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#441270 - 07/18/13 06:32 PM ! [Re: dark empathy]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217

Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:02 PM)

#441280 - 07/18/13 07:24 PM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 4238
Loc: O Kanada

Originally Posted By: Smalltown80sBoy

I think a core problem is that people generally don't appreciate differences. I don't need to "fit in"; I just need to be appreciated just as I am. But I don't think that's how things work.

this is a big problem.


#442331 - 07/27/13 09:32 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2036
Loc: durham, north england
@80's boy, you are exactly right with that. I was reading a review of The Simpsons the other day, and it noted the early episode where Bart asks Homer if he should do something bad just to be popular (it's the one where Bart chops off the head of the springfield founder's statue). Homer however, instead of giving that trite old tv "be yourself" advice, actually says "bart, being popular is the most important thing ever and you should do anything to be it!" (or something like that, i might be paraphrasing).

The review made the point that it was just this sort of observational humour that made the early simpsons great, saying what people actually! did rather than what tv said.

This is really the thing, that we live in a society where people will quite happily talk about individuality and respecting differences, and where we have laws like the disability discrimination act here in Britain and the Americans with disabilities act over in the states, but on an everyday level still! have this massive perception that if a person is disabled they are in some way a radically different creature from an everyday human. The same pretty much goes for racism and sexism as well to an extent, though there at least some people are self aware enough to make a conscious effort.

I've written a lot about this in my doctorate.that whatever reaction people have towards people with a disability, admiration (however missplaced), contempt, hostility, patronisation, or the most common which is simply avoidance, there is always this perception of difference, of being an outsider, something which is not helped by all the disability advocates and sociologists who demand "cultural identity" by which they usually mean having their own nice little groups that everyone else is excluded from.

This is pretty much why in my thesis I advocate changing the use the of the term disability to mean something similar to illness, ---- so that we actually start thinking of someone who say has a broken leg as "disabled" even if temporarily, rather than thinking of "the disabled" as their own group who require their own olympics etc.

On a personal level this means in most situations people ignore the fact that I exist. I used to test this an underggraduate, daring myself to go to the colidge bar and sit for half an hour, or go to in colidge formal events, ---- yet more often than not I'd find myself not exchanging a word all evening accept with the bar staff. this is true for people with any level of physical disability (I've certainly discussed it with a friend of mine who's recently found hself needing to use a wheel chair), however with visual imaprement there is an added component since eye contact and none verbal communication is absolutely out, meaning I'm pretty much dependent upon others to approach me.

It also doesn't help that in most social situations the ambient noise level is such that actual conversation is near impossible even in pubs and bars as opposed to night clubs, indeed on occasions when I have been with a group of friends and we just want someone where we can sit and have a chat we end up at a loss unless the weather is warm enough to sit outside somewhere, or unless we can use some sort of dodge such as sitting in a restaurant.

When I was 16, just after my abuse had finished I even tried to contact Mensa, just because I felt the hole pop music, night clubs, beer culture that most people my age seemed to be engaged in was so inaccessible to me, ---- though unfortunately it turned out that Mensa didn't actually do! anything at all.

This is why most of my interactions with other people have been through group activities where others are pretty much forced to talk to me, and why I have developed skills in that now somewhat dying art form known as conversation. Even hear however avoidance is a ruling factor, and I can usually expect nobodoy to speak to me outside the necessary rules of the group for at least the first hour (if at all). I once met took part in a youth production and the director, ---- an american visiting the Uk with dare I say it a very typical American positive attitude was first shocked by the fact that nobody else spoke to me and then even more so when I turned around and said "oh, this is normal" though on that occasion that group was a particularly bad one for being cleaquey and having heads firmly planted up their behinds.

Bare in mind however, I am not passive and am fully aware of all of these things and have been for years. That is why I have developed conversational and social skills so that when someone does! actually take the plunge and talk to the weerd blind man, I can not only conversae and keep their interest, but encourage them out of their thinking. I can converse on a wide range of topics, I can be humerous without resorting to crudity, and I am sensative to what people are feeling. I don't say this to be arrogant, but because it's actually true. This results in people tending to trust me very quickly, confide in me very quickly, but also remaining at a distance.

For example, last week I was at a major academic conference involving the Italian studdies department where I was discussing opera and accessibility. I was introduced to an Italian girl (by the girl who'd organized the talk I myself was giving), and within the space of half an hour having just met, this girl was confessing to me that not only was she nervous because this was the first paper she had ever presented, but also asking me if she smelled of onions because she had no sense of smell, had just eaten a sandwich and was worried about her breath. Luckily I happened to have some mints in my bag which fixed this.

So, people tend to trust me, and in fairness much as I'd like to be a total misanthrope and much as I find dealing with people (especially all the sitting waiting for someone to actually break the ice), takes work, I do actually also have a concern for people and generally if someone has got a problem, or is nurvous, or upset I can usually pick it up and want to do something about it.

