I’ve had this horrible message I received on facebook, saying horrible things about someone I care a lot about, floating around in my head for the past week or so.
Apparently, there’s this notion that having relationships, having a job, speaking at rallies, goofing around with friends, and sometimes even just having friends completely nullifies any statement of having social anxiety.
- The ability to have a partner (or even multiple partners) doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have social anxiety. Just because I am in a relationship doesn’t mean that I don’t find myself fighting every so often to try and maintain control of how I react to the relationship from time to time. It just means that I do have to work extra hard if I want it to work.
- The ability to have a job doesn’t mean that a person isn’t pushing as hard as they can to hold it up. It doesn’t mean that they won’t go home at the end of the day and fall into that slumped desire to be perfectly alone because their social experiences of the day- being exposed to so many different people- haven’t exhausted them. Then again, some people with social anxiety are perfectly fine dealing with people at work. Sometimes, you can put on a mask and deal with the day, and it feels better.
- Participating in / speaking at rallies doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t have social anxiety. I don’t intend to speak towards anyone else’s experience but my own on this one, but, sometimes, when you feel strongly enough about something, you feel that you have to be a part of it. And sometimes (as happened to me when I participated in Slutwalk Seattle), being around enough other people who feel just as strongly about it as you do make you feel strong enough to yell and scream and maybe even just talk, but to really be a part of the moment.
- Goofing around with friends- even in public- doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t have social anxiety. In my experience, if I can have a strong enough relationship with someone, I tend to feel better when I’m with that person. In high school, I could go around the mall and be a regular, obnoxious teenager just like anyone else, because I wasn’t alone- I was with people who made me feel more comfortable.
None of these invalidate anyone’s social anxiety. I’m seriously so disgusted at these assumptions (especially because they were brought up to me by someone I’d thought of as a friend, as they attempted to invalidate someone I care about by using the exact same kinds of things that I’ve experienced as a reason that she was a liar).
Last week, I mentioned in passing to my study group in class that I have horrible social anxiety. Both of them were astonished- which is understandable. I’m not sure where people get this idea that everyone with social anxiety just sits in a ball in the corner of a room. I can talk in class just fine. I can present (a bit shaky-handed, but no harm otherwise). I can, more-or-less, deal in group situations. But these things don’t change the fact that, often after a long day, I find myself curling up in my closet trying to find some alone time, or going over and over and over and over and over everything I said for the next day or two. I can make phone calls, but that doesn’t change the fact that it often takes me upwards of ten minutes to work myself up to the point that I can use the phone.
Just because a person’s social anxiety doesn’t manifest itself the way you want it to does not invalidate their identity. Don’t be such an ableist shit.
This. So much.
And this goes for EVERY kind of anxiety, not just the social kind.
You NEVER know what is going on behind the surface of a person, and I am so sick of being constantly stigmatized, doubted, (“but you don’t seem anxious”), and the all-time favorite “why don’t you just GET YOURSELF OUT THERE?” which I sometimes hear from fellow sufferers of social anxiety sometimes but here’s a newsflash for you: we all take different time to recover and just because you did doesn’t make you entitled to act like a haughty piece of shit so stop acting like you’re better just because you managed to work through a specific fear.
When being in the grocery store or making a phonecall without a full-blown panic attack is seen as a fucking victory, don’t you DARE invalidate the shit I deal with just because it’s an invisible disorder and tell me to just “get over myself”.
EVERYTHING makes me worry and have anxiety to the point of sending myself into panic attacks and sheer terror on bad periods/bad days. But guess what - there is no cutting slack for you because life isn’t about getting pampered.
If you have a phobia of snakes, your life might limited to the point where you cannot walk barefoot in the grass. Touching a snake though, makes you feel this sheer animalistic terror and your whole body just screams “run the hell out there”.
Now imagine this snake is EVERYTHING. This is what my life is like. So I don’t want to hear anything of this “but just do X, it’ll make you feel better”.
Therapy exists for a reason, you’re just a cretin on the internet.
