Friday, April 13, 2018

"You are TOO much" or "Your Posts are too Lengthy" or "Why Don't you Privatize your Space?" Addressing the Nonsense Geared at Minorities/ Autistics/ INFj's. "This IS me."

Over the years I have received various opinions about my thoughts. There are three negative statements however, that have been more prominent. After I receive this feedback, I will force myself to take a breather, accept the honest opinions of others as their own, and question my reasoning. Here are the top three statements and how I have dealt with them internally;

1.) "Your Posts are TOO lengthy." "Can you work on shortening your words for ease and accessibility?" Or my absolute favourite, "I could have read the whole thing, but it was too long so I stopped. It was fine and well written." 

Erm okay? So you were interested and you COULD have read it, but on the principle of the matter (it being too long) you decided to stop? It is one thing to stop reading because you simply don't have time. We all have to consider our time. It's our greatest gift. I respect that. I skim all the time - even my own stuff. Skimming is a gal's best friend.

But why tell me that MY communication needs to change. This is my process. Just skip it or skim it but why tell me what to do? This is particularly irking, if I wrote a post FOR or TO someone and they give that feedback. Immediately, they are downgraded from my circles of sharing or importance. Not because they didn't have time, but because they clearly did not respect my time put into trying to make their world better. If they don't read or skim that is one thing. But bossing me around to communicate just like them is not ok.

They can give negative feedback in dialogue, but that is another matter completely. When this happens to me... If I have something to read that I don't always have time for, I will consider the other person's personality differences, skim what I can, pick two points that I can give positive feedback on, quickly write a response, and send immediately so I do not forget. Because if a person is important to me, I can give them a few minutes of my day every once in awhile. I don't expect this type of feedback on every thought or post, but yea, if it's been awhile since I connected, I expect myself to acknowledge a friend's thoughts and existence. (P.S. This has NOT happened recently with posts. My cousin's Ferritin post was well received:)

First off, there are years or posts that I practice concise, shorter writing. But other years or posts are about my process. Which is long, speedy, and already cut in HALF by the time it gets to the page. That is just who I am. Other Aspies have also blogged about this issue. We have so many internal thoughts rolling around, that we need an outlet. Often our outlets are writing or monologuing. Both of which we have received flack from the outside world on more than one occasion.

This is nonsense because I have never claimed to be a "professional writer." I am a writer, for myself because I engage in writing. I also then hope it can help someone who maybe had similar experiences. End of story. I am not on board with perceptions of how things "SHOULD be." However, I AM aware of my readers, thus at times I will go out of my way to edit a post in half, or in hindsight go back and make cuts. I will also sometimes make underlined headings so that people can skim or skip to the parts that are relevant to them. In the end, this space is a healthy spot for me, to get out thoughts or words that I do not often have a forum for otherwise. Because I get inside my thoughts and it is hard to find a way out, detailed writing provides an outlet. It also depends on what type of post I am writing.

I understand accessibility and feel it's important. I do it in the ways that I feel I can. I have limited energy. Writing a long blog post surprisingly restores my energy. But notice, that I do not actually write captions explaining pictures ect, like most Neurodiverse blogs do. I just can't. That stresses me out, and unfortunately drains the energy I have for my family because of chronic illness. I will not be accessible to all people. That is just how life goes. I will try my best in the ways that I can. I will sometimes stretch and grow myself. I am finely in tune and honest with whom I am. I know what I am or am not capable of. I know when to choose the tough path or the easy one. This blog is primarily for enjoyment.

2.) "You are TOO much." Or "Just get in the boat!"

I realize the second statement seems semi unrelated, but these two statements are what I spent the better part of my first 4 years of therapy on. As a child and teen, the people whom I was told loved me most, the ones who protected me or took care of me, or witnessed my life, regularly gave forms of these statements to me in some way, shape or form. Even if they complimented me on other areas or deeply loved me, I learned two facts quickly;
I wasn't fully accepted for whom I was deep I learned to mask and conceal. I became Elsa. Second- I had no real autonomy. If a sensory experience was "too much" for me, I just was ordered to "get in the boat."
I was told my fears of water were unfounded but actually, they were quite logical. I was continually asked to ignore my own internal process. I was told that my thoughts or feelings about something were "unrealistic" or "too dramatic." This created a dangerous position to be in. I did anything a doctor would tell me to do. Much to my detriment. I just listened to people in certain positions of power, not because I agreed, but because I doubted my own experience and defaulted to "professionals." Luckily, I learned about personal autonomy gradually, beginning with the birth processes of my last two children at 20 and 24, but did not reach full autonomy until about 26.

