this is me, and there’s a good reason for it - when i’m in an emergency situation, such as being injured, my brain goes into problem-solving mode. feelings are not useful so in that moment, i don’t have any. my brain is using all its power to assess the situation and fix it.
i only figured out the other day why i hate it when people try to comfort me when i get injured, so much so that it will make me angry - having people come at me with concerned voices and hands trying to touch me is literally the most overstimulating thing you can do to me.
when i broke my wrist in gymnastics in high school i immediately stood up and ran away. i ran around the track until i was able to come back and calmly tell them i needed to go to the hospital. i never understood why i react like this until i considered the cognitive processing
having people try to comfort me is the single worst thing they can do to me because 1) it assumes i have emotional needs i don’t have, and 2) overstimulates my brain so i can’t think straight and fix my own problem. i can’t trust others to help me so i must be able to think
neurotypical people think emotions are at the forefront of everyone’s minds all the time but they’re not and that’s ok. i do not need my emotions comforted, i am not having any. i have feelings and i will feel them later when the emergency is over and i have time to do that.
the expectation that i would express my pain emotionally makes no sense to me. the more pain i am in, the more my brain is trying to keep it together so i can survive. i am surviving. stop expecting everyone to think and feel like you do.
neurotypical people should be glad my brain works this way, because in an emergency situation i am the only one who can think straight and i have helped many strangers when their friends were frozen in panic. i don’t panic. i don’t freeze. i don’t cry. i just fix it.
so many people have thought i was a bitch and didn’t like me until they really needed help and i was the only person who helped them. you don’t want neurotypicals around you in an emergency situation, you want me bc i’m the only one who won’t be thinking about myself.
this isn’t always a great thing for me whatsoever. if someone else is in trouble and it seems bad enough, i can’t think about me. i’m not a person with wants and needs in that moment, i’m just problem-solving. i’ve had to learn to stay away from people who take advantage of that
this is why i can’t be friends with people who like drama, who don’t want to fix their problems, or who will put me on the spot and ask big favors of me more often than they actually need it. i need people who will care about the fact that i’m a person when i can’t.
this is one reason why it’s so cruel for allistics to insist that everyone has an ego and is selfish bc they assume everyone is looking out for their own best interest all the time and that’s not possible for me. they can’t shut off their feelings or their ego, ever. i get that.
my brain runs a whole bunch of processes individually and my feelings are just one of them. i can only process so many things at once and if i need to think and my feelings aren’t the most helpful or relevant process to run, my brain won’t run it. that’s not a choice.
none of that makes me unempathetic, robotic, inhuman, invulnerable, or selfless. it just makes me autistic. our brains process everything in a different order and manner from allistic brains. i have a self, i have wants & needs, but i don’t always feel them & that’s normal for us

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More from @erikaheidewald

9 Apr
I was a very existential kid so I don’t remember a time before this & it’s been the biggest struggle of my life. eventually i found a few ideas and ways of thinking that helped me - they’re very specific to me but if any of it helps anyone feeling this way, they’re worth sharing
If nothing matters, then everything matters. it’s the same thing. Every moment of joy for me or someone else matters. every moment I learn something and I like it, that matters. Every time I help someone, that matters. It doesn’t have to go anywhere. I’m detached from the results
there really are no rules. I do not have to listen to ideas I don’t respect and people I don’t respect. This is my one life and I will not let it be limited by people who think the rules of this society mean something. how I feel and what I think about myself are always up to me.
Read 31 tweets
9 Apr
It has been distressing me how many people think you can only believe in one framework for understanding an issue - if you believe in one, that means you think it is the only framework necessary. This is deeply incorrect & I want to help you break out of that way of thinking.
This might verge on patronizing, I don’t know, and if so I’m sorry, but critical thinking skills are *skills* that must be taught and practiced and it doesn’t make you stupid if you’re not good at it - it means your education system failed you. You can get this if you want to.
A theoretical framework or model is one way to look at data, categorize it, and derive meaning from it. It is a social construct. The data is not. In the context of autism - autism is a social construct, autistic people are not. Autism is a way to describe what we have in common.
Read 23 tweets
9 Apr
i remember when i was in high school and i very much wanted a diagnosis to describe what was going on with me because without it, that meant everyone was going through what i was going through and i was just worse at handling it and i KNEW that wasn’t true. i needed to prove it.
the problem is we’ve given people only one option besides erasure - diagnosis. there’s only one “get out of conformity free” card and it’s that biologically, medically, you are incapable of doing so, and you have had that affirmed by an authority trusted by the ruling class
THIS IS SUCH A FALSE FUCKING BINARY. the answer isn’t to play their ableist, classist, racist, misogynistic, transphobic, deeply cruel game. we need to refuse to play and start validating and recognizing each other without an authority telling us we have to.
Read 7 tweets
9 Apr
pretty sure this system just sucks and instead of fixing it we pathologize people for the misery it puts us through
i know this society is very resistant to admitting that anxiety and depression might ever be happening for a reason but feeling the immensity of how much the world sucks and that most people don’t give a shit has definitely always played a big part in my depression
i know society has trained everyone to be reactionary, binary thinkers (gee, wonder why) but the fact that external factors might have something to do with depression doesn’t make depression not real. you don’t need a context-free chemical imbalance to be valid
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
something a lot of neurodivergent people would do well to remember is that not everyone can thrive in this society even with accommodations, & not everyone can live in their brain if they hate it. it’s not a coincidence that most people i see opposed to the social model are white
the specific kind of opposition i’m talking about is white people who see any argument in favor of the social model of disability and any argument for systemic change and shout it down or dismiss it as toxic positivity. systemic change is needed to end white supremacy.
white supremacy is inextricably tied to ableism. ableism is the justification for other kinds of oppression like racism, misogyny, and classism. calling people incapable and inferior makes oppression look natural and unavoidable. do not mock the need for systemic change.
Read 22 tweets
8 Apr
if we really wanna have some fun let’s talk about how fucking traumatizing gym class can be for neurodivergent kids 🙃 i think gym class is a secret neurotypical plan to break the young neurodivergent spirit. make it illegal
the most pitiful moment of my high school experience might have been when we had to do a skills test in volleyball that involved setting the ball off the wall four times in a row. i could not do this and kept sending balls flying around the gym as i begged them to let me stop
people kept telling me that eventually i’d find the sport i was good at so i tried every single sport & i can confidently report back that i am bad at every single sport. i don’t think my body was designed with any physical skills in mind. maybe it’s made for hibernating
Read 4 tweets

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