My aunt tried to gaslight me on my Facebook post.

Link: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3036141743338434&id=100008279138356

Long story short, I asked my grandmother to stop insulting me, which was causing me mental pain. They know well and good that I am autistic with CPTSD. And that CPTSD makes it extra difficult to decipher jokes at my expense. I was then told to deal with the triggers, or pack my stuff and leave.

I’ve been gaslit many times before in various settings, but this time made me realize something interesting: Writing so much detail about my social experiences has allowed me to break down my thoughts and figure out whether what I’m thinking is being influenced by myself, or the internal reaction from being gaslit.

I already write a lot to understand my thoughts because interpreting my thoughts as language is difficult, but I look back at my writing and it’s almost like I’m constantly trying to reassure myself against the self-doubt that is instilled into me.

I feel like I have to constantly prove myself worthy. I know I’m worthy, but there’s a deep-seated urge to convince myself I’m not.

With this epiphany, I can only get stronger from here. I feel like I’ve developed an important skill where I can channel my thoughts into a sort of self-therapy filter where I’m calm, reassuring, and validating with myself.

Coping.

My end goal is having lived in more places and having more employers than anyone on the planet. I will succeed!

/sarcasm

Actually, I will take this moment to describe the mysterious existence that is neurotypicality. The norms, the hidden rules, and the continued ignorance of autistic neurology. It’s a shame. The unawareness of how much work it takes to decipher it all is a damn shame, especially considering how much information about autistic people can be easily found, and how much we’re trying to talk about it in person.

And the fact that PTSD exacerbates the potential break down of the cognitive ability that allows masking autistics to appear neurotypical is completely disregarded.

This is a problem. I’ve lost so many jobs and places to live just because people don’t take the time to acknowledge what autism and PTSD are and how they intertwine in an autistic person’s overall functionality.

My mind is tired but all in all, I stand strong.

Finding a place.

In the past when people asked what I “do”, I’d tell them that about my goals in electronic repair and the repair business, but it never felt right saying it. It felt like I was trying to force the words.

Then over the past few years, I’ve slowly come to realize that I just don’t care about electronic repair as a worker anymore. The only reason why I ever really got into the electronic repair field is because I bought a broken PC on ebay in 2010 and learned how to replace the broken parts. I also got into online selling as a hobby.

Learning how anything works in fine detail is fun for me, so I went on to learn more and more about electronics, but the intricate knowledge just wasn’t sticking. I also had an interest software development for a bit. Electronics are interesting, but the topic just doesn’t satisfy my mind anymore.

And now, I want to dedicate my labor to critical writing and local political activism from a neurodivergent and working class dual perspective. I also want to work with an organization to help build democratized and worker-owned businesses.

There’s so much potential in democratized workplaces that can foster a better life for so many working, and non-working people. And I am gonna dedicate my life to building that potential in my own life and the lives of those around me.

It feels amazingly clarifying to have this epiphany. I feel like I found my place in society. I feel so euphoric right now.

Sarcasm

A common misconception about autistic people is that we don’t understand humor or sarcasm. This is a myth. And the reasoning for the formation of this myth is the unawareness in how we process spoken words.

During social interactions, we reiterate what people say in our own voice, sometimes subconsciously, in order to understand what is being spoken. This can happen externally or internally. This phenomenon is called echolalia.

But when this happens when we’re analyzing a joke or sarcasm, it seems like we don’t understand. Non-autistic people just assume we’re taking the joke seriously when that’s not the case at all.

In reality, we haven’t had a chance to analyze the context of the words yet, which includes reviewing the vocal tone and cognitively drawing connections. The rate of this process can vary depending on the autistic person and the social environment they’re in. And the timing of this process is used as proof for us misunderstanding humor.

So basically, it is only thought that we don’t understand humor because we’re denied the chance to understand, and the process of doing so is widely unrecognized.

