Saturday, October 8, 2022

What's It Like Being Poor on YouTube?

What's it like watching YouTube videos when you're under the poverty line?

Seems like an odd question to ask: because how are those two things related? Let me explain.

Now that smartphones are so commonplace that even low income folks have access to them (cheap ones, if anything), more people than ever have access to the internet. It's a strange world we live in, that many of us are unable to obtain housing and basic necessities, but can still scroll through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. We have the world at our fingertips despite being disadvantaged.

That being said, it's all too common to come across vlogs from celebrities and people with a LOT of money, showing off their mansions and expensive cars and whatnot... surely this should bother me, as a low income disabled person who could never afford those things.

But I don't care about any of that. I don't need those things.

"Average People" Priviledge

What bothers me more is when I watch videos from people portrayed as average or "middle class" (actually quite wealthy) giving advice and doing DIY's, reminding me that I do not have access to things I actually need that would help me function better.


Too many times I've heard "don't be afraid of therapy" from a "brave" middle-class neurotypical woman sharing her story on recovering from her mild bout of depression. I'm happy those people get the help they need, and I have no shame around therapy. But it stings knowing that I cannot afford the intensive therapy I need to even scratch the surface of normality, due to being low income and having multiple complex mental health conditions.

I recently watched a video by a therapist on dealing with anxiety, the kind that makes you avoid socializing, going outside, making phone calls, etc. Her solution was to start small and do one at a time until you can gain normal functioning back.

I'm sure this works for most people, but as someone who never had "normal" functioning to begin with, this hurts. If I took her advice I would burn out eventually as I cannot maintain "normal" functioning. Sure, some days are better than others and I'm able to make calls and socialize on those days--but it's not sustainable long-term.

And seeing those same people well-dressed and clean, wearing pristine makeup while being filmed with a professional camera and lights, makes me wonder if they'd consider me a bum in comparison. I can't function enough to wear makeup or real clothes (PJ's all the way), let alone have the energy to create beautiful videos with my tired face... and yet I try to make videos anyway to share my story, feeling more and more small as I watch more privileged and beautiful people getting the limelight.


I can't escape this feeling even when watching everyday stuff like DIY videos.

Me being thrifty and resourceful (because I have to be), sometimes I need to look up DIY tutorials for things like building a shelf or repairing an old electronic item using what I have. But what I'm met with is expensive solutions I can't afford. I don't have lumber or power tools or the skills to use them. Just cardboard boxes, duct tape, string and some command hooks.

My goal when looking up tutorials is typically to save money. Why are the most highly-viewed DIY videos geared towards people with a crazy amount of resources? I have to really dig to find any tutorials I can actually use, sometimes even from fellow low-income folks who were kind enough to share their advice.

We can't "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps."

I know lots of folks complain about those "special snowflakes" who play oppression olympics and get offended at everything. But they probably don't know how it feels to be so genuinely low in society that privileged people leading normal lives are either unaware of our struggles or choose to look away because they can.

How wonderful it would be to live in a bliss of normal life.

How wonderful it would be to have a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, housing without roach infestations, and housing in general. How wonderful it would be to sign up for an apartment without being turned down because I'm on SSI and don't make 2.5x the rent. How wonderful it would be to work a fulfilling job and make money without my SSI, my safety net, being cut.

Imagine a world where most of my fellow disabled friends weren't destitute and/or living in abusive households. Imagine a world where disabled adults had more in-home help and wouldn't have to live in their own filth due to disability. Imagine a world where the government didn't try to lock our kind into poverty because they assume we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and suddenly become functional.

So... What do I want?

Social media portrays a world all too ideal, as everyone is trying to show the best parts of their life and leaving out the icky stuff. This hurts everyone, not just disabled folks like me. It's unhealthy to think everyone's life is perfect and better than yours. I crave mundane normal things, I don't need a yacht or fancy parties or crazy adventures wealthy YouTubers experience.

I just want affordable, comfortable housing, normal accommodations so I'm not breaking my back hand-washing my clothes all day, and to live at least AT the poverty line instead of well under it. Government help is lagging far behind inflation and even food is becoming too expensive. Meat is a luxury, and more affordable processed foods are detrimental to my physical and mental health (try being gluten-free, sugar-free, and low fat on food stamps!).

I'm attempting to be positive.

