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Pressure Cooker

When I was very little, my parents used to watch me do things, like drawing or writing, and they’d laugh, almost semi mockingly, and say things like, “When you’re older and famous, you can take care of ME.”

I am starting to believe that this statement genuinely derailed my life. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a child, especially a child in a shitty household, with shitty mental health, with all the other pressures of adolescence already on top of them. Imagine that, you’re an 11 year old girl, you very clearly have autism, you are ashamed because you have crushes on other girls and now, on top of all of that, your parents expect you, 20 years down the road, to be not just successful enough to be holding down your own shit, oh no, but to also be taking care of them. That’s…sick.

I feel like this statement alone inspired me to only try LESS, and be WORSE, so that when I, inevitably, failed to “take care of them”, I wouldn’t feel so bad. Unfortunately, this sort of backfired, as I also failed to be able to take care of myself, so you live and you learn I suppose. It also attached something else to me and that was the belief that in order for my parents to love me, I had to be successful at what I did, and thus good, at what I did. This made me grow to have a love/hate relationship with the only thing that I now have to turn to to try and make sense of my poor mental health…my work. Now, when I create something, if I am not instantly validated, it is bad and I should feel bad. Nothing is created “for fun” anymore. Everything is now “for profit” or “for the viewer”.

Nothing is for ME.

Even though I claim it is, even though damn near everything I write about draw about is about me and my problems…it’ll never really feel like it is. It’ll always feel like I’m still reaching, hand outstretched, to a pair of parents who felt like it was okay to put that sort of pressure on a somewhat mentally challenged, semi disabled queer little girl. If anything, these attempts at getting me to “take care of them” only pushed me even further away, and pushed me in creating things nobody would like or notice so that I’d never become famous enough to “take care of them”. Again, this way it wouldn’t inherently be my fault, because gee mom and dad, you can’t FORCE someone to like something! I guess people just don’t like my stuff, too bad!

And now on the off chance that I DO do something for me, it feels selfish and rather insincere. If I work on a project that is personal, and in no way created for profit or views but just for fun, it feels bad. It feels like I should be focusing on what the viewer might want. On what the consumer might want. ON WHAT MY PARENTS MIGHT WANT. I want to work on the things I love doing but I hate doing them because of the feelings associated with them. I’m a failure on choice, I’m starting to believe, because it’s easier to handle being ignored than it is to handle being successful. I went my whole life being ignored. THAT I’m used to. So instead, I turned to random people for validation, attention, interest. Internet users, even back in 2004, to like what I was doing and think it was funny and worth talking about.

I was never good enough. For them, for myself, for you, and I’m sorry.

I am broken. I’m trying so hard to get better. To BE better. But I worry I never really will be, not enough to warrant or elicit a reaction of some kind, and for that I am sorry. I am sorry that I cannot take care of you guys, whether you’re my parents or a fan or a casual viewer who happened upon my blog. And maybe I wasn’t meant to be, and maybe none of this means anything and maybe I really am just very very sick…

…and maybe it all means everything. I don’t really know. I know that I’m just tired of having failed; not only at taking care of the people who told me I had to, but feeling tired of feeling guilty for that when they were not good people to begin with and tired of failing myself as well. I’m sorry if none of this makes sense, and if it’s all nonsense. I’m sorry you had to read this. I’m just so tired.

I just want to sleep.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find epubs/books/stickers/prints over at my Payhip , or support my work monthly at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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I Am Broken And That’s Okay

For as long as I can remember, adults were trying to diagnose me with something.

Even when I was in elementary school, as low as 1st grade, teachers told my mother that I was likely suffering from ADHD or Autism or something of the like. In hindsight, I DO have autism (and very likely I also have adhd, but there’s neither here nor there), but that isn’t the point. The point is that people were always trying to explain me instead of accept me. I “wasn’t like the other children”, and so thus I warranted explanation. My behavior warranted explanation. Somehow being different, in any sort of way, was tantamount to being a traitor to my country. Exiled from my own peers, often by my own peers even, and with no fair trial whatsoever. I guess that’s America for you, though, especially the american school system.

