I just saw this video because a Facebook friend posted it. It shows a world in which everyone carries a gun, where trifling disputes end in everyone pointing weapons at everyone else. And at the end, someone’s gun accidentally fires, which results in a bystander getting wounded. The others say this is “the price of freedom”. Obviously this is supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t quite laugh at it, and a little thinking got me to the reason why.
I’ve noticed before that after every school shooting, I can’t bring myself to feel angry at the shooter. It’s not that I like violence or anything of that nature, it’s more that growing up, I had quite a few behavioral issues that, had I not overcome them, could have led to me “snapping” in this sort of way. So I feel a great deal of empathy for the shooters.
Yes, I feel empathy for the victims, too, but my capacity to empathize with them is very much strained by the hateful comments I hear from the victims and their allies about the shooters, and about people with mental illness in general (or at least, people who could be considered to have one). This “villainizing thinking” erodes my sympathy for the victims, yet the shooters rarely villainize the victims after the event is over, no matter how angry they were when they snapped.
Also, there’s sometimes talk of how the souls of the dead are begging us to do something about what happened, and part of me says “how do you know that?” Even if you could prove there are such things as souls, you don’t know that wherever they are they even care.
On the other hand, if I follow my “gut feeling” to its conclusion, then you ultimately get to a situation where someone with a mental health issue (due to something like PANS, Lyme, or whatever) can never be blamed for anything. And of course I don’t want a world where the state has total control over such people, and can lock them up whenever it feels like, can monitor their every move, etc. So putting these together logically, you arrive at a world where when someone with mental health issues harms or even kills people, the official response to the survivors, the families, etc., is “Well, I’m sorry for what happened to you, but that’s just the price of living in a world where people can ‘snap'”.
It would be a sort of “mental socialism”, where everyone has to equally bear the brunt of everyone’s mental issues, yet nobody has any real power to do anything about it. And in fact, like the guy without a gun being blamed in the video, the blame for something like a school shooting might be placed on someone we would consider “healthy”, for provoking the person. It would be a world where everyone is always walking on eggshells, yet uncritically accepts this and never does anything about it.
And the weird thing is, on a raw emotional level the idea of such a world actually feels kind of normal and acceptable to me. I’ve even wondered before if I could be a psychopath because of this, but I’ve heard that actual psychopaths don’t ask themselves if they are one. I think it’s more that being 2A, I’ve been emotionally isolated from others so much of my life that I never developed the same emotional responses that others have to things. This is further amplified by the KBS-like way that neuro-immune issues show up in people like us.
Even when I’m not particularly anxious or even depressed, this “blankness” is still there. And it’s not total absence of any meaning–things like the beauty of the universe and nature hold deep significance for me. It’s just that within the world of people, I feel there is this void there, that never completely goes away even when my PANS symptoms are at there mildest, and even when I’m the most motivated in my own life. I’m wondering if any others feel the same way.