Do you ever feel like your the charity case?

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anbuend
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26 Jul 2008, 1:39 pm

Fnord wrote:
I hate pity, received or given. It extinguishes true compassion and makes the object of that pity into something less than human. Pity is an affirmation of a shortcoming and the identification of a person with that shortcoming. Pity marginalizes people who could otherwise overcome their disabilities and realize their full potentials.

"Oh, don't mind Fnord, dear. It's a real pity, you know ... he's an Aspie and doesn't know what he's saying, so just ignore him. Now run along before he upsets you ..."

Must.
Control.
Fists.
Of.
Death.

:evil:


Yeah.

When I was in a residential facility, this girl went out of her way to make friends with me, she was always genuinely nice to me. And then my psychologist told me that there was no way she would ever be real friends with me, that I was not the sort of person that she would be friends with if she was not living in the same house as me, and that basically she would be embarrassed by my lack of social skills in the "real world" and would never take me out dancing or anything else she might like to do with her "real" friends.

But she never treated me like a charity case, this psychologist just tried to convince me that I would never have friends who were really my friends and not just pitying me.

But I've had the experience so many times of being the person people drag along with them.

I even once got told that someone else didn't want me to come with them (as a group, on a trip for fun) because my behavior was too weird.

I've often been the "Do we have to take her?" person.

And I loathe that position. I loathe the idea that I'm just some pitiable thing or object that everyone passes around as a 'responsibility' but not as a person they like as an equal.

One time a person had acted like she was my friend, and it turned out she wanted to rescue me. And everyone had known this but me. And her friends had told her she shouldn't 'rescue any more broken baby birds' by which they meant me. And it turned out the entire thing was a sham, an act put on because they pitied me. I'd known something wasn't right, but nobody told me about it until they got incredibly angry at me for, as far as I could tell, discussing my life at the time (which included various aspects of poverty that I'd come to see as ordinary and non-alarming) in a frank manner that shook up their attempts at living in a pristine middle-class bubble or something. And they didn't get that the rescuing thing was condescending even when I explained I didn't need a rescuer and was not broken.

They even told me that I shouldn't react like this after "all they'd done for me," and it turned out "all they'd done for me" meant that they'd accepted me to socialize with them the same way they socialized with each other, despite the fact that I was poor and autistic and had a psych history. I'm sorry but to consider simply treating someone equal as "all you've done for them" and like they owe you gratitude for it, blech ick yuck, that's not equality it's totally fake.

I am lucky I do have real friends. But most of them are either autistic or disabled in some other way, because they're the ones who tend to understand where I'm coming from. It's not that I want mostly autistic friends, or that I don't have non-autistic friends, but it's just turned out I mostly get accepted (with no strings attached) by autistic people or other disabled people who like me for who I am, not because they feel guilty for not including me, and not because they see me as an inferior who needs rescuing.

I also remember someone dragging me to a couple of parties once. Those events frightened me thoroughly, and I could tell I was included as an afterthought. I even heard people discussing me like I wasn't there, saying mean things about me, or pitying charity-like things. And I remember a lot of situations where it has seemed like people passed me around as a burden or a duty someone had to deal with, but not as someone they really wanted there.

And it is kind of disgusting how the word charity, which used to mean love, is now corrupted into something that's often the opposite of love.

I can't stand being seen as pathetic, broken, incomplete, or not a whole person.

But what frightens me more than that, is this: I have really looked up to some people I've known or read their writings. Not like on a pedestal, but just looked up to them as mentors and role models. These are people I view as strong, whole, complete, and so on.

And... the scary part... is then that I see these people being treated as pitiful, pathetic, broken, weak, and useless. And that somehow scares me even more than being treated that way myself. Because that is so much not who they are, and it's so obvious to me, but people just walk on by and treat them like they're beneath even their notice, or simple objects of charity, but always as objects, not people.

And then I wonder, if these really strong people get this crap too... what on earth is going on? Why can't people see them the way I do? As people -- with certainly flaws but in no way pathetic or weak (except maybe physically weak but that's not what I mean). I hope this makes sense.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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26 Jul 2008, 1:47 pm

I used to feel that way with this girl I grew up with, that she was just taking me along so she could either have a laugh with her "real friends" later, or because my couselor told my mother to get her to take me along with her so I wouldn't be so isolated.

