The Dangers Of Ableism, Assuming, and Judging Others When Not In Their Shoes

Trigger warning: Ableism, strong language, person-shaming, the dismissing of one’s dreams, personhood, and character, a lay person attempting to make a diagnosis over the internet, unwillingness to get to know a person before judging them.

As many of you know me, i am an Autistic adult who is here on Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, Twitter, WordPress, and Blogger, to tell my life story, for several reasons. One reason is that most of my family are not physically living near me now; they all moved out of state during the ’90’s and early 2000’s, with the exception of one brother who still lives here…..back when i was doing better than i am now…..back when my physical health was still good.

But i am not close to most of my family, nor have i ever been close to most of them. Most of my family shun and ignore me.

I am very lonely, and i badly need local friends who will get and accept me.

I am looking for understanding, comnpassion, empathy, kindred souls.

I am looking for Autistic-friendly help and services so that i can move and try to get on with my life as my life has been stalled at Mean Bully Monster Street for the past 23 years, trapped, unable to escape.

I am looking to belong….and to feel safe in this world.

I am seeking to speak out and to be heard.

And to educate everyone via my story….both the good, and the negative parts that really really suck.

No. I did not dsay that my Autism sucks.

My Autism does NOT suck. I repeat: My Autism Does Not Suck!! 

And i am PROUD to be Autistic!!

What sucks is when i am told i am a fraud, and a scam,

or that i am not Autistic enough, or that i am too high functioning to be Autistic.

****Fuck functioning labels!!!!****

It really really sucks when i am told that i am not even Autistic, that i have “other” issues instead, like it’s a bad thing, like i am a bad person.

And it sucks when people imply i can work and “do better” than i am doing….as if they are implying that i am lazy and want everything handed to me.

That REALLY sucks to be called lazy when i KNOW that i am not lazy.

And it really REALLY sucks when people misunderstand and say that i am wallowing in self-pity!!

I don’t understand why people assume these kinds of things about those who are Autistic. It is like they assume Autism isn’t a real neurological disorder and disability…’s like the memes that read “But you don’t LOOK disabled….” –OR–“You can do better, if you just tried harder.” They assume that Autism is a behavioral problem and that we all need to be scolded, fixed, cured, yelled at, chastised, and corrected.

Read my blogs. Watch my videos. talk to me. Get to know me!! 

Within the past two days a lady who has never met me made shitloads of very cruel remarks to me and about me on a comment thread where a friend had posted my GoFundMe page to be nice and help me to get more donations…..yes, i have a GoFundMe page, because i am seeking the funds to move from here to a better place where i won’t be bullied anymore, where i can get Autistic friendly help and services, and the good healthcare i haven’t been able to get here. I started this GFM page when i was still struggling with caregivers who were very abusive and who were extorting money, food, candy, and snacks from me, when i thought i had a way to move to the state of Michigan. I was going to use the funds for that move. But i now have a wonderful caregiver who does get me, and who is VERY sweet, patient, and who is always happy and laughing, and we have fun when she is here. My GFM page is still up though, because i still do need to move from the neighborhood i am living in because it is very noisy, and most of my street is zoned “light industrial”. These houses were all here before the industries came in 1976. Before ’76, my street dead-ended right outside of what is now my house. Some of the employees and their friends, in some of the nearby businesses began bullying me 10 months after i moved here, and my mental and physical health has taken a real beating ever since. How i have survived as i have all this time, is only due to God, my mom, my two nice sisters, and the few friends i have managed to meet along the way. And then came the internet and Facebook, and now i have an awesome online circle of friends who do get me.

I feel safe here on Facebook. Very safe.

But the bullying, ongoing abuse from past caregivers, and the emotionally violent break-up of a six year long friendship that was also an awful up and down rollercoaster ride…..has taken a real toll on me. Physically and mentally. Just because i can still type, still laugh, still talk, and still function on some levels, does not mean i am okay to go out and get a job today. Nor does it mean i can snap out of this and pull myself up by my own bootstraps.

Below is a list of the things this lady said to me…..

First, she said that i am probably another scam. No, i am not. I really do need help, because i don’t have the funds to move on my own. I am trying to save up for my move….but i also need things along the way, like new underwear, etc., that keeps coming out of that move money. I only get so much per month from Social Security Survivor’s benefits—and i have to live on that. I am also an adult. Who cannot handle being around alot of people for too long, and i cannot handle things like talking on the phone, which also involves talking to people, nor can i handle much of anything else that puts me in the line of fire of the types of things that csn trigger sensory overload for me, and then meltdowns., and then there’s the street noise. The loud deliberate hot rodding that the bullies do that is a constant here, is a major disruption for me, so i am up at night, because i use that time to decompress from the noisy days.

