Monday, April 25, 2016

On Overcoming Adversity

Before I start, I'll say this: I recently made a declaration on Facebook that I am not going to ramble anymore.  Therefore, this post will be shorter than usual for me, and I'll cut down on the unnecessary details.  Hopefully, this will make my posts and writings in general more accessible.

I know someone--remember, I don't name names on here!--who has said for a long time that she doesn't like certain songs because they remind her of bad experiences from her past.  However, I know this person well enough to know that those songs don't match her tastes in music anyway; she probably wouldn't like them even if it weren't for those past incidents.  That doesn't make those memories any more pleasant, though.

Like her and pretty much anyone else, I have bad memories from throughout my past, too; however, mine often involve activities that I enjoy or, at least, used to; since I've always been a talker, I tended to be rather outspoken about my favorite shows, celebrities, comic strips, video/computer games, etc.  I honestly can't think of anything that I've ever enjoyed doing that I wasn't persecuted for somehow; the only things I did that I wasn't persecuted for were ones I hated, like Boy Scouting or AVID.  If I avoided absolutely anything that could bring back a bad memory, I'd do nothing but eat, sleep, and stare off into space; seriously, you never know when a Disney Channel episode or a Christian novel could trigger something like that.

Despite being persecuted for what I liked to do, I kept doing it until I felt it was time to move on to something else.  In recent years, I've rediscovered some of my childhood favorites, ranging from Lizzie McGuire to Power Rangers; yes, I was made fun of for being a fan of those as well.  However, I'm not about to let my naysayers dictate what I can and can't do in my spare time; really, it's none of their business.  If anything, those people's attacks made me all the more determined to spend time involved in my favorite activities.

You may think that it was just punk kids who were bullying me that were at fault, but that's not always the case.  Sometimes, adults were just as guilty if not more so...and, sometimes, the fault was entirely mine; I wouldn't have gotten such a reaction if I had just kept my mouth shut.  Not only that, but...when I think back on how my favorite show was all I could talk, write, or think about...well, that's just disturbing.  Frankly, I can see why people got annoyed with me back then.

Even though it's been years since all that took place, the memories are still there, and they pop up pretty much every day.  Sure, I may not be watching one of those shows or looking up something online about one of those games...but, there are references to them pretty much everywhere I look, ranging from the places I shop at--garage sales, MovieStop, thrift stores, etc.--to Facebook to even at church; you never know what my friends may be talking about at a potluck or other social function!

Okay, so some "advocate" threw a hissy fit when I made a reference to Mork & Mindy; so some punk kid bullied me for being a Scooby-Doo fan; so I thought The Magic School Bus was real.  So what? That doesn't really matter; if I want to do it, as long as it's morally right, why shouldn't I? As we all know, people are going to judge me and criticize me no matter what I do!

I have two concluding points. First off, that road goes other ways as well.  If nobody--well, other than my parents and God--has the right to take away what I enjoy, they also have no right to shove their idea of "fun" down my throat.  Last year, I briefly considered trying my hand at running a marathon per some people's suggestions...and it went absolutely nowhere.  You may think that I used my "condition" as my excuse, but, I stopped doing that years ago; I'm sure there are people who have the same "condition" I do, or maybe even a worse case of autism, who have successfully run a marathon...and, I say, more power to them.  My problem was that the drive just wasn't there; someone or even a group of people saying, "Well, I think this is a good idea," is not enough motivation for something that's never been on my bucket list.  Not only that, but...I also don't have the right to make other people do what I want them to; in fact, I've lost friends because people got tired of repeated requests to read my blog or chat with me on Facebook's instant messenger.

Second off: When it comes to the past incidents I was speaking of, I think I could classify most of them as emotional abuse...but, the parties responsible probably didn't think of what they were doing that way; they may have thought it was just a joke or, believe it or not, that they were doing me a favor.  Human logic is a very flawed thing; just look at how those who have done the unthinkable--ranging from the shooters at Columbine to Osama bin Laden--felt justified in their actions! That's actually why I don't want to get married: I'm afraid of opening myself up to emotional abuse.  You may say that a Christian woman would never do that, but, it happens in marriages--even ones where both members follow the Way--all the time.  The problem with emotional abuse is that people--not just women; men can do it, too--don't even realize what it is they're doing; they say, "I'm just speaking my mind!", "Somebody's got to tell you this!", "Can't you take a joke?", or something to that effect.  My fear when it comes to marriage is either that the emotional abuse will start right after the honeymoon, or that our life together will start out sweet and innocent...only for something in her to snap, and our relationship will never be the same after that.  I've already suffered through enough emotional abuse for a lifetime; I don't need any more.

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