Why is it Always my Fault?
By Melissa K. Vassar-Belloso
Lately it seems like I’m hanging by the thinnest thread in the world. My whole life is in a constant state of crumbling apart around me and my mind isn’t my own anymore. It seems like no one is listening to me and just tonight I overheard my parents talking about what a strain it is to try to talk to me. You might think I was eavesdropping and in the wrong but then you’d be wrong. I barely turned a corner and got out of earshot before they started talking about me like I wasn’t there. I’m not naive to the fact that people talk about other people but what my question would be is how you can do that with knowledge the person is possibly in earshot. I guess as long as you have a need to vent the other person’s rights and feelings no longer matter and the right response is to make them feel like shit for getting offended by it. It’s just one more check in the “My feelings don’t matter.” column I guess. I’m not actually sure why I bother having or expressing them at this point. It never ends well.
When I said something about it I was of course corrected and told I was being mean. It was my fault again. It’s always my fault. Everything bad that happens in my life is always my fault somehow. Being that I feel I am a pretty awful person most of the time and a waste of breath, I’m inclined to agree. I’ve always thought of myself as a mistake and every single day I try to give life a shot and prove that theory wrong I get disappointed.
Sometimes for a brief moment I can validate myself. I have a right to get upset when someone says something upsetting, especially people I have no reason to trust because they have a history of being abusive. I’m not an idiot. I know the difference between a “joke” and stirring the pot. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because I have no power or rights. It’s probably my fault. My feelings are tiny and have no value. My opinions have no weight. One day I’m going to die and no one is going to give a shit that I’m gone. Hell, I’ve been the most likely cause of my own death lately. The only reason I’m still wound free right now to write this is because my dog was staring at me when I picked my knife up. I couldn’t handle it,dropped the knife and started sobbing. I then hugged my dog and she curled up around me and licked my arm while I cried.
I honestly have no idea what I’m doing anymore. I just know at the end of the day my problems are my fault. It’s my fault I’m sick. It’s my fault that I’m a failure. It’s my fault I can’t get a job. Everything is my fault. I’m not sure why I keep trying to wake up to a different outcome. I just need to come around to accepting what a horrible and damaged human being I am. Things are not going to get better.
I’ve at least figured out at this point that the best thing I can do for my family is leave them alone and stop putting stress on them. If they feel like it’s a huge strain to interact with me the least I can do is not add to their stress. I actually joined an autism support group recently and I think I saw the best wording for this when someone posted about having to use the “good boy” mask around most of the people in their lives. They describe it as when you learn to just sit in a corner and be quiet so other people will leave you alone and stop throwing everything back at you. I guess I just have to learn to be a good girl so everyone else can be happier.
I’m sorry there’s no uplifting ending to this blog but I also think this is something that needs shared. Disability isn’t always going to have positive endings or silver linings. It’s not always “going to be okay” and you can’t brush it off by telling me I’ll feel better soon because you’re trying to not deal with the reality of who I am. You can’t just continually try to ignore a disabled person or try to stuff them in a corner. If you’re making a choice to love and support a disabled person and you can’t go 100% then do them a favor and stop causing more damage. It’s all fine when people want to support a stable person with a disability but then when the actual disability shows they lash out or bail. You have to shovel some shit to get a flower to grow. If you can’t do that then you aren’t ready to be part of a support network and that’s just the honest truth of the matter. I will have good days but I will also have bad ones and they will test you. I will say things I don’t mean that cut like a knife,push you away and crumble into a pile of pieces that seems unable to be repaired. If you can’t handle that then you can’t handle me and I’d appreciate you being honest instead of stringing me along or working beyond your own means.
I think what hurts the most is that my own family doesn’t seem to love me enough to give me a chance. I guarantee you that for me and probably every other person out there getting judged and shamed because people can’t see past their disability, they have a better side. If you stay strong and love me through my ugly times you’d see that I can be a friendly, fun and bright person in my own unique way. I would give you the shirt off my back when you’re cold or share my last scrap of food. I could tell you jokes that split your sides. But if you can’t see past the person my disability creates over top of that then you’ll probably never really know me and you’ll be the one missing out. I’m a difficult person to love and I’m fully aware of that. I just can’t always control what comes out and I refuse to keep attempting to apologize for something beyond my control.
My downtimes are part of who I am and lashing out at me when I can’t control my reactions or my moods isn’t going to make anything better. I have autism. I am going to be blunt. I’m not always going to be able to express myself appropriately. I’m not angry. I have a flat affect and a monotone. I need time to interpret information being thrown at me and if you push me into a corner instead of letting me process I will most likely bite a little because I’m in panic mode. You don’t have to tiptoe around me in conversations. That’s not accommodating. It’s patronizing and I don’t like it anymore than you would if I did it to you. If you don’t want to talk to me or you’re afraid of me then save both of us time and just say that. But go ahead and keep dumping on me. What matters is that everyone else besides me feels great and most importantly that YOU feel validated and respected. It’s just my fault again, right?
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