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.
People always jump to the fact that we can’t do whatever we want, and that’s true. But you don’t have to think anything about yourself because other people told you to and that freedom is more liberating than you might think. There are things in your hands that you can change
Learning about quantum physics and changing my idea of time helped me a lot. The human mind isn’t made to conceive of the entire universe. It is far more complicated than our science tells us it is. Just because we experience linear time doesn’t make time linear.
My understanding of time has evolved and now I believe that all of time is happening all at once. Everything I might be afraid of has already happened and is happening right now. I have already died because those future moments are always happening, too. I don’t need to fear it.
I visualize it like every single moment in time is a room in an infinitely large hotel. I’m in this room & I can’t go into those other rooms but I know they’re there. All the people I love who have died are just in the other room. They are still existing. that is comforting to me
There’s more, but that’s probably enough super weird stuff for most people. A family friend who is an astronomer told me that humans are the universe looking at itself. That one thought changed a lot for me because it’s true and that is a purpose. It’s enough just to be that.
The universe wants to see itself from this perspective. It’s OK my human perspective is limited, because this is one way to look at things. The Biocentric view of the universe also made a big impact on me. I keep finding more true understandings.
I got this from Interstellar but I believe the fundamental nature of the universe is to do everything it can. Whatever can happen will happen. This gives an answer to a lot of my mind’s questions and stops it from incessantly spinning & forms a coherent picture w my other beliefs
Finding answers to my biggest questions and enough existential peace that I could keep living was hard bc the only advice people usually have is to tell yourself a happy fantasy or just not think about it - neither of which my brain will permit me to do.
I had to dive into it instead, to understand my greatest pain, to know why there was so much cruelty in the world. If the universe wants to see itself from this perspective and it wants to do everything it can do, then the best thing I can do is be the most me I can be.
Letting myself see and understand the cruelty in the world let me see what was really happening, and all the people suffering and feeling like nobody cares. If I’m going to be alive anyways, I will stand with them. I didn’t care about the stigma bc none of it is real
Studying history and humanity helped me see the rise and fall cycle of civilizations and accept they are inevitable, and never permanent, so I didn’t need to worry about any of the cycles I see. I can just focus on making life better for the people I can reach. They are real.
I stayed in that place for a while & I had an unprecedented (for me) amount of inner peace even though I felt pretty sure I was going to see the end of this civilization in my lifetime, and that humanity would probably end not too long after that. I recently adjusted this belief.
I wasn’t planning on sharing this but it has been a pretty big recent shift in my existentialism, so here goes. After I saw the patterns of what humanity does to itself and the incessant competition for power and profit that would kill us - that’s when I discovered neurotypicals.
One day my brain had finally collected enough data and I saw the patterns of a thought process that was so foreign to me I could barely believe it was real. There was another way to think, one that was incredibly different from how I think, and it was the “normal” one.
This led me to figure out that I’m autistic, and to make a long story short, everything else I tweet about. What was amazing was when I started testing out my theories and telling people what I thought I saw in their minds and they felt seen and validated. It was real.
I watched people change how they felt about themselves in a matter of minutes. They saw that the parts of themselves they’d been told were wrong weren’t wrong - they were good. They had been ready to love themselves and just needed the missing information about who they are
I realized that there are a lot of people who don’t know who they are but they can know in five minutes if they’re ready to know it. Those people don’t have the brain wired for hierarchy and competition whose cycle I could see play out to the end. This was cycle breaking.
I saw that nature had given us exactly what we need to ensure we’d never have to drive ourselves to extinction - a balance of different kinds of human minds. The long-term consequence thinkers, the people whose empathy could extend to future populations affected by climate change
The balance was off because capitalism, white supremacy, and colonialism had created a system of oppression where the people who only think of short-term personal gain control everything, and the divergent people were being crushed in its gears, beaten down & told they’re broken.
Most people think that humans are selfish by nature, competitive, violent, hierarchical. Even with climate change barreling down at us it feels like the systems are too entrenched to change. You can’t change that many people’s minds, they’ll always put profit first. Human nature.
But that’s not human nature - it’s just one kind of human nature. It might be less than half of human nature. We’ve all been making models where the basic assumptions are wrong. The models are wrong. We don’t have to change any minds, we just need people to see who they are.
I saw when I told people what I believed was in their minds how quickly they recognized themselves not as weak, childish, or broken, but as the person they knew they truly were. The world told us that being us is impossible and we had to change. We need to know we’re not alone.
If there are that many people who are that different and that ready to realize it, that changes the variables completely. We don’t need bloody revolution, we don’t need to change anyone. All we need to do is politically organize and advocate for ourselves. That changes everything
I have no idea what would happen after that. I could guess but it would be too inaccurate to be worth it. The ripple effect is exponential. And that’s not up to me. Like I said in the beginning, I’m not attached to the results. All I can do is reach who I can reach.
Even if all I do is help some people feel better about their brain and feel like they can live a more authentic life and the systems of power stay the same and we careen toward extinction anyway - that still mattered. Everything matters.
So that’s where I am existentially. I feel more uncertainty & possibility than there was before, and I love uncertainty & possibility. I love that I have no idea what will happen. I haven’t shared these beliefs before because they’re just my beliefs. I don’t know if they’re true
I share what I know to be true and that’s the only thing in my control. I don’t need to convince anyone to share my beliefs, that’s not relevant to the outcome. I don’t share these kind of beliefs very often because they’re mine, they’re personal, there’s no way to prove them
I don’t like to argue about beliefs that are foundational to my values & identity and I know how all this could seem to people. But if any of these ideas bring you peace, take what works for you and leave the rest. My mind is a nice place to be right now, I hope you find the same

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More from @erikaheidewald

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 24 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
8 Apr
the only good thing about homework for me is it gave me something to do in class. that’s the only reason i wasn’t super disruptive bc i definitely couldn’t just pay attention so i did all my homework. any bigger project that i had to do at home i just .. did not do
i would completely forget about the existence of these assignments as soon as i was out of school which ended up in things like me inventing a book to do a book report about bc i forgot that assignment existed until the night before. pulled that one off
it did not go well when we had an assignment of building a musical instrument in science class, which i was supposed to be doing over the course of about two months and i only remembered the weekend before it was due so i built one & it didn’t work. had to play it for the class
Read 8 tweets

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