Judging by her attitude, she really resented me and I think her feeling guilted into taking me places reinforced this resentment which fueled her evil, passive-aggressive behaviour. It was ridiculous and nothing at all like a true friendship.

Oh, what we have to put up with!

The "discussing me like I am not there" phenomenon. It has happened so often, so many countless times that I don't even notice it and it doesn't even phase me enough to make me notice.

It isn't the AS that causes most of my problems, however. That's just a small fraction of my alienation. I blame most of my problems fitting in on the way I look, also the narrow minded, stupid, presumptuous people who live around here.



Last edited by ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo on 26 Jul 2008, 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anbuend
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26 Jul 2008, 1:52 pm

This is an interesting article which deals with the power relationships people get into when help and friendship get confused with each other (especially with disabled children). Very interesting read.


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26 Jul 2008, 4:58 pm

anbuend wrote:
This is an interesting article which deals with the power relationships people get into when help and friendship get confused with each other (especially with disabled children). Very interesting read.

I loved the article. Sometimes it really seems like since I carry a cane, people see the cane first and the person carrying it second, if at all. But I'm not sure how to tell the pity is dehumanizing and that hearing "awww" often makes me a bit sick to my stomach. If someone is really that concerned about my well being, then maybe he/she should become an eye doctor and design a cure. Pity and help are not the same. Overemphasis on my smallest accomplishments which are expected of everyone else, and terming them "amazing" is degrading. Also I'm still not sure how to explain to a well-meaning stranger that my sensitivity to touch makes their "helping" quite painful.



26 Jul 2008, 8:13 pm

I have never felt this way but I have been treated younger than my age. Sometimes people will still treat me like I am a child but that is rare. I was told on here it's because I'm a woman and they will treat me with kid gloves when they see something goes wrong like the time I almost dropped the bowl in the cafeteria because the men all of a sudden shouted at the game on TV. Loud cheering has always bothered me.


Very few people have felt sorry for me online and it has always surprised me. I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me. Sometimes I wonder if any kids felt sorry for me when I was little so that was why they were friend with me in the first place at school.



Fossy
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26 Jul 2008, 8:43 pm

anbuend wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I hate pity, received or given. It extinguishes true compassion and makes the object of that pity into something less than human. Pity is an affirmation of a shortcoming and the identification of a person with that shortcoming. Pity marginalizes people who could otherwise overcome their disabilities and realize their full potentials.

"Oh, don't mind Fnord, dear. It's a real pity, you know ... he's an Aspie and doesn't know what he's saying, so just ignore him. Now run along before he upsets you ..."

Must.
Control.
Fists.
Of.
Death.

:evil:


Yeah.

When I was in a residential facility, this girl went out of her way to make friends with me, she was always genuinely nice to me. And then my psychologist told me that there was no way she would ever be real friends with me, that I was not the sort of person that she would be friends with if she was not living in the same house as me, and that basically she would be embarrassed by my lack of social skills in the "real world" and would never take me out dancing or anything else she might like to do with her "real" friends.

But she never treated me like a charity case, this psychologist just tried to convince me that I would never have friends who were really my friends and not just pitying me.

But I've had the experience so many times of being the person people drag along with them.

I even once got told that someone else didn't want me to come with them (as a group, on a trip for fun) because my behavior was too weird.

I've often been the "Do we have to take her?" person.

And I loathe that position. I loathe the idea that I'm just some pitiable thing or object that everyone passes around as a 'responsibility' but not as a person they like as an equal.

One time a person had acted like she was my friend, and it turned out she wanted to rescue me. And everyone had known this but me. And her friends had told her she shouldn't 'rescue any more broken baby birds' by which they meant me. And it turned out the entire thing was a sham, an act put on because they pitied me. I'd known something wasn't right, but nobody told me about it until they got incredibly angry at me for, as far as I could tell, discussing my life at the time (which included various aspects of poverty that I'd come to see as ordinary and non-alarming) in a frank manner that shook up their attempts at living in a pristine middle-class bubble or something. And they didn't get that the rescuing thing was condescending even when I explained I didn't need a rescuer and was not broken.