I now understand that this is also nonsense. Why do these statements not hold up? Because I was already an anomaly. I was a minority so my experiences were considered illegitimate. But that did not mean that I had no meaning. Or that I was absurd for being me. What was absurd was expecting me to conform when I was clearly not fitting in every step of the way.

I also understand WHY this happened. I can look back now without feeling the absolute grief I used to about childhood. I used to feel embarrassment for myself and the others involved. I used to feel deep pain for being ignored where I needed attention. I used to feel disrespected. I also felt paranoid about my way in the world. My anxiety was heightened because I was constantly given mixed messages of "You are loved" but "Don't be like this, don't be your truth." Of course, this made me question whom I was and it took years to get to know myself again in my later twenties.

In the end, I worked through blame, criticism and pain, to realize it was not my fault, and it wasn't any of my caretakers' faults or those who loved me. Did I still have to deal with loads of memories and relationships in therapy over the years? YES. But, I also started to unravel the deep wounds. Because, the fact is, when someone or something is not understood, they are contained or feared or forced to become something else. Naturally, that is what happened to me. My real fear of water was written off as trivial. I still can not think of swimming lessons without massive palpitations. I was told to "DE -sensitize." A favourite term of ABA specialists and "normal" people. But de-sensitizing a logical fear or something that makes sense, as a reality, or a phobia, will not work. It's like calling people who are germ adverse hypochondriacs. When you look at the history of the world, more people have died from disease than any war. Most wars were also won BECAUSE of disease. It is a fact that if the world is going to be wiped out, it will be more likely from disease than a nuclear bomb. Vaccinations happened the same time as advanced hygiene. Disease went down due to the hygiene factor more than the vaccinations (although some of these were a huge advancement.) This is simply logic. So it makes sense, if one cares about longevity, to be careful about hand washing, contagions ect. It's cold logic applied with practicality.

My sensory experiences WERE legitimate. (Check out the Sensory posts on side label. Especially the Halloween HERE or Thanksgiving one HERE Or Christmas HERE.) Just because over 80 percent of the population may not feel the same, does not mean the other 20 percent are not legitimate. Or insert whatever statistic you like. There ARE exceptions always. One reality does not negate another. Being forced into a boat, being told to ignore it, getting in trouble for wanting to throw up from a noise, being told when the worst of sensory would bombard me and I would cry, that I was "Too much" contributed to the massive self esteem issues I began to have at the tender age of six.

Oftentimes, certain personalities are more prone to comment this way on my persona. Usually it is unhealthy persons who have not yet known themselves. Also, the majority have been ESFJ's. I now know why this is. A close friend is a pretty balanced ESFJ. We actually get along well in moderation. Our processes are different but we can agree on harmony. However, ESFJ's can feel frustrated by the individuality of an INFJ, as they are more for the collective good. They do not always love exceptions to rules, which INFJ's often portray. Also, the aura of mystery can feel devious to them at times, as well as the fact that INFJ's give advice. Advice feels like being bossed or feels degrading to many ESFJ's. Thus, my natural personality could be continually offensive. This is ONE small example of how personality understanding takes most of the pain away from a statement. Because when understanding to context is applied, then it feels less personal. (See THIS and THIS and THIS video on ESFJ's process.) This can also happen in ANY personality type and engagement.

Today, if I get these statements, I DO initially feel the pain again. It's like a battle wound that has since healed completely but still receives phantom pain or has arthritis when the weather changes. I have to tell myself, "Those are messages from people who may not give deeper thought to what they say. Perhaps they lack self understanding or the larger picture. Maybe they are wounded too. You have dealt with this. You may be too much for some people, but for the few who matter, you are just enough. You have your mistakes, you have your flaws, but you are still worthy. You have strengths and you have disabilities. Remember that a large compliment is just as damaging to the ego if massively internalized. People are fickle. Opinions change. Both the good and bad opinions become neutral when one knows themselves. Enjoy the good but don't let it blow up ego. Question yourself with the bad. Then question the person who said it. Give grace when possible or contextual. Apply boundaries or distance when needed."

"Look out cuz here I come. And I'm marching out to the beat I drum..."- This is Me.

3.) "Why Don't you Privatize Your Space? If you value privacy so much, why not take it private. You share too many personal things that should not be processed in public."

This statement I have only received 4 times. Once, it was said to me via email, when someone who did not even know me well, read my blog, made some conclusions about me, and decided to confront me. Though it was audacious, it was also a form of brave, so I gave her my time. She was a worker at the local school who had witnessed aspects of my life growing up, but had yet to ever have a personal conversation with me one on one. Thus, I took that context into consideration when reading her words.

"Hide away they say, we don't want your broken parts...Run away, they say, no one will love you as you are.... but I won't let them break me down to dust... I know that there's a place for us." - This is me 🎢

To be honest, I had to ask myself the same question the day I started this blog. I have had multiple blogs, switching when each one became well read. I have had two private spaces as well. In the end, I have settled on this place the last few years. It has felt like home. I try to keep posts to 2-6 per month because I am aware I give lots of information, so I try to not overwhelm on a daily basis.


The reason I keep it public? In the past, I have received emails from strangers, connections, or statements in the comments, about how one post changed some one's complete way of thinking. I have been often asked to write self help. It's not so much about my actual writing, as it is, I think, about my way of being in the world. My honesty with self, tends to help others be honest with themselves. A comment I have received multiple times in the last two years alone. As an INFJ, that matters to me. If I went private, I would neglect to give to the people who need this space in some way. Those who are irked by 'me', can simply close their browser. Walk away. Those that either love me and want to know my inner workings a bit, or those who are just curious to learn, or those who are looking for something specific like my health journey, can search and find. That is important to me. I feel I can give to a few people in the world this way. Actually I KNOW I can. Just because the majority find the information "useless" or "too much" or makes them uncomfortable, does not mean I am not giving... in my own way. That is what true inclusion is. Allowing people to be whom they truly are and respecting them for it, even if it is not typical.

I write primarily for self first. For healing and processing. I need to write occasionally to understand. Once I put it out in the world, I feel better. It's a letting go process. But secondary to this, my writing is for the few who maybe grew up like me. With beautiful childhoods that still caused massive damage. With internalized confusing messages of whom they should be. I know I am lucky to have 13 plus years of therapy, diagnosis, self help books, researching and a good support system backing me up. I feel it is important to spread that support a bit, because I have it. It's a privilege that I can share in this way.

Private blogs are important. We all have differing processes. This space is just the tip of my daily life. My inner processes are so much more complex. For instance, this blog post alone only took 20 minutes to write. What takes longer is editing, finding a song or picture and emailing out to the list of a few people who thus far have not said anything that would stop me from sharing. Although certain posts I do not send to anyone and let the finders find, while other posts I have differing email lists (that I unfortunately sometimes mix up. Yikes.) My main cognitive function is internal. Which means that my inner world is more of a reality to me than my outer surroundings. For people with the opposite personality functions this sounds ridiculous. But, from my context, I understand their mentality but I also could never live in it either. Add to that, Autism and being an INFJ, and my internal process is probably more intense than most other people who share the same functions...unless they are also differently wired or own an intense, internalizing personality.


"...🎢 Another round of bullets hits my skin. Well, fire away, cuz today, I won't let the shame begin. We are bursting through the barricades and reaching for the sun. We are glorious. Yea that's we've become. I won't let them break me down to dust. I know that there's a place for us, for we are glorious. When the sharpest words want to cut me down. I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out, I am brave, I am bruised, I am whom I meant to be. This is me. Look out cuz here I come. And I'm marching out to the beat I drum. I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies. THIS IS ME....And I know that I deserve love. There is nothing I am not worthy of...This is BRAVE, this is BRUISED, this is whom I'm MEANT to be. This is ME...I'm not scared to be SEEN. I make NO apologies for this is me...."- Keala Settle and Cast.*
**"🎢Oh life is waiting for you, it's all messed up but we're alive🎢..."

