Autism and the Brexit Crisis.

July 5, 2016 § 11 Comments

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Image by Philip King.

 

It’s been a few days since the majority vote against staying in the EU rocked the UK, and I’ve been observing what one autistic person does when her country goes into meltdown.

Amidst the shock and subsequent grief reaction, the thought that our entire political system and the fabric of our society has been held together with sticky tape. One vote and snap. It’s gone. Wizard of Oz, curtain. Pff!

The autistic person is me. I have spent the time between then and now, or so it seems to me, floating above myself.

Unusually busy, the first shocks hit and washed by turns. Work worked as a distraction and then it didn’t. Watching the internet became a second job – a rubber necker’s grizzly feast. The grim spectacle of the nation’s engine imploding. Where to look? How to keep up?

Tears at the ugly beast unleashed. Our species at it’s worst and best.

I have read every opinion piece worth reading, and many not worth reading at all. We’ve seen our politicians naked, their public defecations smeared in print. Elected hooligans running amok, barbs for real in a back stabber’s paradise of lightening thrusts.

What japes boys!

They sought to blind us from their epic folly with a political killing frenzy? No, most probably it was their greed fuelled ambition which proved incendiary once the Brexit touch paper caught.

And then I watched as one by one the rats left the keeling ship. Undone by their own backward foot steps. Yellow as custard.

So how am I doing? I’m too strung out. How are all the other autistic’s doing I wonder.

 

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§ 11 Responses to Autism and the Brexit Crisis.

  • Rhi says:

    This one is exhausted.

    I treated the referendum the way I treat all my subjects of interest. I researched voraciously and worked on facts. I did my own risk analyses for how the worst-case-scenarios would affect me and my family. I decided that the benefits overwhelmingly outweighed the negatives.

    Then I watched my vote erased by my brother-in-law’s status of “I’ve voted Leave just based on a gut feeling”. That’s not to say that that’s what all Leave voters did. That’s not to say that lots of Remain voters probably did the same.

    But to tear a country apart on a whim seems insane. Emotion was the key to the Leave campaign. I don’t make decisions based on emotion. It left me feeling distinctly “other”.

    I don’t understand what happened. I don’t understand why we would sacrifice the stability that we had. I don’t understand why people want to give absolute power to an austerity government.

    And I really don’t understand how a referendum is democracy. Democracy is electing professionals to make informed decisions on the behalf of the electorate. It’s not an opinion poll.

    I don’t understand why, now the truth has emerged about all the lies, we can’t change our minds.

    There is no logic here. People are bored and don’t want to talk about it anymore. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. But it’s so important. So very important. How can we not?

    I feel a great sense of loss.

    I have always been proud to be British (whatever that means). That is no longer the case. Any nation that looks inwards is not a nation I want to be a part of.

    Liked by 6 people

  • alexforshaw says:

    I observed the lead up to the referendum with increasing distaste and frustration at the jingoistic tone and the complete lack of depth and real debate. I wondered at the sheer folly of making such an important decision into a popularity contest.

    Having voted by post weeks before polling day I had been bored by the endless repetition of appeals to emotion, sickened by the othering of migrants, terrified by the parallels between the Leave campaign’s speeches and 1930s fascist propaganda.

    I heard people talking with pride about their intention to vote Leave as if they were defenders of this island against a tyrannical barbarian horde of would-be invaders. I saw the same on social media.

    I felt a sense of duty to enlighten them. I felt that if I could only find the right words it would make it clear that they were being deceived. I felt desperate and increasingly anxious.

    And then I awoke to the news on that Friday morning and it was as if the ground had been taken from under me.

    I didn’t want to be a part of it. I still don’t. I want to switch off from the events around me but find myself drawn back every time, watching with morbid fascination: a spectator at an avoidable disaster.

    Even as it continues to fuel my anxiety I am unable to turn away. I perseverate over endless analyses. I try to think of other things, write about anything else, but I can’t switch my mind from these tracks.

    I saw your Facebook status about the effect the endless talk about Brexit was having on you and felt awful for my part in it. I’m guilty of straw-clutching, of searching relentlessly for some way out of this hole. Something that will give me a sense of hope and calm my mind.

    But I feel I’m searching in vain. I have no hope. I am an unwilling passenger on a train racing towards destruction as the driver gleefully accelerates and nobody seems to have the ability to apply the brakes and save us.

    I feel a crushing sense of failure. I feel personally responsible because I couldn’t prevent it. I know that this is irrational but the alternative is to accept that I am utterly impotent against the world around me, to accept defeat. I am utterly exhausted.

    Liked by 4 people

  • Viv says:

    I’m still reeling. What I have found hardest to cope with is the wealth of people saying, stop being bad losers etc. It wasn’t a football match. It was something that should not ever have happened. The split between people who voted one way and those who voted another is bad enough, but the results have handed carte blanche to those who have now hurled abuse and violence at those they deem should, “Go HOME!”.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Rachel says:

    Your words. Again: Thank you. Yes.
    And thank you to Rhi and Alex for their comments too.
    Me?
    Troubled. Anxious. So very disappointed at the reasons *why* rather than the outcome. Feel I’ve failed somehow. Failed to make people see beyond some rather facile contest and inadequate reasoning. My favourite comment I read on Twitter the next day was “Did no one read my tweets?!”
    I’m only seeing this post because I’m subscribed to email updates. I’m otherwise taking a break from social media because I can’t stop telling people how much it hurts. How wrong it all was. I’m bored of me and the hurting me and I’m ill from the antagonistic nature of Brexiteers on Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liz Wood says:

      We do NOT have to leave. Only 36.9% of the electorate (not of the population) voted to leave. 63.1% did NOT choose to leave. Most of those who voted to leave did so on the basis of several downright lies told them by the Leave camp and as a protest against problems caused largely by multinationals and the policies of British governments, not by the EU. And over a million who voted to leave have now changed their minds. Most of the young voted to stay. Leaving would be undemocratic, and unnecessary, since the referendum is only advisory, not legally binding. I’m certainly NOT giving up. Rachel’s old Mum.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Liz Wood says:

    There is absolutely no reason why we should leave. 63.1% of the electorate did not choose to leave. Most of those who chose to did so on the basis of lies or as a protest against problems caused by our govt, not by the EU, and now over a million of them have changed their minds. The young want to stay. The refendum is only advisory, not legally binding. So I’m not giving up. Rachel’s old Mum.

    Liked by 1 person

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