Periodic record #4: Restrictions

I’ve been trying to think out where I want to go in the long term, with my skills…particularly in thinking about what job I take next, which infers carefully thinking about what jobs I apply for, now. I’m really not sure if a person with a germ phobia should be working in a Preservation capacity…for reasons I can already see. Mold. Dust. Grossness. Being the focus of all of it. Not being able to hand it off.

That parallels looking back on my last couple of jobs and seeing just…how much they were not in line with who I was, and how they did not prepare me to move on in my best capacity. There was a lot of paranoia in the organization about people in my position taking over work from people in higher-paid positions, meaning that my work was…well, if not restricted (which it was), not in line with what I wanted to do then, or in the future.

Essentially, what I was being groomed into was Customer Service. Which is something I now know I want to avoid. I wrote something the other day which very much clarified it for me, but I didn’t publish it. Working with people can at times be very much like feeding information into a black box and getting back a weird, mutated, childish response — except for the fact that these children may be physically larger and stronger than you and easily turn to aggression or implied threats if they don’t get what they want. When what they want may be something you’re enjoined not to give them, or something they have no claim to.

In other words, in the course of my past employment, I’ve experienced a good number of people trying to play dominance games. This was not helped by them thinking they should be superior to me because of multiple societal factors, first among them being gender, apparent age, and race. Second among them as a contributing factor, which this entry is bringing into my awareness: I may be more affected by my autistic tendencies than I thought.

I am not sure if my years of self-defense training have essentially trained into me threat awareness and hypervigilance, but I don’t feel safe with the general public. Well: essentially, I have good reason to have developed those qualities, from my formative years. It wasn’t just self-defense classes that did it (though my sensei was, seriously, hypervigilant — and tried to train us into being so, as well).

Thinking back on it, I can actually remember being initially afraid of being targeted for maltreatment and abuse when I first started working directly with the public. Most of the time, it didn’t happen, which was — shocking. But it made me realize that most people don’t intend to be jerks. At least when you pass for straight and cis.

Which then, you know…will make a person worried about how much esteem and status and safety will be lost if one cuts one’s hair. It’s not fun. But neither is dealing with unwanted sexual overtures.

To some people (particularly the ones I had to deal with re: sexual harassment), sex seems to be all I’m good for: either as a desired object, or as someone they will annoy for not meeting their sex-governed standards. As though they’re insulted that you will never care enough about them to conform to their vision, and be who they want you to be.

This is not contraindicated by my recent Literature readings; that people who are assumed to be women have one reason for existing, and that is “love” and reproduction, and going along with that, beauty: for the purpose of attaining desirability and approval. (Assuming “she” even wants you [this applies across all genders] or ever will, and that’s a gigantic assumption that doesn’t take “her” personhood into account.)

Yes, there are definite reasons I identify as nonbinary. That doesn’t change the material facts. That changes my point of reference.

Right now I have four books on race, racism, emigration, and culture to look at, largely focusing on the interface and overlap between Japanese culture and American culture. I’m interested in the parallel development between sex and gender, and between race and ethnicity.

I’m thinking there was a time when sex and gender were seen as equivalent; as well as a time when race and ethnicity weren’t distinct concepts (though I’m not sure about the latter; the development seems as though it would be fundamentally political, and thus far more convoluted than I would expect).

Last night, I realized that my training in Writing, plus my training in Research, together, mean that I have a very good shot at being able to research and write about my own interests. If I have access to the right information resources.

Actually: last night, I was looking at an internship with a Japanese-American nonprofit, and comparing the future after that internship, with the future after the Preservation slot. It made me realize that I can do a lot more than just repair things. I like to work with my hands, but I don’t want my primary function in life to be manual labor. This is why I drew away from the idea of making jewelry and selling it on Etsy. (One of the reasons, anyway.)

For a brief moment, I was even thinking of pursuing training in Ethnic Studies…for the purpose of gaining the option of teaching Asian American Studies at the University level. The major problem with that, is that teaching at a 4-year University seems to most often require the PhD, and as I’ve heard M state, “the PhD takes as long as it takes.”

But then: I’m learning not to trust everything M says as fact. She has some weird ideas, sometimes: like thinking that I don’t appreciate my education (I overheard this, tonight). I really don’t know where that even came from. My issue was not wanting to commit myself to a year of struggling with my OCD, when I could do much more which was more in line with my strengths. The issue is that the clearest path to doing, “more,” is learning Japanese (and hoping to secure a Cataloging position), and refreshing my Math and learning Computer Programming (to make myself viable for a Metadata position).

This may also open up Translation jobs and Analyst jobs, though to be honest, I know very little about Analyst positions. The fact is that I have, pretty much, a high-school education in Math (if we discount Statistics). Currently, that’s one of my weakest points, if I’m looking at jobs which aren’t social and aren’t dirty. I can remediate this, however. Social anxiety and OCD, on the other hand…I may not be able to make right: not on my own. I seriously can’t do anything about it, if the root is autism.

I had to take medication to tolerate my job, the last time around…but, I mean, I’m still on medication, no lie. I just don’t want to be forced to take a drug to be able to put my distress aside long enough to function. I’m afraid that’s exactly what will happen if I take the Preservation opening.

It’s not that I don’t like Math or have a hard time with it; it’s that I had a slew of negative emotional experiences around it (prominently including dissociation — I’m talking about time loss/blackouts), mostly from the ninth grade, hence something of an emotional resistance to it. I was never really taught it in such a way that I knew what I was doing, and why. And I’m sure I have long forgotten how to use a graphing calculator. Not that I understood what the graphs essentially meant or the knowledge they would lead to…but I’m not sure anyone did, because I don’t think it was at all divulged.

Focusing on Technical jobs will keep me away from that psychological, “black box,” or the hypervigilance to attack that I’ve had to deal with in Public Service (which may be related to autism-spectrum stuff combined with trauma), and it will keep me away from grossness (which is contraindicated by my OCD). The pay is good. The stress…particularly where it comes to zero-days…may not be. But I’m not aiming to become a Cybersecurity specialist; not unless no one else steps up.

I did just realize that I totally forgot about Writing jobs. Of course, I have some skill at that. I should work on creating a section on this blog for a Portfolio…even though right now, the way things are going…

Well, I can explore it.

%d bloggers like this: