Note: my HS entry is not REMOTELY dead. In fact I’m almost finished. But this felt urgent.
One of the worst things about AS/HFA has to be the hell that is expressing myself. This might seem strange given there’s around 25,000 words here on this site so far but I’m sure there are issues with that too! This is an entry about what happens when, despite my best intentions, I completely misjudge a situation and humiliate myself.
This happens unexpectedly often and the root of it lies in one of the wonderfully weird things about us: we have a lot of context in our heads usually. When we speak, we hear that context even though others don’t. That has the effect of seemingly or even worse actually saying something very dumb. I might express support for a belief I’m diametrically opposed to when I’m trying to point out a nuance. I might express positive views on a bad piece of work when I’m trying to cite an angle. I might imply something I completely don’t mean to. I’ve even gone so far as to suggest I understood the female body better than a woman when I was trying to console someone.
Pretty humiliating, huh?
This happens a lot on twitter. 140 characters are not my ally. This is again ironic since I am headed for 20K tweets with a bullet but I step wrong a LOT there. I’ve made people furious despite my best intentions. Again, I have so much context in my head and it’s lost in translation.
In real life it’s easier to explain myself but of course much worse since I’m in the same room and can tell I’ve screwed up. Those I have a tendency not to live down. In movies when the sound drops out after something stupid is said? Yeah that’s very real. So is the urge to run.
The thing is, being humiliated is one of the worst things that happens to us. It’s a frustrating inevitability that comes from childhood. A physical bruise? That can heal and it stings so you at least feel the endorphins trying to protect you. But the realization you’ve said something that others are critical of? It breaks you. 9 years later I still have chills when I think about a point I made in an essay that I got mocked for by my professor. These things stay with you sadly.
It makes sense of course. Sadly most of us are victims of teasing. We’re rather, well, triggery. Even though a negative reaction to things we say isn’t teasing, it reminds us of it. We can’t help it.
That doesn’t mean others shouldn’t call us out. It’s just the agonizing fact of things. We’re perpetually going to be in this situation. We just have to develop thicker skin. Easier said than done? Sure. But, well, isn’t that the point.