Now, as an adult myself, I’m told daily to revel in my differences. Now my peers are a community of acceptance, and whenever I even remotely acknowledge problems with myself, someone will make me feel bad for that too. So, feel bad for being different as a kid, and now feel bad for feeling bad for feeling different as an adult. Alright then. But what nobody ever seems to think about is what if I literally cannot revel in my differences? What if someone has been broken down so much that they cannot rise above their negative experiences in life, the bad life lessons they took in about themselves via others? What about those people? I think all the time how I will finally get better, put my issues about me behind me, and learn to like the things that make me who I am, and who I’m NOT.

But I don’t know that I can, at least, not fully. And I think we should accept that about people too. We push so many stories out about people who’ve ‘recovered’ from their trauma or overcome their ‘disabilities’ as if they’re something to overcome in the first place, but perhaps we should also just accept that some people are just…indefinitely sort of broken? I feel like every goddamned week I see some new “woke” article praising someone overcoming the things that broke them as children or hurt them as adults, and we share these articles on social media without even thinking so much as, “Wait, why would someone break another person to begin with?” We never actually ask the question of how they got to that breaking point, or how they started recovering, we just are happy they’ve “recovered”, because I guess, now, they’re useful to society as an example to other broken people, a lot of whom can’t recover in the first place, so to see those articles while scrolling their news feed could be rather damaging to their already fragile psyche.

I’m not telling people to stop trying to recover. I’m not telling people who have recovered to not be proud that they have. But I AM saying that perhaps, for those people who are so damaged beyond repair and yet still manage to get through every single day with that mindset, we should acknowledge them too, simply for still being here. Simply for continuing on. God knows it is so hard to wake up every single day and find purpose, I grapple with my lack of reason for being every minute that I am awake, but I still do it, and isn’t that worth applauding? Do we have to reserve our praise for only those we deem have earned it, and not the people who’ve still, somehow, despite all the years of feeling bad and doing poorly, managed to survive? Sounds like bullshit to me. Start appreciating the people who are broken and yet keep living. Those are the strongest people.

A lot of people can recover.

Not everyone can live being broken, though.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Why I’ll Abandon Earth In A Heartbeat

Here’s the thing…

…I don’t really WANT to be here.

Much as I believe in climate change and saving the planet and all that, because let’s be honest, it’s never done anything wrong to us and deserves way better than our sorry asses, I also don’t feel any obligation to care about the planet because, frankly, I was put here against my will and don’t really feel any attachment to the place. The planet isn’t like an apartment you chose to rent or a house you hunt down to buy. It’s just somewhere you live that you happened to have shown up on. And rest assured, that when the option eventually comes for civilians to get onto a starship and cruise off into outer space, setting up life on a whole other planet, never to return, I will take that offer in a nanosecond.

I can cut out all the bad food I eat, I can cut off all the toxic people in my life, but in the end, there’s limitations to what I can do to make my life better, and unfortunately, the biggest thing I can’t change is where I live. And obviously you know I don’t mean that in the sense of simply moving to a new dwelling with bookcases and an air mattress. I mean a new goddamned planet. I cannot change the fact that I am stuck on this rudderless ball of dirt, quarantined with the rest of these hazardous sacks of meat who don’t do eachother any favors, forever doomed to flounder in eternal, directionless confusion, like a fish who suddenly has to pay taxes and support a family of 4 on one income.

It’s infuriating, to have such little control and be told you have so much. Certainly, as I said, I can decide who I want in my life or what food I want in my body, but the biggest change, a change of planet, simply isn’t an option right now, and it’s infuriating. I want to be somewhere else. I want to be in the middle of the cold void of space, away from everybody, in the deafening silence and the uncertain universe. I want to be off earth, and if given the opportunity, I will take it.

I will take it.

A lot of kids had a “space” phase.

Kids go through a multitudes of interests, interests that are almost seemingly pre-packaged into their tiny little minds, seeing as almost all of them go through the same phases. They become obsessed with dinosaurs, knights, space, etc. I never had a “space” phase, but perhaps my love for the concept of leaving the planet coincides with the fact that, growing up, I never had any space. I grew up in a household where, if you wanted to come home at the end of the day and close your bedroom door, you may very well catch some shit for it. It got to the point where the only place I could have some space was in the bathroom. My stepsiblings and I were each given a drawer in the bathroom, and I set mine up with books and snacks so that I could spend as much time inside of it as I wanted, even if I wasn’t actually using the facilities.

