It's been three years now, and I've (somehow) gained myself a reputation for being a person who says what other people are thinking but are afraid to say. (Also I draw stupid pictures that make people laugh.) Sometimes I write about autism, sometimes I write about parenting in general, sometimes I write about nothing at all.
The past few months things have changed for me; I found myself in the middle of other people's political missions. Positions that don't necessarily involve me, discussions I have nothing to do with; I've been sucked into it. I have friends who I love, who say things that are brave and right, and sometimes the things they say catch the attention of other people who have blogs and BIG Facebook pages, and they get some shit for that. And when my friends catch shit for the things they say I will come to their defense, because they're my friends and I love them. It doesn't matter if I don't necessarily agree with them 100%, the point is that people feel what they feel, and therefore they should have the right to say what they feel. Parenting, especially parenting a child with special needs, is a journey, sometimes a difficult one, and we all need support to do the best job that we can.
The problem, though, is that as a result I've attracted the attention of some folks who dislike me simply because of my associations. Also they don't like my honesty and my sarcasm, I guess? Regardless of why they dislike me, though (because that doesn't actually matter; the truth is that they just don't know me) I know that they read my blog, looking for things they can pick apart. I see them, in my site stats and I know they're here only because they're hoping to catch something I might say that they disagree with. So that they can take my words, put them on their own blogs and Facebook pages, and then explain to their readers why I'm wrong. Why I'm wrong about my feelings. Why I'm wrong to support other people in their feelings. Just... why I'm "wrong."
So, I'll be honest with you guys, this has changed me. I've been hesitant to write stuff, since I know these people are now watching me. I've been afraid to speak my mind. I don't want them to send a crowd of followers over here to tell me I'm a bad person, I don't know that I have the constitution for that. So, I've changed. I've changed how I write; I've changed the topics that I usually talk about. And, frankly, I'm really not okay with that.
I'm turning off comments for this post because my intention here isn't so that a bunch of you guys can tell me that I'm awesome and that I should still say what I think; this isn't me asking for validation. My point is just to explain: this is happening now. I know I'm being watched. I know my words are being analyzed. I can no longer live up to my reputation of being a person who says what you're thinking but are afraid to say, because now I've become afraid to say it, too. I've never had this kind of audience before, and I don't really know what to do about it.
Anyway, I heard this song tonight and it struck a chord; and I wanted to explain. I don't know if anybody has been wondering what's happened here, but this is why. I've been struggling with what to do here; with topics I would normally write about, but I've chosen to keep it to myself. I know our instinct is to say "fuck the haters," but, like I said... I don't know that I have the constitution for it. Maybe that will change. Maybe I'll get stronger. I hope so.
I used to watch these guys play in backyard keg parties when I was in college. I love how they've grown up.