I do realize I am spiraling. On good days I am grateful for what I have. But I struggle with high anxiety and OCD that hits me often, especially when facing potential loss of my safety nets, like doctors who won't take my Medicaid anymore, or when my food stamps disappear due to an error in the system, or when I'm reminded I can't move out of my parents' house because I'd be homeless. But I need to focus on the positives. I try hard to.

That being said, YouTube is a nice escape from my circumstances and anxieties. I enjoy watching thoughtful and educational content. Having interesting videos playing in the background while I'm doing mundane housework helps to keep my mind busy and motivate me. There's so much music to listen to and I have the world at my fingertips. I'm so grateful that I have a smartphone and laptop to access these things.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I wanted to at least leave this on a good note since I try my best to be positive and appreciate what I have. But it's also okay to vent a bit about the unfairness of life, it can be a weight off one's shoulders.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

The WaffleCast™ - A New Podcast on Neurodiversity

We've got a new podcast! The WaffleCast™ is all about autism, neurodiversity, and mental health, featuring autistic adults sharing their experiences, hosted by autistic filmmaker and VTuber (@NeuroLushia). You can watch our first episode on YouTube or Anchor/Spotify.

Episode 2 will be streamed live on YouTube August 25th at 6pm CTThe topic is "Coping with OCD" and will be hosted by only Alyssa this time, as we are still gathering guests for future episodes. Join us to hear how about how Alyssa tells the difference between intrusive and "real" thoughts, how sneaky compulsions can be, and the various coping mechanisms she uses to deal with them.

Become a Waffle by joining our wholesome community in The Waffle Zone™ Discord server!

Consider supporting Lushia's work with a 1-time donation, or by joining her Patreon for exclusive rewards like broadcasting custom messages to the WaffleCast™ audience! You can also join via a YouTube membership for the same rewards.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

AHFilms' NEW Documentary ~ "I Am Autosexual"

Seven years after the release of "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's," I made another documentary! This one is more personal, like a "coming out" video in documentary format.

Autosexuality is sexual attraction to oneself. It can involve romantic, emotional, aesthetic, intellectual, and other types of self-attraction. It's a rather misunderstood sexuality with little awareness, and is often (wrongly) confused with narcissism.

It's likely not well-known due to involving only the self, and not needing outside validation to exist. However, I think awareness can be helpful in terms of de-stigmatizing this experience and encouraging healthy self-love, whether one is autosexual or not. I myself have learned a lot from fellow autosexuals, including how to foster a healthier connection with myself.

The film is a sort of mini-documentary with a runtime of around 20 minutes. This allowed me to release it more quickly--it took me only two weeks to record and edit it, which is a new record for me. Yet I am proud of my work and hope you enjoy it!

Watch the film below, or click here to view it on YouTube!
If you want to help me promote the film, keep reading below the video.

I didn't hype up this film as much as "Through Our Eyes" beforehand, as I didn't need the support of a Kickstarter campaign to produce this one. Since it doesn't have as wide of a reach as the previous film did, I may need your help!

To boost the film's reach, leave a like and comment on the video if you enjoyed it. This will help YouTube's algorithm recommend my video to more people. Also consider sharing the video on social media, or send privately to friends and family who might be interested in the topic. Who knows, maybe it will help someone!

Here's a link to the film! >
Or use these buttons to share on the platform of your choice!

And if you're on Twitter, retweet this to help my film reach a creator whose video inspired me to finally make this film!

I've been wanting to make a video on autosexuality for a while now, but felt compelled to finally do it after Anthony Padilla released his video "I spent a day with AUTOSEXUALS" which I found inspiring and relatable. I know Anthony is a major YouTuber and is probably very busy, but I hope to pass on this thank you message to him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Conversation about Social Media. ~ Podcast ft. Differently Wired & The Bored Podcaster

What impact does social media have on society, Neurodivergent people, and the Autistic community? How can we use social media responsibly while mitigating the negative effects? Adam, Jaden and I explore these questions in our new podcast. Watch it below!


  • The Dangers of Misinformation
          -> Misinformation vs. free speech
  • The Flaws of Social Media Platforms
          -> Trolls and censorship
  • The Insular Nature of Online Groups
          -> Groups can be beneficial for particular types of people, but can also isolate them from alternate perspectives
  • Autistic Community vs. Parents of Autistic Children / Neurotypicals
          -> Online discourse often lacks nuance
          -> Both autistic advocates and parents are held to impossible standards
  • Social Media is Only a Highlight Reel, Not Reality
          -> Impacts on mental health

Monday, November 29, 2021

Rebranding LushiaGaming - Say Hello to Gingersnaspie! (again): aka I'm a VTuber now! (yeah yeah I know it's overdone)

For those who've been following my gaming channel for a long time, you might be aware that its name wasn't always LushiaGaming. I re-branded after discovering I'm a DID system--and decided to keep my name consistent across all platforms.