I think maybe that is why I am so attached to the idea of leaving the planet. Getting away from everyone and everything. I’m not a hermit, I swear I’m not, and I’m not a curmudgeon, I swear I’m not. I like people, not that anyone who knows me would be able to tell. It’s just that…I like people when I decide to be around them. Thanks to my history with people, I have become increasingly distrustful towards them, and frankly, a lot of them are just mean or loud with seemingly no reason to be. It’s frustrating. Despite being neurodivergent, you can’t say anything about it either, lest you want to be told you’re the one being an asshole here, so your only option is to just suck it up and continue living on this miserable, idiot infested terrarium from hell. That all being said, I do like people. I just wish I could…you know…not be a part of them.

I think this is partially why I am drawn to sim games. Things like The Sims, Sim City or some other type of godly overlord game where you just manage a society instead of being in society. These allow me to interact with the world in ways that work, make sense and aren’t direct. It makes participating possible, and actually somewhat enjoyable, and while I love to people watch, I don’t love interacting with said people. I simply do not feel connected to the species I am a part of, and I would rather be in the cold void of space than on earth with everyone else, trying, and failing, to deal with others. It would just be easier for me. That’s all it boils down to. And I recognize how much this makes me sad like a misanthrophic, edgy teenager who just dyed her hair and started wearing spiked wristbands, but holy hell is it downright exhausting to exist as it is, let alone existing within a society of other people.

Isolation is supposed to be a burden, when in actuality, for me, it’s a blessing.

Imagine. Just imagine. Being in space, being in a station somewhere or on a planet. Nobody else is there. You have all the time in the world, you have all the things you’ll ever need; dehydrated food, non-dehydrated food, books, movies, gardening, music, whatever your vice is. You have all the time you need and nobody and nothing to interrupt you. This sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?

And every now and then, you can peer out the window and you can see the planet you came from, or perhaps look through a telescope and see the planet you left, or perhaps you have a feed you can view of the home you left behind. The home that never really was a home. You will see all the horrible things being done by horrible people and you will sigh and sit back down and happily relax, knowing you are no longer a part of that mess. The world makes me feel so bad as it is, but trust me, I don’t need the help, believe me. I do a good enough job of it on my own.

I know, it sounds like I am simply writing myself off as “better than everyone” but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, I hate myself more than I hate everyone else. I just also happen to be so tired of everyone elses bullshit that I’d rather not drag them down with my own on top of it, and I’d prefer to live a life of solitude, out there, among the stars, dealing with my own issues and learning how to be a better me.

I may not be able to fix society.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t fix myself.

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Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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The Girl Who Knew Absolutely Nothing

I don’t know how to properly wash a dish.

Let’s start with that. My parents, in their infinite wisdom, prepared their children for many things in life. But I guess preparing them for things like, oh, daily life activities that even a brain damaged sea turtle could accomplish just fucking slipped their mind. Actually, I honestly believe they never taught me anything, especially my mother, because they needed me to be dependent on them so I, in turn, could never leave them, and, in turn, always be controlled by them. This may sound vitriolic. This post may come across as verbose. And then another “V” word. But here’s the thing…I don’t know shit.

The few things I actually seem like I DO know I know because I taught myself them, back when I still had the capacity to learn and retain new information. Things like film/audio editing and website design, shit like that, but nothing that actually helps on a day to day basis, like, ya know, cooking. Because of this, I’m super dependent on my girlfriend, to the point where I feel like a selfish piece of shit. I feel like a child, and it’s depressing, because I’m a 29 year old girl and I can’t even make myself dinner most times unless it’s something I can cook in a toaster oven or microwave, and even then it’s questionable. This is just so depressing, and I hate it, but I have no real way to fix it, which makes things all the more depressing.

I want to know things. I want to learn. I want to be able to take care of myself. But fundamental things (and I’ve talked about this before, I recognize, but never in this depth I feel), like washing my hair, cleaning a dish and doing my laundry? All shit I know I am either doing wrong or am scared I cannot do at all. One of these things, though, that I never bring up, is being in love. I am constantly certain that I cannot love properly, and that the way I love is completely wrong. It’s bad enough to feel disconnected from society for being a lesbian, but it’s even worse to add this on top of that. As someone of the LGBT community, I’m already told constantly, despite all the acceptance there seems to be these days, that the way I love someone is wrong, so to then believe I can’t love someone wrong for other reasons on top of that is just…man it’s exhausting. I am always sure I am being cruel and unloving, even if I’m constantly told I am not. I am convinced that I am abusive, even though I know full well I am not, and even my girlfriend tells me that’s a ridiculous thing to think.

