originalpuck: A rainbow colored eye with rainbow colored eyelashes. It has the name "Originalpuck" on it. (Originalpuck)
[personal profile] originalpuck
Today is Blog Against Disableism Day 2010, and this is my contribution. It's also my contribution to Three Weeks For Dreamwidth. Enjoy!

Let's say that you're a regular on my blog. You spend hours crafting the perfect reply to one of my posts, something supportive or perhaps something offering me great constructive criticism on one of my stories. You're quite sure that I'll love it, and so you wait to hear my response. And you wait. And wait.

And nothing ever comes. Do you:

A) Get angry. After all, you spent all of that time, how hard is a brief thank you?

B) Feel hurt. Think that I don't view you as worthy of a response.

C) Shrug and move on.

The last is what I'm hoping for from you guys. Because you see, if I don't respond to one of your comments, 9 times out of 10 it has nothing to do with how I value you as a reader, as a friend, as a person. No, 9 times out of 10 it has to do with my anxiety disorder.

Because I have an anxiety disorder* I have to take life one day at a time. Some days I'm great. I can write several posts, respond to all of the comments, check my friends' blogs and respond sympathetically, and even go out and participate in community discussions. Some days my anxiety disorder is so bad that I can't do more than read from the periphery of the blog-o-sphere, bookmarking things to respond to later, if my anxiety disorder calms down in time for a comment to be meaningful.

I could read the best piece of fiction in the world, or the most touching comment, and I wouldn't be able to respond. My anxiety disorder would be in control. I would be unable to let my presence be known out of fear, out of anxiety. I would be trapped replaying all of the things that could go wrong, over and over in my head, until I have trouble breathing, my heartbeat is irregular, and, on bad days, I nearly black out.

Other days I'll put off letting my presence be known because I need to save my energy for any sort of IRL encounters that I know will take all of my energy not to panic about (and then I probably will, anyways). These can be something as large as having a party I have to host, or something as small as needing to interact with people other than my wife so that I can leave my room and cook something in the presence of my room mates, so I don't get hunger pains while my wife is at work.

Being absent from the blog-o-sphere doesn't mean that I love you guys any less, or that I want to share my writing any less. It simply means that my methods of interacting are different from those that temporarily able bodied folks use. And that's okay.

So next time you start to get angry/sad/frustrated that I haven't commented on an entry you wrote, or made a new one of my own, or posted my writing at the pre-agreed upon time, or responded to comments, etc, take a minute to re-read this post and realize that it's not you. It's really, honestly, me.

And I hope you'll agree that while it's different from what you might be used to, it's not wrong. Just new. And maybe you'll realize that I don't love you any less, and you won't love me any less, either.

*among other disabilities.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
birgitriddle: (Stock - Winter Wonder)
From: [personal profile] birgitriddle
I have an anxiety disorder, so I think I get what you mean. Mine is based around wanting the approval of people however, so I actually freak out sometimes when I'm scared that I said something wrong to someone in a comment or with a post. Actually, I'm scared to post this comment because I fear that you'd take it as offense. I usually just don't care if someone doesn't reply to my comments, but sometimes I just get days where I am afraid someone is going to hate me and unfriend me just because of my own opinion.

So...I guess it's similar, except mine sets in after I write a comment and/or a post.

But it doesn't take me much to please me and just getting a comment once in a while is good enough for me. Your comment on my writing made me very happy and made me feel better about my writing. Thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-04 06:54 pm (UTC)
birgitriddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birgitriddle
The first one that used the example of smoking was interesting. I find that smoke is bothersome to me as in it gives me headaches, I can't focus when I'm sitting next to someone in class who has just had a cigarette, and it sometimes aggravates my allergies. Plus, I'm very sensitive to smell. I can't stand the smell of most perfumes (hence why I tend to use perfume oils more than the other kinds) and it's probably an AS thing.

Most of my comment anxiety comes from posting in communities and stuff, so I don't think you have to worry that much about that. I just don't like drama. :/

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-02 02:28 am (UTC)
ellia: text says friends, emotional tech support (text emotional tech support)
From: [personal profile] ellia
Thank you for posting this at [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw, it really resonated for me, as i have serious issues with any kind of social interactions, which can leave me backing away from my online friends and activities, sometimes for weeks at a time.

So next time you start to get angry/sad/frustrated that I haven't commented on an entry you wrote, or made a new one of my own, or posted my writing at the pre-agreed upon time, or responded to comments, etc, take a minute to re-read this post and realize that it's not you. It's really, honestly, me.

This encapsulates it all so clearly, it's exactly what i've tried to tell my friends.

You've managed to talk about this so openly and honestly, and i'd just like to say how much i appreciated that you decided to share this with the wider DW community,

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-02 04:04 am (UTC)
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)
From: [personal profile] nagasvoice
Thank you for sharing your experience.
I've several times made the point that I like the diversity on DW. That includes welcoming folks whose comments are shaped by various kinds of ADHD, autism, depression, or Asberger's, whose first language is not English, or who are struggling with RL issues. That includes welcoming folks who comment as they can, and sometimes they can't. Most of the folks I know ae obligated first elsewhere, they're busy, they're stressed, they're doing the best they can. Things happen, people get busy, there's all kinds of reasons why we lose touch.
I'm always delighted to hear from folks in comments, but I don't expect it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-02 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miss_haitch
Thank you for posting about this. <3

here via threeweeks:

Date: 2010-05-02 08:13 am (UTC)
kaptainvon: Photo of me running D&D, wearing what appears to be half a Fourth Doctor costume.  It was very cold in that warehouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaptainvon
This is love. I am glad you shared. I will be remembering. I will be linking to it if the Fear starts to descend upon me again, if that's okay?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 05:46 am (UTC)
softestbullet: Aeryn cupping Pilot's cheek. He has his big eyes closed. (Lev/ D:)
From: [personal profile] softestbullet
Thank you for this post! I feel this way a lot.

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