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What I “Hate” is When Mommy and Daddy Fight

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The last few weeks have left me firmly on middle ground, a sort of no-man’s land between Israel and Palestine.  Except it’s not politics or religion that has me in this place.  It’s my very own group of autism parents and advocates.

 

 

I’m caught between my firm belief in the freedom of speech and expression, and equally firm belief in promoting autism awareness and acceptance in a positive way.

 

I’m caught between parents in terrible pain, expressing their pain and sorrow, and parents that say that expressing that pain in certain ways is harmful to others.

 

I’m stuck in the middle of parents that are angry at being judged by how they express themselves, and parents and advocates that are angry because they feel devalued.

 

It occurs to me that we are all at different stages on this journey, but it’s a journey that we share.  I empathize with the pain of a parent that “hates” the complications that autism has caused for her child.  Because she’s a mom, and she doesn’t want her child to suffer or feel pain, and she sees autism as the “thing” that causes that pain.  And I certainly empathize with a person with autism who, despite or because of autism, is the valuable human being they are, and is sensitive to the negativity surrounding autism.

 

So where do we go from here?

 

I’m unwilling to tell someone how they should feel, what they should think, or in what way they are allowed to express themselves.  I’m not the thought police, and I’d rail to the death against that kind of dystopian future.

 

Maybe…maybe as advocates for inclusion and integration, for awareness and understanding we could change the way in which we respond?  Maybe when we see a parent express “hate” in regards to autism, we can see that they are struggling, hurting, and may be in a very dark and lonely place at that moment.  Perhaps we could respond with compassion, an offer  of help, guidance, or friendship.  Maybe we could say “your words seemed very strong, is there something I can do to help, or at least offer a shoulder to lean on?”

 

And maybe as frustrated, overwhelmed parents, when someone with autism says that our choice of words has hurt them, we can acknowledge that and at least ask how we can word it differently to make it less offensive.  Maybe the power and pain of saying “I hate autism” would be completely diffused by saying “I hate the way autism affects our family”.

 

We fight tirelessly against having our kids judged unfairly because of their autism, yet we swiftly and harshly judge one another.

 

And how’s that working out for Israel and Palestine?

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About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

14 responses »

  1. how DARE you be reasonable! 😉

    *sings* MAGNIFICOOOOOOO… NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

    Reply
  2. confessionsfromhh6

    Exactly.

    Reply
  3. I think the biggest and initial problem I had was the content was lost on me because I felt like someone was telling me what I should and shouldn’t be feeling/saying. That bugged me and I walked away. I took some time, let it rattle around in my brain and went back. I kept going back because I missed the content. It was only after a few days and the comment from Caitlin, and others, that made me really think. Think more about what the real issue was. Sure I can say whatever I want but is saying it OK? That gave me pause. What really gave me pause is, and I’ve not shared this with you yet Flan, is when I looked at my son when he was doing something for the bazillionth time and I was getting frustrated with him. And it occurred to me that I can’t hate that. Sure I can be upset with him, autism and how it affects us but I can’t hate that. And then I got it. And then I took it a step further and thought of him as an adult. And how the adults now are telling us parents, loud and clear how they feel. And I get what they are saying.

    Reply
  4. Nice peacemaking. Thinking of a career as a mediator? 😉 Yeah, families fight but we’re still a family. We understand more than our disagreement would seem to indicate, don’t you think? And ditto, Lizbeth.

    Reply
  5. unplannedtrip

    I guess my question is: would saying “I hate the effects autism is having on my sons and family.” be equally as upsetting. Because from where I sit almost everything parents of children with autism try to express is labeled as wrong or hurtful. And, while I cannot or will not speak for others, this leaves ME feeling very isolated and back to square one.

    Reply
  6. what a person feels and how they express those feelings should be accepted without a need for explanation. we must be careful of how we address those expressions because that may be the parents ONLY and possibly LAST option for dealing with their situation. I don’t deal with autism on a daily basis, but i deal with my own social ineptitude and unique ways of interacting with society daily and i would hope that this is the way we treat everyone regardless. .

    Reply
  7. Thank you. That is all I am saying.

    Reply
  8. “Maybe when we see a parent express “hate” in regards to autism, we can see that they are struggling, hurting, and may be in a very dark and lonely place at that moment”

    That’s EXACTLY what I think when I hear someone express themselves that way. We all love our children. We love them FIERCELY and because we have had to defend them fiercely from all the other people who no or little capacity for understanding, we feel some fierce emotions.

    What we all need, and this goes for my comment on your World Autism Awareness day post, is more SUPPORT.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: acknowledging anger’s function (since a whole spirit is inclusive) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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