ArtfullyAutistic
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ArtfullyAutistic

My Personal Thoughts on the Social Service Work Field

The Social Service Work Field still hasn’t changed in terms of it’s ironic Mental Health Standards.

Photo by Eddi Aguirre on Unsplash

TW & CW // NT standards of self-care and its versions of self-acceptance and discovery, irony and hypocrisy from college, TERF mention, NT standards of self-care and/or mental health, self-harm and suicide mention, etc.

Hello all! I know that it’s been a while since I last wrote something before my last semester of my college social service work program started… But I wanted to write some personal thoughts about what I think about the program so far before I finish it(after taking an extra semester to get my placement hours completed of course)…

So… Let’s go!!!!!

First off, I want to start off with good things about my social service work program at college (which I will keep unnamed for privacy and safety reasons)…

1. I was able to make better friends than my clowning excuses of ex-friends from high school

I was very lucky to make not only a great friend, but also someone who I can view as an older sibling and another trusted person who actually cares about my well-being, so I’d like to give a shoutout to her and to him(who I will refer to as both C and W)! So, C, if you’re out there, I’d like to know that without you and W, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I wouldn’t be as open-minded towards others and I wouldn’t be as a better person and man today without y’all!

2. I am lucky and fortunate to be able to at least experience one full semester before COVID-19

Another thing I want to say about this is that I am very grateful in terms of being able to experience one full semester while physically going to college (i.e., sometimes going to the library to study or to chill there for a bit, getting myself some tea or coffee [before I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee], attending class, etc.). To be frank, I sympathise with students in terms of online classes that since I can relate to and empathise them with, in relation to having to sit in front of a laptop, tablet, or phone (etc.) for a long time and feeling stressed about your own future and if you would ever be able to graduate (fortunately, I experienced graduation a few times in my life, one when I was in either grade 4 or 5, one when I was in grade 8, and one when I was graduating high school) in the future.

3. I am learning plenty about everything from the Anti-Oppression Practice Framework to the Trauma-Informed Practice approach

To be frank, it’s amazing to learn about it while understanding that there are both good and f*cked up sides that I can agree and disagree with, while critically examining it (but much more of the bad sides of both theories will be said later on when it’s time). It is also amazing to learn more about intersectionality since it’s crucial that intersectionality keeps transforming society for its own betterment instead of forcing society to be “normal” as certain fake “feminists” (or fauxminists [i.e., TERFs or fascist traditional wife/trad-wife bigots]) do.

No, they will never be real feminists as I will keep stating over and over again; No they are not “fellow women”, which is both disgusting and gross of them to assume that I am like them: an ultra-conservative sh*theel who utilises any internalised misogyny that is there to actually hate women and to cause more harm than good to them since they claim to “”love”” women. I will NEVER be some “fellow woman” like those tradwife capitalist clowns in my life, since I am NO woman at all, regardless of my designated sex at birth [I’ve decided that for myself since last year and no bootlicking TERF clown will ever convince me otherwise since they don’t even know me and are pretty much bigoted creeps to assume otherwise].

4. I am able to learn at least anything that is valuable to me even while I am off-campus

I am thankful to G-d for actually learning something and learning where others are coming from while also sympathising with others about what they’ve went through, because there is one life lesson that I am still learning over and over again…

I will never be fully able to understand what others have truly went through, but the best that I can do is to be there for them and to listen as much as I can for them.

I’m also thankful to learn about issues that happen in real life, such as trauma from migration, poverty, and more since I grew up with white privilege, non-intersex/perisex privilege, and mostly abled privilege (had scoliosis surgery at 15), and I still have cis privilege since I did perceive myself as cis back then, but I’d rather throw my cis privilege away whenever I am given the chance to do so (I will have to at least mask as cis until I eventually move out and buy myself a chest binder, and to ask people to at least use my pronouns because my name in real life is pointlessly gendered as “feminine”).