*"This is Me" was my second least favourite song on the "Greatest Showman." Although, I loved them all so this was a tough call. LOL. While I felt it was good and beautiful, it didn't feel too applicable to my current journey. My self of 25 and under? Definitely. I would have probably blasted this more than "Defying Gravity." But with a lot of personality study and different wiring, I have more of a gentle acceptance of whom I am now that I don't need to prove, but in writing, for those who are still coming to terms with themselves, I make sure I take a strong stance of worthiness and explanation. This song fit perfectly for those who are still learning they are worthy because they exist. Don't be scared to be seen. In short, that is why I keep up this blog. I am not going to quit out of fear. If I quit, it will be because of a new phase in life and not for others qualms or internalized self insecurity.

Song Choice: This is Me- Greatest Showman

Life- Our Lady Peace (the lyrics to this song helped me get through Junior High.)

Misery- Soul Asylum

Loser Like Me- Glee:


Ashe said...

*sheepishly raises a hand* I am guilty of skimming or skipping. Not 'cause of you though. Either lack of time or lack of ability to concentrate due to work or whatever. But the posts that look most interesting I usually save to my computer in the hopes I may, someday, actually have the resources to be able to read them in full. (I'm really itching to get to the newest one with the MTHFR gene tag.)

I cringe every time I hear "sensory experience". Mix an INxJ with sensory issues with an unhealthy ESFJ, and there is no possibility of them getting along. At all. Ever. Healthy ESFJ and healthy INxJ? Stands a chance since they both have their maturity to temper their judgment and tongue. Might even get them trading fashion tips so the ESFJ is more comfortable and the INxJ can hide in plain sight better to avoid unwarranted nagging.

#3 piques my curiosity too. I greatly appreciate a lot of your posts and your willingness to talk about certain personal issues. Like those evil, evil sensory issues... Others I find fascinating or pleasant to read, like unschooling, your grandfather, all the work you've put into your home, and then of course the MBTI and health stuff.

Kmarie A. said...

Lol NO WORRIES!: ) I skim pretty much everything I read due to time...when I write out my process I often include every detail because its what I need to do to get it out...knowing full well even I will skim my own stuff after!:) Ha ha. But I do read in depth things I need to know...but totally understand. What I dislike is when people just straight out tell me to communicate differently. Thats what is not fun. They can skip or skim too and its fine and I dont need to know about it - but why boss me into communicating like them?:)

I KNOW:( ITS SO SO SAD. A few of my family members ( extended) actually at least 4, are unhealthy ESFJ's...there is no hope Obi one... The only time we do get along is if we have a shopping trip or photo time.

Thank you. I appreciate that. I try to write about a scope of experiences thus certain posts will only hit certain people but it's always nice to hear what people enjoy....esp regular readers:) P.s. I left a few comments on your site and would LOVE the breakdown you did on INTJ to be on INFJ...:)

Anonymous said...

The last two songs are some of my favourites. ♥️ These days my brain feels incapable of written response and it makes me feel a little crazy. I really enjoyed your responses to the questions were so well written. I so appreciate your thought process and YOU in your entirety. I am quite sure you would never at this point, but don’t ever dampen that or tone it down. Your words are important for your readers. I feel this wholeheartedly. -R

Amy said...

Oh man, K! You are so much more brave than I - I was raising my hand and waving my hanky because I am one of the people that has so greatly been affected by what you share... on so many levels. From our kindred personality, to my son and he being autistic, to my kids and their anxiety, to your open-ness and beautiful authentic way you accept yourself and share here on your blog. I have come into a deeper love and appreciation for our online friendship, and am so incredibly grateful for the way you share. I write a lot like you as we write like we talk - like our internal voice is always speaking inside.

Reading the comments that you have received from other people, I had to ask myself how I would have responded, and inside I cringed. I think those words would have wounded me, and taken a long time for me to work out. Your strength and courage are really really something to behold. And you are spot on when you say that everybody has their different personalities and the true inclusivity gives people the freedom to receive or to not receive. To have the freedom to read on or to shut their browser and move on. It's always so interesting to me as a INFJ that people don't let others live and let live, you know? I read through the comments that you have received over the years in a bit of a aghast and bewildered space... that people would put THEIR ways on to you - I mean, my gosh, what is creativity - but the unique expression of a individual. That is this space.. it's YOUR creativity and expression. But you are so right to say it's just their perspective and opinion.

