Ten Thousand Siblings

  • Reading time:5 mins read

The thing about Twitter is that it’s provided so many shitty people an opportunity to tell on themselves and clarify how it is that they think, that I feel like I understand a hell of a lot more now about the ways that shitty people think and behave, and what is and is not my fault.

Recovering from trauma, all of the stuff I’ve internalized over the course of my life—to see the way that garbage is employed, where it comes from, how particular it is to a particular kind of a person, it really does a number on this part of me made to feel alone. Being able to link arms with a bunch of other people who see the fuckery for what it is, and to point at it, and to collectively recognize what it indicates about that person rather than about reality? That’s something I’ve never really had before.

Regarding “bean dad,” (if you don’t know the reference, consider yourself lucky) honestly the kid’s predicament is how doing almost anything has felt my entire life—especially that incredulity and dismissal in response to her plea. Being neurodivergent in a neurotypical world means constant low-key ableism and frankly torture for the littlest, dumbest fucking things. Even when I manage to diagnose the problem and to what extent it’s affecting me, and think to ask, historically the best response I’ve tended to get out of people is, “Oh, yeah, I guess I can see how that might be hard to figure out.” Then they turn their back and continue as if I had never said anything. In the event I do manage to work out a solution, it’s not celebrated; either they conclude I was feigning helplessness the whole time or they’re like, “See, you did it eventually. Isn’t that better than asking?”

End result: I am terrified and ashamed of ever asking for help, no matter how dire. Which is not a good state to live in, especially when things are in fact pretty dire. I’ve been told my whole life that I basically deserve what I get if I’m unable to do everything on my own.

Regarding the other main character of the day, the “tall mommy” (again, good job at avoiding the topic)—well, I dunno. I’m something like 6’5″, so hard to know what to say here. I wish I was about six inches shorter most of the time—not because of attractiveness to others, since who gives a fuck. Just because, you know, head injuries. balance. Individual dysphoria.

(Also to the woman’s point, dudes not be caring. If that is somehow a concern.)

I say “something like 6’5″” as I haven’t been measured in a while and I know I’m shorter than I used to be. My perspective when walking around is different. I’m not looking so directly down on the top of the fridge. I can see in the bathroom mirror without hunching over now. And, this happens to some extent, right. The bones don’t change that much, but connective tissue does. My feet are 2-3 sizes smaller now, so it figures my spine would be having its own adventure.

Height is the one part of my self-image I’m never gonna be able to address, So I just have to come to terms with it. It’s always bothered me. Until I was maybe seventeen, I was shorter than everyone my age—then suddenly I was ducking tree branches everywhere. It sucks. Also aesthetically I don’t like the length of my torso, though the other recent changes—the tits, the hips, the change of the shape of my pelvis—help to break things up a little bit so it’s less of this endless antarctic landing field. Again it sucks that nothing ever fits me, but it’s better in women’s sizing.

This lady clearly has a bunch of problems, and judging by her timeline history is used to projecting on any number of groups (races, ethnicities) according to factors they can’t control. If she’s got her own dysphoria and is weaponizing it like an English young adult writer to hurt others, well, Sucks to be in her head, I guess. I hope she gets help eventually.

I’m not saying it’s good that I’ve learned to fold all of my problems over onto myself, but, like. I’m dealing with my own shit; I don’t want hurt anyone else, I don’t want to make my problems theirs if I can avoid it. I wish I was shorter for my own sense of self—but I’m not, and I can’t control that, Whatever. It’s nobody’s fault. People can’t control everything. Sometimes things just are.

I’m not gonna begrudge someone who’s got what I don’t, I’m gonna be happy for them, so long as it’s something that works for them—and if not, I’m gonna feel some sympathy because I know some part of what it’s like. Just, from a different angle. But then, i guess i’m just not… a shitty person?

This is a thing it’s taken me a long time to put together, after what I’ve been told for the last 40 years, but on observation I really don’t seem to be that bad, haha! I make mistakes like everyone, because I’m human. I have my weaknesses. But seeing the way that some people are? Seeing the way they weaponize their own problems to vilify everyone who causes them an inconvenience, however slight or imagined, and turn it into some kind of a conspiracy of the marginalized against the privileged?

Unlike Bean Dad I’m not saying that abuse was an effective learning tool, but I guess that developing a constant paranoia about doing everything wrong and doing all I can to correct my oversights as they arise will do that. Not everything others are angry about is my fault, but neither are my own problems theirs.

And again, it’s just… so novel to have this perspective for once.