Date: Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 06:57 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Re emotional labor: Reading and thinking.

One of the major problems in my own life has been how HARD it is to competently perform even a fraction of the expected social maintenance labor (including and going beyond emotional aspects, to include the practicalities of appointments, schedules, prioritizing chores with limited time/energy) as an autistic person for whom interactions with other people are never, ever easy or intuitive. Not only am I expected to do this, I'm expected to teach myself how to do this when, mentally speaking, I'm doing it upside down and behind my back.

As a result of which I have dropped many friendly relationships I actually want, and can only manage friendships that have extra error tolerance for going radio silent even though I don't want that, because I can barely manage the social energy to do maintenance on my living and work situation. I literally can't tell what someone thinks or wants unless they tell me in words (rare), and yet in every setting a key (and initially unacknowledged) aspect of my work (paid and unpaid) is to competently manage resources, time, and shared priorities so that other people don't feel slighted and lines of communication stay open. As a kid I refused to even try, dumping the emotional labor on - of course - my mother; later I realized I had to teach myself, and it has been an ongoing mess because much of the time even if I can find out what I'm supposed to do in a given social situation, it (a) takes a lot more time and energy than expected, to the point where I HAVE to drop something in order to eat and sleep (b) doesn't make sense or work well as it is supposed to. So then I live with the consequences of not doing thing I know I need to do (go to the eye doctor; make sure my coworker doesn't hate me for reasons unknown; clean the car so it isn't infested with bugs; phone my mother whom I love) and am constantly in survival-mode juggling every non-routine bit of personal and practical maintenance to try to address the most urgent ones because I can't get to them all.

I'd like to see connections made on this topic, intersecting with the sexist aspects, to the social-emotional labor of minimizing one's own disabilities/differences.
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