yesterday, my car told me her name.
after an evening storm, the roads were coated with fog. when driving on the unlighted side roads that twisted and turned every few yards, the only thing one could see was about a foot of pavement underneath a dense blanket. nights like these are rare, but when they do happen, my body and mind merge with her. more precise navigation, more communication, more connection. we are no longer a team but one entity.
people tend to get confused when i explain these concepts, thinking that it must be some elaborate metaphor – after all, it’s not possible to connect with technology. to communicate with it on an intimate level, feeling a living essence in your hands when you touch a cherished computer case or the wheel of one’s beloved vehicle. when i attempt to explain that it’s not a metaphor, it’s very real, two general assumptions tend to result. one is that the connection is spiritual or supernatural. granted, that assumption is actually fairly uncommon. the more common of the two, and the one that leads to much frustration and rage, is “that’s crazy talk”.
see, the thing about being psychotic, be it a part of the schizophrenic spectrum or another disorder, is that when people argue that religion and spiritual beliefs are irrational, they frequently use us to do it. our personhood is stripped, and instead we become a strawperson argument used to attack people for having different religious and/or spiritual beliefs, whether they be neurotypical or not. and typically, people who conflate religion and spirituality with psychosis haven’t the slightest clue about the psychosis, psychology or neurology that they’re spattering on about.
while there is a link between religious and spiritual beliefs and mental illnesses of various sorts, the reason for that link is far from what people assert it to be based on their preconceived notions. several psychology journals have found that folks with mental illness are more likely to be religious or spiritual, but not because they are more delusional – rather, because it helps them cope with severe symptoms.
some disorders, such as those within the schizophrenic spectrum, are known to often be accompanied with ‘odd or peculiar beliefs’. these beliefs could be stemmed from delusions or hallucinations, or perhaps a combination of both (like my thinking that i was chosen by the sprites i saw to pass on their legacy). or, another possibility that is often ignored (after all we crazy people are crazy, and thus not to be listened to due to being silly and irrational), is personal bias among peers or medical professionals. if someone already thinks that certain religious or spiritual beliefs are wrong or delusional, they’re more likely to pass off the religious or spiritual beliefs of someone with mental illness as being a part of that illness. that their illness is making them believe these wacky things, and thus they’re not to be taken seriously.
with former in-depth exposure to the pagan community and thus a wide variety of religious and spiritual beliefs that differ from the ‘norm’ that people are accustomed to (typically watered down forms of christianity), certain personal beliefs are harder to distinguish between one’s predisposition to delusion and the supernatural. my affinity with technology would be among these. it could be argued that the affinity i feel is from the life essence that flows in its wiry little veins, the electricity powering various gears and switches and breakers. or that it’s related to the living essence within the elements that make up the technology such as copper.
but in truth, these arguments are simply speculation. i do not know the cause behind my affinity, why that connection feels more than just holding an object in my hand. i don’t know why i thought in various mixtures of programming code throughout high school, having to translate what people were saying into pseudo-code in my head just so i could understand what they were saying. i don’t know why my artwork feels like an extension of my mind, heart and soul, every part of my emotions and being seeping into the pixels under the shadow of my cursor. i don’t know why i feel the soul of ‘my’ car, who now trusts me enough to call her by her name donna, staring back at me when i touch her steering wheel or dashboard. i simply know that i do, and that some part of me feels at peace through these connections. so what if it could be because of my tendency to delusion and psychosis during times of stress? or that it could be a part of something bigger that i choose not to explore? if they bring me peace and help me cope with the stress of living in a world built by the neurotypical, what does it matter?
funnily enough, i’ve found it matters most to those not directly affected by it, whose sense of self-security is shaken just by the existence of those of us who are neurodiverse.
i wonder why that could be. donna and satin wish to say hello.