Sunday, August 26, 2012

My rant about a bigoted Postsecret submission

This is from one of my favorite sites, Postsecret, it truly is one of the greatest sites on the web. People send in postcards, anonymously, with their mostly deeply held  secrets, to the site's founder in upstate New York.

Submissions range from the mundane to the shocking and hilarious. Postsecret's founder, Frank Warren seems to have a policy of not censoring secrets due to their subject matter or offensiveness. Comments are not allowed on the blog itself, but on a separate site known as "Postsecret Community".

This week there was a submission that well, to put it mildly, royally pissed me off.



For those of you that don't know, Aspberger's is the most highly functioning form of autism. For more information, click here. Why this postcard pisses me off is the assumption this person is making that someone with autism is lying about having their condition to get away with being an "asshole", in the words of the secret sender.

I'm sure that there may be one or two people out there who may be doing this in the world, to get away with offensive behavior, or to gain sympathy, but I highly doubt this is the case. Why this makes me angry is that there are many ignorant and bigoted people out there who would assume such a thing about a person, probably for no good reason. I have depression and OCD, and I will that in person, I don't tell many people I have it, because there are so many people out there, riding on a high horse, just like the person who sent this postcard, who do not understand mental illness, and have a burning hatred for those of us out there who are not "normal" by their standards. I have been mocked, misunderstood, told that my depression isn't real, that it was the result of "guilt" (about what, they never told me, and I don't know to this day). I have heard people say that depression is "unconfessed sin", I have had my own family deny my mental illness.

I'm telling you this to say that if you have the notion that mentally ill people have it easier in this world, shake that idea out of your brain now, it's a flat out lie. Ask anyone you know with depression, bipolar disorder, autism, how they have been treated by people in their lives, and the misconceptions people have told them.
Why anyone would lie and voluntarily put themselves through this kind of hate, misunderstanding and discrimination is beyond me, and strikes me as highly unlikely. 

I have to wonder, the person who sent in this postcard, if it would change their mind if they ended up having a son or daughter with autism? What if they themselves came down with depression or schizophrenia?

Would they treat their son or daughter the same way they have treated this person? Would they have the same skepticism and bigotry, or would they finally come to their senses and finally learn more and become a more accepting person? How would they feel if they were the person with mental illness, and had to face the same kind of stupidity they are spouting day after day? 

I think they would start seeing things from a whole different light than their current, bigoted point of view.

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful post!

    I just read this excellent set of three posts from the Autism Discussion Page. I think people like the guy who sent the postcard should read that.

    Link to doc is here.

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  2. Wug... here's the link to the Autism Discussion Page: here

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  3. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
    I've started to read the document you linked, and will check out the facebook page when I can. (Can't view facebook right now).

    I've been open online about my own struggles with OCD and depression, and the misunderstanding and bigotry that I have faced in life because of it has made me appreciate more the struggles of other misunderstood and hated groups such as those with other mental conditions, gays, etc.

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  4. I'm an asshole, and i have aspergers... they aren't mutually exclusive ideas.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I know for some the "compulsive honesty", as I have heard it called before, of autism will lead to people thinking that an autistic's bluntness is a sign of arrogance.

      It's probably much the same problem that the character Sheldon has on Big Bang Theory.

      Delete

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