Thursday, February 23, 2006

Drowning in Discrimination

I checked a listserv I belong to and found several posts politely telling me I have no idea what I'm talking about when I criticise ABA. I politely responded, but I found it draining. I've been having a rough time on other lists too, so that might be related. Anyway, I just felt a need to get away.
It seems like everywhere I look there's discrimination. I remember at one point it became too painful to read anything about autism from a mainstream point of view - so I limited myself, for the time, to reading autistic rights stuff. But that kind of stuff is hard to find and only available for the most common stuff. For example, there is no stuff written about valuing 2q37 deletion people for who they are, that I know about. There's Max's Magic, about a boy with Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome, but examples like those seem uncommon.
So I decided to take a break and sign up to rat listservs and play Mummy Maze. Then Mom came to get me, and I talked with her about it.
I don't feel bad about what I wrote on that list. I don't really feel that bad about what the other people wrote either. But I'm tired of having to constantly justify viewing disabled people as worthwhile just as they are. I wish Tambura, the land I invented where disabled people are respected, was a real place, because I really want to go there. Take a vacation there.
I bet there are others who feel this way. Others who wish they could just go and get away from the discrimination they're facing. In fact, Mom suggested I go and find non-autistics facing the same thing.
I'm not really getting to the point, I think, because there isn't much of a point. Just that I don't fight discrimination just to get an ego-trip, and that it takes a toll on me. Even just the little stuff, the stuff that is pretty minor. And I need to be able to research my interests (disabilities) without having to shield my feelings from what I read, and mentally edit out stuff, just so I can cope. As I get more involved in advocacy for other disabilities, it gets harder to do this.
But I'm not giving up. The stakes are too high. I think I'll just put less focus on awareness for a bit and more on getting support.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I made this blog because I wanted to post on a blog that only allowed bloggers to post. But now that I've made it, I suppose I'll do stuff with it. Not sure what, however.
I'm 16 years old, and go by the alias Ettina on the internet. I have been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder and PDD NOS aka atypical autism. Complex PTSD means that rather than being caused by a single life shattering event, it's caused by trauma occuring on a regular basis, in my case in the form of my cousins/foster siblings sexually abusing me as a little kid.
I oppose curing autism. Our society is scared of differences, so we tend to reject different people, minimise their differences or try to make them just like us. Sooner or later we have to learn that two people can be extremely different and be equally worthwhile, and in fact that everyone is equally worthwhile even if some equation balancing "bad" difference with "good" difference doesn't even out. For example, a person who can't walk or talk and is at the cognitive level of a baby at 10 years old (which isn't autism but profound developmental delay) is just as worthy as a person who can walk and talk and is at the cognitive level of a 15 year old at 10 years old, and the first person doesn't need some "special quality" to even it out, nor does the second person need some surprising inability to even it out. They are both just as wonderful, but in different ways.
I also oppose the discrediting of recovered memories. I repressed most of my memories of abuse. I didn't have brain damage or anything, my only brain differences have been shown to make someone more likely to remember early childhood. I haven't recovered any memories, but I know people who have. The false memory theory doesn't explain why people recover memories of abuse starting at age 3 when their daughter turns three, even though they're not in therapy, for example.