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Hell

Something that I don't think Christians are ever going to understand when they try to proselytize to me is that when they describe Hell, I'm just like "So basically it's like living on earth, but forever? That doesn't sound so bad. Immortality!"

"No no, you don't understand! Hell is eternal torture! It's not like life on earth at all!"

And I'm like "No, I don't think you understand life. At least not MY life. Life is literally torture for me. Even on my best days, my happiest moments, I am constantly being tormented. Sounds are too loud, lights are too bright, smells are too intense, I'm always either too hot or too cold no matter what the temperature is, I experience pain and even sickness from sounds that other people can't even hear, flickering lights can make me ill. Certain sounds, textures, and other sensations that are normal to everyone else make my skin crawl and have to be washed away. My vision is so good that sometimes I just have to close my eyes to keep from being overwhelmed by being able to see every individual leaf on a tree a couple miles away, or the pores on the blades of grass a block away, or a million other pointless details that my brain just can't seem to ignore. I can get a full-blown migraine from sensory overload, if I'm not careful.

"My skin constantly itches no matter what I'm wearing, how recently I have showered, how well I shower, what products I use to clean myself, etc. And in fact, showering can often make it worse. Clothing also makes it worse but being naked doesn't make it go away. (And brings a bunch of other little weird ticks that would be TMI if I described them.) I scratch itches so much that I don't even notice it most of the time. And then sometimes I just have these completely random urges to pick at one random spot on my skin for several minutes and I can't seem to stop myself. If my nails are too long and I can't find nail clippers in less than thirty seconds, I have to pick at them to shorten them because That Just Will Not Do. This causes hangnails and sometimes makes me bleed, which is no fun at all.

"I am also tormented by the constant, never ceasing knot of anxiety that is in my stomach, which sometimes travels up into my chest; a feeling that - I might add - is indistinguishable to me from my hunger signal, so a lot of times I am hungry and don't realize it because it just feels like more anxiety.

"Then there's my chronic depression that sucks away my energy and makes even the simplest tasks nearly impossible to do on a regular basis. It makes me think of things that I don't want to think about, things that are emotionally painful. It has made me want to kill myself in the past, and only my crippling terror of ceasing to exist stopped me (that and my goddess).

"Not even on my own mind will stop tormenting me. It's like my brain is being controlled by a dozen toddlers, teenagers, and other people with dozens of different interests, and they can't even get along at all. It's just chaos. Or like a radio that tunes into every station at once (or tries to). Just random thoughts constantly flitting about willy-nilly making it impossible to concentrate. Songs I have not heard for years randomly starting to play in my head ad nauseum. Intrusive thoughts... so many intrusive thoughts! (Sometimes there is relative quiet but I think my relative quiet would still be really busy for most people.)

"On top of all that, people are a complete mystery to me that I have had to spend my entire life trying to decode and I still haven't mastered it yet. And I'm pretty sure there are a lot of things about other people that I will never understand no matter how long I shall live.

"So yeah, Hell sounds like more of the same, for eternity, and since I've pretty much gotten used to it, the idea of eternal torment doesn't bother me. Now if you REALLY want to terrify me, tell me that if I don't accept God into my heart that I will cease to exist because that is truly horrifying to me. Like seriously, I sometimes have full-blown panic attacks about it. I mean, you can say that but it's not going to convince me. I believe in reincarnation, very strongly, but honestly there's always that nagging little doubt about 'what if there's nothing after death?' That is just enough to utterly terrifying me."

But yeah, Hell does not even begin to scare me as a concept, because I live it every damn day.

And if anyone is like "in Hell you can't ignore it and you can't get used to it!" Then to that, I say "then that isn't me. Because I can and do ignore it most of the time and I have gotten used to it. That is my life; removing that, I would not be the same person, which would be tantamount to ceasing to exist.

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1460673.html
You can comment either here or there.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lucretiasheart
Jul. 19th, 2019 10:02 pm (UTC)
The sensory-processing issues and lack of mirror neurons that people on the spectrum suffer are very evident here. It sounds like a very hard way to exist.

I have some small understanding of the "everything is too much" part of it, though. I've always been sensitive to light and touch (though not sound or smell.) I can relate to some of what you're describing.

Hell can only be a real thing as they describe it if their God is a massive sociopath, and my own near-death experience didn't have anything like that, so at least I can't be scared by that shit, you know?

Life is definitely hell, though. Compared to a place where you can create your own reality (which you and I both do all the time in our stories!) this Earth life stuff just fucking sucks. And yet-- here we are.
fayanora
Jul. 21st, 2019 02:44 am (UTC)
I wouldn't say I lack mirror neurons. If anything, I have an excess of them. See, autistic people don't "lack empathy." There's two kinds of empathy. Emotional empathy and cognitive empathy. Emotional empathy is where we feel what another feels, automatically. Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand how a person feels and what they might be thinking. Cognitive empathy makes us better communicators, because it helps us relay information in a way that best reaches the other person.

Basically, the difference is that someone like me - who struggles with cognitive empathy - may feel your sorrow or anger or whatever, but might have no idea what's causing it, or might simply struggle to figure out what thought processes caused that emotion. We with autism basically have to become amateur anthropologists to analyze other humans in order to connect their emotions to their reasons for said emotions.

There's also a model that suggests a third empathy, "compassionate empathy" which moves us to help, but honestly I think that one is a synthesis of the other two empathies, because the emotional empathy gives you the need to help, but you can't help if you don't know what's causing the problem.

I have some small understanding of the "everything is too much" part of it, though. I've always been sensitive to light and touch (though not sound or smell.) I can relate to some of what you're describing.

(Nods)

Hell can only be a real thing as they describe it if their God is a massive sociopath, and my own near-death experience didn't have anything like that, so at least I can't be scared by that shit, you know?

If their god were real, judging by the Bible, he would be a genocidal maniac sociopath indeed. Glad to hear you're not afraid. Sometimes I wish I had an NDE so my terror of dying could finally go away and let me sleep at night in peace. (It doesn't bother me every night, but when it does, it's very annoying.)

Life is definitely hell, though. Compared to a place where you can create your own reality (which you and I both do all the time in our stories!) this Earth life stuff just fucking sucks. And yet-- here we are.

Yeah, here we are. We do with it what we can.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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