You know it’s going to be a good week, Pranksters, when I have to put a disclaimer up. That said, it’s AUTISM DAY AGAIN!! The only thing I have to say is TRUST ME when I say that I’m not talking about a single one of you. You know that I value every one of your comments and frame them on my walls because they are always well thought-out and respectful. Also: hilarious.
So, before you’re all, ZOMG DOES SHE MEAN ME? Of course I don’t. I have never once been unhappy with a single comment you guys have left on the site ever. Honestly. I always WELCOME your stories and advice because that’s how I roll (this will make more sense once you read the post). If I’m talking about it, I want to hear what you know. Always. Including today.
Dear Aunt Becky,
Am I the only one who is sick of having the same pap thrown at me when the topic of my autistic child is being discussed? Well-intentioned friends and internet moles especially love the ‘Trip to France’ or whatever destination vacation a “normal” child is supposed to take us. I love my child, and I don’t feel like I missed out on a trip to Paris or Sweden or wherever. It’s been a real trip, but all children take us on a trip that sure as shit isn’t where we thought we’d go.
When I was a kid I’d ask my parents where they were going (without their 7 kids) and they’d respond, “Crazy.” I totally get it now that I’m a parent.
I don’t think a special diet will cure my child. In fact, I’m not looking for a cure. I don’t consider my son to be diseased. He has autism. He’s unique. I adore him. He’s funny, serious, frustrating, loving, rewarding, and much more. I don’t think anything I did while pregnant or when he was a baby caused this. Asperger’s runs in both my family and my husband’s family. Heck, if they’d been diagnosing it when we were kids, both my husband and I would qualify, as would my sister, my mother, etc.
Is it ok if I just bear the dirty looks when my son acts a little differently and don’t explain, “oh, he’s autistic?” I’m not excusing his behavior; just explaining, but I get tired of the rest of the conversation about dyes, carbs, hfcs, vaccinations, mercury, etc.
Thanks Aunt Becky!
So there was this one time I was out to dinner with my friends – friends I saw maybe once or twice a year – and I happened to make mention that I thought I might be lactose intolerant (spoiler alert! I’M NOT).
Well, there was a girl who was at the table behind us who overheard this conversation and decided to join in. She was lactose intolerant, you see, and milk gave her the squirts, and also she had a cat and a book and liked the color red and she spent the entire hour that we’d planned for dinner telling us about her lactose allergy.
I waited for her to shut up so that maybe I could sneak in that appropriate, “gee, thanks for the info, please shut your whore mouth and let me visit with my friends who I never see, and not you and PS you smell like mothballs,” but I couldn’t. Maybe I should have interrupted her rousing discussion of her fucking colon to tell her to take her squirty pooper somewhere else, but I was afraid she’d shiv me with her butter knife. She had shifty eyes.
I got this a lot before I learned a valuable lesson: shut your OWN whore mouth.
(Also: thar be crazies afoot!)
Alas, I digress.
When you have a common complaint like autism or migraines or a squirty pooper, the general knuckle-dragging, Mole Rat population tends to know a bit about it. Or at least, the sensationalized news bites that we’re bombarded with every freaking second.
So when you say something like, “My kid has autism,” sometimes people misinterpret that as, “Please, tell me all about the latest bullshit you heard from some non-medical Internet email forward!” Or, perhaps, “Please repeat what you saw when Jenny Fucking McCarthy went on Oprah and spewed her crap pseudoscience all over the place! I’d love to hear that soundbite!”
I like to imagine that people mean well, I really do, but that’s because it’s been a long time since my kid got diagnosed with autism and I’ve learned to tune out the bullshit. My son is not his diagnosis. People, in the heart of hearts, are good. Sometimes, they just don’t understand that you don’t want to hear it because you’re in the checkout at Target and your son is bathing the floor with his tongue and REALLY? A new diet? You don’t say?! That’s fucking great. Do I look like I give a shit at this moment in time?
I love blogs, but I don’t trust that what I’m reading is always backed by a science I believe in. Illnesses (autism, migraines pooper issues), those tend to be emotional issues for a lot of people. And when emotions get involved, things can get ugly, fast. Hence, the Internet Mole People. I can cite a thousand examples of When Emotions Go Bad on The Internet, but I’ll save that topic for another time, or, I suppose, allow you to fill in in the comments.
If you’ve noticed, I also don’t tend to discuss medical issues on Mah Blog for the very reason you discussed unless I’m ready to, well, discuss it. I don’t do it in real life, either; well, not any more. The image of her creepy colon spewing everywhere was enough to make me shut the hell up.
I figure that people can point and laugh and judge me as a lousy, unfit parent or otherwise loser at life all that they want. So long as I don’t have to hear about mercury in shellfish or how a gluten-free diet will cure all of my woes. It’s not because I don’t believe them, it’s just because I don’t always care.
You and I can stand in the We Are Shitty Parents People Lose At Life Corner together. I’ll bring you a Shut Your Whore Mouth shirt to wear. Hell, I’ll bring enough for ALL of us. WHO’S WITH ME?
So, Pranksters, what say you on the topic?