Ranting ramblings from ASDmama

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Ranting ramblings from ASDmama

I recently posted a picture to my social media of Haiden walking out of school on a beautiful spring afternoon. I cleverly captioned it:

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It got 55 likes on Facebook and nine friends commented on it. I was feeling all warm and fuzzy like I usually do when I get so much positive feedback, support and interaction on my postings about Haiden. Then I received this message:

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“When you post pictures of him or talk about him and put the #autism on it. Do you ever wonder if he will see it when he grows up? I by no means think he should be ashamed of having autism but when he becomes a teenager what if he sees that and gets sad…”

Now, before I get too much into my ranting rambling, let me first preface this scenario. The person who sent this is a former co-worker who has had no dialogue with me in a good three to four years. He also has no children. So to say I was caught off-guard by his sudden interjection into my parenting style is a bit of an understatement. If this had come from someone who really knows me, I might have handled the “constructive criticism” a little better.

I turned to a good friend of mine who knows this guy and asked what she thought. She summed it up pretty well with the following text:

“Ummm… sorry but that offends me. Who the hell does he think he is, saying something like that… He definitely sticks his nose in places that it doesn’t belong. Number one, Haiden would never be sad about ANYTHING you have ever posted. Everything is VERY inspiring for those who don’t understand autism and also for those who are in the same situation as yourself. Nothing is ever said in a negative manner, nor are you doing or posting anything that would make YOUR SON “sad” by any means. And as for some IGNORANT asshole to honestly message you something like that…he has some nerve…Just mean. He shouldn’t have even gone there. Now that will always be in the back of your mind, wondering who else thinks that?”

She goes on to say a bunch of other nice things to help unruffle my feathers, but she hit the nail on the head with a lot of what she said.

First and most importantly, I would NEVER do anything to hurt my kids. I have committed this whole blog to our family’s adventures in autism. Adventures. Because an adventure is defined as “an exciting or very unusual experience.” That’s what this autism trip is for us. I want Haiden to read these posts one day, I want him to know how awesome he is and that I love him so much and he’s so rad that other people want to read about him too!

Do I think it will make him sad? That would imply that I think autism is some horrible thing that has happened to my child. No, I don’t think being autistic is cause for my son to be sad. And I don’t believe that sharing stories of our autism adventure will ever make him sad, either. Autism is his super power.

I want him to know it’s cool that he’s different. I want him to know he’s not alone. I want him to know if someone calls him “weird” that that’s okay because he IS and it’s not a bad thing. I want him to embrace it. I want to build him up so he feels safe and confident. I want to cocoon and shelter him so he never gets hurt.

I worry about this kid on so many levels. Is he making friends? Will he be able to have a driver’s license? Will he have a girlfriend? Will he ever truly understand the volumes of love that I have for him?

All three of my kids are rad and are my total world. I realize how lucky I am to be their mom. Fellow special needs moms particularly need to have a forum, a safe place, to have open dialogue about the ups and downs of motherhood. This responsibility we have been given is hard sometimes. Sometimes it is thankless. Sometimes it is hurtful. We have to have a tough skin, but a soft voice. I like having a voice for others in this situation, and I love that this is a safe place for them to find solace.

When I hashtag autism, I don’t do it because it’s bad or I’m sad about it. I do it because I am proud and I want others to know that and see it. I want my son to know that too.

So for anyone who misunderstands or thinks this comes from a place other than love, feel free to unfriend, unfollow or otherwise kindly remove yourself from my sphere. For everyone else who has been so supportive, thank you. And to my fellow ASD parents, Rock On!!

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One response »

  1. I love it when people think they’re being helpful and trying to give you another “perspective” about how it might be damaging your kids. I come from a slightly different place than you. When I was a new mama and was just trying to survive, I started my blog and it was where I could write love letters to my daughter and also try to explain how hard it was being a mama and how I felt like I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and hey! Did you know babies poop like 52 times a day? And yea… sometimes I lamented about how she screamed in my ear and refused to sleep and OMG…she pooped AGAIN… and how I was pretty sure she hated me, but I always ended it with how much I loved her.

    Fast forward three months later and I’m back at work and a co-worker who read the blog said something to the effect of how he couldn’t believe a parent would actually “use a blog as a platform to bash their kid online like that”. Excuse me? Bash my kid? Go ahead and show me exactly where I’m “bashing” my kid. Am I putting it out there as reality? Yes… but bashing? No.

    However… that comment stuck with me and snuck in my head every time I went to write about my family for a year. And it made me hesitate. And I hated him for that. For taking my one therapeutic way to exorcise my demons and process that helps make things make sense to me.

    Even now, I wonder… if my kids read this when they’re older (and yes, I totally want them to) what will they actually see? Will they see complaining? Will they see frustration? Yes. They probably will. That’s kind of the point. Because I am not one to sugar coat anything. But also? They’re going to see love. They’re going to see laughter. They’re going to see that I did the best I could and that is more important than me remembering to wash their clothes every week.

    I have since decided that that particular co-worker can go jump off a cliff. If he can’t see through the frustration, the fatigue and the smart-ass commentary to the love I have for my kiddos, he’s not really someone I need in my life.

    I try to remember that every time I right and not let it stifle me. But it’s hard. You do you, Stacy. Your kiddos will be fine. And that guy can go suck a rotten egg.

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