A Friday Ramble

It is 29F [-1.6C] outside, the air conditioner is set to 73F [22.7C], and I still have to turn the fan on and off in order to regulate temperature. Welcome to Oregon.

Today is a kind of “blah” day. That’s the best way to describe it. No doubt, Major Depressive Disorder contributes to this.

Being clinically depressed, I get to hear lots of advice from people who believe that depression is “being bummed out” or “sad,” when the hard truth they can’t realize is that it’s neither of these things.

More than a few adults in my life attempted to “cure” my depression by labeling it as something insignificant. They said, “You need to snap out of your funk.” Ah, just snap? Why hasn’t even ONE therapist or psychiatrist ever thought of THIS?

It’s like a relatively more recent phone call I had, where the person asked me a question about my perception of pain, and I told them I couldn’t answer that particular question because I’m Autistic.

“Well, just stop being Autistic for a minute and tell me what you think.”

It’s not a choice. It’s not something that we decide to do. And this was a so-called “professional” who knows how to deal with these things.

It seems that just about everyone gets it wrong. Even Jordan B. Peterson, a former college professor who has a degree in psychology, once said, “The thing about depressed people is that they’re depressed about everything.”

This shows me that he’s never had a client with depression, or quite possibly has never treated anyone.

No, depressed people are not depressed about everything. They’re depressed about nothing. I would even suggest that depression is the absence of sadness.

Even the last neuropsychiatrist I saw, who tested me to double-check my Autism diagnosis, had problems. He asked what I liked to do in my spare time. I mentioned playing guitar and other musical instruments.

“Oh, that’s intersting, because Autistic people are put off by sound and are typically not musicians or creatives.”

I guess never heard of the famous Autistic thinker Temple Grandin, who devised a better way to herd cattle. He’s also never heard of Eddie Van Halen [music], or Dan Aykroyd [comedy, music], or Gary Numan [music], and so on.

Maybe his creativity is lacking in creativity.

Even professionals who have been tasked with helping me find gainful employee do not understand me, and the make their living working with people like me.

One of these people got TWO things wrong.

When we met in-person, I noted that I was having trouble making eye contact. His response to this was to NOT mention anything about it, until there was a video meeting that was 2-against-1, with him and his boss against me.

When he brought up my inability to maintain eye contact, I had to explain to him how Autistic people have difficulty with this. For me, if I try to make eye contact, then ALL of what I am doing is about nothing but eye contact. The eye contact then takes precedence over the conversation.

Here’s what it sounds like in my head, kind of like Peter Griff.

Ah, I’m making eye contact. Good. People like him need eye contact, for some reason. But have I made enough eye contact? Am I staring? Maybe I should look away. But if I look away now, then they might take that as a sign of weakness or disinterest. I still feel like I’m staring. And…. oh shit, I just missed every single thing that he said, so now I’m going to have to tell him that I was too busy focusing on eye contact, and that he’ll have to repeat. Then I’ll have to listen a second time without making eye contact. Damn, I’m annoying.

If you do not have conversations with yourself in your head like this, then consider yourself fortunate.

The SECOND thing that he got wrong was evident in his complaint to me during the call.

“You know, there’s something I don’t get about you. When we talk about drumming and music, you’re so excited and have a lot to say. But when we switch the topic over to looking for work, you don’t sound so enthusiastic, to the point that you don’t care.

This was when I had to explain to him that Autistic people can yammer on all day long, with great enthusiasm, about something they like.

While I do NEED to have a job, I’m not enthusiastic about it. I won’t pretend to be enthusiastic about it, because I’ll be called out for not being authentic, and that would be fair.

It was an hour-long call, and I spent the majority of it defending myself while explaining to them the challenges that Autism brings.

Yea, these are the professionals.

America isn’t prepared to help the Autistic or other disabled Americans. To be fair, America does not care about American citizens in general, so I shouldn’t feel so special about it.