They even told me that I shouldn't react like this after "all they'd done for me," and it turned out "all they'd done for me" meant that they'd accepted me to socialize with them the same way they socialized with each other, despite the fact that I was poor and autistic and had a psych history. I'm sorry but to consider simply treating someone equal as "all you've done for them" and like they owe you gratitude for it, blech ick yuck, that's not equality it's totally fake.

I am lucky I do have real friends. But most of them are either autistic or disabled in some other way, because they're the ones who tend to understand where I'm coming from. It's not that I want mostly autistic friends, or that I don't have non-autistic friends, but it's just turned out I mostly get accepted (with no strings attached) by autistic people or other disabled people who like me for who I am, not because they feel guilty for not including me, and not because they see me as an inferior who needs rescuing.

I also remember someone dragging me to a couple of parties once. Those events frightened me thoroughly, and I could tell I was included as an afterthought. I even heard people discussing me like I wasn't there, saying mean things about me, or pitying charity-like things. And I remember a lot of situations where it has seemed like people passed me around as a burden or a duty someone had to deal with, but not as someone they really wanted there.

And it is kind of disgusting how the word charity, which used to mean love, is now corrupted into something that's often the opposite of love.

I can't stand being seen as pathetic, broken, incomplete, or not a whole person.

But what frightens me more than that, is this: I have really looked up to some people I've known or read their writings. Not like on a pedestal, but just looked up to them as mentors and role models. These are people I view as strong, whole, complete, and so on.

And... the scary part... is then that I see these people being treated as pitiful, pathetic, broken, weak, and useless. And that somehow scares me even more than being treated that way myself. Because that is so much not who they are, and it's so obvious to me, but people just walk on by and treat them like they're beneath even their notice, or simple objects of charity, but always as objects, not people.

And then I wonder, if these really strong people get this crap too... what on earth is going on? Why can't people see them the way I do? As people -- with certainly flaws but in no way pathetic or weak (except maybe physically weak but that's not what I mean). I hope this makes sense.


Damn, you summed everything I could ever want to say about this up pretty perfectly. :D



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28 Jul 2008, 3:34 pm

Do I feel like a charity case? No, far from it.

In most areas in my life I am not treated that way.

But in my church life, I can see that I certainly am.

For example, if there is any food going after a meal, event or whatever, people come straight to me to offer it, every time.

That they come to me every time is a bit much. They may see it as Christian compassion, but it is demeaning to me.

I've come to think a bit more and realise this a bit more lately, and if anyone offers me anything like a basic necessity again such as food, I will flatly, assertively refuse. People must think I am starving, and have absolutely nothing. It's very far from the truth. I find it extremely hard to imagine them approaching other individuals at church like that.

It's safe to say most of these people don't know about my AS, but that doesn't mean I'm not the charity case. I don't encounter it in other areas of my life.

Anbuend, I found the web page you posted very useful and valuable. I can relate (in church, that is) to most things in the essay. For example it reminded me that it's not just things like food. It's love, and the way people express it - many people express it in an overfriendly way, like one would do a toy of some sort. It's patronising and humiliating to say the least. Again, I find it extremely hard to imagine them relating to any other church members in this way.



sim
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28 Jul 2008, 3:37 pm

Not really. I'm the 'kid' they point at and amuse themselves with by comparing my failed life and my high intelligence.



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28 Jul 2008, 3:46 pm

Greentea wrote:
No, on the contrary. I wish someone ever, for once in my life, cut me some slack and didn't accuse me of my AS as a crime I commit on purpose against humanity.


Ditto! I have also been treated like I am different on purpose & like to cause trouble.



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28 Jul 2008, 4:34 pm

yes i get lot of this due of my meltdowns from staff here :? suprisingly i have beter skills making friends then "average aspie" :P


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28 Jul 2008, 4:45 pm

I feel like a charity case a lot. Sometimes I like it. When people would give me stuff though, I would feel so awkward.