After some time, the re-branding didn't feel quite right for my gaming channel. Its old name, Gingersnaspie, felt much more fitting--I always loved the mix of "ginger" and "aspie" in the name, and it's a rather snappy ("snaspie?") name, in my humble opinion.

It seems all the more fitting considering a new face of my channel...

Introducing Ginger! The quirky Neurodivergent redhead host (aka me) of my gaming channel--which, by the way, has been renamed Gingersnaspie, if you didn't already guess.

I've been (semi) secretly working on this VTuber avatar in my evil lab (I mean umm, computer I guess) for the past few months, hence my lack of livestreams. I plan to get back to streaming very soon, with at least 1-2 scheduled livestreams per month and the rest will be spontaneous (great for my ADHD). Click here to check out my new streaming schedule.

Want to meet Ginger? The avatar debuts in a livestream on Sunday, December 5th at 7pm CT, on both Twitch and YouTube. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

SHOULDER INJURY From Vaccine (SIRVA) ~ Read before getting the COVID vaccine! (NOT Anti-Vax)

Last year, I got a pretty unpleasant shoulder injury due to a nurse giving me a vaccine too high on my arm.

Immediately after the shot, it hurt like hell and I couldn't move it without aggravating the pain. I held my arm close to me and avoided rotating my shoulder to minimize the pain. I already mentally have a hard time doing tasks due to executive dysfunction (I'm neurodivergent), but the arm pain made it physically harder; especially tasks like getting dressed, washing dishes, and typing at the computer. I had to do a lot of things one-handed.

I thought the pain would go away eventually; after all, most vaccine-related arm pain does disappear after a few days. But it didn't go away. It lingered for weeks, which turned into months, without much improvement. So I did some research.

Eventually, I was able to put a name to it: SIRVA.

AKA "Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration."

Apparently, when a vaccine is given too high on the arm, it can cause a myriad of problems like tendinitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), bursitis, and rotator cuff tears.

My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, who took x-rays and diagnosed me with "tendinitis of the left rotator cuff." I also spoke to an attorney specializing in SIRVA injuries, and he agrees that my injury fits in the category of SIRVA. Luckily, I was able to receive some treatment that greatly improved my arm's condition.

I'm writing about this today because I don't want anyone else to suffer like I did.

Don't let my story discourage you from getting the covid vaccine--rather, please get your vaccine from a doctor you trust who is up to date on their vaccine administration training. And tell people you know (especially doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, if they are unaware!) about SIRVA. These are the best precautions you can take.

Getting a vaccine in a rushed or poorly trained setting may also put you at higher risk. Mass vaccination sites or pharmacies may not be as good as a private doctor--but don't take my word for it, that's just an assumption (I got mine in an emergency room, for reference, and the nurse giving me the vaccine seemed rushed). It's hard to know how well-trained any medical professional is when it comes to giving vaccines. The point is, make sure you trust whoever is giving you the vaccine.

Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists: Since SIRVA is caused by landmarking errors, please check out these resources and ensure everyone in your practice is properly trained. It will help the vaccinations go smoothly without patients enduring life-changing injuries.

Study: "Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration and other injection site events" includes information on SIRVA and prevention methods


Prevent Shoulder Injuries During Covid-19 Vaccinations

More info on landmarking techniques + list of resources


If you have this injury, there are also steps you can take to get treatment and seek compensation.


For treatment, I recommend seeking out an orthopedic surgeon or someone who specializes in shoulder injuries. You may need a referral from your PCP / GP (general doctor) to see a specialist. Treatment will vary, but may include physical therapy, steroid shots, or surgery in extreme cases (like a bad rotator cuff tear).

Below are some exercises for rotator cuff tendinitis given to me by my orthopedic surgeon. If you don't have access to medical care, it might be worth giving these a shot.


