As a High-Functioning Autistic, Type 2 Bipolar; I saw a lot of the person I used to be in the breakdown and actions of Elliot Rodger. I normally don’t bother with any kind of forewarning, because you’re reading a mental health blog and should be prepared for some strange stuff. In this case, I am. A lot of people that know me personally read this blog and I am about to delve into some strange aspects of my mentality, sexuality, and the way I developed. So if that bothers you, stop reading now because we’re going far past ‘too much information’ territory.
The first point I would like to address is in autistic perspective. I discovered a long time ago that my emotions just work differently than normal people, particularly in the development of love. The first person I experienced this with was back in high school. It didn’t take longer than a few weeks before I was thoroughly enamored with her. Took awhile to get up any gumption, but I eventually passed off a love letter that read more like a job application. Here is why I am qualified to be with you!
The thing I didn’t understand at the time was that other people mostly develop love over a longer period of time. It wasn’t a handful of weeks, talking, and then something clicking in the back of my mind that says “Yes, her.” So I was entirely overbearing about the situation because at the time, I didn’t know better.
The combination of autism and Bipolar Disorder came into play in a number of ways. Bipolar Disorder warps and distorts your feelings. Autism makes it difficult for a lot of people to express themselves verbally. So what was going on in my mind was like a tsunami trying to pass through the garden hose that was my mouth. After I passed her that letter some things changed in my brain. I couldn’t look her in the eyes because it made me feel so vulnerable that my skin would crawl. I don’t think I had a verbal conversation with her again after that; because the combination of Bipolar unwellness and the autism virtually shut off my brain any time I tried. We talked through notes written in a spiral notebook.
And then I had the ingenious idea of absolutely NEEDING to talk to her. So my autistic, logical brain went- well when you want to talk to someone you look up their number in the phone book. So I did. Her last name was unique so it wasn’t exactly difficult to narrow down. This may come as a shock to you- but this was not a good approach. This event caused her to kick me out of her life; and rightly so. In retrospect, it was all very stalkery and weird.
This circumstance spurred two important events for me. The first was that it was the final nudge needed for my first active suicide attempt. Once I leveled out, I started to research and try to figure out what went wrong. I thought- perhaps if I understand the psychology of the situation I’ll be able to handle it better in the future? Good idea, right? Yeah, not so much. I learned a lot about relationships on my own but still managed to completely fuck up the next one. There’s no greater teacher than experience, eh?
So- let’s move on into some darker territory. There was a stretch of a few years where I was very seriously concerned that I was going to turn out to be a serial killer. Seriously. My interest in the macabre and strange had been around for quite some time. I found serial killers utterly fascinating; not because I wanted to be like them, but because of the very different way their brains functioned. My brain functioned differently too so it made me want to understand those kind of people better to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me. I also identified with these people because I had a lot of dark thoughts of my own due to Bipolar Disorder emerging.
About the age of 15, I started using the internet with some regularity though my parents tried to keep us off of it. The internet is the absolutely worst fucking place for an idiot of a teenager to figure out they have a fetish. In my case, I was browsing porn as any 15 year old boy with the internet is wont to do; and accidentally stumbled across Bondage, Discipline, SadoMasochism (BDSM) porn. Two things happened from that incident. The first was that something clicked in my brain and I instantly knew that I loved this; the second was I felt like the worst person on earth because I loved this. I didn’t understand that what I was watching was consensual activity with a lot of safety around it. And I know what you unkinky people are thinking. “How did you know it was consensual?” Once you understand what you’re looking at, it’s real easy to tell the difference. Anyway, I spent a good chunk of time trying to “change” that interest by sticking with vanilla (plain) interests; but I would still always go back towards BDSM.
And for me, that was it. I harbored all of these violent, strange thoughts who didn’t feel connected to anyone. All I needed was the “trigger” that would push me over the edge like other serial killers. I was already familiar with being at the edge due to my suicide attempt so knew I had the capability of going too far. It was only going to be a matter of time before I wound up breaking and victimizing people too. Right?
No. The problem was a lack of context. This was one of many things that I never talked to anyone about for a long time. So I was just stuck with all these thoughts of what I thought I was looking at. It wasn’t until I actually met someone who was on the receiving end that I began to understand there was a lot more going on. There were people out there that loved being on the receiving end. There were safe ways to engage in the activities that both people were enjoying. I wasn’t looking at a victim, I was looking at someone intensely enjoying an experience of their own. A Dom and sub fit like a lock and key.
