Monday, January 4, 2016

Rebellion, Authority, and Vera

Trigger/Content Warning (TW/CW): this blog post contains mentions of abuse and dog fighting.  Reader discretion is advised.

If you were to put the words "Vera" and "Rebellious" together in a sentence, what would you come up with, Dear Reader?

Um, Vera doesn't have a rebellious bone in their body?

Heh, cute.  Okay, what about a sentence with "Vera" and "Authority"?

Hmm, Vera is an authority on all things Rolling Stones?

Well now, that type of flattery won't charm me that easily. *blushes*

Oh yeah, then why are you blushing?

Shush, you. It's....it's my rosacea.

Riiiiiiiiiight.

Okay, how's this for a sentence: Vera is rebellious against authority.

*spits out their beverage* BWAHAHAHAHA! You, Vera? Rebellious? Against authority? HAHAHAHAHA. You're about as rebellious as having that one night stand, holding up your entire book collection. Who told you that gem?

My psychologist.  And I see where she was coming from when she explained to me what she saw in me.

Oh, that's precious. Do tell.

Today I learned about the one thing about Dialetical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) that I feared I could never conquer as an Autistic: interpersonal relationships. I mean, come on; I suck canal water when it comes to these type of social signals.  However, my psychologist was able to unlock something in my head proverbially; like it was a missing gear to successfully run this figurative steampunk clock.

Here's how this works.  There is a triad (or triangle) of agendas that happen with everyone you talk to.  And I mean EVERYONE. Those three agendas are: 1) goals and desires, 2) self-esteem, and 3) the actual purpose of associating with an individual (or relationship).  When confronted with a situation, the person has to ask themselves what is more important in that situation: their own goals, their own self-esteem, or their association?  Heh, normally I would think, "well, who the fuck cares? People want the right answer, correct?" It turns out, it's not always that easy.

Damn neurotypicals; they have to make socializing a proverbial political chess game.

This is also where the whole concept of the idiom "picking your own battles" comes in.  When you analyze a situation, you have to decide "is this worth tackling for the sake of my goals, my ego, or my association"?  Yeah, you can't just sit there and break down everything in that situation with scientific formulas designed to create nuclear power for half of Asia.  This shit has to be pretty damn quick.  That's something I do not like; having to make up your mind without all the details and proper analysis and possibilities ratio.  This is why we have assdicks running for president and not watching what's coming out of their mouth (and wiping their face afterwards).

So where do I fit into all of this?  Growing up, I learned very early that if I wanted something, then I would have to fight tooth and nail (sometimes literally) to get it.  And since I wasn't exposed much to the outside world, I thought in general, this is how people on the outside dealt with situations.  That could explain why some of my closest friendships failed and why I ended up figuratively burning bridges (bad breakup of a professional business or authoritative relationship) with potential job leads and supervisors alike.

The first time I really noticed that people thought I was all stressed out over nothing was in 2000, when I was with City Year Cleveland.  My teammates and our leaders thought I was super active hyper nonstop.  Every little thing that went wrong, I was ready to fight.  That's what I was trained to do, more or less, in my home environment.  So I was given books to read, like "The Art of Doing Nothing," and "Don't Sweat the Small Things."  I was so offended back then, because I thought these folks were blind as fuck for not seeing the "corruption" that I was seeing.  And as I look back at it now, some of it was, in fact, valid, but most of it wasn't.  Ain't that a bitch?

This pattern would continue (and haunt me at the same time) for all of my other jobs from then until my last job ended in December 2013.  Everywhere I went, I was told to relax and lighten up.  That's not exactly what you would tell someone with the mindset of a prize fighter.  And for so long, I could not figure out what I was doing wrong, or why.  None of my coworkers or supervisors knew either.

And it's not just with jobs I had issues with.  I had issues with teachers in school, because they did things that I thought were "very bad" (again some of it was actually warranted, but not all of it).  I took doctors in various fields to task whenever they felt that I didn't need certain procedures.  Hell, even members of the clergy at synagogue were victims of me lashing out because of massive misunderstandings that I was not aware of.  It probably explains why I have a hard time with close relationships; one slip and I feel that the association is going to be over in a short period of time.  How anybody is still willing to put up with me to this day is a braver and stronger person than this brat.

Oh, and here I thought "authority" meant "authorities," like the police and the legal system. Say, if a judge sees this and automatically thinks that you "rebel against authority," what do you say to them?

I am a dog.

*raises eyebrow* Huh?

I am a dog. A dog who was rescued from their handlers, who ran a piss poor underground dog fighting circuit.  Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Bulldog, German Shepard; doesn't matter what breed.  I am a mutt.  A mutt who was taken in by some seriously patient and gracious individuals, who saw beautiful and amazing things in me that I was trained to shun against, because it made one of the handlers "look bad."

Like, why do you always have to blame your family for your dysfunction?  Don't you take some responsibility for yourself?

I do. Step one is being aware.  Step two is acknowledging my actions based on this awareness.  Step three is to apologize to those who I hurt, knowingly or unknowingly.  Yeah, it reads like a Jew would do during the High Holy Days (especially around and on Yom Kippur), this rehash of their actions towards others and see what went right and what went wrong.  But as long as I continue to learn more about myself, both good and bad, the more I can become a better person and help others while I have some time left on this planet.

Huh, you don't say?

I do say. Heh.

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