BIG BIG love for you and this beautiful space you have created.

Amy said...

and PS - I loved that you shared This is ME - it wasn't my most fave song either, but it is still beautiful and the words so powerful. I think my favorite song from that musical is - From Now On - mostly because of the space I was in when I saw the movie... and then A Million Dreams. It's hard to pic a fave, but if pressed those would be my top two. <3

Kmarie A. said...

R: Thank you. You are very sweet and encouraging. Lol Yea I can sound pretty passionate when I want to get a message out there:) I feel for people who have less of a support system than I do and hope they can find strength from my words sometimes...BUt if not that is ok too. I love those songs as well. Oh the nineties!:) We all have our communication strengths, abilities and forums. I completely understand and would never wish for you to be something you are not. I understand needing silence:)

First off, I am so sorry you have been greatly affected by what I share in the sense of feeling either judgement or isolation or having to re think how you are in the world. You are def a kindred spirit. I am very grateful for our online friendship too! Love shooting you the occasional text or meeting here or on the other forum. I am so glad you found me almost a decade ago!

Well, they used to wound me deeply too but now truly it's water off a duck's back most of the time because of all the wonderful (lol not really wonderful) years of practice I have had. Initially I do step back. Sometimes I am shocked at the wonky perceptions...but I HAVE been deeply wounded in the past and still will be again, I am sure. It actually truly is perspective taking and personality type understanding that has saved me from not growing bitter or holding a grudge or not being able to overcome It is way easier when I think within another person's context and it is vastly less personal.

I agree to the live and let live - it is astounding. Oh ha ha story of my life. Whenever someone really stands out in a community or is held to certain standards or if someone doesn't conform...well, let's just say I am glad we do not live near Massachusetts in the 1690's... At least there are more enlightening times now but people still like to get into things that they do not understand or try to control it...traditional tiny communities struggle with this more but yea, it's perspective and opinion.

Thank you.

Yes, I loved all the songs but my top two were A Million Dreams and Tightrope. Probably the same way you felt about From NOw On...because Tightrope made me cry a bit because of the last two year journey with my husband. He didn't catch me when I fell, but most times in the past he has...but it is always a question in our relationship at times...and he does have a personality that can relate to Hugh's in some ways. Luckily he is a quicker learner and less inclined in the business aspect of life, but yea, the Tightrope really pulled on my heart strings:)

Amy said...

K - just to clarify - I am affected in a GOOD way / a inspired way! That was what my comment encompassed. Not negative at all! No way! I have never ever felt "judgement or isolation or having to re think how you are in the world." Never never... so sorry if my comment came across that way. I was trying to be cheeky and state that I have been affected but in a POSITIVE way, not negative as some of your nay sayers have stated. I adore you! and am always encouraged to be myself and challenged to see things in a different/new perspective.

Kmarie A. said...

Oh no - whoops I just read how you read it! Yikes! I can see how that would be but my tone was a gentle first off - I needed to say I'm so so so very sorry you have experience that too;) like, that u have had judgement and isolation just like that... 😭♥️That makes sense tho how u may have thought I was taking offence but I rarely ever do - but I see how I could come across that way... sorry! No oh I was saying sorry you also shared those experiences that way ;( I wish my friends didn't have to experience that πŸ’”πŸ’”

Kmarie A. said...

Ps I knew you were cheeky and I was amused ;) lol πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜œπŸ’•

S said...