The Double Empathy Problem

So there are specific communication differences between autistic and non-autistic people. And one difference in particular is when information is communicated that requires immediate emotional reciprocation from a listener.

The non-autistic, neurotypical expectation, is for the listener to react immediately and in a way that reflects the presented information, but that doesn’t always happen.

Sometimes my reactions don’t “match”, or seem genuine. Sometimes I do not react at all, while staring off into the distance. This happens because feelings are too intense and I am still busy processing what is being said along with my own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I even laugh and this is usually a coping mechanism. All in all, I am trying to keep up with expectations.

When people do not understand this difference between autistic and non-autistic communication, I cannot successfully maintain relationships with them and oftentimes, I get labeled as socially incompetent and lacking empathy by those with the power to do so. As a result, personal and professional social roles and relationships are negatively affected.

This phenomenon is an example of the “Double Empathy Problem”. This phenomenon is important to understand because non-autistic people regularly assume that autistic behavior means something entirely different because of neurotypical bias. Also, autistic people lacking empathy is a lie that has been perpetuated by the mental health industry for decades.

This problem is an unfortunate one, but spreading awareness and acceptance in how autistic people communicate is a way to correct it.

Workplace mental abuse video project

I’m finally able to view the videos of me being mentally abused and gaslit at my last job, leading up to me being terminated. These clips are really difficult to watch because it makes me feel like I’m experiencing the abuse all over again.

But once I edit and publish them social workers, therapists, and peers will see the able-ism I deal with so no one will be able to accuse me of doing something wrong or not trying hard enough.

Feels good, but it’s sad that I have to do this video project just to prove that I am treated unfairly. I’m so tired of people not believing me.

The mental health awareness ends at workplace, and that must change.

It’s been about 2 months since I got fired. My ability to function is getting better again and my work-related CPTSD symptoms have decreased. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m recovering from that horrific burnout.

Normally I would go to a social worker and therapist now, but they constantly push me to mask and get discriminating, exploitative jobs and encourage me to go back to able-ist schools that cause me to feel like I do in the first place. Not this time though.

Sometimes, the patient must become their own therapist because the mental health and wellness industry seeks to profit off of reinforcing able-ist societal infrastructures rather than addressing them.

I’m not saying that professional help is bad, I’m just making a point that it’s not neccessary to “fix” people who aren’t broken just to sustain a patient as an asset. If a person needs professional care then that’s fine, but that care must acknowledge root causes of “mental illness”: Institutionalized able-ism.

I’ve fully realized that mental wellness requires the demand for external support and the altering of environments, I have become my own therapist and psychiatrist. I mask myself into “separate voice” and talk to myself now. I’m also privileged with financial and social support. So now I’m able to care for my own mind because professionals that were supposed to help me do that chose to end their care at the office door.

I’m fine, but many other people are forced to mask until they can’t work, get gaslit by professionals, and end up homeless because they don’t have the privilege I do.

Both employers and the mental health care industry have a lot of homework to do.

Code-switching

I just learned about the term “code-switching”! I was aware of the definition, but I had no idea that it actually had a defined term.

Basically, code-switching is when a person of a minority race must question themselves, their own culture, language, and general self-expression before entering social situations that present white normalcy (“white” as in behavior, use of language, etc). After the person questions themselves, they can then act as “white” as possible for the purpose of survival and acceptance.

The need for code-switching is a remnant of colonization.

Semantics are important.

I am realizing why people respond to me with “you’re arguing semantics” or “you’re overanalyzing my words”. It’s because they won’t accept that their communication was unclear and they wanna be passive-aggressive about it to avoid self-criticism.

I usually respond with “yeah?”, and keep arguing semantics because questioning, reiterating, and analyzing what, how, and why people say things is literally the only way I can fully communicate with others.

That’s how my brain works and people literally get upset at my ability to critically analyze a conversation. It’s not my fault they can’t figure out how to properly communicate. 😂😂😂