I had a eureka moment this morning after that last post. I've been struggling for at least two months with how to handle letting someone with severe depression know I'd like to stop being tagged in certain convos without triggering problems and without encouraging private messaging to do it. I really need to be done with private messaging. It all suddenly came to me in one sentence- "I'm not on twitter to promote religion." Once that gets said, I may ask to be untagged from those convos. I believe in tolerance, but I'm to the point of extreme impatience after several polite hints and finally just flat saying in private that I'm not going to retweet certain things and then being very publicly poked with tags afterward, as if there were a leveling up kind of game.
I have a big variety of followers, many different religious and political beliefs, many different agendas, all ages and sexual orientations. I believe in people first, ideas second. I learned growing up watching other people that it's kinda stupid to condemn other people for not agreeing with one's own point of view, especially when that point of view is first and foremost based on the concept of forgiveness. Several religions promote forgiveness and tolerance, and this can be practiced by anyone, even without religion. All the same, one person's obsession with what I can only think must be an attempt at something humorous can get a little tiresome, and I can tell a few friends have been keeping an eye on my tag feed and are probably wondering how much longer I'm going to put up with this. Some people enjoy poking other people to respond, and I tend to let it go on way longer than I should because I can't tell if it's deliberate obnoxiousness or sarcasm or friendly and possibly even innocent annoyance by someone who genuinely likes me as a person and doesn't know how else to interact. I compare it to feeling like a tiger in a cage being poked by a little kid, which I've actually seen happen, and the parent didn't stop it, and none of the onlookers said anything, while the tiger on display actually took it really well until it abruptly turned and sprayed pee all over the kid. I'd rather not sink to that level, but basically that's what I do, isn't it, in the form of nice words molded around me grappling with a problem. Imagine if the tiger could tweet how it was feeling to the world or blog about its life.
I have an agenda, which I don't bring up very often. My challenge is sales without alienation. If what I intend to sell heavily depends on my personal honesty, and my targets are emotional crises subjects with interpersonal relationship challenges (or the families of such) (delicate wording is like a game to me, I can't help but love this sort of mental wrestling), how do I be myself without harming my own agenda? Because I'm really super good at rocking boats until they flip everyone right into the water. (And don't protest just because you've never seen me do it.)
Everything I'm practicing now with Pinky is about not rocking boats. I'm practicing and getting good at handling not only staying public, but balancing interacting with a variety of personality types on social media. I know crossing the streams can be bad and that one set of friends might not mix well with another set, and I do everything in my power to keep it fairly cool and non confrontational.
One of my biggest problems both online and in real life is being a sucker. According to my psychologist, I am easily led. My aspergers diagnosis has legal connotations, and a panel of judges appointed a payee to oversee my finances. If I hadn't been married, a legal guardian might have been appointed over me. "People with an ASD respond and perform neurologically inconsistently depending on emotional state, familiarity with the people and situation and various sensory experiences. For example, they may be very talkative in one setting at a particular time and later be UNABLE to speak well in the same setting."
That document should probably be required reading for anyone who wants to remain public with me. If I really do wind up 'out there' in interviews or whatever (notice I'm not rushing this, egads), I may actually lose a few friends if they are that clueless how I might be in real life, even after knowing me so long on the internet. It's not that I'm a regular jerk about stuff (anymore), but if I'm going down a rabbit hole right in front of you and you do all the wrong things trying to pull me out, you will find out exactly how much chaff is being burned down to the gold in your heart in the ugly fire I set on you. I've been told I'm scary by people in my own family, and it's because I'm unpredictable when I hit meltdown. I'm so afraid of meltdown myself that I have contingency plans in place for any given moment and every conceivable scenario. I can look intensely hateful and draw blood with little flicks of words without even trying, and you will think the rest of your life that I must really have hated you all along underneath everything. Very few people survive being friends with me if I'm caught not able to hole up in a corner for a quick braincation. The only way I survived as a child was my mom beating me until I learned to turn into a rock. If I turn into a rock, you best be scattering. If I turn to stone and stop responding, that's your signal to step back. Fortunately, I'm usually over it pretty quickly, and I can be bribed with food. Well, unless you haven't been paying attention and stick something in my face that I'm allergic to, then whatever god you believe in have mercy on your soul (and I'm pretty sure Baphomet won't.)
That's a significant paragraph up there because I keep trying to positive image myself getting through a book signing. I will be pretty incoherent in a matter of minutes (an hour, tops), might be able to fake my way through another hour, but after that I'll need complete guidance to keep me focused and moving. By the end of whatever public session I'm dealing with, I'll need trusted people to lead me away. Yes, my aspergers is that bad. I become nonfunctional. Whatever brilliance I might occasionally display in print will be lost in the idiocy I descend into as I fall into shutdown. Staying on social alert is very different from spazzing out through college classes or automatically cycling through another day on a redundant job.
If I want to succeed, it's important that I communicate well to people on social media. My friends generously allow me to practice on them in public. New people that come along don't realize that my social media intentions are exactly that- practice with my social deficiencies. They bumble right into me and usually never have a clue how I feel about it. I can't even imagine what it's like for some of my better friends to watch it happening again. It's either hilarious or scary, but either way, there are a handful of you that I notice showing up, and I thank you guys immensely for your instincts and watching out for me. Just me noticing you noticing I'm walking into another awkward pickle is usually enough to help me focus nowadays on self monitoring and backing off again before I go into a crouch and launch.
Life experience helps, getting a sociology degree has helped, and a past rife with fandom squabbles has helped. My psychologist has helped immensely, and what really turned it around for me personally was Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist Way. I'm becoming very experienced at monitoring and managing myself nowadays. That doesn't mean I've overcome the autism spectrum. That just means people more and more rarely see me reacting like the very real aspienado I am in my own home, where I cycle through mini-shutdowns repeatedly, and often disappear into another room on weekends for a few minutes of alone time. If I'm sitting in a room alone with you and not saying a word and not looking at you, you might have no idea I'm still picking up on your every breath and eye roll, even if I don't understand a single nuance hinting at how awkward it might be for you if I'm not holding up my end of the convo, or worse, taking over completely in a nonstop gush of exuberance. I really don't know how @bonenado has lasted this long with me.
Ok, focus. I've been up and down doing breakfast and getting my day going and keep coming back and piddling here. I'm needing to start concentrating on actual work again, and maybe that will be a good way to ignore social media a little more again. October hit with all that finally dealing with the emotionally repressed stuff and I've been way off track ever since, BUT I have to admit this has been my best autumn in many years for dealing with stress and depression and staying pretty oriented and focused. Maybe going off track for a little while was a good thing. I seem to be in a good place in my head.
So I haven't disappeared, but I'm going to try to get back into a work schedule and stay off the twitters and FB a bit more this next month. Not ignoring anyone if you don't see me around faving or liking, just not there, letting it all slide by me while I'm busy like a little elf. I still feel driven, just in a new way I've not felt before, and I need to explore it. It's like a new point of view from a new angle, no longer feeling lost in it.
~later~ I let this sit all day because my head was such a scattered mess after Turkey Day, and I couldn't properly read back through this well enough to see if it made sense. I really don't have a clue how I'm able to write sometimes.
Again, thank you to my very tolerant friends on the webs. I have felt most extremely grateful for you guys, and aside from the usual Thanksgiving list of being thankful for health and family and a nice new roof over our heads, I really am sincerely grateful for #Snarkalecs, SyfyDesigns, #latenightmovie chat gang, my pals from Merlin and other fandoms, and the friends I still have in the Lexx fandom. I really do love you guys.