My specific answer to her was this: “I am Melissa. I can assure you i am not a scam artist. If you get to know me, and you can do so by clicking on my profile and reading my FB blogs, as most of them are set to public view, you will see my story. I have nothing to hide. I even sold my car and don’t drive anymore because of my health, and because i could not afford the upkeep and insurance on the car anymore. I am in hell. Because now i am housebound too, except for when i get out to go to doctor’s appointments and to my bank with my caregiver. I never get to go to the ocean to see and hear the waves anymore. I really love the ocean, so this bothers me greatly to not be able to get to the nearby coast. Please get to know me before you call me a scam.” I went onto tell her: “I would even be willing to stay living in this house if it could be renovated, and if the bully situation did not exist.”

I invited her to read my blogs, and watch my videos!!

To which she wrote back: “Well, you certainly have a huge wishlist, wanting to take all these trips to New York, Michigan, New England, Washington DC……out of curiosity, have you ever been diagnosed with anything other than autism? Also, you obviously have access to a computer, and i’m assuming a telephone. Have you ever considered taking a job as a telemarketer? You could work at home and make your own money, which is something i am sure you would love to do. You don’t even have to meet the people you talk to! it would help you to take control of your own life and take these trips instead of asking other people for money.”

My reply: “T—–, first of all, are you Autistic? I am too keyed up by the environment i live in to be able to work at any job. Telemarketing involves talking to people who would, most of them, be rude and hang up on me. I don’t have the ability to be able to handle that kind of thing. It is NOT that i don;’t want to work. Just because i can type and am articulate, does not mean i still don’t have disabilities. They are just hidden. You sound antagonistic, and i don’t appreciate, nor can i handle that. I feel as if i am being placed on trial by you. And you do not even know me yet!!”

And i went onto say: “And i am not supposed to have dreams? Come on, i’m a human being, for Pete’s sake!! I have a right to my dreams!! :/

I blocked her. I had to. Because i was feeling attacked and judged.

Her last reply before i blocked her was this: “I’m sorry you’re getting defensive over me saying that there are employment opportunities out there for you. As for whether or not i am autistic, i am actually in the diagnosis process myself, and there is strong evidence to support a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.” She went onto say her son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, that her father may have a form of ASD….and….”’re not being placed on trial, but there comes a point in everyone’s life, autistic or neurotypical, when you have to be able to pull yourself out of whatever quagmire you’ve sunk into. If you want all these things, then you have to be able to figure out how to make them happen. Compassion, understanding, generosity….these things you ask for….are all wonderful human traits, and asking for help is not shameful, but refusing to take responsibility for your own life is.” She went onto say, and this is the rest of her reply to me: “Do you have the will, and the intent, to make your life better on your own, or are you always going to need another donation, another helping hand, another benefactor? I don’t say these things to be rude to you, nor to hurt you, but rather, as an autistic woman myself, i want you to succeed. I want to see a video on YouTube a year from now where you celebrate your joys and your victories, rather than bemoan your sorrows and wallow in self-pity. Rise up! Rise up and be free! And do it for yourself, under your own power. I wish you the best of luck.”

First of all, she implied that i somehow made this quagmire i am in myself. No, my dad’s health was declining, so i had to move here….and i have not had the means to move from here, so have been living here for the past 23 years. It’s either that, or be homeless. Then she goes onto imply that i am always going to need help. Well, ya know what? Autism is lifelong. I will always need help. What’s so effing bad about that? Again, this lady doesn’t know how i got to this point in life, all she can see is how to fix me so i will shut up and go away.

After i blocked her, i posted to another lady on the same thread: “I understand many people have been scammed, so i get this. But like you say, T—– doesn’t know me, so for her to assume right off the bat that i am a scam too, is very unfair, and it is very triggering for me. Due to that, i have blocked her. I have nothing to hide. You are free to go watch all of my YouTube vlogs, and read all of my blogs that i have written, —-, but i have a strong feeling you already have.” 

My other remarks were:

“And as i said before, i know there have been scammers, and this is why i thought long and hard before i actually went ahead to set up a Go Fund Me page….because i knew some people would misunderstand and think i was trying to scam too. But as God Himself is my witness, i am not scamming. My plight is real.”

And then she went onto post more. But since i have her blocked, i could not see it, but others could, and they have read to me what she said.

She says that she is still suspicious of me.

She says that she feels i don’t have a form of higher-functioning autism at all, but that it is something else, and that that’s the reason why i act as i do.

She said that she has seen my videos, that my plight with the bullies seems to be real but that she sees a form of paranoia in me.

She called me way too defensive.

She said i am not autistic, because autistics tend to suppress their symptoms, and i don’t suppress mine.

She said she has the tools to help people like me…..but that i’m a person who would rather have everything done for me, and then i complain when i don’t have all the luxuries in life that i want.

It sounds as if nothing i say and do will convince people like her any other way. She has already diagnosed me, and been my judge and jury. I would have been more than happy to engage with her, answer all of her questions, etc., but i felt as though i was being put on trial…..i felt like i was being picked on and attacked. If she had been friendly, and open with me, it would have been so much different, and she would have gained a new friend, but she chose to be adversarial instead.

I hope more and more will be written about this. 

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