Another thing that I also want to add is that I enjoy learning about new things while acknowledging my blessings because sometimes, there are things in life that can and will make anyone question neurotypical (NT) society’s bullsh*t and their mental/emotional slavery to people who are still learning in life and who will keep making mistakes over and over again (whether NT society is ready for this conversation or not), such as “why do they keep preaching everyone that it is okay to make mistakes, but expect you to always be able to learn from them along with expecting you to be either perfect or a demon?”

After discussing the good things about college, I would like to now move on to the bad things about college, such as the irony and hypocrisy when it comes to mental health, discussing about heavy topics such as self-harm and suicide, contradictions when it comes to Autistic, Neurodivergent/diverse perspectives on self-care and self-acceptance and so forth…

A/N: since the term “self-love” doesn’t feel comfy s’mores for me because it gives off NT vibes in my own opinion, I also need to take into consideration that some people like this term, and that is completely okay, as long as you personally feel emotionally and/or mentally comfortable, then that’s okay

However, there are also the bad things about college as well that needs to be discussed…

1) the social service work field’s hypocrisy on mental health

This is from one of my observations, and yes, I had a field placement seminar professor who told me “good observation” when I spoke about the hypocrisy that comes with the social service work program and even the field itself preaching about “self-care”, while overwhelming people with a huge workload and while also not understanding the amount of understandable and valid frustration that students have with their professors who repeat those reminders over and over again.

Another thing that is also hypocritical is that there’s society preaching about the social concept of “self-love”, and how it’s okay to make mistakes, yet be so fucking hard on people who are still learning new things and telling groups of people that they mustn’t talk about “xyz…” if they aren’t of a specific marginalised group while not unionising to fight against people who aren’t learning from their bigoted mistakes, and from people who are genuinely paedophilic creeps (as one of my online friends have told me about his experiences while being on Twitter).

I get where people are coming from, but they are losing co-conspirators this way and they’re doing themselves a huge disservice this way because if they keep saying that (insert group of people who constantly use their unearned privileges to actually do sh*t) shouldn’t talk about any issues faced by marginalised people such as intersexism/perisexism, cissexism, heterosexism, ableism, racism, colonialism, xenomisia/xenophobia, Judeomisia/Anti-Semitism, and Islamomisia/Islamophobia, (etc.), then they’re the ones who are doing more harm to marginalised populations than good by excluding issues that should be kept in the surface instead of including everyone in conversations.

They are one of the things that should be addressed and brought to the surface. More people are focused on wanting to make people still learning in life to “”work on”” themselves, while not practicing what they’re even preaching because they sincerely believe that the only “work in progress” should be themselves and not to people who are still learning their own subjective life lessons becaue a) people want to keep exercising their “I have more higher morals than you” card, which is rooted in purity culture, and b) people will try to accuse others of what they didn’t to others because they would rather be mad at others for not being their definition of “perfect” than examining their own standards. Another thing to address is that there are people in college who unironically and uncritically use capitalist-based language when talking about self-care, such as “work on”, “working on”, “work in progress”, “something you need to work on”, and so forth while not examining them at the same time. To be sincere, we as human beings keep heavily relying on this language instead of understanding why the phrase of “work on” can be rooted in the hypercapitalisation of self-care, self-acceptance, and self-discovery (which can bring home for some Neurodivergent(diverse), Autistic, and/or Trans, Enby/Non-binary, Gender-modal, and Intersex social service work students in 2021, especially if they are getting sick and damn tired of capitalism).

2) A lack of inclusion in terms of Autistic social service workers

I remember when I was looking up “autistic social service workers” and more searches that are relevant between “a lack of autistic social service workers” and “a lack of autistic voices in social service work”… After I was done looking them up, I wasn’t visibly shocked, but internally upset since there aren’t much Autistic social service workers, but there were results that was relevant to predominantly neurotypical social service workers, such as providing services for Autistic clients, “working with people with autism…”, and so forth, which made me annoyed or internally pissed. I told one of my family members (goes by she/her) about this, and she told me that I can’t search up something that “doesn’t exist”. I get where she is coming from, but that doesn’t give anyone the excuse to say something like this because that would be implying that Autistic people “can’t” be social service workers which they actually can be.

