After a few days to think, my last post was definitely an overreaction. I believe this overreaction came from the copious amounts of ignorance brought on by media disinformation. I mean, is there a study that links autism and violence? Or, is it, from all the fear of autism perpetuated by the media, and the horrible films such as “I am Autism” ? Perhaps this is just a part of my tendency to stew in things. I should get over that. I know that dwelling and worrying are not healthy – but how to stop it? Give me some ideas. I’m kind of lonely out here and looking for people to help me.
In all my fights against prejudice and discrimination, I never thought I would have to fight for myself. Two horrid shootings have taken place, and both of the shooters were falsely accused of having Autism or Asperger’s. Adam Lanza did not have Autism, and neither did Elliot Rodger. So, let’s assume they did. Does that mean I am a murderer too? Do you want to confront Rain Man in a dark alley? Shut up. The killers did not have autism, though the news media TRIED to link it to them. Besides, I hate guns. I hate their very nature, to bring death and harm upon an animal or human. Honestly, I’d rather hunt with a crossbow if anything. Of course, I am glad I do not have to. (I’ll explain in another post.) The constant and deliberate attempts by the media to link Temple Grandin to Jason Voorhees are sick, disgusting and wrong. How am I supposed to help people feel safe if they think I am a potential slasher?
I apologize for not keeping to this blog. The truth is, I was depressed about being fat…and eating. I have regained four pounds by this…and I guess eating is my coping mechanism, like a drug. People have commented about my size online…and it’s not been nice. “Man the Harpoons” is an example of this. It was given to me by a teenager who wanted to insult me. May he someday be the bullseye of an easy target. Honestly, I have enough self-hatred to pull me down into the depression and fat abyss. The only reason I think I was going to lose weight anyway was by pulling myself up by my own bootstraps, rejecting Hollywood and the media in general, and loving myself the way God has loved me. But I wonder, why is the world singling me out? Why am I the bullseye of such an easy target? Isn’t everyone the bullseye of an easy target in some way? I heard a quote from Will Smith: “Everyone is struggling.” I can point out the obvious ones: race, disability, gender, weight, but what about the less obvious ones? Let’s say, food allergies, “invisible” illnesses like autism, or financial trouble? I am getting sick and tired of people being discounted for this trait or that one. Everyone is important, even the sanitation workers. (Without them, we would be a lot sicker.) Of course, there is one trouble: everyone wanting to be “more” important than the next one. With that, we get the sick, blood-soaked, chaotic world we have today. So, I thought of this curse from the movie “Runaway Bride:”
“May you find yourselves the bullseye of an easy target; may you be publicly flogged for all your bad choices; & may your noses be rubbed in all of your mistakes.”
Of course, everyone is now the bullseye of an easy target. Just put them in the appropriate place and society. The Internet has made public flogging and nose-rubbing possible, but is that enough? How can we stop all the grief we get from the public shaming and discrimination? I’m looking for suggestions.
Forgive me. I’ve been in a funk for the past two weeks. I guess it’s the people who act like autism is a fate worse than death (Yes, I’m talking to you, “Autism Speaks.”) They say it grabs all your parents’ attention, and it will break up parents’ marriages…. Why don’t you just say that autism is a fate worse than death? Am I better off dead, because I have it? Screw you,”Autism Speaks.” If I die, my mother and my dog are screwed as well. Do you understand that I am now physically the strongest member of my house? Do you know that I talk, cook and clean very well? I’m not even sure you have the word HOPE in your vocabulary, “Autism Speaks.” Even the most low-functioning autistic I know, Don Cameron Ramsey, talks as well now. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Even the hardest case is not beyond reach, if you have hope. There is so much you doctors and so-called experts do not know. I hope you and all your children with autism rise and speak against you. That is what you deserve. I am speaking no more. It is because of the hopeless people inside “Autism Speaks” (I quote it because it doesn’t speak for me.) that I even have to say this to those who have just received a diagnosis:
Autism is not a fate worse than death. There is hope for even the most low-functioning case. I was once low-functioning, too.
