Friends come and go. I tend to lose more friends than I keep. And that is especially true for online friends. I’d wager that more than half of my friends list on FB has me hidden from their timelines for many reasons. One reason would be that I’m an Atheist, that I criticized religion pretty often in the past, especially in my twenties. At the time I was living on the bible belt and catching loads of shit from so called “good Christians”. Other reasons are probably that I am pro choice, I believe everyone should be treated equally (lots of debates when it comes to any marginalized group fighting for equal rights), and I cuss a lot. #SorryNotSorry. Some friends I haven’t minded losing much, while others that I truly cared for left me rather upset with their “unfriending”. Granted, for a time I was a very angry individual, and I took out my anger in the form of online ranting about religion and other controversial topics. I had nowhere else to place this anger. My twenties were turbulent, to say the least.
In my late teens I grappled with Christianity, trying to find any part of it that made sense to me, that fit me right. It never did. So by the time I was in my twenties I began a sort of spiritual journey, looking for anything that I might resonate with. My early twenties were full of drama. So much drama, in a tiny shit town where no one had anything better to do than stir up shit with others. A relationship that was rocky, at best, ended in my early twenties and it didnt end well. So naturally, as someone as hurt and angry as I was, I began my destructive behavior in real life while simultaneously trying to find meaning of it all online in different communities. I moved back and forth between that shit town in the good ol’ USofA and Iceland, lost in many ways. I found solace in a specific online pagan community among some people that I felt a great deal for. While I never really found any religion to fit me at the time, I did find that I was really good at retaining information, cataloging and regurgitating what I learned during online chat debates. Back then I don’t think I was aware of how the religion part just didn’t sit well with me, not really, and my real passion was the debate.
In my mid to late twenties I realized that I’m an Atheist. I just didn’t believe in the existence of any god. No matter how hard I tried. At the time, on the bible belt, I was also angry and arguing with people about how ridiculous I found Christianity (in particular) to be. I was very adamant in my opinion of said religious beliefs, unapologetic in my insults. After some time I did come to terms with my own personal cesspool of shit that made me so angry, and I finally learned how to be tolerant of others religious beliefs, to an extent, at least. By then, however, I had lost a few online friends I really cared about, so my epiphany of tolerance came a bit late. I guess it’s true that even in that sense, I’m a bit of a late bloomer. Such as the rest of my life, basically. But that is beside the point. My stance is now that while I still find religious beliefs, mainly monotheistic ones, to be utterly ridiculous, I do respect other people’s right to believe in these things. So, I’ve stopped commenting on the posts of those who hold said beliefs, but I do continue to post whatever the fuck I want on my own profile. These days I don’t post much about religion, maybe a joke here or there, but I feel my time is better spent on other topics.
What I consider more important than bickering about religion these days are things like current events, equal rights, and Autism Acceptance. While I have lost friends from my religious ranting, I’ve lost more due to my political and equal rights posts. Many trumpsters have unfriended me, some of which are “family”. But I’m fine with that. Anyone who says unfriending over politics is childish doesn’t understand that a person’s political stance is basically what they believe in, how they think about others, what they stand for. So if my “family” supports a politician that is openly racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, and ableist then they obviously don’t give much of a shit about me, considering that many of said politicians stances would affect me negatively and the rest that wouldn’t affect me I care very deeply about because all people deserve to be treated like fucking people.
So while I was an angry and lost individual I managed to make it through my twenties, alive, despite my very destructive behavior in real life, and have emerged after much self reflection, in my mid-thirties as one of those pesky snowflake social justice warriors. And that is something I am quite proud of. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but… toot toot. I’ve come a long way.
So my early thirties were basically me coming to terms with my own diagnosis of Autism. I suffered a burnout at the beginning of last year or so and have found my way back, relatively unscathed. The fact that I’m writing this is a rather large improvement… considering that anxiety and depression left me without any real motivation to write at all. So here I am, working on myself, pumping out a blog post and arguing human decency on Facebook. I start a program to work with social anxiety next week and I’m actually exercising regularly. I will be doing my best to continue on this upward climb to bettering myself, my life, and in turn making life awesome for my kids. Perhaps I can get some real advocacy for Autism Acceptance done as well.
Thanks for reading, and remember to NOT light it up blue this coming month of April but wear red instead or light it up gold for Autism Acceptance.