03 April, 2011

Here's the thing. I don't owe you anything.

I'm so fucking sorry for having a similar disability to yours, and writing about disability and ableism on the Internet. Sorry for being good friends with you for a few months and continuing to stay somewhat in contact for a year after that--although not very close contact, partly because we don't have much in common, but also because of your insistence that I'm a hypocrite for not helping you more.

I'm sorry your life sucks, but it's not my fault it happened nor is it my job (or within my abilities) to fix your problems.

You sent me an email telling me to "mind the gap" between my public writing and who I actually am. Actually, there is no gap, since I never made a post on my blog saying I wanted to devote energy I don't have to supporting anyone with autism who asks for my support. You are the reason that I'm stonewalling this guy with ASD who has contacted me and seems to really want to talk to someone and in all likelihood is a nice person. You are the reason I'm standoffish when people with ASD contact me on the Internet, because you have made me feel like everyone I give the time of day is going to start pulling out my insides and that's what I deserve for writing a blog.


  1. Sorry to hear you're dealing with difficult friendships. You shouldn't feel like you're supposed to take on duties you didn't agree to and it's not your job to help everyone. You're a writer, and you write and I think that helps people but no one is entitled to your labor.

    I hope things get better soon, and also you're awesome. Good luck. <3

  2. I emailed you a while back, got one response and haven't heard from you... I don't have the arrogance to assume that this post has anything to do about me (we're BOTH college students trying to keep so many tasks organized) but I still wanted to comment.

    When I emailed you said that you didn't want to be the kind of person who didn't respond to emails. But I am the kind of person who doesn't respond to emails. There are so many loose ends, people I wish I had helped or stayed in contact with and the truth is that I already am dealing with too much to do everything I want to do. Pretty much on a daily basis I wish I was doing more for people than I am. I've sporadically done some things, fits of activism in circles you'll probably never frequent, but the truth is that I just can't keep it up right now. And knowing that, I don't take it personally at all that you didn't respond to me again.

    You don't owe people anything for doing what you do here, for helping people with your writing. Even though I don't comment here normally I really appreciate your writing and am very thankful that you've done as much as you have. I don't know what you're dealing with but please don't let it get you down and keep doing everything you can to take care of your own life. I learned the hard way that if you prioritize other people's needs above your own, you can't help ANYONE. Take care of yourself first. Keep writing when you can, too, since that seems to be important to you. I will definitely keep reading it.

    Even if we never have a conversation with each other again we are still impacting each others' live. Same for a bunch of other people. Humans are connected like that.

    Thank you for what you are doing here.

  3. Yikes! That sounds like a really uncomfortable situation.

  4. hi ashenatics, I'm not sure who you are--which name did you email me under? but this:

    I don't have the arrogance to assume that this post has anything to do about me

    just makes my heart hurt. I hope no one ever reads this and imagines or even has an inkling they might be the person this post is about. This person doesn't read my blog because of what in their opinion is the "gap" between my personal and public ethics. Or as they just informed me, "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

    Like...I just cannot even. And I feel so bad about people who email me and I don't answer (although I know you are right about prioritizing/putting yourself first, but I still know I should talk to people more). I think you're all good people and I've turned into this person who is afraid of feeling duty or loyalty towards other people with bad brains.

    (and thanks Kathryn and Fiona also)

  5. Never mind, I misread your comment and my heart hurt for nothing! You probably are one of the people I'm standoffish with, whoever you are.

  6. I emailed you under this same name but a different email domain at the end of it (don't really want to post it here). I'm also happy your your heart is back in good condition.

    I've never found you standoffish, although I can't speak for everyone you've ever talked to. Maybe you could do more (that's not a bad question for anyone to ask themselves) but you're already doing a lot. I also feel like you don't always answer for the same reasons a lot of us have trouble keeping up with things. Like if you could find a way to keep in touch with more people that would be great but it would be something a lot of people would be glad to find out about and you shouldn't be too hard on yourself about it. Plus you also have other places besides email to talk to you that are more convenient for you and I'm choosing not to use those anyway.

    I think you KNOW all this but I just want to be sure someone is telling you it anyway. My experience is that if people see something like what you wrote they immediately blame the person who wrote it and I don't know why.

  7. Go easy on yourself ♥ I adore you even though we don't have much in common besides our brains. You definitely do not owe anyone anything.