This is a hard thing to write.
But I don't think that many people really love me.
They claim that they do. They tell me I am great and they love my sense of humor, or my artistic abilities or my way with words.
But when it really comes down to it, they don't really love me.
I see how they blame "mental illness" and disabilities like mine for violent acts. They will make me a scapegoat with zero facts to back it up and not even care that it's just not true.
I hear them talking about a "mental health crisis" and wondering what to do about all these crazy folks! I hear how they let their friends who say hurtful and ableist things slide. They don't want to take sides, but they already have.
And they know I am one of those crazy people. I am not shy about it. I claim my neurodivergence! Some even say I do it too loudly. I have multiple psychiatric and developmental disabilities. I have some of the "scary" ones. Dissociative disorder! I shouldn't be able to own a gun. Not that I want a gun, but people like me are dangerous. So they say. They don't care about the violence done to me by the supposedly sane people around me because I don't conform and I don't comply. That's not violence because it's for my own good.
They talk about "overcoming" disability or neurodivergence. When I say that you don't overcome who you are, I am being negative. I am letting my "mental illness" win! Because being happy with who I am, that's unheard of for someone like me.
I see how they love my spouse, all the parts of him. He's "normal". I see the things they don't think I see. Lamenting that he has to put up with someone like me. He couldn't possibly love those uncomfortable and messy parts of me, could he? I see how they feel sorry for us that my child has inherited some of my disabilities. They don't think I should have had children.
They say that our son is great. He's funny and brilliant and beautiful and amazing. They like that, but they don't like the parts of him that don't fit into a box. And I see this. I know this. So does he. He feels it all the time. It hurts.
He hears them saying that they love him, but he feels that love has so many conditions. It's something I have felt my whole life too.
I hate that he knows this feeling. He does not deserve their half assed "love". Neither do I.
So, I don't think they love me. Not when they are talking about "treatments" and "cures" and bringing back institutions (which, by the way, have never left. Pay attention.)
I don't think they can love me if they want to debate my rights. This is my life. This is not something to "agree to disagree" about.
I don't think they can love me if they want me to "overcome" the things that make me who I am. The things that are hard for me? I did not cause them. I did not make them happen. My brain wasn't built for this world but I am spending the time I have trying to fix that for my son and for all the people who come after me. I will change this world, even if it's just a little bit. But I can't do it alone and I can't do it when everyone keeps insisting that who we are is broken, is less than. We are not problems to be solved in order to earn your love and acceptance.
If you loved me, if you loved him, you would believe that too. You would know this.
They sometimes say "Oh, I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about THOSE people."
I am those people. Those are MY people. We are the same.
I really don't think that I am asking for too much. If you think I am, then you don't really love me. And it hurts the same, even if I've known this all along.