I wasn’t doomed to snap if I always had control. It’s like being an actor and playing a role. If a safe word comes out, the roles drop so the problem can be addressed. But there is also the matter of body language as well. As an autistic, I didn’t naturally project or read body language like a lot of people do. So I taught myself by reading books about it, studying other people socializing, and put it into practice. Since my brain doesn’t naturally interpret body language, I’m always reading other people when I’m socializing. This was another point that carried over into BDSM. Being able to read your sub’s body language is important to know if you’re approaching her limits or she’s feeling uncomfortable.
And I felt okay about it until I was about 18 and moved to the Detroit ghetto. I reference this time period a lot because I learned more in that year and a half about myself and the world than the rest of my life combined. It was when I started glimpses of what really was lurking in my mind, waiting for an opportunity to come out.
Being a 6’4″ white guy in the black ghetto is not a good thing. It only took two days of being there for me to get my ass kicked for the first time for being white on a day that ended in Y. Before that, I had never really been in any actual fights. I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing, how to do it, or how to handle myself in that situation. Thankfully, instinct took over. The first fight I won started by my hearing footsteps running up behind me. I turned, ducked, and swung; drilling him in the stomach. Then kicked the shit out of him while he was winded. Turns out, it was one of the guys on the block who had jumped me before.
Now; when I relate stories like this, I usually hear a lot of disbelief. “That isn’t how America is”, “Why didn’t anyone call the cops”, and blah blah blah. But you know those neighborhoods that you wouldn’t want to break down in at 3 in the morning? Living in those neighborhoods is not like being in what people think of as America. The rules are different. You don’t talk to cops if you don’t want your house shot up at 2 A.M. You don’t wear the wrong color clothes or have a car that’s a rival gang’s colors in that neighborhood. And if someone is running up behind you, you’re probably going to get mugged or your ass kicked. They know society doesn’t give a shit if they are alive or dead. And if you don’t believe that- consider the Columbine shootings in 1999 and how they kicked off so many gun control campaigns. But hey- what about the height of the crack epidemic in the 80′s when schools in LA, NYC, and New Orleans were getting shot up? That shit never made national news.
Anyway, back on point here. That first time I stood over another broken person, body and hands throbbing, mind in a sudden state of clarity. It was erotic like nothing else and had nothing to do with anything of a sexual nature past the power. That guy on the ground was nothing, no one. He wasn’t someone’s son, dad, or brother. I went home and had the best sex of my life with the married woman I was living with at the time. Her husband fell in the same category to me; a non-person.
It was all about power, dominance, and strength. I was unwell enough and desperate enough that I began to embrace this mentality. I learned how and where to stand outside to get to safety if there was a drive by, I learned to not stand in a place where I could be blind-sided by someone on foot, and I learned that the darkness in the back of mind that made me so uncomfortable for years was a good thing in that situation.
I went from “that white guy” to that “crazy white nigga” a couple weeks after that. Whenever someone walked up on me to try and demand some shit, I’d smile at them, and say something to the effect of, “My bitch is busy today. I may need one of your holes when we’re fucking done here.” In many cases, that would send them on their way. There were still fights but after I manned up and embraced my “be crazier than the opposition” mantra; I also made some “friends” (in the loosest sense of the word) on the block that would vouch for me being okay.
I haven’t been to prison; but based on what I’ve seen living in the ghetto is damned near identical. You’re either an alpha or you’re a victim. You command respect or you get none.
I feel like that mentality is important to understand with everything that has come from Elliot Rodger and the dialogue started by #YesAllWomen. The PC, liberal crowd are clamoring for increased education and spreading knowledge far and wide. Alright.
Having been one of those people that teetered on the edge of turning into a horrible person? Having lived and survived among predators? No amount of education is going to matter to these people. Yes, it will help to cast a light for the guys out there that are simply oblivious to the situation in general. But stopping it altogether?
Predatory males do not view their victims as people. They are a means to an end; in this case, getting their dick wet. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen the “Tell a guy you have a boyfriend because he respects another man but not you” quote going around. It’s not about respect. It’s about ease of accessibility. That statement assumes that the man you’re dealing with is capable of respecting you in the first place. Spoiler Alert: They do not and cannot.
If you say you’re single and not interested; you may have just divulged that there probably isn’t someone with physical strength that’s looking out for you if that predator is hunting for a victim. You’re not a mother, daughter, or sister; you’re a means to an end to that predator. Nothing more.
For a long time I feared I would end up like Elliot Rodger. The dark thoughts, the lust inherent with power and control, the fascination with the macabre and strange. I eventually came to realize I was nothing like those people. It was easy for me to stomp on someone who wanted to fuck with me; but when I looked at a bystander I didn’t see just some mannequin for my pleasure. I saw the person- even though what I felt for that person may have been very different than what most would feel.
So how do you function around those people? Ladies- get a Concealed Carry permit and defend yourself in a way that a predator can understand.