But because nobody ever taught me anything, I question everything I do know, or think I know. The worst thing my parents ever did to me, more than all the other terrible shit, was not teach me a single fucking thing, because it convinced me that I just wasn’t important enough to teach. That I wouldn’t do anything right anyway, so why bother teaching me anything. And sure, some of it can be chocked up to my autism, I won’t deny it, because some of them are basic motor functions, but still…

…I’m so tired guys. I’m really so tired of feeling wrong in every possible way. I’m so tired of feeling like I’m existing incorrectly simply because I can’t, oh I don’t know, tie my shoes. It’s exhausting to be handheld through things everyone else seems to know and do with ease. Things a person SHOULD be able to grasp, such simple concepts, like washing a piece of fruit. I’m so tired of this, yes, but you know what I’m even more tired of?

Feeling bad for feeling bad. I’m so goddamned tired of thinking, “Well, I can’t do this, so clearly I must be stupid, and I should feel bad for it.” No. I shouldn’t feel bad for it. Nobody can do everything, and I can’t do anything, but that doesn’t mean I should feel bad because of it. I still get up every day and try, no matter how poorly I may do things, and that’s a hell of a lot more than I thought I’d ever do. I keep trying, even if trying means failing, because to not try means I’m right and I AM bad at everything. I’m tired of feeling bad because I’m told I should feel bad if I can’t do these things.

Believe me, if any of us should feel bad here, it’s the people who tell me I should feel bad.

Not me.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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The Wrong Girl

I first heard the word in my 1st grade class. There was a boy named Edgar. He had a bowl cut and often wore purple turtlenecks, and whenever another student asked what was wrong with him, the teacher would respond with, “Edgar is autistic.” None of us knew what that meant of course, but that’s what they told us.

I heard it again when I was about 12. I was at the public pool and I was sitting on the rim talking to an older woman who was there with her son who was maybe 4 or 5. She was telling me about how he loved this show on PBS because of the characters and the bright colors, and that’s when she said it, “See, he’s autistic”. Again with that word. Still no context for what it meant even then, but I knew it meant ‘different’.

I heard it again in 8th grade when, despite my glaring social and academic problems, I was still in regular classes and sometimes we’d see these kids from the “Special Education” classroom walk by. Often the other kids would snicker, point at them, call them “retarded”. The teacher would respond, “They’re autistic, be nice.” Now I was learning it was bad to be this thing.

I would hear this word crop up time and time again, but while I knew that my teachers were having meetings with my mom and stepdad, I never knew that they were using that word in reference to me. I am a girl. We present differently. Sure, I hid under desks in classrooms and I cried and hit myself and I memorized entire books and movies and I had no interest in forming “friendships”, but I didn’t know that was what that word meant, nor that they were trying to pin it on me. My mother wouldn’t have it. She swore up and down she knew what “mentally challenged” kids were like, and that I was NOT one of them.

Only in the last 3 years have I come to start to accept it as what I am. Doctors told her, teachers told her, other parents told her, and yet no, I had to be “normal”. So they kept me out of classes that could’ve helped me, they didn’t understand why having tags in my shirts was a terrible thing and why I couldn’t go to places with large crowds, often forcing me into uncomfortable situations and thus making me cry and scream, and then yelling at me for crying and screaming. I did not have a good childhood. I didn’t even have a decent childhood. I had a childhood of being told I was different by everyone except my parents, who told me I was “normal”, so I had no idea what I was. All I knew was that nobody wanted to be my friend, and that was fine by me. I had books. I had stuffed animals. I had myself.

But myself is no longer a viable, nor enjoyable, companion to keep. Now I want to run away from myself every day. I want to unzip my skin like a costume and slip outside of my physical prison and run as far far away as possible. My problems have become easier to deal with now that I understand what those problems ARE. And yet…and yet everything is still too much. Too all the time. I scream internally now because the world doesn’t let you scream out loud. I still hit myself. I am wasted opportunity. I am an example of what you shouldn’t do. I cannot do a single thing on my own and fail day to day life 24/7. I am 100% co-dependent and cannot cook for myself and cannot drive and cannot live on my own.

