, but mental weakness and deficiency.

But you are 100% correct, everyone experiences both physical and mental illnesses at some point. There is no rational reason for one to be stigmatized more than the other.

Sadly, so few people are rational.

People fear what they don’t understand. Flu is easy to conceptualize, as are things like twisted ankles and broken bones. But mental disorders are hard to grasp in comparison.

And there are several physical disorders that are also stigmatized. See: migraines (“Oh, that’s just a headache, take some aspirin”), fibromyalgia (“So your muscles ache, just walk it off”), or chronic fatigue disorder (“Must be nice, wish I could sleep all day too”).

You can add Rheumatism (or more specific: Ankylosing Spondylitis) and any other (chronic) pains to that list. You can’t see it, so it’s not easy to grasp and therefor easier to be put under attention seeking.

We absolutely stigmatize physical illnesses. I want to say it’s not just the chronic pains that Muchacho NL said, Unfortunately, all the ones on my list include chronic pain as one of their features – even multiple sclerosis.

But even when they’re not causing pain, things that cause disfigurement or change ones gait to something odd gets a lot of flack.

When I was in kindergarten, one of the other kids in my class had a physical malady that did not, as far as any of the rest of us were aware, cause pain. What it did cause was extreme difficulty speaking. Because of this issue, she was forced to sit at the same table as I did, even though the problem she had was something that could be surgically corrected. Now, that school district has a particular problem with outsiders and anyone who is different. But there’s more of that than I´d like there to be.

Methinks Carol is realizing people in her family actually DO have disorders and the toxicity in her family keeps them from getting diagnosed and helped… :(

To get a good idea of what it’s like to have one of the “invisible” illnesses like fibromyalgia, google The Spoon Theory. The woman who wrote it has Lupus. I shared it with my mom and she became more understanding towards my fibro.

The most popular kind of family in America right now is the one that makes fun of each other on a constant daily basis. It’s sweet hearted at first but immediately it can take a turn of the worse when those words actually hurt someone. There’s a reason why most of the Sopranos problems consist of overly teasing and “ballbusting”.

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