As the days go by, I feel more and more sick about life in general. I saw my grandparents fall apart. Grandma had a stroke, outrageous bills showed up, grandpa paid until he could not. When the government threatened to take this World War II Veteran’s home, he shot himself in the head. Unfortunately, he lived for two years before he died, and cried during every single minute of it, as grandma spent TEN years rotting in a dungeon while being re-taught her alphabet.

Nobody wants that. But this is where we are headed.

I suppose the trick is to tap out at the right time. As someone who has been suicidal for his entire life, even I have trouble finding the right time.

I saw how America and American society shits all over older people in their final days. It’s as if to say, you had your time, now get the fuck out of the way because you’re a burden who reminds me of my own mortality.

There is no comforting retirement home with old television reruns and tapioca at 4:00pm, right before bed. That’s a fantasy that got sold to us. Just work hard, you might have the chance to die in relative comfort, without the terror of suffering to death on the streets, or being forced to try to take your own life.

American society is monstrous, uncaring, unfeeling, and highly stupid.

I know, if I don’t like it, then I should leave. The way America is set up, I can’t leave unless I’m wealthy. Hell, it cost me $15,000 to move from California to Oregon. Beyond that, other countries are not interested in Third World refugees moving there from America, unless we have a MAJOR college education and can prove on paper how we will make their society better in a financial sense.

I guess it’s all about money. And money is fake.

There was this stupid thought that just ran through my head, where I should challenge myself to turn all of this around into something that is more positive and hopeful. I tend to avoid hope, as hope often times make bad things worse.

Yes, I have been called “edgelord” in YouTube comments for declaring this. Most recently, it was on a video discussing The Gates of Hell, and a sign that says, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

Now, I know that this means something like, “Do not enter, proceed with great caution.” But I took it literally for the sake of discussion.

After I got the response of “edgelord,” and after I let him know that one-word responses are not arguments and typically come from the gormless, I explained to him how hope makes things worse, noting that it was unfair of me to assume that everyone reading what I had written was actually capable of reading, comprehending, and deducing.

So, how does hope make things worse?

This was most recently illustrated to me in a modern B-movie horror flick called “Voodoo.” It’s a lovely story about a woman who broke up with her boyfriend after she found out that he was married to a voodoo priestess.

Of course, her husband escapes all punishment, as the focus of her ire is placed completely on her, even though she did the right thing the moment she found out he was a lying cheater.

Ultimately, the voodoo priestess has this young woman sent to Hell. It was very much like what you’d expect from a Halloween supply store. There was a doctor performing an abortion. She got to reunite with an uncle who touched her inappropriately. She even got raped by Satan himself, as you do.

But then, there was this moment of hope.

In this moment of hope, she found herself in a very white bedroom with a huge bed. Her deceased mother was sitting in the bed, talking with her. She cries and collapses into her mother’s arms, as her mother comforts her with words of hope, and the idea that she will be able to get out of there now, because it’s all over.

That’s when the lights turn red, and demons come out to rip her mother apart and take her to her next place of torture. SPOILER: She’s ultimate lead to the kitchen in the house where she was staying, and she sees her own body on the floor, as she’s being eaten by a woman who is either her cousin or best friend, or both. The friend looks like a demon herself.

The voodoo priestess can be heard offline, declaring, “You’re already dead! You’re already dead!”

This is why, in my mind at least, hope makes things worse. It’s because hope is a suggestion of positive resolution and it generates a great deal of expectation. The situation is made worse with expectations that are not met.

Get your hopes up, and then get them dashed on the rocks.

Well, that’s enough rambling, so I should end this on a high note. The ramble about hope is about as positive as things can get. Best of luck with your Friday and weekend.

Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

2 thoughts on “A Friday Ramble

  1. Hey Dan
    It’s titanium woman from old myspace
    Are you really in Oregon now?
    I’m back here after leaving Arizona snd wish I remembered after 20yrs how bad I hated the weather west of Cascades.
    Can’t afford to live in Bend where I grew up.
    Anywho, I was checking on old social media sites etc and found you! Your writing speaks to how I feel about most of the same subjects
    So Hello again
    Jae

    Liked by 2 people

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