Too much pressure.

Photo by Caique Silva on Pexels.com

Please don’t mistake me or try to make me

The shadow of anybody else

I ain’t the him or her you think I am

I’m just trying hard to be myself

Oh, society’s goal is to be part of the whole

That may sound good to you, not to me

The Turtles, Let Me Be

All I wanted was the ability to share my art with the world…. and it has turned in to half disaster, half success.

I don’t know how i’m supposed to handle it.

For a bit of a backstory, I posted some of my cat themed art in to some various cat facebook groups. Some were more receptive than others, some banned me for accidentally violating their rules (even though I had made a google docs with the different groups and varying rules), and my facebook exploded. Messages, friends requests, a lot were welcomed with open arms but it was non stop and very anxiety inducing. I already have very, very bad anxiety but this actually made it a lot worse.

I ended up making my own group, Nice Cats for Nice People. We actually welcome those who are Neurodiverse, who want to share their cat-related art and etsy store and try to adhere to less stringent rules.


I then had people writing me, telling me how they thought I was violating (cat facebook group) rules and giving me feedback I didn’t ask for, which made me even more agitated. I can’t tell you how many new people i’ve had to cut ties with. It just hasn’t been healthy for me.

Yesterday, I was in the car, traveling to go to a concert and I cried. I flailed my hands for a short few seconds. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to do anything but go back home, miss the concert and weep in bed. This was after a few people decided to tell me that I was oversharing the negative messages I was receiving on my facebook page and some of the private messages sent to me seemed to have a good intention but had a lot of unwanted, “real” or “brutally honest” advice that I didn’t ask for. I was already on the brink of an emotional collapse and that sent me over the edge.

There have been incredibly positive people and really negative people.

There’s also those who don’t understand:

There’s even people who believe it’s okay to tell me that I clearly have issues after i’ve made it incredibly clear that I suffer from mental illness, which is intertwined with being Autistic.

Being Autistic is not an excuse, It’s a NEUROTYPE! It’s part of who I am and why I behave the way I do. I honestly can’t even believe I have to justify myself to anybody but I have to write this because these things keep happening to me over and over again. I also had to reiterate that my artwork and my Autism are very much hand-in-hand and that I utilize my art to talk about Autism and vice versa. I have HUNDREDS of pieces i’ve art that i’ve painted. I’m not new to this at all. I have been making art my entire life.

There was a time where I really only worked intuitively and for myself, as a way to relax and unwind. When people can’t understand why a pet portrait costs 150.00 USD, I don’t really know what to say without sounding really upset and hurt. It’s a lot to take the personality of someone’s cat and turn that in to my own style. If i’m working intuitively, I don’t think. I don’t need to plan the way something looks, copy features and make it look like someone’s best friend. Getting the features right and the art completely perfect puts so much pressure on me to appease my customer. I’m almost at the point where I have to set my price at something that aligns with my thoughts of “how much would it take for me to drag my ass out of bed and paint something for someone else?” Honestly, I don’t even know what that price would be.

I even made an FAQ because I kept getting asked questions over and over again.

My brain is not only wired differently due to the fact that I am Autistic, but my chronic depression, anxiety and poor coping methods are linked to the fact that I spent 15 years or so being verbally and emotionally abused by my father…EVERY SINGLE DAY. Add that to the childhood bullying and ostracization from my peers at school and you have a brain that suffered from a lot of trauma during it’s most vital developmental years. I also hear that if you’re removed from your mother immediately after birth, which I was, that can also lead to developmental issues. I also am learning disabled. I never graduated, I got my GED instead.

I really want those reading this to understand a few things so i’m linking them below.

I hope this provided insight in to just some of the things I am struggling with. Please be kind.

Autism $peaks Walk 2018.

This is a FUNNY (not) story. My Mother was doing some banking recently and overheard a Woman talking about an Autism walk coming up. My Mom asked if it was Autism Speaks and the woman didn’t know. Apparently it WAS autism speaks.

I took it upon myself to contact some notable sponsors who are ALL listed on their website.

This is the message I sent:

Hello Autism Speaks Canada Donor,

My name is Margaux Wosk and I am an outspoken advocate for Autistic individuals like myself. I wanted to take the time to tell you a little bit about the negative impact you are having on our community.

Autism Speaks is highly disliked and rather frowned upon by the #actuallyautistic community. We use the hashtag #boycottautismspeaks.

Autism Speaks wants to find a cure for us, they believe we should cease to exist and with their genetic testing and “research” –well, it’s all in the hopes that we should vanish off the planet. Eugenics, plain as day.

Only a very small fraction of the funds they raise goes to help autistic individuals, i believe 5 percent. The majority of it goes to research. We do not need a cure, we do not need awareness. We need acceptance and inclusion. Those are the most important things for us. Clearly, I would know since I believe individuals like us deserve respect.

We do not want a cure; we do not support ABA.

If you’re interested in better places to donate your funds, please consider the autistic self advocacy network or even our local Autistic Meetup Group. They are always in need of help.

To learn more about me, please check out http://www.navigatingjourney.com

I was recently featured in Black Press Medias’ online and press publications in regards to my art and advocacy and I spoke out against autism speaks. https://www.langleytimes.com/community/cloverdale-artist-finds-activism-for-autism-through-painting/

I would hope you would take this chance to respond to me and reconsider your support and financial contributions to autism speaks in the future.

Here’s a response I received from the top donor, milau who works for the Royal Bank of Canada:

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I do not know how you got my email but please do not email me.

Hm, I wonder how I did that.

 

 

Invalidated by a neurotypical person, silenced and falsely accused of spreading misinformation… This is terrible and these are the people that are raising money for us to fail to exist. I’m not surprised by the fact I was just spoken down to and told to not email this person. Awful.

Silenced again, this time by a local childcare provider:

 

 

Silenced ONCE AGAIN by a donor:

ASsilence

if they don’t want their names public then maybe they should consider that their names are publicly posted on the autism speaks website?

 

OUR VOICES SHOULD MATTER.

Please signal boost this if you can.

Autism Speaks is focused on “autism research and awareness.”

We need acceptance, not awareness.

 

I am Colour.

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Yes, I will admit it: I am Weird.

I believe I have embraced this as my identity in a very subconscious way. I have no fear when it comes to expressing myself and I don’t think I ever did.

Anxiety is also a big part of who I am. It sometimes forces me to freeze and feel very weak-minded. It takes over me. I sweat profusely, I get heart palpitations, I just want to run and cower. It even can prompt me to sleep a whole lot.

Art is something that can help calm me right down, it is my soul doing the talking. It is an everlasting moment of freedom. I can look at my Art and think “I made that?”. It can be incredibly hard to believe.

I have hopes and dreams with it. Literal “close-my-eyes-and-fall-asleep” dreams. I see myself in the heart of a big city with my art in a gallery. I know it can be considered low brow and heck, I know there’s people who don’t like it and who could truly care less about me. I still have this dream.

“It’s too small. It should be bigger!”

“I can’t be your friend because I can’t stand your Art.”

“Your art is ugly.”

Tell me this. Tell me this over and over and over and over again. Please.

Why? Get your negative thoughts out, it’s good for you.

But for me?

I’ll keep creating.

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Love,

Margaux