Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh Man, Wrong Day to Read This - Warning Strong Language.

Wow, the posts sure are flooding out today. In this case it is probably not such a good idea as when I am exhausted my impulse control is gone. But I need to get this out or it will fester inside.

I have a new follower, and I always go have a look and a read. I am a great believer in mutual blogging and simultaneous comments. Liked her blog. Until this.
Why We Suck

Now, I have no issue with her review, in fact I agree with most of it. However, as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum I take great offence at someone writing about something THEY HAVE NO LIFE EXPERIENCES WITH.

Mrs P.'s summation on her blog of the chapter I am referring to is as follows:

In a chapter entitled Autism Shmautism, where he talks about his suspicions about the rise of autism diagnosis in the US (parents looking for a way to excuse their own poor parenting and their child's general dumb-assed-ness - he does acknowledge that there are genuine cases, no disputing that) he uses the stories of how he became a published poet and how he learned to act (he wouldn't take no for an answer and never gave up) and finishes the chapter with some choice words of wisdom gleaned from his parents and his own experiences. One of my favourite's was -

No one owes you anything and being born into a free society means you get to say whatever the hell you want but it doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

And one of the things his dad taught him

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

I am sorry, but what a crock! What in the hell does working harder have anything to do with an affliction you have to live with. Shit - should I tell Boy 1, who amazes me with his strength, purity of heart and inherent belief in the goodness of all, "hey boy, you know all those things you find so hard? You know how other kids look on you as a freak, ridicule you behind your back and even sometimes to your face, you know how truly terrifying you find the world to be most days? Well, shit, if you just work harder then it will all be okay! Why can't you control that stimming that makes everyone look at you? Work harder! And your phobia about insects that makes you cry in fear? Work harder! Hell, ignore your psych and other specialist because Denis FARKIN Leary knows what he is talking about, even if he is a B list actor and a failed author!"
Do you know why today he is home? Oh, he is tired alright, but also one of the very few boys who would spend time with him in the breaks has moved away. And he is lonely, so very lonely. And sad. So now I am sitting here in tears to think that some will read this absolute bullshit and dare to think ANY parent would want this for their child. EVERY parent I know with a kid on the spectrum fights tooth and nail for help for their child. LAZY? Hell, I am exhausted from nearly nine years of FIGHTING for EVERYTHING.
I am at my wit's end as I watch my beautiful oldest struggle with the everyday, my heart breaks when he sits fighting back tears because he knows I will cry, and asks me: "Why is my life so hard? Why does my brain make me do dumb things? Am I a retard like the other kids say?"
I struggle to help my youngest son as he wrestles the dilemma of loving his brother and the pressure of helping him. The internal fight he has with himself as he sees his brother alone and sad in the playground when all his friends want him to go play with them. Without his brother. How hard he is finding life trying to fit in to a society that ridicules disability all while coming to the realisation of how very different his brother is.
And I am sitting here crying because some idiot failed american actor has decided in his wisdom, that he needs to dribble more shit into an already unendurable situation. And I am tired. Tomorrow I will pick myself up, dust myself off, put back on my optomist glasses and keep on putting one foot in front of the other. But not today, today I need to allow myself to release the pain. Because if I don't it will drown me. And I am tired. Too tired to swim.
I just didn't realise they gave doctorates out for bullshit.


...Mrs.P! said...

Firstly can I say that I deeply sympathise with your situation.
Secondly, I'd like to apologise for the fact that my post has made you upset. I probably didn't write that part of my review very well and should have clarified it a lot better. Denis Leary is not saying these things to your child or someone like your child. His comments (in this book at least) are aimed at a certain class of parent, which, when you read the rest of the book and the chapter in context you realize that you (and people I know who's daughter suffers with Aspergers) are not the kind of person/parent he is aiming these remarks at. Having said that, I don't wish to defend Leary as I think that he could be a little more sensitive when discussing it but I think thats one chip he is missing. The quotes I used are actually in the second half of that chapter when he has moved on from talking about Autism and are in no way directed to those parents or sufferers of autism, it just happens to be be in that chapter. I should have given a little more clarification on that.
I'm feeling really bad now that I have upset someone with my post due to my lack of explaining things properly. I hope you don't think poorly of me because of it.

Madmother said...

Mrs P, if you had witnessed the battles I have by desperate parents fighting for a diagnosis, you would see why what he proposes is ludicrous. It is really hard to gain a diagnosis and it would be very, very few parents who could manage to fool the system.

And in no way was I shooting the messenger, as I said in the title, wrong day for me to see it, that's all. Most days I'd still react, but just get over it.

Anonymous said...

I understand how infuriating such comments are.

Mrs P, I have no issue what what you wrote and I do get what he was alluding to in his book. My issue is then people take what he writes and put it on to my life. I get the comments that are written or said by others. We then hear how if we just did x,y or z our children wouldn't have autism.

TBH, my child works so much harder to cope, understand and live in this world (as opposed to his autistic world). He has to think harder, work harder to 'get it' and fit in. What comes naturally to others, he has to work incredibly hard to get. Little of what he does has come naturally, it's all be taught labourously to him. It takes him so much more energy just to cope, he can't do anymore.

BTW, I get frustrated by parents who don't want to parent, but would prefer to use a diagnosis as an excuse. Still comments like his make me want to hide more, because too many people lump all with diagnosis together without looking deeper.

Melissa said...

I struggled a bit with it too, Tanya. Not as much about her post, which I don't think she meant to be hurtful.

But I heard/read about his ranting a year or so back, and was disgusted.

Alexander has to work so much harder, and Joel and I had to work so much harder. It seems so insulting to hear him discussed thus.

Madmother said...

I agree, I know Mrs P meant no ill, but if you read the post, and even she admits it, it comes across quite badly. Now she has explained I understand the chapter is not as it sounded, but still, if I read it thus how many others would?
Sorry, but this man is abhorant.