Truths

Learning Opportunities

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I’m okay spending many of my days alone. I have just enough contact with the outside world to keep me satisfied without overwhelming me. I also have enough video game equipment to keep boredom from crawling up my spine.

This is not another gaming post, but . . . admittedly, I play a lot. I do. I go through sessions of what I call “Binge Gaming” where I spend two or more days (depending on the difficulty and size of the game) glued in front of my television or P.C beating the shit out of ghouls or hunters or cars or whatever.

I used to be addicted to Call of Duty until I got bored with the franchise. I’d play for two days or three days with perhaps an hour or two break to sleep or eat. If I could spend my life entertaining people on YouTube with my screeches like some people, I would be a happy camper.

I love telling people online how much I game and what I play and I love when they assume I’m a man and I get the pleasure of bursting that bubble.

Do you all remember the old days when the PlayStation 3 came out and there was that PlayStation life or whatever the hell? The virtual reality thing? The first time I went in I got swarmed by about twenty people asking me if I was a real girl. That sounds cliche, but it’s the truth.

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As much as I’d like to go into detail about my crazy online gaming encounters, I won’t. Today is one of those days I feel like doing something that interests me (gaming, writing) but I just can’t push myself to get started with either.

When you struggle with your mental health there may be times when you also struggle to feel useful. Not just to yourself but to your friends and your family. Speaking from personal experience, I have immense trouble finding a job and keeping a job. Because of my lack of communication skills, and general preference to non-verbal contact, I never volunteered in high school. I rarely spoke with my teachers and I rarely speak with my professors so therefore I have no professional references. The last position I worked the cash register, had a meltdown, and refused to return. No two weeks notice, no explanation, I just disappeared off the face of the Earth.

So I’m not in good standing with my ex-employer, either. Whether or not some jobs I’ve applied for actually called them I’ll never know. But if they did, I know why I didn’t get those jobs.

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I Couldn’t Even Put Professional “Blogger” If I Wanted To.

My resume is rather unimpressive. I can beef myself up with a cover letter should the position even require such a thing, but my resume can’t back up that confidence or skill. Applying for jobs where other, more experienced people are also applying just throws me out of the race.

I can fake my way through an interview fairly well because they ask questions. I can handle questions. It might take me a little longer to form words and I try my hardest not to stumble or trail off my sentences. If they could speak with me in writing I would have much better chances.

Unfortunately, those of us who struggle verbally aren’t appreciated in a society which caters to loud mouths. I have a loud mouth too. When I have a pencil in my hand. No one understands my mind is uncomfortably blank when I’m forced into having a conversation. I literally break a sweat trying to come up with things to say.

So I’d rather work in an area where if I have to talk it’s for a reason and it’s not to different people every time. I could handle working in an area that expects me to be team orientated because eventually I’ll get used to everyone.

I can not handle working at a cash register. I don’t like a lot of things coming at me at once. I don’t want to have to help this person and have another person waiting on the side for a question to be answered and also have three blinking lights on a phone for people on hold. I was offered a position like that. I declined immediately.

mjaxmi03njvjztjjzthlytfhmddjDo people really understand this? I don’t think so. Because, often, the first words out of their mouth is “just do it” or ” just get over it”. Obviously if I could do either of those things, I would. But I’ve spent most of my life as a mute, communicating through scribbles on a page because I didn’t understand how people could form words on their tongue and blurt them so carelessly. Imagine a toddler who didn’t like to talk. Dream child, you’d think. And I was to a lot of teachers. I could do my work without much issue and they never had to reprimand me for speaking before my hand went up.

Because my hand never went up.

At home it was different because I could talk about things I wanted to talk about and ask questions about things I was curious about and spend days building endless fantasy worlds with my toys.

Anyway, whether people are educated or not, sympathizing in a way that isn’t condescending isn’t easy for a lot of people. So far, I haven’t met someone in the physical world (I.e, not online) who doesn’t make a joke out of what I go through or who just plain doesn’t understand–including my parents.

Well not my dad. His memory is shot.

But my mother still refuses to acknowledge I struggle as much as I do, even when I set it out very plainly for her. Whether she pays for it or not, she doesn’t think I should be seeing a psychologist.

There’s a very brutal truth about support: some people will never provide it. It doesn’t isolatedmean they don’t love you, it doesn’t mean they hate you, it just means they don’t understand. How could they honestly understand if they’ve never felt the things you do or seen the things you’ve seen?

Even the people who support you might not understand. The difference between them and the non-supporters is that what they do understand, the fact that it’s hard for you, is why they are there for you when you need them most. That’s a very good quality to look for in a person.

If someone is a non-supporter, don’t let your frustration get the best of you. There are probably things in their life you wouldn’t understand. I’m surrounded by non-supporters which is why, in my early teens, I decided to be a self-advocate. I support myself emotionally; I do for myself what I wish others could.

How?

Because I understand myself and the maladaptive ways of thinking I have.

The fact that I’ve built characters in my head who are really extensions of my different personalities since I was a toddler probably helps too. Rather than feeling like I’m giving myself advice, I feel like I’m having a conversation with people who support me and understand me. Because I am.

largejournal_acadia_green_75x975_029353There are two things I’ve always had issues with: writing to myself in journals and saying people’s names. I can’t do either. It’s hard for me to write to myself because I see no point in it. I could just tell myself those things in my head.

Seeing as I’m a writer, you would think putting stuff down in words would make it easier for me to see, but not for me. If I don’t write for a reader other than myself I see no point in it. It’s my way of communicating who I am, how I think, and my emotions. If no one reads it than I’ve just wasted precious words.

As far as the names go . . . I have no idea. I’ve just never been able to say people’s names, especially to their face.

The point? Keep a sense of dignified pity for the non-supporters who won’t take the time to understand how hard something is for someone else. They’re missing out on a valuable learning opportunity about someone they care about. It’s their loss.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

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