ArtfullyAutistic
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ArtfullyAutistic

The explanation we need with how ableist and saneist language is ingrained within us, but the conversation we have to address in both Autistic and ND communities

Photo by Juri Gianfrancesco on Unsplash

The little known form of both discrimination and bigotry aside from ableism that has existed for centuries

Saneist behaviours are typically not sanctioned nor deemed as “acceptable” by federal companies, agencies, and/or in non-profit organisations, but they still exist in places (even in places behind closed mouths and doors).

Medical standards, such as the worldwide Medical Model of Disability only guarantees the “safety” of the predominantly “sane” majority of citizens, whereas the “Neurodivergent” citizens are shoved into asylums where psychiatry restores “us” (or “them” from the perspective of the “sane” neurotypical and able-bodied/minded singlet) into a socially constructed state of “normalcy”, because the Social Model of Disability is the opposite of the Medical Model. The Social Model of Disability pertains to ascribing (or pinning) the blame to the social, cultural and economic environments Neurodivergent and “mad” people find themselves in. Those environments become limiting when matching with the current neurological template of what “normality” is, since the Social Paradigm of Disability is only created for physically Disabled individuals in mind (Procknow, 2017).

Neurodivergent, Plural, Autistic, and even mentally ill folks that don’t pass as the “good” kind of people perceived as “reasonably sane” are given less autonomy/agency, dignity and respect as they navigate psychiatric care.

The often disproven and contradictory concept of “good ones” is a smaller, but less understood and talked about reality pertaining to the dark side of mental health as it can typically occur in psychiatric settings, because the “good ones” are the ones that are “complicit” in fear of not being sent home and being punished, while also not winning because they’re harming themselves and the so-called “bad ones” in the end because that plays part into being complicit in societal ableism and saneism, more friendly, and “normal”, while the ones who are defiant, too loud or unruly, and too much are perceived as the “crazy” ones.

“Madness, Saneism, & Social Justice” by Brenda LeFrancois

Considering the usage of mental health-based language while keeping it in mind as we converse with others in our day to day language

“Being needy and wanting external reassurance? That’s completely problematic of you to even want external reassurance for your own healing and survival! Try to work on your own self-reassurance while you’re at it!” (can send a message that one must “bottle up” their insecurities and feelings, including to always be “self-reliant” and/or “strong” [that depends on the person and whether or not they are naturally self-reliant] and that is on detrimental positivity and the enforcement of optimist attitudes onto people who aren’t naturally optimistic)

“You hate yourself and aren’t at your best self the way I/society want(s) you to? work on loving yourself! That’s negative energy and completely unhealthy to not love yourself before loving someone else…” (can send a message that one must be socially “acceptable”, fully “healed”, or to translate to neurotypical mental health terminology, “healthy” before forming connections with others)

“You being obsessed with your partner is literally unhealthy and so is your partner obsessing over you, like can the both of you not be so crazy and find something healthy to do for once that doesn’t involve your relationship with them and that involves having normal interests outside your shared love for each other!” (can also reinforce society’s expectations of what “relationships” are supposed to “look like” from a neurotypical perspective instead of an intersectional one)

“Why are you so crazy? Are you against self-empowerment, self-growth and self-love that is socially acceptable/healthy to be in this society? If you are, then stay away from me you toxic freak!” (can demonise people who understandably can have kneejerk reactions or an understandable sense of discomfort or mistrust towards people who can use those concepts to patronise people for a supposed “lack” of their own comprehension of those concepts instead of understanding that there are a lot of global factors that contribute to the suffering of Neurodivergent, Chronically Ill, Plural Systems, Disabled and/or Autistic individuals of all intersectionalities while society expects them to fit into the neurotypical standard)

“That empowered person is literally insane for her crazy workout and self-care/love routine, and honestly, I wish that everyone followed her so that they can become their best selves too!” (can send another societal expectation to be “empowered” [isn’t always as good as actual liberation, but it can be genuinely good in some cases], to “love” themselves or else there’s something “wrong” with them, to have a productive self maintenance (another alternative to “self-care”) “routine”, which is another way to tie a person’s worth or existence to productivity)

People who have a hard time being “compliant”, “friendly”, and “relatable” (in the eyes of the “sane” in power as an ideal for them to fit into) are typically perceived as “difficult”, and this doesn’t just affect white/Eurocentric singlet individuals who are “mentally ill”, Neurodivergent, and/or Autistic, but it can also affect Plural Systems with Headmates/Alters of Colour, ND/Autistic Plural Systems with ND/Autistic headmates/alters, Black and/or Indigenous Plural Systems with Black/Indigenous headmates/alters, Plural Systems with headmates/alters who are women, including LGBTQIAP2S+/MOGAI Plural Systems with LGBTQIAP2S+/MOGAI headmates/alters and/or mentally ill Plural Systems with headmates/alters with mental health conditions since they are given zero respect and no autonomy/agency while navigating psychiatric care, since respectability politics, tone-policing and action-policing are a real thing, and ND, Plural, Autistic and ‘mentally ill’ folks aren’t immune to them, nor are they immune to also resorting to tone and action-policing either (saying this as a person and man who is also guilty of it at times). Clinicians and health professionals that disproportionately diagnose them with largely goes unnoticed due to the ableism and cultural insensitivity (in some cases of ND/Autistic, ‘mentally ill’, and/or Plural Systems who are BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour]) of professionals.

Bigotry can only be eradicated by actively fighting and overthrowing larger systems, not solely blaming and pointing accusing fingers on individuals who only play a small part of widespread bigotry, since describing bigotry as a mental illness keeps the focus on people with privileges that intersect with each other, rather than marginalised communities that suffer a lot under the disabling consequences from bigotry, and the most messed up side effects of labelling bigots as “psychotic”, “crazy”, or “insane” is the moment or time in which stating so gives an often disproven impression that people function under the influence of an invisible illness that can’t be “controlled”.

Keeping in mind about the sanist lexicon we internalise and how we can have conversations to ensure that we don’t harm ourselves and others while staying at an emotionally safe place

Conclusion

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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