Friday, August 29, 2014

differently abled

It's funny the way how we learn to frame things as children can stay with us.

When I was a little kid, adults seemed impressed with me.  Instead of normal elementary school, on Tuesdays, I'd ride the bus to a different school, for "gifted and talented" children.

We were taught more interesting nuanced subjects.  Economics or archaeology, instead of "social studies" where I mostly just remember learning American history over and over.

I was a sensitive little kid, though.  Much younger looking than other kids my age, and the older we got, the more they seemed to notice.  As I got older, school became less about any of what we were learning, and more about just feeling anxious.  Not the cortisol driven kind that gives people panic attacks, no, more of a decidedly lethargic sort.  I just wanted a safe place to go sleep.  I was doing worse and worse in school, when I could even get myself there at all.

I wasn't really gifted anymore, so much as broken.  I tried not to think about how unfair it was that I couldn't have a normal childhood.  I kept trying to think of my differences as being something special, not something that was ruining my chances of having a healthy social life.

It wasn't until I was much older, that I came to doubt the accuracy itself, of that interpretation.  That maybe I'd even exaggerated my own problems, because I was so neurotic.  It wasn't until very recently that I learned about these different hormones the pituitary controls.  Not just spits out, creating a simple baseline, but regulates, producing more or less, as circumstances call for.  I might have been wrong about exactly what was going on, but that doesn't mean the situation could have been in any more control than it was.  Knowing that wouldn't have made the difference.

What that does change is the romanticization of those experiences.  Or humanization, depending on how you're inclined to look at it.  The attribution of fuzzier, more creative interpretations instead of depressing clinical terms.  A tendency to fall back on childlike framing of situations we don't really understand.

This makes life very confusing.  Everyone's got their own little stories they like to tell themselves, while facts hang precariously at the edge of becoming completely irrelevant.  So, is that why I don't trust people, or does is my brain just getting a wrong dose of oxytocin?

I don't even trust doctors.  They'll treat me one way or another, depending on whether they've read about some of the latest studies on this rare condition they may never have seen anyone else for.  When I was little, I had a pediatrician who would have preferred to ignore my levelled growth chart, not even bothering to get me tested, because the condition was too rare to be a realistic possibility.  I'm very lucky to have had a mother who wouldn't stand for that.

I have a new doctor's appointment now, though.  Just a GP, who I'll have to explain my need of an endocrinologist to.  She'll have to assess whether or not I'm just a crazy person or what.  I'm probably supposed to supply some sort of medical history, but I haven't kept track.  I don't even remember the names of any of the hospitals I've been through.  I don't understand how I'm supposed to deal with any of it.  I'm just winging it.  I'm afraid that maybe I am just a crazy person.

I desperately want to think of all this less clinically, so that I can go back to this is who I am, and it has its upsides, or benefits, or might turn out to be great, with just the right concoction of fanciful theories and conjecture.  I want to just be myself, and be fine with that, and not deal with any of this.

It is more difficult to romanticize something, the more it encroaches on my very survival, though.  I can't take care of myself.  I am extremely low-functioning for a perfectly competent person.  People seem to think I'm doing ok, despite doing nothing for over twenty years.  The closest I've come to independence was living alone in apartments procured for me by someone else, using my entire disability check to pay the rent.  I've never taken care of myself properly in all my life, so it's a bit of leap to count on me suddenly being able to do so now.

I have no idea what I'm going to do.  I need to do deal with these doctors and everything, but I also need it to be a sort of miraculous that I'm extremely wary of.  Nothing ever works like that.

Putting myself through all this is predicated on it, anyhow.  Have to at least give it a try.  If I can.  If doctors and insurance companies cooperate and everything.  It's not like I have my mother with me, to set them straight, otherwise.  I have to do it myself, when the problem is, that's just not who I am.  Emotive interpretations or more biochemically speaking, I'm all too likely to just keep hiding away in my room, scribbling away at my journal.

I don't know why I do this.  Or why I do or don't do anything.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

meanwhile, in post-racial missouri..

With all the uproar over Ferguson, I've been watching the nature of the disagreement itself.  As I often do.. Just seems important, as I'm not entirely convinced that the dichotomies that exist between people are necessarily all that rational.

So, a whole lot of it comes down to who we trust.  Which evidence we make the most of, and which we attempt to scrutinize into meaninglessness.  Which witnesses sound reliable, which stories sound plausible.  Of course, to me, it just seems to make sense, that you don't take the word of an accused murderer, over bystanders unrelated to the entire incident.

The other side may not admit it, or know how to put it coherently, but might argue that none of the witnesses are really quite so unrelated.  They're all on the opposing side, they might want to see an officer punished, they might lie.  Their stories might all be similar, because they're all based on the first witness whose description went public immediately.

How dare they, I know.  Except, I'd have to be naive to deny that it's more than just a vague possibility.  I also have to admit, I think much the same of the cops.

He was probably just angry about something stupid that was really his own damn fault, like bumping his face on the SUV door, when he hit Mike Brown with it, and it bounced back at him.  He probably went into a jack-booted rage over it, and grabbed the nearest black guy to threaten with his gun, in an attempt to reassert his manhood.  Oops, gun went off, and now that black guy he's so pissed at is getting away.  Fuck that, he's going down.
Of course he'd lie.

Makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, that the cop would be the monster here.  Not so much sense that someone without any psychiatric history of delusional reckless behavior, upon being stopped for jaywalking, would attack a cop, unarmed, through his SUV window.  Still, not as implausibly nuts that after being shot in the arm for it, he'd take off running, get a good 30 feet away, then turn around in an attempt to charge back at the cop who's actively shooting at him.  Lowering his head like a five-year old might do, pretending to be a ram, or something.  That seems to be about what the other side considers plausible.

We're both prone to thinking a certain type of people are prone to certain behaviour.  It comes down to who you trust, but I swear, people have some really asinine factors for considering trustworthiness.

That is, other than those who just think he deserved to be put down, for getting scared of a cop who'd just shot him, and trying to run for his life.  Never do that.  Never question a cop, never resist anything they try to do to you, never look them directly in the eye, and certainly never ever attempt to run away, even if they're spitting mad, and waving a gun around.  If you so much as flinch the wrong way, you deserve whatever the cop does to you.

No, those people are just fucking psychotic.

Friday, August 1, 2014

disproportionate

I support criticism of Israel. I think a lot of it is unfair, but a lot of it isn't. In general, I support it. Even for Israel's sake, I think that if they are wrong, it could be catastrophic for them, easily as bad as just letting their defenses down, completely.
I just see a whole lot of this as being something entirely different from criticism. It looks hateful to me, and I feel like that hate is being given a pass, ignored or even embraced as an ally, for sharing in criticism.
How many rail against Zionism, but don't really even know what it means? Or worse, maybe they do? How many people agree with them, just because they're mad at Israel?
When your criticism goes beyond a state's actions, to criticising its very existence, hating anyone who even believes in it, that isn't just criticism.
When you compare Israelis to Nazis, or their Prime Minister to Hitler?  Either you really believe it ..or you really don't, but just like saying it, anyhow.  Either way, that isn't just criticism.

Or as By Prof. Danny Ben-Moshe, of Haaretz puts it..