The other day, I encountered a swath of intolerably volatile people both online (surprise!) and off. And I'm just tired of it. I can handle regular internet jackassery. Closed minded, ignorant bigotry online is one thing. Closed minded, ignorant bigotry aimed at disrupting my actual life- that's something else. Thicker skin only seems to help up to a point.
In the past, I have been attacked, beaten, verbally assaulted, cut, threatened, and slandered by strangers and friends alike. A half dozen times in the last two years I have been assaulted in the street, in public. Because I don't act the way they want me to; I don't think the way they demand me to; and I don't look the way they expect me to.
I have been punched in the face for saying hello, shoved away for trying to help someone, maliciously yelled at and talked down to for asking if someone was okay, and dismissed entirely, and threatened, for disagreeing or offering a different opinion.
All of these people use the same type of justification when confronted to dismiss any criticism of this behaviour.
"You deserved it/You were asking for that"
"Sorry that you don't understand"
These people are some of the most prideful, ignorant people I have ever met. And it really is unfortunate.
Do they ask questions?
Do they stop and consider the things I talk about?
Do they turn their little magnifying glasses back on themselves?
No. They get loud and try to drown me out, try to invalidate me. If they get loud enough they think I'll move on.
I remember doing that. When I was nine. Enough faux outrage and I might be lucky enough to duck out, slam my door, and escape grounding.
Then there are the brilliant mental gymnastics when they start to spew blame. It's not their fault they act like I'm something less than human. They seem to freeze up when it comes to any introspection. It is never their responsibility for their own actions. Every single thing they do is not only justified by extreme cognitive dissonance, but is also my doing.
It usually goes as follows:
"Why are you blaming me? This is your problem. I'm a good person."
You punched me in the face. What do you think I'm blaming you for?
Who is responsible for your actions? Oh, me? Right.
Yell in my face as loud as you want that I'm displacing blame, playing the victim, encroaching on your rights, whatever else. It's not like you're trying to cover up the fact that that's exactly what you're doing....oh, wait.
"I'm a nice guy. If I was treating you like shit, you deserved it. Actually, it was your own fault to begin with!"
Nope. If you don't measure up to your own self image, that's not my problem. Try not being an asshole, maybe?
"Well, if you really understood, you wouldn't be arguing with me. You're disagreeing so it's your fault that I'm acting this way. You're the one that's deviant. Maybe you should be quiet. I might hit you..."
Yes , Sir, you are absolutely correct. Please, forgive me for thinking I was a legitimate human being that could talk. I'm expected to just keep my mouth shut, and take whatever garbage people throw at me, hold all the responsibility for your behaviour and mine, while naturally being as pleasant, and conforming to your standards, as possible.
If you want try to diminish my agency as a person, violate my personal space, and stifle me if I dissent while still blaming me if and when it blows up in your face, you can fuck right off.
I'm still human. I happen to be mentally ill. I happen to have other issues. I'm not always fun or rational or pleasant and I don't pretend to be.
I make mistakes. Sometimes, I make big mistakes.
According to some, these include:
- Not being your clone
- Getting in the way of your fists/attacks/abuse
- Causing you to become a frothball of rage
- Living outside the nice little box you made for me
- And more!
I am sick of people not respecting my ability to be an independent entity from themselves and their expectations.
I am sick of people telling that I don't understand something just because I don't agree or have a different interpretation or because I do something different.
I am sick of people reversing all of their shortcoming and inadequacies onto me when I question or criticise their behaviour.
I am sick of being punched in the face for walking down the fucking street. Why has this happened more than once?! Or at all???
So, I'm sorry, everyone, because I'm not you and, no offence, I don't want to be.
I'm sorry for having my own thoughts and ideas on how to live my life.
I'm sorry for causing you (by existing in proximity to you) to lose your mind and hit me or yell at me or treat me like shit instead of choosing intelligent discourse.
I'm sorry that I'm not okay with people trying to marginalise or invalidate me because they can't handle the existence of another perspective or lifestyle.
I'm sorry that someone disagreeing with you and having a problem with the actions you take against me is such a pride-shattering, ego-melting, mind nuke for you (you can have problems with me and tell me how much you disagree how I live/exist, don't worry!).
Also, sorry for getting in the way of your fist!! That was super dumb!
I'm sorry for not conforming to your thoughts on how I should exist for you.
And, I'm sorry that I will not be silenced.
BTW I'm not sorry. I know exactly who I am and I'm not apologising for your inability to handle the differences.