I blasted onto blogging four years ago passionate about making sure people had good information about autism, that crazy, dangerous ideas about causation didn't win out. I wanted people to know autism didn't have to be seen as a tragedy, nor as something inflicted on them.
I was sarcastic, biting, inconsiderate of the feelings and lives of the people on the other side of the argument. I wrote satire, distorted caricatures of people and made their positions so twisted that the insanity of those positions were glaringly real. I countered, I went on the offensive. I deconstructed. I tore apart arguments, and hit back against "the other side." And sometimes it was fun. And that's wrong. And I'm disappointed by that behavior, that I forgot the people on the other side of those words, that I didn't consider whether I caused them harm, as long as I made clear how absurd their positions were.
And sometimes positions are absurd. They are. Sometimes beliefs are fallaciously built on. Sometimes it's really hard to let it go, to let it be, to breathe.
Jeanette, one of the first bloggers I read, called it right fighting. She was so right...oh, it was like I was a dog with a bone, especially with Age of Autism's writers and followers when they'd go on Huffington Post...it was a little bit addictive.
I'm glad I got over that. I'm even more glad, though, that I got over being certain I was right and that I had to make sure those who were wrong knew it.
I look back at where I was four years ago, when Bobby was 19, oh, and I was going through the pangs of having him reach adulthood, yet not getting to share in the normal parent experiences of having a child reach adulthood, with grappling with the reality that the girlies were on the spectrum too, but they were all finally out there--at school or the center or volunteering, and then I had all this time during the day and it was empty, barren. I didn't know what to do.
I still don't. Kathleen keeps pointing out that the last four years have been about me filling every single possible empty space, with work, with volunteering, with wigs, critters, clothes, a weird-ass animal print obsession. I have wise friends who see me more clearly than I see myself. Stormy works hard here to keep me under control, and Kathleen does what she can, too. Margie has my back and lets me be silly and laugh and yet share the heavy...Mel, fw2, Stephanie, Amanda, Beth, Rose, and so many more wonderful friends who support me, who laugh with me, and who encourage me.
I've been working to fill that empty space, that time that was always so congested with working with the kids, teaching part time, working on graduate degrees (one started and left behind in English and another completed in psychology), working in a way-too-time-consuming garden, that I forgot how to relax and be in stillness. And I'm pretty sure that while I might figure out how to relax, it probably won't involve stillness.
Anger was a temporary filler. Certainty and right-fighting took up a fair amount of head space. Wig and shoe shopping are fun but also a good way to head towards bankruptcy (in style). I still don't get the animal print fetish nor why it won't go away and I am compelled to keep buying zebras and giraffes, and if I'm really lucky zebra and giraffe-print chicken figurines. WTF?
I think I'm done on critters. I like the number 7, and that it's a prime, and that the 5 cats are a prime as are the 2 dogs. I'm not thrilled that those aren't also all odd numbers, but you can't have everything.
And now we've added homeschooling back into the mix, and certainly we are too early in this adventure to declare anything...
How many balls can I juggle? Truthfully--one. I'm just not that coordinated. But I feel this pressure, sometimes so tight against my insides that I am sure I will explode. I have so much to do...so much to learn...and I feel time quickening. And I know that's middle-aged angst. And I can't afford a sports car or a boob job nor do I want either, so I'm not sure what else to do...
oooh...unless it's to put the wigs on the critters and photograph them? Talk about filling time!