let’s go

let's go
Ming at the rose garden! Asian-American non-binary person grins with some plant life in the background.

“What would you have done, if I’d started screaming at those people at the park?” I asked Ming.  He was driving, and I was passenging.  I’d just been sensory and socially freaked out by inconsiderate party goers at the park.  “Would you have said, ‘Let’s go,’ and moved us out of there?”

“No,” Ming said.  “I think it would have been good, for you to say what you needed to say.”

“Hmm, ok,” I said.  “But I didn’t say anything.”

“Right,” he said.  “But if you had said something, I would have supported you.”

“Ok,” I said.  “Thank you.  And then if it started getting ugly, you would have said, “Let’s go.'”

“Yeah, if it was looking dangerous,” Ming said.

spouse as body guard

I imagined my spouse standing there, feeling the vibe of the crowd, as I screamed at people.  Spouse as body guard–spouse as disabled person sitter.  We’re both disabled and interdependent.  But he hasn’t had to do much mitigation in public.

I never scream–keeping quiet is one of the ways I try to stay safe.  Agoraphobia, caution, and consistently opting to keep my mouth shut have both good and bad consequences.  They’ve kept me out of jail, but all the screams I wanted to scream have been trapped inside of me.

To a degree I can express my truth in writing, like writing this essay.  But the bodily feelings like rage eat at me.  Silence keeps me safe in one way, but I endanger myself in another way.  I stay out of jail, but I’m harmed by sacrificing self-expression and not sharing my whole truth with the world.

initial physical reaction

Talking about it from a reserved frame of mind right now is satisfying in a way.  But screaming my head off in a park and telling selfish people off would be a whole different thing.  I would prefer a world where people can discuss issues in a level-headed way.  But that initial physical reaction is important too, and it gets trapped inside of me.  I need days / weeks / years afterward to work it out.

Yoga, trike riding, crying, dreams, art making, journaling, and other ways of moving my feelings through are helpful after the fact.  But it might be more effective to express it right away, to the people who inspired it.  It would definitely be faster!

No obnoxious party person is going to read this essay, regret they hurt people with their confetti fun, and decide never to act that way again.  Today they’re going about their lives, oblivious to the sensory needs of others as important or mattering at all.  If I’d yelled right away, at least some of them might have heard that they hurt someone.  And that might protect the next autistic person.

being out

Being out as a queer person feels almost like a responsibility, if I can do that safely.  If I’m out as queer, I can help make an environment where other people are free to do the same.  Queer becomes more known and normal, so more and more people can accept it.  In that way, progress is made.

That’s how I feel about autistic liberation, fat liberation, and mad pride also.  If I can speak up, I hope that will make things better for the other people who are not as communicative.  As a white woman, I’m seen by many as less threatening than other demographics of people.  And I can talk ok, and my voice is possible for many others to hear.

I’m privileged to be verbal, comprehensible, and a demographic who’s perceived by many as mostly harmless.  So I want to speak as I can.

absorbing pain

It’s always easier to choose to hurt myself, over hurting others.  Myself, I have a good sense of how I’ll react.  Others can be wildly unpredictable, which is terrifying.

But I might try experimenting with hurting others.  Not that I would want to hurt anyone.  But if someone’s gotta take the emotional hit, maybe it shouldn’t always be me.

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *