Thought I'd Visit...Don't Get Around Much Anymore

"My mind's more at ease, but nevertheless, why stir up memories?"

And ain't that the truth?

I don't get around to many blogs anymore, too many papers to grade, and an ever earlier and earlier bedtime as I find myself worn out. Some nights I beat the girls to bed, and am grateful that Rick shoulders the bedtime duty. I miss some of my blogging buddies, those women and men whose lives I got to share in, but I don't miss the drama of visiting places that are angry, hostile places.

What I have read, though, are the dialogues at TPGA, some of the comments, and many of the posts written by other bloggers in response to those posts and comments. We've been putting those blog posts over at the directory as I'm able to find time to contact the blog writers and get their permission. If I haven't gotten around to you and you've written one, email me and I'll get it up.

When I started blogging in 2009, the autism community seemed to be clearly divided into two vocal camps: neurodiversity followers versus those who believed autism was caused by vaccines. The neurodiversity camp also lined up in opposition to autistic adults who very much want a cure for their autism. Of course, that's an oversimplification, but those were the factions I was initially exposed to. It was easier to find a place, in some ways, because you were immediately routed to one camp or the other based on what you thought about vaccines.

I made several close friends in the midst of blogging, advocating, and trying to make a difference. I made some enemies, too. I acted intemperately at times. I stumbled, occasionally, and I learned a lot. I lost some friends, too, people who quit blogging, or who retreated when something besides vaccines popped up and revealed that there was another line that could create a divide.

The directory that Kathleen and I run, the bloggers we've met through that, has changed my views, tempered my opinions, and led me to react differently than I did back in the summer of 2009. You can't practice inclusion, read hundreds of people with a variety of beliefs and experiences and not come away changed.

What I learned from reading parents who believe a multitude of things that differ from my own beliefs is that they write to reach out, to get comfort, to know they are not alone. Adults on the spectrum write for the same reasons. We all want the same basic things: acceptance, appreciation, accommodation, and to know that when needed, people will act on our behalf for our benefit.

Far too often, they don't find this, even in a community where we should have an abundance of experiences that should lock us together in solidarity. And yet, it often doesn't. Far too often there is rancor and strife and instead of making people's lives easier, we make them harder. Instead of finding comfort, we find drama.

Perhaps we could all spend a little more time asking what we bring to the equation: comfort or drama. And if I've brought you drama in the past, I'm sorry.


kathleen said...

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out" Alfred Hitchcock

I think that stepping away from the online community (with the exception of the directory) was a good decision. The people I talk to off line are much more open, honest accepting-even when we have strong differences. Funny how many people I have met(off line) who have no idea about all the divides.

farmwifetwo said...

I too have found that the real world neither knows nor cares.

farmwifetwo said...

ABD blog does not open fully into the reader. I am reading these posts but being lazy would appreciate not having to open the actual internet page.

KWombles said...

Fixed it so it will now, fw2. :-)

farmwifetwo said...

Thanks muchly.

Karen V. said...

I've not been blogging that long (since January) and have met many people through commenting and surfing and the directory. I have learned that no matter what I say or how I say it, someone can find a way to read something I did not mean into it and thus, controversy and/or drama are born. Far more often, however, I find support, solidarity and good people. I guess I'm lucky that way! :)

Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams said...

I don't know if you realize just how much the directory has contributed to the Autism community. It is not until I started blogging on another topic that I understood the fullness of that. In the Autism community people aren't just writing - they read other people's blogs. That's not necessarily the case in other communities, at least not to the extent that it is here. Congratulations. You have created something great!

KWombles said...

Karen, glad you've been lucky! :-)

Moonbeams, thank you so much.