When 'community' has become a four-letter word

February 12, 2018

When 'community' has become a four-letter word

Being neurodivergent, we have lots of experience of existing outside of things. Outside of ‘normal’ behaviours. Outside of ‘accepted’ expectations. Outside of dress codes, friendship groups and social rules. In short, we’ve spent most of our lives feeling like outsiders.

We’re okay with this.

This does mean however that being a part of any kind of community generally doesn’t work out for us. It doesn’t take long before we end up feeling like the borders of that community start to confine us.

As a result, we’re no longer joiners, converts or members of much of anything.

We’re okay with this.

It allows us the freedom to avoid being boxed in and defined by any part of our identities and to remain fluid and in motion.

At this point, we’ve developed an aversion to the very concept of ‘community’. It’s come to mean a familiar movement of feelings that goes something like this: excitement, belonging, disquiet, constraint, disappointment, abandonment, freedom.

What then of the ‘Cactus community’?

The Cactus community, like neurodivergent people themselves, is different. What we are proposing here at Way of the Cactus is a new type of community, one that creates a space for neurodivergent people – traditionally outsiders – to affiliate with each other in whatever way feels natural for us.   

You can sign on for our newsletter, join our discussions on social media, read our posts, buy our sensory treasures and dig in deep for the long haul.

Or you can visit from time to time, take the bits you like and leave the rest.

You can change your mind, change your behaviours, change anything and everything about yourself and we won’t judge. We won’t pull you into line. We won’t kick you out of anything. We won’t talk about you behind your back or form alliances that you are left out of. We won’t do any of the things that has turned ‘community’ into a four-letter word.

All you’ll get here is support and encouragement and the opportunity to be a part of a new kind of community – one that works for you, however you need it to work.

Let’s do community differently. Let’s do it in a way that works for the outsiders.