And yes, I know… I’ve heard “violence isn’t the answer!” and “it won’t solve anything!” about a billion times from people. But, you’re wrong. Ted Bundy admitted to killing at least 30 women. His story would have been a hell of a lot of shorter if one of the first few had shot him. Dozens of women and their families would have been spared that horror.
At least once a week I’m sent an email or a message from someone suffering mental illness associated with being raped or molested as a child. These kinds of scars are with victims their entire lives. They shape how that person relates to others, their relationships, alcoholism, drug use, and all other manner of things that can potentially fuck them over for the rest of their lives. Those that get that person sent to prison or just trying to forget it then wind up living with the fear that the person will come back for them later. While that person may not victimize them again, seeing them at a family gathering or on the street can kick start a lot of latent, destructive thoughts.
So long as there are predators willing to use violence, force, and fear to get what they want; all the peace-loving hippies who refuse to accept this most basic of human impulses will continue to be victims. Hell, the military has a sexual assault rate of twice the civilian sector due to permissiveness and alleged cover ups by the chain of command. And that’s the fucking military. (Invisible War on Netflix is a good documentary about it. Watch it.)
And the cops that contribute to a “rape culture”? You know what, there are plenty of cops out there that are great people who probably joined law enforcement to help people. There are also cops who joined for their own rush of power and control that don’t give two shits whether you’re alive or dead. And some are predators themselves.
The whole “she was asking for it due to what she was wearing” argument is a moderately useful red herring; but a red herring all the same. As a man, I find it a stupid defense because it implies that we’re rape hungry and can’t control ourselves around some exposed skin. When I hear another man agree with this sentiment, it’s easy to see that the guy has some shit going on in his head that he’s looking for justification for.
Women rightfully point it out as victim-shaming. What I never hear is why it is actually an important and applicable point. Remove all the connotations from the phrase and just consider this. If you were a predator and were looking for a victim; would you go after the woman in the miniskirt or the one in the jeans? The one in the skirt is going to be easier to take advantage of. I think that point may have been at the basis of that thought process until it was taken in other directions; probably by a rapist trying to avoid prison time.
There was a period of time where I was afraid I would end up like Elliot Rodger; but I didn’t. I didn’t because I was able to understand and accept that I was different after some time. I took the time to shore up my shortcomings on socialization. I learned that rejection and failure are nothing to be ashamed of; they are part of success. Being gracious in defeat is a quality to be developed and respected.
These are all skills that can be learned and developed if a man looks for good resources instead of wasting their time on bullshit Pick-Up Artist and Men’s Rights Activist sites. If you take the time you waste on these sites trying to learn how to be a jackass, alpha male wannabe and instead learn how to treat people with respect; you’ll have a skill-set that will be useful through the rest of your life.
I feel that my dark side didn’t consume me because I eventually found a healthy way to express it. Many people that are consumed by it shove it away and try to deny it. Detroit forced me to acknowledge that there was something very twisted about my sexuality and perspective than what I had wanted to accept. While the initial breakthrough and what I was going through in Detroit wasn’t at all healthy; I was eventually able to find healthy ways to exercise it through BDSM activity.
I’ve seen many articles where people have stated “let’s forget the mental health aspect of Elliot for a minute” to push their agenda in the #YesAllWomen campaign. But you can’t. Elliot’s mental health is an essential part of the equation that caused him to snap and act in the way he did. His shitty views on women as objects is just as much about the common autistic trait to not bond and associate well at all with people is as important as the time he spent nurturing the hatred.
Is it an excuse? No. Absolutely not. I’ve never raised an unkind hand to a woman in my life that wasn’t in self-defense. The only woman I have was a working girl running at our group with a pipe; and that was more stepping to the side and tripping her than an actual blow.
But to try to ignore it to prove a point that already has plenty of legitimate reason behind it? That’s stupid.
Ladies- Use the activism to educate your men. I still suggest a CCW permit though. So long as a predator lusts for a woman and you’re smaller, weaker, and less capable of defending yourself; there will continue to be victims. If you’re going to have nightmares for the rest of your life, might as well be from shooting a rapist instead of what said rapist did to you.
Men- Do better. Find strength and stop being pussies. These are your mothers, daughters, and sisters. The only way the problem will get fixed in any kind of meaningful way (provided my CCW permit suggestion doesn’t take off) is for men who aren’t assholes to be involved and actually stand up when some shit goes down.
I know plenty of dudes- good dudes. Guys that act with respect and are pleasant. And plenty of those dudes are the type to sit and whisper about a situation than say something out loud or do something about it. That is a very serious problem for making and keeping meaningful gains.
And who knows, maybe you’ll get the same thrill and rush that I did the first time I stood with a foot on a shithead’s neck and watched him squirm. Just have a hole available if you want to make the most out of it.
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