I am tired (tw for institutionalization, abuse, murder, dehumanization)

I am tired.

I am tired of proving my humanity.

I am tired of explaining to you why you shouldn’t treat your autistic kids like a zoo exhibit.

I am tired of hearing parents whine about what it’s like to care for an autistic kid.

I am tired of hearing how I should be more understanding and what about my parents –  don’t I know that I probably made them want to kill themselves too?

I am tired of being mocked because I misunderstood.

I am tired of being insulted because I’m “lazy” for choosing a job that allows me to still be able to function at the end of the day, rather one that sends me into a panicked meltdown every day, even if I’m “wasting” my intelligence and college degree.

Forgive me if I’m not empathetic enough. Forgive me if I can’t be nice while you dehumanize me.

Maybe I’d be able to have more empathy if you’d stop putting your autistic kid’s photo or video of them melting down on the Internet. Maybe if you stopped comparing us to dogs and making jokes about putting us in a pen, well, I’d care about your feelings a lot more.

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14 thoughts on “I am tired (tw for institutionalization, abuse, murder, dehumanization)

  1. You bring up a very important point about how people putting videos on the internet of their autistic child having a meltdown isn’t okay. I recently gave a presentation that touched on the issue of privacy for autistic children. I talked about the letter that the family of an autistic child received (I’m not sure if you saw it, but it was in the news for a while) that wasn’t very flattering in its description of the autistic child’s behaviour, and how the parents probably shouldn’t have put the letter on the internet (even for spreading awareness).

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  2. Thank you for these two latest posts. They mean a great deal to me as an advocate and as a parent. I feel my son is tired of the zoo exhibit aspect of his daily life. Thank you for giving that sadness and frustration voice. We have to be more aware that the internet is forever and our children should not be on display for the entertainment of strangers who wish to dehumanize them.

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  3. Only talk about others, including your child, in the same way that you wouldn’t mind others talking about you. Only share things about your child’s life that you wouldn’t mind others reading about yours. Did you wet your bed until the age of 10? Would you be OK with your mother talking about that to your friends? Your coworkers? Your date?

    Things you post online are by definition out of your hands, unless you host your own DNS and website server. When you post about issues that involve other human beings, it is even more important to be aware of that fact.

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  4. …”hearing parents WHINE…” and ‘advertising’ their ‘difficulties’ by displaying their ‘lesser being’ children are, in some circles, known as PITY PLOYS. These – and many of the other things you wrote of – are the tactics of narcissists and psychopaths. (granted, subclinical levels, but the character is the exact same, based on the observable behaviors you noted)
    That is why the following is so often true: “Normal is to ‘autism’ as psychopathy is to normal.”

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    1. Wow! So 90% or more of “autism parents” are psychopaths? Or narcissists? That seems incredibly high to me. It also could just be that many parents are jerks and who see their autistic kids as burdens.

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  5. not “parents of autists ARE narcissists and psychopaths”, but rather ‘normal people BEHAVE as if they were narcissists and psychopaths toward those they regard as being ‘lesser’ – and at this time, ‘autist’ is, at the level of instinct, about as ‘lesser’ as one can get. ‘Lesser’ tends to trigger ‘moral disengagement’, which means ‘lesser beings’ get to live a real-life version of the Stanford prison experiment.
    One can only hope the next ‘guard’ one meets, then, isn’t fit to wear the nickname of ‘John Wayne’ ( who was the worst one during Zimbardo’s session)
    If you are Lucky, you’ll encounter a ‘guard’ who doesn’t have a swelled head. They DO exist, by the way – but if you count on that, you will get caught out – and you will pay – and ‘John Wayne’ or someone like him is likely to be doing the collection.
    PS: I grew up – undiagnosed – in a family which included narcissists and psychopaths. ALL of them threatened me with violence, up to and including death. I suspect one of them wished to kill me, and was but waiting for a suitable opportunity so as to do so with minimal risk.
    One of them DID try to kill me.
    I have not had contact with any of these people for the last thirty years. I suspect they are thinking ‘good riddance to f##k#d rubbish’. I’ve got my hands full Surviving with the health problems a lifetime of ‘attempting to pass for normal’ has earned me. (formally diagnosed with ‘autism’ in 2008 at the age of 48)

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  6. For all of humanity that suffers in every aspect. I am so sorry for your human suffrage. All of us are Divine Beings, but not all of us remember that we are Divine Beings. Spewing hate, name calling, embarrassment and blame are all aspects of human suffering. This is pain speaking on both parties. I invite all to find love in their hearts. We are all a gift and have a purpose.

    Walk a mile in another man’s shoes before you judge or condemn him. That way you will be a mile away and you will have his shoes. ;-).

    For the parents that have children, and for the children that have parents, may we all find healing in the knowing that there is a more divine plan at work. The daily attitudes are all relative. One can say “Why me?” with pity or one can say “What is this experience here to teach me? How can I expand my own awareness of the Divine Being that I am?” Same situation Different perspective.

    I love ALL of you. Namaste’

    Ho’Oponopono http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybtW2VrmwJs

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    1. This is such a steaming pile of garbage. No, I will not walk a mile in my oppressors’ shoes before I condemn him for refusing to see me as human. Love in my heart toward someone who is actively harming me does nothing except perhaps get him off the hook.

      There is a definite power imbalance here. Recognize that.

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  7. I just stumbled onto your blog today. I particularly liked this post because I can understand all of these feelings. The comments about parents of autistic kids really resonate with me right now. I have a few friends with autistic children. They have no idea that my son and I are Asperger’s because I have more interesting things to flood Facebook with (like cat pictures). I get so, so, so sick of the ones parading their kids around, expecting everyone to fall all over them because they have it so rough as parents. The one that gets me the most, though, is the mom of a friend of my son’s. She was absolutely certain her kid had some form of autism because her brother does. She thought all his “quirks” and “difficulties” were a clear diagnosis of it and has spent the last few years as a helicopter mom making sure all his teachers, coaches, friends’ parents, community center staff, etc. knew she thought he was autistic and why, and that 1) She was dealing with such a difficult situation as his parent; and 2) She expected him to be given special treatment because of it. It never deterred her that none of them shared her conclusions. She was devastated when she finally had him evaluated a few weeks ago and the evaluator found no signs of ASD. (We only met them this past fall, but after the first two nights he spent over here, it was obvious he was just a normal [albeit somewhat spoiled] kid with his mom wrapped around his little finger.) I’ve had to disengage quite a bit from interacting with her.

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    1. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and was so glad! It was incredibly difficult and depressing to search for autistic parents, just to end up with pages and pages of NT parents of autistic kids, or NT persons with autistic parents. I love what I’ve read so far 🙂

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