12 January, 2011

from the inside, #2

The reason I'm titling these posts this way is that they both are anecdotes that I think are really funny--and in this case, really cute--but I feel like they'd make absolutely zero sense to people who don't have a similar identity and experience to mine, re: disability. So to some people they may come off as being really strange and out of context, but I'm hoping someone from my kind of place will relate to them instinctively.

In terms of socializing, I used to always have a strong feeling that I liked my friends much more than they liked me, so that showing that I liked them was showing weakness and showing that I wasn't normal. I was always really afraid of stalking someone or being an obsessive friend so I thought of myself as having to play this game where I'd be kind of unkind to people or wait to call them until they called me first. Now that I can think about these things more clearly, I think that being nice to people and reaching out to them usually makes them like you; it's not more complicated than that with the people I know. But I still end up feeling some of these urges to withdraw from people because it seems safer and more normal and more dignified. I used to have some food issues and making someone feel like I don't like them, or not calling them, feels basically the same as not eating. I am a winner.

Anyway, the upshot of this post is just that my best Autistic friend and I always use the word "supercrip" to refer to the person who "wins" in any interaction--i.e. the person who hangs up first, is called rather than calling, or displays less emotional connection to what's going on. I just think this is a cool usage because it shows how when you have problems with your disability identity, you can end up relating disability to all your problems and seeing really strange behaviors and accomplishments as "not being disabled anymore," i.e. winning, i.e. being a supercrip.


  1. What the fuck. Get out of my brain. This is how I go through life all the time (except I don't have any friends who acknowledge this).

    What the hell? I thought I was the only one in the world with this problem!

  2. oh good, I thought you might be in here.

  3. Very much agree! It's less freaky to come across as sort of unfriendly which has been my technique through most of life. When I like someone, I really like them and want to talk to them, flatter them, dote on them ever day or as often as possible. It's weird because if I am not able to express my fondness for someone in this way it's either all or nothing (or close to nothing, the bare minimum). There has always been atleast one person (a boyfriend or best friend) that I have devoted myself too at any given time in my life. I am a lost puppy if I cannot fully express my adoration for someone. Thankfully I now have a husband and a son that I can like as much as I want and it's not creepy. I don't have any girl best friends at the moment but there are several people I feel a strong desire to like too much, I just don't act on it and instead transfer the feelings to my family. It's still hard to hold back though, but I do it out of fear that I will be rejected or totally freak them out.

  4. Gosh I feel dumb but I didn't realize you got married. When did that happen?

  5. Yes.
    I always feel like calling someone (not really, I hate phones) or texting them or something will make me appear really desperate (even though I know people casually call/text each other all the time). Now that I'm thinking it through a little more, it seems like I'm still stuck at lunch in middle school, where if we (my one sort-of-friend and I) sat near the cool kids we would be chased off or mocked. I mean I still think of most friends/potential friends as being better/cooler (I think I mean normal-er) than me.
    I've forgotten what point I was trying to make there, so I'll end with "I think I have some messed up ideas about what friends are".

  6. Yes. Thank you for this.

    Up until recently (like a month ago) I was still seriously surprised every time I e-mailed or called someone and they were genuinely happy to hear from me. Even though it's been happening a lot.

    I also think it (weirdly and ironically enough) makes us seem less friendly because, for instance, I've avoided e-mailing friends for a while after pretty minor disagreements because I was certain I was the "nasty" or "evil" person in the situation. And when I finally stuck my head up again, they would usually say "why didn't I do it earlier."

  7. Oh my fucking god Amanda, this is so me. Except, it seems that like most of the screwy shit that happens in my head, it mostly (only?) happens with other men. Which is fucking weird. AUGH.