I can deeply hope that once I become one to actually do something similar to what an anarchist does instead of listening to institutionalised bullsh*t, that many more Autistic folks feel encouraged to also become social service workers and to also address and overthrow the predominant ableism surrounding the social service work field… and to also discuss the large amount of ableism that still makes the social service work field detrimental towards Neurodivergent(diverse), and Autistic social service workers.

Another thing to discuss in this article is something that should be talked about, but isn’t talked about enough. There isn’t much input from Autistic social service workers when it comes to the social service work field’s stances on being inclusive towards Autistic social service workers of all intersectionalities, especially when said stances often leave their voices out because the majority of the social service work field is mainly NT. There’s also a lack of good search results on Autistic social service workers since most of the time, there’s only social services for Autistic people, not Autistic social service workers being visibly seen as there isn’t much acknowledgement about Autistic social service workers (which can hopefully change).

Let that sink in…

3) Only touching the surface about mental health concerns that people deal with instead of fully addressing them

As much as I appreciate my college social service work program in terms of speaking about mental health and its importance… It only touches the surface about the mental health concerns that many newcomers, racialised and Black populations deal with, including topics of self-harm, suicide, cutting, and more. There is also an irony to it. College preaches about the mental health of its students, but piles on more work to them and also creating an environment in which the issues that they’re dealing with in their own lives are pinned on them with blame and with a lack of consideration that brings more detriment to their well-being and mental health. College also expects students to do their workload while also preaching about the importance of sleep along with preaching about “managing a balance” as a way to make itself look like a saint, but not actually a saint. That embodies the continuous hypocrisy that College, as an institution, still keeps participating in instead of actually reducing the amount of workloads that students continue to deal with while they do their best to create enough time for their mental health and their well-being, such as journaling, listening to music, and/or watching something that soothes them.

4) Not considering the underrepresentation of people whose many aspects intersect with one another in terms of neurodiversity

To be frank, I will never fully understand what Plurality is since I have never experienced it myself, and nor do I have a lot of knowledge, but I would rather educate myself on it whenever I have enough time for myself. I will say this…Plurality is a natural part of neurodiversity and is another natural variation of being a human being, and it is okay for Plural folks to be themselves and also for their headmates (regardless if their systems are median {a term that describes groups that have one main member plus others who are somewhat separate} to multiple {a group of distinct people in which more than one person can take control of the physical body}) to be themselves as well. I feel as if college doesn’t teach much about plurality enough, since it only wants to focus on the neurotypical and singlet (referring to one person residing in their physical body). Another thing that I’ve noticed is how there aren’t any mentions of Plural people who are Indigenous, Black, Newcomers of Colour, MOGAI, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, and more because society is full of stigma about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) folks, MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) and OSDD (Other Specified Dissociative Disorders) folks, which saddens me on the inside since there should be more love, support, and respect for them. I feel as if my college should do a more better job to have a sense of humanity and human decency towards them by treating them as human beings, correcting themselves when they’ve done something wrong to Plural folks, and especially holding themselves accountable whenever they’ve committed harm towards them instead of contributing and pathologising them more in an institutional, capitalist, and medical lens.

Thank y’all for taking the time to read my honest take on college, and I hope that I am encouraging y’all to share your thoughts with me about college so far, and I can include it in a future article if you would like me to.

With love,

A genderless and ravenet gremlin and man ❤.

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This Publication is for all who are Autistic and for those of our kind. It is for the Neurodivergent, for those on the Spectrum of all Gender Identities, the LGBTQ*, and all others who are justifiably non-conformant to Society’s harmful marginalization and Ableist views of us.

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[They/He/Xe]|Autistic| This is a safe space for you to read in the comfort of your home! You can find my ko-fi at: https://ko-fi.com/ravenfridmar43791