Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/post-specific-URL.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bathroom Talk

Trigger Warning: References to a lot of bodily fluids including menstruation and also loss of privacy

It's a thing. I know it's a thing. Parents of disabled kids seem to really like talking about how their kid is still in diapers at *insert age here* or the constipation or the diarrhea or the fecal smearing or whatever else. And... there's problems with that.
Me? I'm an adult, I'm legally an adult, no guardian, no one's looking into getting me a guardian, there's not much bad that's realistically going to happen if I tell you that in the last week, I had a bathroom mishap. Not much is going to happen if I tell you how annoying it is to wake up in my own blood because I flooded overnight yet again and I HATE MY PERIOD. No one is suggesting I get my uterus removed because of the discomfort of periods, and yes, that is a thing that people do. Go Google the Ashley Treatment if you dare. Not much is going to happen if I tell you that my body awareness is kind of meh and I can't always tell the difference between a big fart and a small poop until it turns out to be one or the other. Not much is going to happen if I tell you that I guessed wrong about that, earlier this week, and cleaning up was kind of a pain. Nothing serious, nothing I couldn't handle myself [another oh so glorious part of my adulthood, cleaning up my own bodily fluids, and the reason I couldn't tell in this case was that it was fluid,] just really annoying. I can tell you that, if I want. Because I am an adult and I can choose to take the risks of whatever consequenses might come and I am only giving you information about me here.
It probably doesn't hurt that most of the people who know me offline will think those are hypothetical. The fact that this blog posts every day and very few of my posts are this personal and it's not all that likely that a potential employer will ever read this particular post and that, oh, wait, I've already got one employer who I could go full time with and be fine if it really came down to it? Part of my risk assessment in deciding I'm willing to share those examples while making a point.
The point? My risk assessment is for what I can share about me. Not about anyone else. Me. Not my kids. [I haven't got any yet.] Me. Not my siblings. Me. Not my parents or my uncles or my aunts or my grandparents or my best friends cousin. Me.
Privacy: It's a thing. If you want to argue that there is nothing shameful about bodily functions? Go for it. Stick to sharing the details of your own functions, not those of anyone else, because we live in a society that says different. There are risks inherent in people knowing those things before they know anything else, or even finding them out later, for things like "still wets the bed at ten or twelve." It's not an appropriate thing to ask someone about. Really isn't. Maybe they don't want to answer but also don't feel comfortable refusing because they've been taught to always answer what an adult asks. Remember: This stuff is considered private, and people are allowed to [really, really should] have boundaries. This is one of those things where you should assume it's out-of-bounds unless someone specifically tells you otherwise.
Yes, there are contexts where it could be important information: your kids doctor should know that. There are even places besides the doctors office where it could be relevant: make sure no one can figure out who you're talking about on parenting forums, seriously. Which means that yeah, you need to be anonymous too, when you go talking about your kid and looking for advice. Because those things can come back to haunt us, and autistic kids grow up to be autistic adults.
I'm sure I really do have more to say on the subject, but this is a word-pile coming out at almost 2am to get it out of my brain because I feel like I can't sleep until it's out. And now it feels like it's out and I'm going to try again at this sleep thing.

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