As for seeking compensation, you can file a claim via the VICP / "Vaccine Injury Compensation Program" with the help of an attorney, as long as your injury meets criteria and has lasted 6 months or longer. However, SIRVA injuries caused by covid vaccines are not currently covered by the VICP. We're hoping this changes soon; I'll update this blog post if it does. Skip to 11:08 in my video for more info.

If your SIRVA injury was caused by any other vaccine, you can file a VICP claim. You can find links to law firms who handle SIRVA injury claims in the description of my video.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Why charities cannot replace SSI (from my experience)

Why is SSI necessary? Why don't we rely on charities to support low-income disabled people?

I was reading about different political ideologies, and came across Libertarianism which largely doesn't believe in government safety nets like SSI.

I read different opinions from different libertarians (cuz like, everyone differs), and got a variety of responses to the hypothetical question:

"How would disabled people get support in a libertarian society?"

Libertarian 1: "The free market means they'll have easier access to work."
(Me: Fair, but what about the permanently and severely disabled who can't work at all?)

Libertarian 2: "They die. Not my problem."
(Me: Ouch.)

Libertarian 3: "Charities will take the place of government support."
(Me: Maybe for short term, but have you ever relied on a charity?)

That last response particularly caught my attention since I've had personal experience with trying to get help from charities, hence the topic of this post. 

(Note: This post is not meant to harp on libertarians, and not all libertarians share the opinions mentioned above. Reading about Libertarianism is just how I got to this topic.)

From personal experience, while charities can help with some specific short-term needs, most are simply incapable of providing substantial long-term support. Any support they do offer is minimal and sad (but really depends on the charity tbh).


Most food pantries only offer pre-packaged shelf stable food, meaning anything fresh is off the table, and those with food allergies will likely go without. So people like me rely on food stamps to feed myself without seriously compromising my health.

There are some rare exceptions though. I used to go to a food pantry that did offer fresh vegetables, fruit, and frozen meats, and that was a freakin' lifesaver. But I've never found another like it since.


Charity medical care is terrifying. Once I had to wait 4-6 hours outside a church to get a cavity filled, only to be greeted by huge crowds / sensory overload, sermons in the waiting room (triggering for me due to religious PTSD / OCD), ancient medical technology (weirdest handheld x-ray machine I've ever seen), and dental students instead of fully trained dentists (I got the filling anyway cuz I had no choice).

Medicaid doctors and dentists aren't much better, but that's besides the point. I'd take a Medicaid dentist over that charity dental day thing anytime. (Though in any case, I can brush my own teeth better than the cleanings I've gotten covered by Medicaid.)

Many charities are also religious and actively try to convert you as you're receiving support. I'm all for freedom of religion, but I should also have the freedom to not be harassed when all I need is some food or a dental cleaning. Converting to a religion, adhering to their ideology-based rules, or being preached to (non-consensually, might I add) should not be a pre-requisite to receiving support, in my opinion.

I was able to tolerate these experiences because I don't rely on them 24/7. I am lucky enough to be on SSI. I'm certain I would die early of severe stress if I had to rely on charities. So thank the stars for SSI.


After my reading on Libertarianism, I did some searching (specifically on YouTube) to see if anyone else on the interwebs was noticing or pointing out similar issues with charity. Sadly, most of the top results were blaming the flaws of charity on "encouraging" dependency of "lazy poor people" and the failure of recipients to become independent after receiving such benevolent (*sarcasm*) aid.

While I'm sure some people do take advantage of charity and don't make effort to improve their life, it's awfully hard put forth that effort if the support you receive is so minimal that you're stuck in a stressful limbo of barely functioning.

I don't think everyday, well-off people would even want to accept the abysmal "help" many charities offer... because why on earth would anyone want wait hours in a line to receive a few cans of green beans? (Often, not even people who really need it are able to do this.)

The suggestion that the poor are simply "lazy" misses the fact that poverty is often more of a systemic problem than an individual onewhich is a major reason why one-time / short-term charity supports cannot magically fix someone's poverty or make them self-sufficient.

I believe that what's often deemed as "lazy" seems less about willful inactivity and more about responding to situational barriers. This thoughtful article sums it up pretty well.

In my search for material that addresses the systemic nature of poverty without degrading the poor, I came across this helpful video, check it out!

What's been your experience getting support from charities? Helpful? A hindrance? Downright impossible? Comment below.

Is there a better concept than SSI that could support low-income disabled folks just as well or better? If so, what would it would look like? I'm curious to hear what y'all come up with in the comments. (be respectful tho. :))