Self-hating people are all over the place. You know, the kind that hides certain traits, or in the contrary, uses them as an excuse to not even try. The kind of gay person that does the mea-culpa over getting turned on or doing something sexual and liking it. The kind of atheist that lashes out at others if they aren't "respectful" enough and tries to avoid every situation in which hir lack of belief would be relevant. The kind of white person who wrings hir hand a lot and goes out of hir way to get a non-white spouse just to show xe's a good person, or plays hero and lashes out at hir grandparents every reunion. The kind of autistic person who tries to "pass for normal" to an impossible/unnecessary degree even though it costs hir way too much energy (and/or hir job, and/or hir sanity), or the one who complains about having a 'disorder/disability' and demonizes it as if it could be separated from hir personality, or gets depressed over getting an official diagnosis (as if being diagnosed changed anything). So, you know... those people.
They drive me up the wall for two reasons: 1) they are not helping their own cause, but hurting it badly, and most of them don't even realize it, 2) I've been mistaken for being one of them quite a few times because of my ambiguous relationship to *my* traits. So, I've decided to clarify a few things.
First of all, I do *not* complain all the freaking time about the traits I don't like. I may feel horrid because of them, but telling other people over and over again how bad I feel and how they can't do anything about it is not only pointless, but drives away people who otherwise would be willing to be my friends or something like that. It is fucking depressing, both to tell and to hear. It drags you into a downward spiral and you *don't* want to go down that road. If you feel that you absolutely have to express your suffering somehow, write crappy poetry or do crappy art, like I do. Or go running and forget about it. (It really works!)
Secondly, there are very few traits that are really that bad. It may seem hypocritical coming from me, as I have two (or sometimes I think three) of these, but really. Most stuff that society tells you is bad is actually neutral or even good, from your own perspective. Take autism for example. Okay, it might mean social isolation, hardships on the workforce market, etc. - but it is not without benefits. For example most autistics have natural creative talents, or increased understanding of mathematics, or an intense ability of focus which any employer greatly appreciates (once you got one), or generally higher IQ, or any combination of these. An outsider's perspective on society can also be interesting or helpful - not to mention the fact that with the advent of the internet it is also remarkably easier to be included: to have friends, to network, etc. Relationships might be a bigger problem, but any intellgent person knows how to satisfy themselves sexually, and how to use IVF - so, perhaps you don't even need a relationship (remember, people telling you that you need one and are not complete without one is called peer pressure, and is complete bollocks). And if you, even after having looked for the benefits of your brain wiring, can't find any, and are dissatisfied, complaining about it *won't* solve anything. I'd recommend actually fixing the situation over fruitless complaining in *any* case, even if it means killing yourself. Suicide is a legitimate choice, and there is nothing shameful about it. If anything, it is commendable, in this age of overpopulation and organ (and food!) shortages.
Thirdly, whatever trait are we talking about, congenital or otherwise - having that trait is *not* your damn fault. When you realize this, it puts stuff into a whole new perspective. According to basic legal and moral philosophy (not to mention common sense), you cannot be puinshed for things you did not do. (Only Christian "justice" differs from this, essentially creating a scapegoat from Jesus, which is a barbaric and utterly foolish practice - the purpose, whether retaliation or rehabilitation, can not ever be fulfilled by punishing someone else than the actual offender. Transferring the crimes of the ancestors to their descendants - so-called "original sin" - falls into the same category.) This means that if you slept with someone of the same sex, or you simply cannot bring yourself to believe an absurdity, that is not because you aren't trying hard enough, but because you are the way you are. Forgive yourself. You may lose a few friends by standing up and proclaiming your identity but honestly, do you like being friends with bigots?
These are things I've done (and some I'm doing over and over), and I'm not that special. If I can do it, so can you. Yes, it is hard to live with imperfect traits. Life is a bitch. But if you can't change something, why dwell on it? After all, death solves the problem eventually, and until then you might as well focus on something else, maybe something entertaining and/or fruitful - something you *can* do.
What makes the difference, then? The intention. I mean, look the hall around! There are *countless* more fortunate people who don't use their beneficial traits. They either ignore them, or take them for granted, or hate them just as much as you and I hate our limitations. I kid you not, I had a classmate last year in university who was formerly a genetics researcher, and a pretty good one at that - and she left her field because she became "interested" in translation work and religion. Science lost her forever and for what? Personal, selfish reasons, which aren't even real. She's just as lost as one who fails at the entrance level - but she is worse, incalculably worse, because she made that decision on her own. Same goes with those who don't even try (or where it's still mandatory, try to *avoid*) enlistment. We at least tried. So if anybody wants to put you down, ask them, "and what are *you* good for?" - probably even less than you, since valuable people are satisfied with themselves and don't need to bully others as a way of boosting their own self-esteem.
(And now for something completely different: isn't it lovely how "Treulich geführt..." sorta makes you wanna get married even if you're explicitly anti-marriage? )
20 hours ago