As a famous frog once said, “It looks like we’ve come to the end of another one…”
It’s a new year, and we’re still here. What the upcoming year will bring is anyone’s guess. Personally, I’m nervous about the elections late in the year. As a citizen of the United States I’m unhappy with some of the trends I see, and I’m downright terrified that so many people are very happy with these same trends. With luck I’ll go into that later.
Right now I want to talk about this blog site. Sometimes it drives me crazy. For the past few years I have tried to follow a pattern of one article a week, but can never maintain it. I have considered shutting this thing down, on several occasions. But I keep holding on to it, even though my apparent inability to regularly update it is causing me anxiety. So this year I’m not going to attempt a regular schedule. I will put up an article when I feel compelled to write about something. If that turns out to be once a week, great. But I’m skeptical. I tend to write when I have something to say, and that doesn’t always follow a timetable. That’s been the schedule I’ve effectively been following, so that won’t change. I now think that part of my problem is a lack of a consistent theme. Most content creators, even tiny ones like me, tend to focus on one topic, or a small group of closely related topics. Until now I haven’t been doing that.
One issue I have had, especially during 2023, was that I wanted to address topics that would have caused some real-world problems. Topics that, had they been breached through this online forum, would have been completely inappropriate. Sometimes they dealt with personal issues that simply shouldn’t be talked about online, other times they involved other people in my life that wanted to handle things their own way, and sometimes I was not in a state of mind that was conducive to writing. In the long run it probably doesn’t matter what my reasons were. However, some of those issues have since fallen away. One thing that has changed is that during the past year I have learned several things about myself and the world around me. My last major set of articles followed my stormy career path, and how it came to a pitiful end. That period of introspection turned over a lot of rocks.
I am considered neurodivergent. Which is to say, I see the world, and everything in it, through a lens that is very different from what most people see. For starters, I suffer from a variation of post-traumatic-stress-disorder, usually called just PTSD. It’s unlike most cases of PTSD, in that I didn’t go through a highly traumatic, dangerous, or threatening experience that through my entire world for a loop. (Though some of my experiences from my high school years might qualify.) Instead, I endured a long, sustained barrage of low-level stress issues, that over time created in me a response pattern that is in line with PTSD. Instead of facing a big and terrible experience, I faced a constant flow of small ones. Instead of my psyche being messed up by a few blows with a sledgehammer, it was worn down by a sandblaster. My time with the Library of Congress certainly provided that. I think there is a special name for this variant of PTSD, but I don’t remember it, and I don’t want to trust an internet search engine. I’ll ask my therapist when I see them later this week.
It is also very likely that I am on the autistic spectrum. I seem to be on what is considered the functional end of it (whatever that means…), but I have several of the key issues. The most apparent being that I can get over-stimulated and need to isolate myself. If I can’t, I become increasingly agitated and hard to deal with, and eventually I can’t really function at all. I suspect I’ve put Lisa through some pretty terrible phases over the past few years, especially near the end of Michael’s life. The true nature of my neurodivergency is still being determined. But whatever it is, I am a member of that demographic.
Which finally brings me to my point. At this point my late father would be absolutely seething, and thundering “Get to the point!!” Sorry, dad. But sometimes the point makes no sense unless you use beating around the bush to provide context. As a neurodivergent man in his mid-fifties, I may have some insights into this chaotic world that some people may find helpful, or at least comforting. The world can be crazy, and it doesn’t have a lot of patience for people who think differently, or view the world through a different lens. Perhaps I can help a few people with this. I’ll at least try.
That being said, this blog is likely to take on a different tone. I plan to examine some of the less comfortable aspects of neurodivergency, and how it can effect the everyday person. It can worm it’s way into life in ways that one could never imagine, and create a lot of discord. Other times it can provide a different way of looking at things that may not be obvious or apparent. I hope to look into some of these instances. Where possible I’ll use personal experience, and avoid indulging in self-pity. At any rate, it may get pretty dark in here.
So, it’s a new year, and I’m going try doing something different. Let’s turn over some of these rocks.
Update, January 3
Apparently the variation of PTSD that I appear to have is simply called C-PTSD, for “complex post-traumatic stress disorder.” I have two observations on this. First, George Carlin would have had an absolute field day with that collection of buzzwords. Second, I thought it had a fancier name, perhaps with a Latin word in it. I’m actually a tad disappointed. I guess I was overthinking things.