The Perception Misconception

I’ve long said there’s very little truth, only personal perception. The problem with personal perception is, often, there is no malicious intent. We are all human, prone to bias based on our own experiences, so often our truth is very different from what is scientific fact, or fact proven with evidence. Now this could launch me into a political tirade but instead…

If I say, “I remember you doing this, and I said that…” Well, that is my personal memory and perception of the matter.

You can say, “No, you took it out of context, you didn’t hear me correctly…” And that would be your truth, your perception.

But if a video camera captured that same exchange and showed either you, I, or both were wrong and it unfolded differently…that’s fact. That’s proveable truth, not fallible human perception.

So short of every moment of your existence being video taped, there are going to be many, many times when perception on either side of the fence is simply wrong or a misunderstanding or breakdown in communication. And it’s okay because, hey, only human, we make mistakes, blah blah blah.

The ONE time when I do, however, find different perceptions to be very dangerous is when you have a legitimately diagnosed mental disorder, but those around you don’t mere debunk it but flat out refuse to believe it could possibly be for real. This is when perceptions can become harbingers of doom.

My family, AKA THE ORIGINAL harbingers of doom, perpetually doubt, question, dismiss, debunk, scoff- any negative reaction to mental illness one can have, my entire family practices. No matter the long mental disorder history on both sides, or the fact that my mom, me, my sister, my brother, my great grandmother-all spent time in treatment or in a psych hospital for the disorders-changes perception. Hell, even my mom and sister declared themselves cured and only weak people need medication, I need to get over myself.

Battling this daily- perception ceases to be benign and becomes a malignancy. Frankly, it beats the hell out of your self esteem because these are the very people who are supposed to love and accept you, as you are, no matter what and yet they make you feel as rejected and dejected as the masses. It takes a strong psyche to face this daily battle and not lose your mind or be overwhelmed with self doubt and self hatred.

It may hurt a little less but facing the same sort of invalidation from friends and romantic partners never gets easier. You warn them, this is my condition(s), this is how it can get bad, they swear they are strong enough and care enough to weather it out…then time after time, abandon ship because they had no idea you were so difficult.

Much as the rejection stings, I can’t help but laugh derisively. Wussies. They get to walk away cos it’s too tough. I don’t get that luxury. Furthermore, I basically slap myself with a ‘toxic’ skull and crossbones as well as a ‘biohazard’ label as warnings and still..the cockroaches scurry off. Oh, wait. That’s MY PERCEPTION, not fact. They’re not really bugs and they have every right to flee and not be dragged down by whatever shit I have going on. But I perceive their abandonment less as them trying to spare themselves and more as persecuting me for that which isn’t in my control. And they perceive my disorders as some sort of personal affront on them, as if they bring out the worst in me or I hate them so I’m moody or high strung. (Again, when greeted with a skull and crossbones and biohazard symbol, take a beat and THINK.)

And there’s the rub. Perception deception.

While everyone perceives me as negative and pessimistic, I truly do tend to view most negative views towards those with mental diagnoses as simple ignorance, rather than something evil or personal. People get scared of what they don’t know or understand and they lash out or tense up. Ignorance, however, can be resolved with some information and communication. I’d like to think *most* are willing to be educated and learn more facts before a final judgment. But the bottom line is, there will always be those who simply will never come around. And while they may judge me as crazy, I feel pity for them. Some are born not very bright and due to educational lacking or some sort of impairment, they can’t really become the next Einstein.

Ignorance, however- that is a choice. And if you are presented with facts and personal experiences and still choose to be ignorant and hold ignorant views…you are to be pitied. Nothing sadder than choosing to be dumb when the information is right in front of you.

But, hey, again…perception deception. Maybe the masses that are asses (gotta love L7 for that title) have it right and my perception is all wrong.

Maybe pegacorns are real, politicians aren’t corrupt, and body odor smells pleasant.

Not fucking likely.

But I am humble enough to entertain the merest possibility that my perception could be wrong. If so…

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE PEGACORNS BE REAL.

Gas is up to $3.15 a gallon and I can’t handle being in Armpit, I need transportation. 😉

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