I know, I haven’t thrown up since June 29th, 1980.

I remember thinking to myself while walking the grounds of the Dachau Holocaust Memorial site; If I were alive when this happened, I would have fought to the death.  I would not have obeyed any order that involved inflicting harm on civilian human beings.  It doesn’t take a brilliant mind to recognize right from wrong.  It takes honesty.  In nature, if there is a stampede, any animal that witnesses the stampede joins it out of self-preservation.  It’s a survival instinct.  It’s present in all animals, except humans.  Some people will run against the flow of the rush from danger, even if it kills them, to save face.

What the hell is saving face, anyway?  It’s manipulating a situation to make yourself look good (in your perception).  It denies reality to avoid shame and embarrassment.  Think about that.  In my observations, it seems to be a means of maintaining a false self-image.  It’s rooted in fear.  The fear of shame and embarrassment can be so powerful and can motivate a human being to steal the life of another.  When the foundation is fear or hate (which is often a mask for fear), anything built upon it will fail because the foundation is weak and pathetic.

Saving face is a practice by those with weak or no character.  These individuals don’t know how to learn from their mistakes because they can’t admit to making them in the first place.  It’s like the child caught with their hand in the cookie jar.  The kid tries to deny reality and insists they are not guilty.  They try to manipulate the parent to avoid consequences.  Most people recognize the futility and wrongness of such behaviors and abandon them long before reaching adulthood.  Those that don’t are doomed to a life of self-inflicted pain.  It’s as if they are stuck in a mental rut, and don’t realize they hold the key to their freedom.  It’s sad and a waste of potential.

It’s far easier, to be honest.  Good character is simple to develop.  I believe it’s a natural side effect of living honestly.  When you can laugh at yourself and let go of a need for others to approve of everything about you, you free yourself from the shackles of a bullshit life.  Human lifespans are too short.  Why waste your precious little time maintaining lies and bullshit, when instead you could be growing and becoming the best you possible?

Being humiliated is uncomfortable and painful.  However, I don’t believe anyone has ever died from it.  It’s okay to admit you fucked up.  Nobody has ever made it through life without fucking up.  Nobody.  We’re simply imperfect beings.  When you fuck up, you step back and focus on fixing what’s fixable. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do.  Then you forgive yourself and make every effort to avoid repeating the error.

Embarrassment doesn’t last very long.  Shame takes longer to overcome, but the process is the same.

  • Admit your mistake.
  • Try to fix it.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Don’t do it again.

Those are simple steps to being a better human being.  When you do this every time, it gets easier.  The fear of being humiliated shrinks.  Soon you realize you had the power to control your feelings all along but didn’t know you could do it.  Humiliation relies on the person being humiliated playing along by feeling ashamed.  If you made a mistake unintentionally, there’s no sense in feeling ashamed.  Use your energy to follow the four steps above instead.

If your mistake hurts other people, a sincere apology and reassurances that you won’t be fucking up in that way again can go a long way in healing a relationship.  It becomes emotional scar tissue and is soon harder to injure.  Additionally, your character becomes stronger, and you grow as a person.  Living honestly doesn’t eliminate all pain from your life, but it does help prevent self-inflicted pain.  It also helps you recognize others who are also living honorably and avoid those who are not.

When you surround yourself with people of good character, you lift your potential by building your future on a solid foundation of truth.  There is no shame in honest living.  There are healthy relationships, deep connections, and reliable information.  There is trust, understanding, and personal growth.  The decision is easy, and it’s a decision indeed.  It’s never too late to stop living a fake life.  The emptiness that comes from a false life is self-curable.

 

Autism Requires No Cure

I read a tweet yesterday about an organization called Autism One alleging “cures” for Autism through diet.  These “remedies” including forcing an Autistic child to ingest bleach.  It’s complete and total bullshit.  This is child abuse.  This is monstrous.  Any parent who is seeking a “cure” for their Autistic child is already on the wrong track.  Autism is a variety of human being.  If your child is Autistic, or has the diagnosis of PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), your child requires you to become creative, not evil.  Your child is not broken.  Your child thinks differently, and experiences the world differently than the neurotypical variety of human being.

The desire for a “cure” is a selfish inclination.  The desire is to force their child to become something that they are not.  The desire does not lie in creating a better life for your child.  The root of the desire to “cure” Autism lies in the selfish desire of an ignorant parent who wishes their child to be what they consider normal in order to make their own lives easier, not that of their child.  It’s ignorant because normal is a setting on a washing machine, not a variety of human being.  An Autistic child requires love, patience, and a sincere desire to connect with them in their unique way of connecting.  There are lots of books and websites about Autism, but few are by people who are actually Autistic, and therefore an expert on the condition.

Trying to “cure” it is like trying to “cure” Down Syndrome.  It’s a ridiculous notion.  The time and energy wasted on this futile task could be better served by loving your child as they are, and discovering how your child communicates and learns.  This is the case with all children.  They are all beautiful beings that are new to this world, and need gentle guidance in a manner with which they can comprehend. But above all, they require your love.  If you are the parent of an Autistic child, seek advice from the true experts.  Adult Autists.  We understand better than anyone how to live with Autism.  We vary in many ways, but we are the true experts.  Many of us use alternative means of communicating, such as typing on a computer.  We are human beings who have the ability to feel joy and sorrow.  We feel empathy.  We have a sense of humor.  We love and desire to be loved.  We understand what it’s like to feel like we’ve been dropped off on an alien planet at birth, forced to struggle in order to connect with our families.  We know several creative ways to accomplish this task.  We are human beings with the full range of emotions, levels of intellect, and personalities.  We are part of humanity.

So stop seeking “cures” that don’t exist.  Stop falling for the misinformation that claims harming your child will help them.  And most of all, stop killing Autistic children.  This is monstrous behavior.  Nobody has the right to murder a child for being Autistic.  I hate that this happens.  I hate that one of my childhood neighbors murdered her daughter, and then took her own life with a shotgun in their basement.  There was no honor in this action.  It was a vile act of selfishness, ignorance, and evilness.  There are organizations that have the audacity to sympathize with parents who commit this atrocious crime, such as Autism $peaks.  They view Autistic people as burdens on their parents, and broken children who will never experience a joyful life.  They are not in the business of helping people who are Autistic.  They are in the business of collecting money from the ignorant, and using it to increase their personal wealth, and that of their friends.

Autism $peaks is the “charity” endorsed by Ed Asner.  They spend the majority of the money they gather from the unwitting people who intended their donations to help those with Autism for advertising.  Here is a link to their financial statement for 2013.  You will see that they are not only making a profit in excess of $1.5 million dollars, they spend the vast majority of their funds on advertising, and research to find the cause of Autism, potential “cures” for an incurable condition, and treatments for Autism.  I boycott this “charity”, because it’s clear to me that they are not in the business of helping people with Autism.  They are in the business of spreading misinformation, such as claims that vaccines cause Autism, which is scientifically proven to be untrue.  They are in the business of sympathizing with evil parents who murder their Autistic children.  They are in the business of ignoring the advice of Autistic people, which makes the name of this supposed charity ironic at best.

Any supposed charity that raises the ire of those it’s supposedly trying to help is a red flag.  When said organization deliberately refuses to heed the advice of the people they are supposedly trying to help, they instigate boycotts, and represent a fraudulent predatory organization in the eyes of those of us who are Autistic.  Among us, Autism $peaks is infamous, and only gives 4% of the money they collect to services and supports for Autistic people.  That’s not a typo.  4%.  This organization sees Autistic people as burdens, and promotes a center that is under investigation by the FDA for torturing Autistic people.  It’s despicable.  This link to Boycott Autism $peaks gives further and more detailed information.  Here is a link dispelling the misguided correlation between vaccines and Autism.

I’m Autistic.  I was born this way.  I’ve served in the US Army where I earned awards such as the Army Commendation Medal for excellent service.  I’ve earned a PhD in Software Engineering, and am currently a freelance programmer, as well as the CEO of an independent gaming company that hires Autistic programmers exclusively.  I’m a human being.  I am one example of an Autistic person.  I had loving parents who were patient with me.  They did not waste time seeking a cause or cure for my condition.  They loved me.  They figured out how to communicate with me.  They helped me learn and become a person who loves learning.  They accepted me as I am.  They never saw me as a burden, or considered murdering me.  They didn’t torture me, or force me to ingest vile potions in an effort to make me “normal”.  They were loving parents, and because of their willingness to be loving people, I am now an adult whose goal in life is to be joyful.  There is no better ambition, in my opinion.

You should tell your kids that they’re autistic.

Chavisory's Notebook

How hard it is to say what it was like
in the thick of thickets in a wood so dense and gnarled
the very thought of it renews my panic.
It is bitter almost as death itself is bitter.
But to rehearse the good it also brought me,
I will speak about the other things I saw there.  (Dante’s Inferno)

I’ve seen this passage quoted before by others in order to explain what it’s like to grow up autistic and not knowing.  It’s still by far the best explanation of that feeling I’ve ever read.

For Autistics Speaking Day this year, I want to say something unequivocally.  And it’s incredibly rare that I feel qualified to just tell other people what they should do, but—if you are an autism parent—

Please tell your kids that they’re autistic.

Or have autism.  Or Asperger’s Syndrome.  Or are on the spectrum. …

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