Follow me down the rabbit hole for a second:
I’ve long wondered if this - that women don’t recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in themselves, and consequently don’t get the fast care that is vital for heart attack survival - is the reason heart disease is the #1 killer in women. Women statistically take better care of themselves health-wise, than men do. Women see doctors more frequently and are more likely to follow those doctors’ recommendations closely. Why would both men and women have the same most common cause of death?
Heart attack symptoms in men are well known. We all know what it means when a guy on TV clutches his chest or left arm and falls over. This scene is often followed by a rush to the emergency room in an ambulance, and a shirtless guy being shocked back to sinus rhythm with the electric paddles. “CLEAR!” Right? Everyone knows that’s what a heart attack looks like. Because of TV.
Except you can’t show a topless woman on TV - and you can’t defibrillate a woman in a bra. So victims of heart attacks on TV are *always* male. Did you know that a woman having a heart attack is more likely to have back or jaw pain than chest or left arm pain? I didn’t - because I’ve never seen a woman having a heart attack. I’ve been trained in CPR and Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross over 15 times in my life, the videos and booklets always have a guy and say the same thing about clutching his chest and/or bicep.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
Dan Savage (via fuckyeahcunnilingus)
I strongly disagree. I wouldn’t want to feel pressured into doing something I didn’t want to do in bed, and I’d never want to make my partner feel that way, either.
I hate this idea of “if I do this for you, you must do something for me” idea of relationships, and not just when it comes to sex. Though that being said, I stand by what my co-worker said to me a few weeks back; if you really love and lust for someone, you should want to taste ALL of them. And not just in hopes of getting something instead, but because you want them, all of them.
Now because the majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester, if you’re going to get an ultrasound image, as the Virginia law requires, the law states, basically, that any woman seeking to have a legal procedure known as an abortion, whether she wants to or not, first lay back in a chair, spread her legs, (put her) feet in stirrups, and have an eight- to ten-inch wand put inside her — even if the woman in question is pregnant as the result of a rape.
I don’t really have a joke here. I just thought I’d tell you.” —JON STEWART, on Virginia’s inhumane, inhuman and shameful “personhood” law that requires women wanting to get an abortion to, in essence, be subject to rape, on The Daily Show (via inothernews)
dear legal gender
please stop being a thing???
you do not serve any purpose at all?????
except to inconvenience people????????
It kind of bugs me that more people don’t seem to realize that there really isn’t any particular NEED to have our sexes and genders legally assigned. So far as I can tell, the only usefulness is in marketing, and we could all do with a little less of that.
Robert B. Moore, “Racist Stereotyping in the English Language” (via supporterleschenilles)
Anyone who claims the English language isn’t racially biased needs to read this, now.
This picture is by a woman called Hannah. She was just disowned by her family for coming out as trans and is currently living with a friend, Alex. Here’s her explaining her situation:
Hi, I’m Hannah! I’m a 20 year-old transwoman in the baby stages of transition. I’ve recently been kicked out of my home, leaving my school and my old job behind - technically making me a drop-out, unemployed and homeless!
Thankfully I was able to get a room at my friend’s place (thank you Alex <3), but after my last paycheck and buying all the amenities of life like food, soap, and clean pillows I am left with $20 to my name, and that’s going to a $700 credit bill at the end of the month.
I also am stricken with Type 1 Diabetes, which means I’ll need to pay for things like infusion sets, glucometer test strips, and insulin et al. When I left my mother threatened to remove me from her insurance plan so I would have to pay all of this out of my own pocket - an expenditure easily in the thousands by itself.
This isn’t including any other medication such as hormones or crucial operations like laser hair removal and eventually SRS, or visits to an endocrinologist, therapist, or just a general practitioner for prescription renewals. But, I’m doing it it all as Hannah, and that almost makes it worth it.
I’m trying to help them find resources, but I’m not local or a US citizen so I can’t be very helpful. If you know of any organizations in the Orlando area that could help her with food, job searching, or otherwise, please e-mail her at email@example.com. Paypal donations would also be appreciated (to the same address.)
Even if you can’t donate or help inform, please reblog this on so it gets to people who can!!!