See, the thing with me is that I'm fiercely loyal to my friends. If you are my friend I will put my body in front of yours to protect you from what's coming, and I don't even care that my issues aren't yours; you're my friend and I've got your back no matter what. And it's just so hard to remain loyal to a friend that has done a terrible thing. I don't know that I'll ever be able to come to terms with this.
I've tried to stay out of the "discussion," but of course I still hear about things. I've been raked over the coals for so many things that I never said; all these people are refuting an argument that I never made. There's no point in trying to defend yourself against words that aren't yours, so I keep clear of all of that; it just makes me angry and I have enough of my own anger at the moment, thank you very much. I'm happy to have a conversation about the things I've actually said, though, so if anybody would like to talk about MY words, I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't promise that I won't be really defensive, but I can certainly try. (Or I'll try to try. Bart Simpson reference? Nevermind.....) However, if you blog or post about me, I assure you that I will not see it.
But anyway, in times like this, when things get so ugly and out of control, I force myself to stop and remember what my purpose is. Despite previous attempts to the contrary, I am not here to try to influence public discourse. I've said this many times before, my purpose is not political: I'm here for support and advocacy. I was once in that scary place where my child was autistic and I had nobody to talk to and I want to help other parents find the help they need. I don't want to argue issues, despite the fact that I constantly get caught up in that (I'm trying not to, I really am!!! Okay, and failing miserably most of the time. Sorry.) I want to make friends and help them make connections. I want to help parents feel less alone.
So: remembering my purpose; remembering what's really important to me. I'd like to go there for a minute....
Right now I'm worrying about my friend Lizbeth's daughter, who is very sick with an acute mycoplasma pneumonia. I'm thinking about my friend Lexi, whose daughter Abby is likely about to get an autism diagnosis, and who has recently begun to "escape" from her house (and OH MY GOD is that child gorgeous.) I'm thinking about my friend Greg, who isn't expected to live past Christmas and who I will be seeing in person in a month, along with 15 other friends I've never met. I'm thinking about my friend Stuart, who created the most wonderful thing for autistic kids, and how I can help him turn the project into something sustainable and lasting. I'm thinking about my friend Bec, for no reason other than I just love her a whole bunch. I'm thinking about my friend Emily, who deleted her Facebook account a few months ago and who I just heard from again and she's okay!! YAY!!
And I'm thinking about my friend Kelli, who did a terrible thing to herself and to her daughter. And I'm wondering how in the world either of them will recover from it.