This past Saturday, I attended the North Carolina Writer’s Network Spring Conference. It was… let’s say interesting. In large part, because just like I do whenever I spend more than 10 minutes with neurotypical folks, I found myself wondering, “How the fuck am I the one with a ‘disorder’?” I mean, on their own, neurotypicals come off as rude, clueless, inconsiderate dicks who waste time on trivialities, ask stupid fucking questions, and talk over other people without seeming to realize that they’re even fucking doing it. Gather up a crowd and it’s a fucking nightmare. For me, that is. They don’t seem to even notice. Meanwhile, I’m cycling between rage and sheer goddamn exhaustion. And this, my friends, is a snapshot of what it’s like being neurodivergent in a neurotypical world.
It’s Just Fucking Exhausting
Have you ever been in a meeting that’s giving you tons of good information and there’s some cockwaffle who keeps asking stupid fucking questions, dragging things out, and keeping you from escaping that hell on earth? Try being in a room with 20 of those motherfuckers. All goddamn day. That was my Saturday. And, all that goddamn day, my mood swung between “Oh, this is cool. I’m digging it,” and “If you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m going to pull your goddamn tongue out of your mouth and strangle you with it.” While Saturday was extreme, most days contain some level of this shit. It’s why accepting an invitation to a social event is always a negotiation for me. Do I have the energy for this thing? If I do, will it be worth expending that energy? If it’s not, do I care enough about the people involved that I’m willing to expend it anyway? Hell, just deciding whether or not to fucking go can be exhausting.
You Are Worthy… Maybe
There’s one line in that negotiation that’s important: do I care enough about the people involved that I’m willing to expend some of my energy to be around them? I haven’t taken a poll or anything, but I’m pretty sure that most neurodivergent folks ask themselves some version of this question on a regular basis. Understand that if you know an endie and they spend time with you on the regular, that is a massive fucking compliment. Especially if they seek you out. It’s more than just the fact that we like you, it means that we see you as someone who’s safe, interesting, and worth spending what could be a significant chunk of our limited supply of energy. And, if we happen to beg the fuck off, it’s not personal. We’re just not in a place where hanging out is possible.
It’s a Numbers Game?
According to my son, the answer to my question of why am I the one who has a “disorder” is all about numbers: i.e. there are more of them than there are of us. And, while that makes sense, I feel like there should be more to it. I mean, really, the only reason I have to deal with a fuck ton of inconsiderate asswagons is that they outnumber people like me? That feels so fucking wrong. Like, it’s so wrong, it’s off the charts. It feels like the fucking Titanic of wrongness. So goddamn wrong, it was right but went past that and came back around to wrong again. It feels so wrong that if wrongness could be measured on a goddamn numerical scale, numbers don’t go high enough. So wrong–well, I think you get the picture.
Being Neurodivergent In a Neurotypical World
I realize that I may, just possibly, be coming off the least little bit frustrated about this. That’s because I am. As a neurodivergent in a neurotypical world, I walk on eggshells, trying my fucking hardest not to let my awkwardness and struggles with social shit become a problem for those around me. But neurotypicals appear to either be oblivious to their near-constant faux pas, or they just don’t give a fuck. If I did the shit that I see these fuckers do every goddamn day, I’d be ostracised. And yet, I’m the one with the word “disorder” attached to the way my goddamn brain works? How about one of you smart neurotypical types make this make some goddamn sense.