Okay, some of you might be confused by the title “Crazy Sexy Autism.” The stereotype is that people with autism can’t form relationships. Why is that? I’ve had my share of boyfriends. Six good long-term ones to be exact. I don’t have the time to go into it, but there is some terrible stereotyping behind some of the people on the Autism Spectrum, particularly the higher functioning end. The soap opera “All My Children” hopefully broke the mold of the solitary, relationship-avoiding autie named Lily and involved her in several relationships, and even a short marriage. I applaud them for that, and hoped it would live on and eventually bring Lily, the girl, back. Sadly, it has not come to pass. I digress, but you do not see much of that happening to those on the spectrum in the movies or on TV. Most of the time, they are much like the now-stereotypical portrayal by Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” Honestly, it would be much more accurate to follow around Daryl Hannah on a reality show. Seriously, we work harder to do it, but we can do pretty much anything a neurotypical can do, just in a different way. That, my friends, is what defines “sexy” autism.
As I learned about the eugenics practices of Autism Speaks, the sillier and more hateful Autism Speaks became for me. I mean, if we cannot cure autism, will we cure the world of autistic people? Like the Nazis tried to cure the world of Jews? Okay, maybe I’m going a little bit overboard, but the hatred seems to be there. I don’t need to be hated. Likewise, people with autism are often victims of their parents, often being abused and killed. One Autism Speaks video, “Autism Every Day,” a mother spoke of doing killing her, right in front of her child. So autism makes me such a burden, huh? So a child deserves to die, huh? How about stepping back and letting life be precious? Why don’t you remind yourself of Temple Grandin? Just about everyone in the Autism community knows about her if you ask. I even met Temple Grandin at a autism conference as a child. She was somewhat standoffish, but she is very smart. She had on a red western shirt at the time, and jeans. We spoke of life, a little, and just being with her, I felt alive. I felt like someone really understood me, how I felt on the inside. This is what I have come into lately; a group of people who really understand my struggles and what I’m going through. Their counter to Light it Up Blue is Light it Up Gold. We wear and light things gold around our house. This is the first year of doing so. We hope it continues on.
However, the one largest criticism of Autism Speaks is the fact that there are no known autistic people in the organization. Let me put it this way: If you want to fly, and you’re a bird, would you rather learn from a human or a bird? Let’s hear the argument:
So, who is more qualified to teach about flying? Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather learn about autism from those who have autism? That is my biggest pet peeve toward Autism Speaks. By contrast, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illnes) boards are full of those with mental illness. I think we need to speak for ourselves.
So we were watching church on the television, my mother and I. The topic is “Judgmental Christians.” You know, those who pass condemnation on others, often without looking to see if they can or cannot pass their own judgment. You know, this guy:
We have all been that guy at one time or another. Even me.
It came to me while I was watching this, that I railed against people who hated autism and autistic people…like Autism Speaks…and I was doing it to myself since childhood. He said, to paraphrase, “Find out what is bugging you about that guy inside yourself. Then you can go and share what irks you about somebody else.” The Biblical passage the preacher was moving on was this:
7 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’sa eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor,b ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’sc eye.7 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’sa eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor,b ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’sc eye. -Matthew 7:1-5
I was thinking about Autism Speaks, and how they want to cure autism. What if autism can’t be cured? Then what? Do they want to end autism by ending autistic people? Am I really better off dead because I have autism? This is basic eugenics. Just in case you don’t know, eugenics is breeding in desirable traits, and breeding out of undesirable traits, like Autism. I have recently begun to turn against Autism Speaks for their eugenic policies, and….
Back to the present day. I remember the time I was trying to explain how I got into acting to “get away from being myself.” Those were the exact words I gave to my mother. I had, at various times, wished I did not have autism, and wished I was not a “freak.” Was I any better than those at Autism Speaks? Was I not just as eugenic? I took this to my mother, and she said, “Why hate what God made?” That was a harsh reality for me. I needed to stop hating myself. Autism was not really an enemy; it is a condition. We can work with it. Is an natural disaster an enemy? Of course not. Autism, in the same way, is not an enemy. We can live with it.
I’ll give you more on my self-forgiving journey soon…..