Neuro Divergents Need BLM
I need you to support abolishing the police. Not defunding the police. Not giving the police a spanking and telling to do better. Abolishing them.
I need you to support abolishing the police because I don’t want my Black friends to die at the hands of the police. I need you to support abolishing the police because I don’t want my Native friends to die at the hands of the police. And I need you to support abolishing the police because I don’t want to die at the hands of the police.
People think I have been vocal about this because this is just my normal activism thing. It’s not. This is my life. You guys don’t understand because I “blend” for your sakes. And for my safety. Learning recently that only 21% of people ever interact with the police made me realize how different my experiences have been than my other white friends. I’ve been dealing with the police since I was a little kid.
It’s true, so far I haven’t been beaten or killed and that is because I am white. Let’s get that right out in the open and acknowledge that now. I also think that having a government class in high school where I learned my rights and learning how to talk to cops and deescalate them quickly has probably saved my life more than once. I got that education because we lied on my address so I could get into a better school; we were living in a car off and on anyways.
But the first man to grope my breasts was my high school police officer. He was “searching” me while I was having a mental health crisis. There was a female security guard right there. Why did a man need to search a 15 year old girl’s bra?
My grade school DARE police officer told my parents they could abuse me as long as they didn’t leave marks. The abuse lasted for six years.
When I was a young adult, trying to get on my feet after leaving home too young, I was homeless. The cops would randomly stop me and run my name and search me saying I “looked” like a suspect they were looking for. Funny, once I stopped having to carry every item I owned on my back I stopped randomly looking like a suspect all the time.
I was in two abusive relationships as an adult. My ex’s would call the police on me randomly. I’m not joking. Once, I fell asleep and didn’t answer my phone while my ex was out of town so he called the police saying I was killing myself. I was ASLEEP. Because I knew my rights I would ask if they had a warrant and refuse to answer the door. I often wonder what would happen to me if I didn’t know my rights though.
I’ve had the cops called on me for having a panic attack in public.
Dealing with the police is a stressful situation for EVERYONE. I’m dyslexic and I have PTSD. I sometimes struggle with commands, especially in stressful situations. I’m likely to freeze or go the wrong direction. And if I do that I could get killed. I can’t always guarantee I’ll be able to bring myself down instantly in a panic attack to act perfectly calm and still with the police.
People with untreated mental illnesses (and I am one of those people) are SIXTEEN times more likely to be killed by an officer. That makes up 25% of all police shootings.
Even surviving these interactions, they still had negative mental health consequences on my life. Being touched that way at fifteen really changed how I felt about my chest and this impacts my eating disorder. My eating disorder developed within a year after this. There were of course many factors, but I don’t think this helped.
So, when we’re yelling “Black lives matter”, we’re also giving a chance for neuro divergents to matter because right now, my life, doesn’t matter. And I’m tired of sugar coating it. It’s the truth.
My life doesn’t matter. I have physical challenges, I wouldn’t survive COVID, I’m “mentally ill”, and I’m poor. I’ve spent the last six months seeing post after post online about how I should just be killed off to save the economy while I’ve been working my butt off to do everything I can to help my local community. White people really like to believe that we all have the same set of circumstances but we don’t.
And I’m not saying this is the same as being Black and dealing with the police. I recognize these are completely different issues. This is mostly addressing white people who tell me I don’t know what I’m talking when I say abolish the police force. White supremacy wants a supreme race. I am less than supreme. I am treated differently too.
Being mentally ill and being poor are criminalized. If you want to do some fun research on that subject look up the Florida shuffle, another thing that’s impacted my life. You can get locked up forever for being mentally ill and you can’t do anything about it. So, Black Lives Matter is MY fight. When a poor, Black, disabled, mentally ill woman matters then I’ll know my life matters. Until then you all better keep fighting for me. We need to decriminalize mental health.
Abolish the Police,
A really tired Neurodivergent