I became the ugly word they believed it was, because that’s what they made me believe I was, and I hate them every fucking day for it.

I was a little girl. I needed HELP. I needed LOVE. I needed to be told “You are this and this is okay to be”. I still don’t know who I am, except that I am a broken person. That’s all I’ve ever known about myself, is that I’m “wrong”. That’s my identity. Wrong. That’s what I am. Wrong. Wrong.

Wrong.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Birds My Father Hated: Episode 9 “Grackles”

In the penultimate episode of Season 1, Mavis talks about how birds helped her get her autism diagnosed, and fondly recalls the therapist who gave the diagnosis. If you want to hear the season 1 finale RIGHT NOW you can if you subscribe to my Patreon for as low as a buck a month!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

 

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Afterlife Of The Party

Ghosts

photo credit by coyotefugly

I don’t do well in social situations.

Some of this can be attributed to my autism, some of it can be attributed to the fact that I just feel completely out of place everywhere. I mean, feeling out of place in an existential crisis kind of way is one thing, and I deal with that every single day, but add feeling out of place to every social situation you can dream up and suddenly you get Intro to Introverts 101. It’s not that I go out of my way to be afraid of people, or the public. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of either, but I also don’t want to be completely cut off from human contact. When I was about 17, I went to a party at a small building downtown with a friend of mine for Halloween. She was the only one I knew there, and she left me alone to go dance and go smoke out on the patio. I am not the kind of person you should leave alone at any social event. I don’t make the first move in small talk, so it’s not like I’m going to approach someone, and when someone approaches me, I’m usually so shocked by their willingness to interact with me that I become flustered and unsure of what to say, so I simply trail off into special interests that mean nothing to no one except me, making me sound like an egomaniac who can’t discuss anything but herself or what she likes, thus inevitably driving the person away.

So, I’m trying to be more positive. I’m trying to be better about this problem. Still…crowds, with flashing lights, with hard pounding bass music which I can’t stand coupled with both introvert tendencies and autistic symptoms means I can handle each one of those things….separately. I can listen to loud music. But only when it’s not coupled with lots of people and flashing lots. Likewise, I’m much more comfortable speaking to lots of people, if there’s nothing else going on that I’m supposed to be reacting to. Also, I can’t dance. I often find myself feeling like a ghost. Someone who’s died and is now simply watching life continue from the seat of a worn out couch with god knows how many semen stains on it, drinking pepsi and listening to “so and so got a job at random place and now blah blah blah i couldn’t care less someone please shoot me right in the face”. I’m barely interested in a lot of the conversations I’m involved with, but listening to other people, especially with no context, jesus that’s tedious. I don’t know Ben, so why should I care what kind of car Ben drives? I know nothing about Ben, and therefore am super uninterested in every single fucking action of his life. Hell, I have a hard enough time being interested in the lives of those I DO know. And not because I’m selfish and self centered and egotistical, but just because I genuinely suck at being a person.

It’s a problem. It’s a problem for me, and for others. I feel like a bad person because I lack the ability to connect to 97 1/3% of humanity, and they feel bad because I make them feel uncomfortable. Connection; it’s supposed to make humans closer. It’s what we’re supposed to bond over. Our single unified being. I don’t want to be this alone and introverted and uncomfortable but I am and I just have to learn to accept that, and hope others do too. I’m sorry that I’m not enjoying your party where everyone is drunk and you’re blaring Black Eyed Peas at 3 a.m. I’m sorry that I would much rather be home using a Ouija Board to play 20 questions with Virginia Woolf. I’m not a fun person. But that doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m a ghost. I’m ok with being a ghost. People watching, observing, these are the things that allow me to write fictional characters and dialogue so well. It’s how I learn. Not only how to write, but also how to mimic neurotypical behavior and seem “normal” to everyone else on the rare off chance that I do decide to participate.

Maybe one day I’ll get better at this whole “person” thing, but until then I’ll continue to be a spirit on a couch, drinking DIEt Soda.

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