After reading this post, I thought about it a lot before giving feedback. Whatever you write resonates so much with me that sometimes, I get lost in my own thoughts after reading your posts. Whatever you have written here, the same thing is going on in my life too. I mean you wrote this post on your blog about the kind of feedback that you receive (in your blog )but in my case, it is happening in my REAL life. There is something about me that people find weird or different and I had to tone down ( and sometimes, entirely change ) my persona/expressions/communication in my real life to the extent that I no longer know what my Real "self" is anymore. Thank God, my friends or relatives in real life does not know about my blog (and that's why they don't know what I write) and therefore, my blog is free from any such judgements/criticisms/prejudice. But even if I can hide my blog from them, I cannot hide myself. So, life is getting difficult.
Sensory experiences or sensitivities are indeed legitimate. We did not create them. They are a part of our genetic or biological make up. We feel and behave in a certain way because of these experiences. Yet, something else (some kind of different behaviour)is expected from us. I tried to mould/adapt and change as well because I am an intelligent being and I have empathy too but we can do that to a certain extent. We cannot change ourselves completely. And even if we can, what is the point ? Would we be happy ? Comfortable ? Certain behaviours are perceived to be morally superior over others but if you take each behaviour as an individual case, you will see that everyone is somewhere in the spectrum ( I am not talking about the autistic spectrum but a general spectrum ). We are a mix of lot of parameters. Even if something is perceived to be morally superior,for the people in the far end of the spectrum, it means nothing but a painful transition for others who are expected to match up.
I hope you keep writing your blog in the public space because you never know who is getting benefited by your personal stories.For example, if I hadn't seen your blog, I would not have got a friend for life, I would have never known what Aspergers is. Most importantly,I would not have been able to resolve the various conflicts that were going on in my life at the time of reading your blog. Your blog is like a therapy to many people who don't have an access to personal therapist , don't forget that. Also, its not about now but about the future too- who knows how many more people would find some solace in your blog in the next 10 or even 100 years, long after we are no more.
Maybe , there are some people who do not need your personal insights because they belong to a different personality type ( but then again, everyone benefits from knowing the story from another perspective). I mean, I sometimes read fashion blog although I am not that fashion conscious. So, you should keep writing.
There are many reasons why people write a blog. Maybe, you are writing only for yourself and not so much for others just like a self-therapy session. Therefore, you are really not accountable to anyone and you should keep writing. I will keep reading :)
All the best,

Kmarie A. said...

S: I am sorry it feels that way for you in real life. I have had that in the past too. It can be wounding at first. And yes, if we change too much for others it is tough to find our real self again. I like whom you are. I hope you can show it more to the people that actually matter. Are you still writing on your blog? It doesn't show up on my reading list...if you are could u send me the link via email if you are still writing on it?:0
They are legitimate. Yes, I agree...its that fine balance between being yourself but navigating the world. Yes, such a mix of parameters! that is a great sentence. I agree it can be an extremely painful transition.
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yes, you have me a friend for life.:) I am so glad you could find information on Aspergers through me and find that part of yourself! That is such an honour that I was a conduit. Thank you. I appreciate that affirmation. That is the hope for quite a few posts and I am glad it resonated...I love that thought process. You are a bright spot in my world.
Ha good analogy with the fashion. I am the same way.
I am glad you will keep reading! xoxo

S said...

My blog is still there,only I have not written for a long time, so no updates :)) my blog link is in my pinterest profile.

Full Spectrum Mama said...

My friend -
As usual your words resonate deeply with me.

I finally grabbed time to read this after meeting with my writing group - women I LOVE - who basically, no joke, were saying many of the things you talk about in here, about MY writing, TO ME.

Wish I had read the piece before!!!!!!!!!

But in any case, I agree with your stance which is to take what people say into account BUT maintain your own boundaries, goals, processes, and integrity. I don't know if you, like me, have a hard time with boundaries and self-esteem after a lifetime of difference, but you've helped me with that as well herein.

Thanks and love,
Full Spectrum Mama

Kmarie A. said...

S: Ok thank you. good to know:)

FSM: I am so glad they resonated with you. I am so sorry about that. There are preconceived notions of what good writing is. Plus we all have our preferences. If I am reading on something important I DO want to know all the details. Some prefer short and sweet or blunt like Hemingway. While I liked him, he is not my style. That said, Tolkien kind of went on and on...and look at how popular he is! I fall somewhere in that middle but we are all different!

Yes, maintain your own boundaries, process and goals. I used to have a very hard time with boundaries and self esteem but years of therapy has managed most of that. Occasionally I do fall into it again or am triggered but luckily most of my twenties was the worst of that part of things. It is very hard. I understand the struggle. I am glad this helps you. You deserve to have high self esteem and healthy boundaries!
With love