There are few things I will agree I “will not” do, considering the misunderstanding/miscalculation regarding the difference between/use of “will not” and “cannot” for myself as an Aspie.
For example, it’s not that I will not drive, it’s that I cannot even think about driving without working up a load of anxiety.
It’s not that I cannot read books that may be tremendously triggering, it is that I will not read them.
Yet, for some extremely odd reason, I am expected to do so. It’s supposed to “heal” me, help me “cope”, and all the other things people who have never experienced abuse for themselves think reading such triggering stories are supposed to do.
Because these people “got over it”.
I really hate books written by adults who were abused who bettered their lives, because they make themselves out to be one of the “lucky ones”.
They got out of an abusive relationship/environment, and now they’re a news reporter, married and have kids. Yay! They have overcome what happened to them.
For people around me to think I will be “healed” by reading such a book—and to continuously encourage me to read it, only to grow angry and upset with me when I simply will not—feels so patronising.
I can watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit like there’s no tomorrow, but only because it gives me the small amount of relief I need to understand that I am safe and that law officials are good, despite a select few having wronged me in the past; however, after every binge of the series, there is a tiny wound that is open, and I am vulnerable for a select amount of time.
Books about abuse come with no warnings, however. I don’t know what will happen, I don’t have the ability to shake the words out of my head. I can forget scenes, or my lovely PTSD brain can reshape them into something else… or scenes are merely different. With books about abuse, I have no access to detailed summaries regarding their happenings. I have no idea how detailed the writer has dove, and I cannot be finished with it in however many hours. The text on the page will start to blur, and the lines will intercept, and before I know it, the words will be engraved in my head and on my skin.
Books are simply different.
Or maybe, and this is a long shot, I’m appalled by the lack of empathy for me and unwillingness those suggesting I read a damn book have in regards to hearing my story. Why/How can they read something about someone else and assume it is the same thing?
It’s worse when the book is in regards to one’s faith, because the idea that, had I had enough faith, I would be able to overcome this and “move on already” is one I can’t fathom alone. I don’t understand it.
It’s just not the same.
Once I complete and publish my memoir, I don’t expect others who have had to endure abuse to read it. I would be surprised if someone who had been abused read it, honestly. Maybe that’s a double standard, but…
Even my old therapist agreed watching a television series/movie about abuse is not the same as reading a book about it.
Needless to say, I did not read it.