During my production earlier this year, I did a lot of this, since people got extremely stressed and many people didn't realize certain feelings surrounding performance were perfectly usual.

this is also part of the reason why many people tend to see me as exceptional, ---- but why it really doesn't make a difference to me. I get complements on a regular basis for everything like helping out the aformentioned Italian girl with her breath issue to simply being there on my own or even from some people with a particular sense of missplaced admiration living on my own, ---- but such things I am never really happy about, in the past they jarred too much with my concept of worthlessness, but now they just feel dead, and I'm inclined to think "so what"

In fairness I think this isolation factor and avoidance is slightly worse in Britain than in some other countries. I know on average British national charaacter tends to be reserved (all sterriotypes have a grane of truth), and generally the Americans I've met tend to be better, ----- though on the occasions I've chatted to to visually impared people in the states they report similar avoidance, so I do have to wonder if Americans who come abroard just naturally tend to be a bit more outgoing, or maybe it's a matter of where in the us you live.

As to affect on me of how people in society see me, well yes I know what those are, see the above. The reason I don't! just sit at home and talk to other blind people online, and that I actually still try is precisely because! I want to be more than just the out of sight problem which people associate me with, however I'm increasingly of the opinion that actually hoping for more than just the odd enjoyable experience is too much.

Oh yes, I can be exceptional, I get complements, I can have people tell me things about themselves I can even help people sometimes, ---- but it doesn't mean anything.

I'm going to be taking up ballroom dancing since I know I need I to improve my on stage dancing and that is a good way to do it (I don't expect to do well at it as I'm not the world's most coordinated person), but improving my dancing is all! I expect. the first week everyone will ignore my existance, the second someone will speak to me and likely give complements, and tell me about themselves, maybe even more than one person, and then they'll all piss off! thinking "wow what an exceptional person he is!"

@lewis, this I really admire your contentment, but for me at least the amount of being ignored and rejection just doesn't add up, which is why I'm getting rather sick of the hole thing! I'd love to say "well everyone just go and piss off and play with your nice little kidsies" and be a total mysanthrope, but I have realized humiliating as it is I do sort of of need people. I don't like needing people, I don't like needing companionship, since people planely don't need mine, at least not beyond fixing their immediate emotional problems, however much I help, indeed the only person who really seems to m need me are my dog and my parents, but I do have to admit this truth about myself, and yet being treated like some sort of weerd cross between a lepper and an world reccord holder relly doesn't sit well with me.

Btw, do I actually think I'm exceptionally tallented at anything? not really, I can vaguely sing, vaguely write and I can talk to people, but none of those make me more than others, ---- I just go on how I'm treated, and this exceptional form of admiration is part part of it, as much as the hostility, active exclosion, willful ignoring of my presance or anything else. That is why I say a reccord holder sinse after you've said to someone "oh wow! you swam the English channel" there's really not not much els to say.

This should likely also explain why i hold those friends I've made, those people who actually get past ignorance or curiosity or admiration as extremely close, and why having them piss off and get rapped up in their own lives affects so much.

It likely also explains why the experience of communication is for me one of the key experiences and something I very much want in my life, since a major part of that is knowing other people and being known, and yet also being accepted without all the distance.

Oh, and as regards groups of other visualy impared people, ---- if anything the distance there is worse, since I am for one thing one of those very few visually impared people under the age of sixty, and for another don't subscribe to all the sterriotypes and standard behaviours even modes of speech, and that lack of subscription often makes people very hostile.

In fairness this doesn't count all! vi people, indeed a major voluntary job of mine is working for the game accessibility special interest group writing about and and contacting developers with respect to accessible computer games, and I've met some great people as part of that community, ---- since for some reason playing computer games doesn't go along with most of the blind sterriotypes (it likely requires more motivation than most vi people are encouraged to have), however that is universally online only.

Frankly I'm just getting sick of trying with people, putting in all the work and getting nothing back, though maybe this is my mistake, I'm expecting too much from people, especially as regards relationships, which of course brings us back to my resolution.

#443799 - 08/09/13 02:00 AM Re: Optimism, how? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2036
Loc: durham, north england
Well I've finished the corrections for my thesis, and handed them in, which will hopefully result in my getting a doctorate, and yet I feel nothing.

last october when I finished the first draught it was fantastic, it was amazing and I felt great, now I feel nothing, because you know what, I went out and did! things, I met people, I had a great experience at my r production earlier this year, ---- and nothing changed! everybody just pissed off as usual, and oh yeah, and it was great, good bbye!

So, has anyone got any thoughts given the above? Right now I'm really hating people, because fundamentally, people want nothing from me but to use me as a therapist, ---- hay, maybe I should start charging and then at least I'll get money for it, though what I'd actually bother using the money for I don't know since as the beatles said money can't buy me love, and there's very little else I want.

So, I was wondering if anyone read the above post about social reatment and had any ideas. I'll be going to aims music school for a week in a couple of weeks. That will be great as usual, but more for six solid hours of singing a day than because I hope people will actually treat me anymore differently, indeed music school is the place I get most admiring comments, ---- admiration that means nothing as per usual.

Why can't I just hate people? that would make things much easier.

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