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So this is in some ways riffing off of something I wrote a few yea---oh wait no it was six months ago because 2020 has been the longest year of my life---okay so riffing off of something I wrote a few months ago which were my posts on the book Feelings of Being and the relationship between the mad movement and phenomenology.


https://clarissalittler.github.io/2020/05/28/feelings-of-being-final.html


Basically, I keep thinking more about the idea that we don't really allow people who are traumatized, who are different, who are neuroatypical, to describe experiences in ways that sound "weird" to us. What I mean is that only certain people are allowed the luxury of poetry when describing their understanding of the world. This applies just as much to the "Cotard delusion" as it does indigenous people being asked questions by anthropologists. I'm thinking of the fact that the origins of how the moai statues were moved into position should have been known ages ago, when the denizens of the island explained "they walked" in answer to the question. This was dismissed as myth and fancy until someone finally figured out that the right way to move them is to, well, use a system of ropes that make them "walk" across the land, swaying from corner to corner in a waddle.


I think about this also from the perspective of being trans and having to deal with the ways our descriptions of our experiences tend to get pathologized. I mean, yes, I think it sounds kinda doofy to say things like "I felt like a woman trapped in a man's body" but also *no one ever meant that literally*. Phrases like that have always just been metaphor, a way of expressing something that someone doesn't have language to describe. This non-literalness is the heart of poetry itself. And yet, and yet, we have to be so careful in how we describe our lives and experiences that it doesn't sound at all romantic, poetic, or too subjective. It's incredibly frustrating the kind of scrutiny you're under to sound objective, literal, and cold when you're dealing with people who've already decided you're unreliable.


I joke that if we treated the average conversation the way therapists are taught to deal with clients we'd treat people like they were crazy when they said things like "I was heart broken". What, you think that your heart is literally falling apart because you were upset? What kind of madness is that? You understand that's not actually real, don't you?


Anyway, this was actually just a little bit of an incomplete thought about how I feel like there's a lot of different threads that all get connected by asking for people to present themselves in super literal or objective ways.




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