This past week was an interesting and challenging week. It was a week where some "people" decided to see how nasty they could be. And how one individual could take a piece from here and twist it and mock it. This person had a blog of her own under another screen name that she took down this week once it became apparent that my friends and I knew who she was, had been kind and empathetic to her, and yet she'd been a bully.
I was left with the struggle of how do I write about my children when there is that kind of nastiness out there? Especially considering that this nastiness is being done by OTHER parents of children with autism. Not strangers with no commonalities, but parents whose children have the same neurological condition, face many of the same issues. These parents attack other parents with lies, distortions, and sometimes just complete assiness. What the frak is wrong with them? It's one thing to disagree and debate the person's argument, to debate the words, to point out where one disagrees. It's completely different to call names, distort, and lie. That's just being nasty to be nasty.
What to do? Cave into the bullies and go silent? Not a frakking chance of it! I will not be intimidated. I will not be silenced. I'll be damned if these people will keep me from telling the stories about my beautiful children, both their triumphs and their struggles. These people should be ashamed and they will be the ones who face their someday grown children's wondering looks as their words come back to haunt them, as their children see the nastiness, the negativity, how these people treated adults on the spectrum.
My two oldest children watched all of the nastiness unfold this week and tried to figure out how parents could do this to other parents. My children are taught to stand up against bullies. What I do, how I handle this adversity matters beyond the wider scheme of things. It matters to my children. They watch me, they see the names (although only the oldest knows the nastiest), and they see me choose my words, they listen to me as I tell them why I choose to keep writing.
Yes, I could make Detritus private as Powered suggested, or I could do what she did and wipe the blog. Interesting choice for a bully to make. I will not, though. I'll keep writing. I'll keep working for my children.
My friends, allies, partners, and I, we will continue to fight. And when we question it, the wisdom of continuing, we can look to one of our friends, who has had a blog for a great deal longer, who has faced this nastiness for years and yet keeps going, keeps speaking. When it beats us down, we'll share with each other and agree it's hard and it would be easier to just go quiet. And we'll take breaks from the nastiness and then hopefully, because we'll always have each other, we'll stand back up and wade back in. We'll tell our funny, poignant, meaningful stories about our children and we'll fight the nastiness that would silence not only our voices, but the voices of those autistic adults who fight beside us because one day those adults will be our children.
And I will admit to feeling a great deal of personal satisfaction of metaphorically giving the finger to those who tried to silence and intimidate us. Yes, I do believe I will.