Monday, September 11, 2006


Lots of little things to say, so I'm squashing it all into one post.


I always get an overload of what's going on in Canada in the weeks right after I move back up for university. Part of what contributes to the overload is the dearth of information on Canada that Americans receive, but that's not the main subject here. The point here actually relates to what happened 5 years ago on this date, when the World Trade Center was attacked, prompting the US to launch its war on terror.

It's taken a while, but it seems with the recent terrorist plot over the summer, Canadians have finally broken out of their "It can't happen here" mentality. Canadians just didn't give the world anything to hate them about, and thus had been relatively safe from international terrorists. But it seems that this new breed of terrorist cares less about what people did, and more about what people are. Canada was targeted simply because it was a secular/Christian country, which to the mind of a Muslim wacko means it must be destroyed. In the end, it's just good to see that Canadians have woken up to this kind of threat without anyone having had to die.

All of this is not to say I support the actions taken by the US in the "War on Terror," but I support the goal of stopping terrorism. I just feel that it's better fought by fixing the root causes--mainly the impoverished state of many of these people, and secondly their perverted religious values--than attacking the symptoms. What the US is doing is like trying to cure Strep Throat by taking a throat lozenge, when they should be taking an antibiotic.


A little personal anecdote here that I kept out of my last post because I wanted to keep that one anecdote-free. Back when I was around 6 years old, I developed sharp, shooting pains in my right arm for seemingly no reason. My mother took me to a doctor and later a physical therapist, but neither could figure out what was wrong. Getting a bit desperate, she approached the father of my best friend, who happened to be a chiropractor.

She'd heard of chiropractors, and was rightfully wary of their claims to be able to treat anything, but he assured her that he was a "Straight" chiropractor, a group trying to distance themselves from the mainstream ones. He also commented that what I had sounded like a simple pinched nerve, and that he should be able to fix it easily. My mother, figuring that it couldn't hurt (Chiropractors actually do have pretty good safety records), decided to let him try. After a single session with him, the pain in my arm decreased drastically. After a few more sessions, it vanished entirely.

Was it a placebo effect? Maybe, but I've never been one to be susceptible to it, and I'd already tried other treatments which had no effect. But anyways, this personal experience is why I'm trying to get the word out about the good chiropractors, and also why you might have reason to doubt my judgment about them (If I might have a bias in a certain area, I feel that others should know that so they can make an informed decision).


Something's off in my brain, but no psychiatrist has ever been able to pin it down. I seem to lack many basic human instincts with regards to socializing, approach things a bit too logically and literally, have an almost savant-level ability in mathematics, and am prone to fits of depression. Describing it like that, I seem to fit many of the characteristics of having autistism (even leading my mother to highly suspect it at one point), but the rest of the story doesn't fit, and no psychiatrist thought that autism was an apt descriptor for me.

The biggest problem with the theory of me being autistic is that my early development didn't fit autistic patterns at all. At first, I was normally sociable, and my sensory and verbal development were normal (though occuring at a faster rate than many, most likely due simply to my aptitude for learning). I had no problems with repetitive behaviors, and the only problem with my education is that it was always too slow for me.

It wasn't until second grade that I diverged drastically from normal development. I slowly withdrew from social activities, my instincts leading me towards isolation over socialization. My mind also started thinking critically about more things, and I rejected things like fashion trends as pointless and illogical. I went from hanging out with friends during recess to simply wandering around, waiting for it to be over.

I can't remember what was going on in my mind at the time to cause it, and no one else could figure out any reason. The only theory I have is that it was a subconscious response to bullying I experienced (they always pick on the smart ones, among others); I avoided socialization to avoid the discrimination. But the problem here is that I don't remember experiencing any bullying until a while after this, after my family had moved to a different city and I was the "new kid" in addition to being the "smart kid."

In the end, I don't know what I am. Most likely, I simply don't fit into any established category of mental or developmental disorders, and am just off somewhere on my own (more on this planned for a future post). My experiences looking into autism, however, and the rough similarities between it and my condition have led me to have a lot of sympathy for autistics. Hopefully we'll be able to forge a world that excepts all of us, including autistics and those who, like me, are just plain weird.

No comments: