This morning, as I sputtered about one of my conditions making things difficult for me, my husband implied for perhaps the millionth time that he believed my disabilities were actually a blessing.
"Without them I think you would be arrogant and have less tolerance for people."
This cracks me up every time because I have been called a 'snob' enough in my life to believe that others see me as arrogant anyway, and tolerant? Ugh. Most of the time I feel like I'm The Most Intolerant Person On the Planet and it feels squicky.
This is because I have been told that my expectations of people are too high, too many times. To be fair, it's usually come from folks who behaved badly and were trying to deflect from their own nonsense but it makes me second guess myself nonetheless.
Don't be mean.
Do be genuine.
Don't be manipulative or play games.
Do be respectful of other people.
Are these expectations really 'too high'?
People, especially online, violate these expectations pretty regularly. Depending on the situation I may give a few chances but I inevitably end up walking away. Partly because those negative behaviors bother me so much and partly because I believe in the 'birds of a feather' bit. I don't want to associate with folks who exhibit traits that I wouldn't want others believing I possess. I am acutely aware of my propensity for black and white thinking but I also believe that we reinforce bad behavior by letting it slide.
So I distance myself and then I'm The Bad Guy. This creates a kind of perpetual inner conflict because I do try so hard to be good. I hurt for those who are suffering and I try daily to do things that will lift people up, even if it's only for a moment or two. I try to be kind and helpful and make people laugh. Is it wrong that I can't do these things for people who behave badly?
I know I'm not a saint but I try to make the space I take up in this world not suck for those I interact with.
But it can feel pretty crappy with this inner voice constantly whispering,"You're not good enough. If you were a really good person you would tolerate those character flaws"
Would I feel differently if I wasn't disabled? Would I just think I was better than everyone else and not care about being a good person? I dunno. I can't even imagine what it would be like but maybe that's just because I'm autistic. Ha.