Warning : the following article contains a staggering amount of sarcasm, is predominantly fiction, while based completely on real events. Nothing has been changed to protect the guilty.
To Whom It May Concern,
There is a toxic fiasco that needs to be addressed. There are people all over the world suffering needlessly from a rampant malady affecting the minds of millions, called ‘Ignorance’, with a possible variant called ‘Disdain’. Research has determined this fiasco is credible and undeniably harmful. The symptoms are veiled, which makes it difficult to diagnose the carriers of the malady before innocent people get hurt.
Professionals of every field are being encouraged to keep an open mind and remain wary of the consequences of carriers going undiagnosed. Word has it – unbelievably – the professionals themselves have a mindset that has been deleterious to the brave souls who venture out for their help, (ie. they are extremely susceptible to the malady). The consequences are as follows:
First and foremost is the mindset that physical problems are the most important health aspects to be concerned about, cared for, and accepted. The myth exacerbates the harmful conjecture that mental health isn’t even a ‘real’ thing. An example: when a person, who knows their back spasms are due to stress and anxiety, goes to a doctor for help. After explaining the back problems they live with everyday, in which the pain is positively correlated EVERY TIME with stress and anxiety, they are told it is just normal aging, are given a slip for physical therapy, and told to have a good day as the door closes on the doctor’s way out. Staring at the closed door, knowing they will remain in pain the patient has the added burden of just becoming the recipient of Ignorance.
Secondly, the misunderstanding by the ‘powers that be’ wherein the problems of bullying are solved if the teachers, bosses, health professionals, co-workers, friends, and family just look at the person ‘complaining’, tilt their head just a bit to the right, soften their voice, and say, “It’s ok, they really didn’t mean it”. An example: a school age child who never has his lunch, always comes to class after recess looking extremely upset and roughed up, and is “accidentally” pushed around the classroom relentlessly. The child, upon asking for help, is told, with the classic head tilt, “It’s ok, they really didn’t mean it” and therefore unjustly remains a casualty of Ignorance with no support or help.
A sad characteristic of the malady is not being able to discern who has it until someone gets hurt. The sadder aspect is even after damage has been done to another, the malady remains unchecked because carriers do not see it in each other. They all walk around as hosts of Ignorance and/or Disdain.
Our final example is taken from a unique group of neurodivergent people who identify as autistic. These people are particularly susceptible to the carriers of Ignorance and/or Disdain. The carriers come from all walks of life, professionals, friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers.
For a reason that hasn’t been determined yet, the carriers of the Ignorance malady, and it’s variant Disdain, are attracted to autistic people. Research has shown autistic people are vulnerable to being abused, which is an aftereffect of the malady and its variant. Some examples: an autistic person happily stimming is accosted by a person infected with Disdain and forced to stop. A colleague sick with Ignorance manipulates their workload onto an autistic person, who wants to fit in so much they accept the extra work hoping it might lead to a friendship, only to discover they are just being exploited. Another example is when an autistic person discloses their autism to Ignorance in trust and is immediately dismissed as lazy, noncompliant, and/or ‘just like everyone else’, meaning: ‘aren’t we all a little autistic’?
In conclusion, we all must heed the warning of this fiasco, and be aware of the dangers of Ignorance and Disdain. One recent study has shown there are possible treatments that work if a carrier of the malady is caught before harm can befall the innocent people being harassed. Treatments such as doses of Truth, Strength to stand firm, Self Advocacy, and Courage. And, of course neither Ignorance nor Disdain can prevail against Community for long. Together, let’s eradicate Ignorance and Disdain!
Officer of the Department of Fiascos
About Lisa Morgan
After working as a software engineer for a few years in the mid-eighties, Lisa stayed home after her first child was born for the next thirteen years homeschooling her kids. Now, four kids later and a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching, she has taught in different school settings for 15 more years. After experiencing the loss of her husband of 29 years to suicide, Lisa authored, Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now, Lisa, an autistic adult diagnosed late in life, has become an advocate for other autistic adults who have had similar experiences. She has started a conversation with several nonprofit organizations in the US to help enhance the suicide prevention and postvention resources to be a better fit for autistic adults, as well as, to spread awareness of the resources available to the autism community.