You may have noticed that I don’t allow comments on my blog. Here’s why.
I am someone who cannot just ignore what people say about me, or what I write. I know there are those who say you have to not take any notice of the negative comments; that it comes with the territory; and that you can’t let those people stop you from engaging with other like-minded individuals (unlike the trolls, who aren’t looking to engage in a conversation at all, but seem to simply enjoy posting inflammatory comments in order to incite an argument; and appear to like having the opportunity to express their opinions on anything and everything, no matter that they may be completely ignorant about the subject matter - which is more often than not).
I have lived on this planet for forty-nine years now, and I have yet to be able to take anything “with a pinch of salt”. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was an idiot. Or they had never met anyone like me, for whom words cause more harm than a bloody heat-seeking missile. So I’m not about to give some negative arse-hole the key to the missile launcher.
There are also those well-meaning people (mostly non-autistics) who might misunderstand what I’ve written, and then say things like, “I know what you mean. I do/feel/think that too.” And then proceed to prove that they don’t know what I meant at all, but they’re just being neurotypical, doing that thing that so many of them find so necessary to do, which is to identify with everything in order to connect, make the writer feel better, included, the same. Whilst I understand there is no harm meant, and that this is the basis of community to a neurotypical, this also drives me nutty - which would lead to even more time spent obsessing about what was written; or responding in an attempt to explain what I meant, and thus tying myself in ever-increasing knots.
I’m also easily influenced, so anyone questioning what I’d written, or offering an alternative viewpoint, would inevitably spark into action Mrs Self Doubt, the part of my brain that can’t seem to hold onto one opinion for longer than sixty seconds before she’s wondering whether another one might be better. She’s bad enough as she is: she doesn’t need a readily available source from which to choose, to make it worse. I’m trying to train her to stick to one thing, thanks all the same. It’s like potty-training a labrador puppy. Or a cat. Have you ever tried training a cat to do ANYTHING?
Also in the same vein, I would inevitably start questioning whether what I was writing was what people wanted to read. I’ve seen other bloggers do this, though it’s been intentional with them - they ask their readers what kind of content they want to see. But that’s not my intention with my blog, though it could inadvertently end up being. It’s so easy to get caught up in the desire for ratings, and wanting to be popular.
It’s happened to me a lot: I’ve found myself thinking about how to tailor my blog to appeal to more people. It’s ridiculous: I’m a bloody autistic, meant to be writing from a specific, unique viewpoint. Also meant to be writing, primarily, for my own benefit. But no, I want to be more inclusive… I sound like one of those neurotypicals I just described, who’re unconsciously suppressing individuality in an attempt to make everyone a part of the world-wide community. See? Easily influenced. Get me around non-autistics, and I start forgetting who I am. Before you know it, I turn into PSEUDO-NEURO-WOMAN!!
And finally, I want to say that I wish I could allow comments in order to be able to participate in ‘the conversation’ with anyone reading my blog (if there is anyone actually reading my blog who would even want to leave a comment, never mind have a conversation. I could be worrying for nothing here). But actually I don’t really want to. This would just be my Politeness Gene popping up; and have you ever noticed how much shit being polite gets you into?
Plus, I’d be suffering from one of my frequent bouts of delusion, where I think that I’m a social butterfly, and a people-person at heart; when, in fact, I’m useless at conversation (hello? Impaired social communication and understanding - two of the three defining characteristics of autism), and I much prefer to converse with myself. I call it thinking. Hell, I don’t need anyone else to debate with, I do a fine job alone. Adding anyone else into the mix would just confuse me (more than I already am, if that’s possible). Besides which, I do have someone (other than me) with whom to converse, which is enough for me.
So there you have it. I hope that none of what I’ve said has offended anyone - unless you happen to be a troll. In which case, please feel free to return to your bridge.
Though I can’t join in (other than in spirit), I wish you all many happy and productive conversations.