This is going to be the hardest post to write. About a year and half ago, I received a decision from the graduate school saying that people have “felt verbally abused” by me and my tics. They were concerned with my coprolalia - a dysfunction that causes the patient to blurt out inappropriate words and phrases. People also mentioned that I had shown evidence for copropraxia — a symptom that causes the patient to do offensive things like touching people and giving the bird to someone.
When I went to college, the most emotionally destructive tic found its way into my brain around the start of my Spring semester. I started to say the n-word and homophobic f-word. Naturally, I panicked because I didn’t know how people would react to a small Asian man randomly shouting out the most horrible, derogatory things on the street. I didn’t know what could stop the tics, if anything. I just rotted away as time passed me by.
I hope you won’t need to polygraph me when I say that i deeply cherish the identities and populations that are invoked by the inappropriate words and actions. (Wow my mind just drifted away for 30 whole minutes). I hope that people who know me will also understand that I’m not saying/doing stuff to be funny or provocative. Dealing with TS is so challenging because the disorder is able to tear you down both mentally and physically.
During and after my time as a teaching assistant for the introductory neuroscience and biology courses, I’ve been given many feedback forms from my students. About half of the responses mentioned that it took some effort to get used to me saying the n-word, but eventually they were able to cope with it. Similar things happened when I attended Pride a few years back. Since those interactions, I deliberately avoided situations that would potentially get me in more trouble. I didn’t go to many parties, events, protests, and other gatherings because I was afraid that my TS would flare up and cause a scene.
My bottom line is that real people were legitimately affected by my symptoms, and I hope that through communication, we can find a solution that works best for everyone. Thank you for giving me a chance.
This has been undoubtedly the messiest post i’ve ever written… too many feelings I’m sorry!!!
This little post took 3.5 hours to write because I’m pretty sure at some point my brain just gave up on me