I won’t lie. I’ve been walking around with a heavy heart and a lack of faith in humanity for about a month now. It seemed like as soon as the Christmas merchandise hit the stores, people forgot all good manners and graces. Gone were, “please,” and “thank you.” Replaced instead by snip and snark. Now, I know I’m not about snip and snark myself, but I do strive to remember what my grandma taught me about my manners on a day-to-day basis. It’s also telling when both of my boys have made comments about grumpy people when we’ve been out for various household errands, not even during peak store hours.
Then we all know what happened in CT. I’m not going to be yet another person to rehash it. I can’t. My heart won’t let me yet. It’s protecting itself from some big feelings that it’s not ready to feel yet. The brain isn’t ready for the “what ifs.”
The ugliness driven at the autism community in the week that followed due to speculation and irresponsible reporting by mass media broke me. I’m not a person that’s easily broken, but this did it. I’ve endured ugliness and vitriol directed at me as a military spouse and as a parent with a child who has food allergies, but autism was safe. Sure there may have been a lack of understanding, but the sheer and utter hate speech wasn’t there with autism until last week. A person can only bear so much.
Then out of the darkness came light. There’s a NY Times article titled “Walking the Tightrope on Mental Health Coverage.” It’s good. It’s what I’ve been talking about since 2005. It’s what I’ve been talking about online since I started blogging in 2006. It’s sad it took a tragedy for people to actually listen.
And the best part is the Autism Shines page on Facebook. Oh how it’s done my heart so good to see not only autistic kids, but adults, friends, and family posting with their positive messages. Some are friends I know. Many, oh so very very very many are people I’ve never seen before. That tells me that it wasn’t just the usual suspects in the online autism community feeling the pain, but so very many people. And while it makes me sad so many were hurting, it makes me happy to see so many spreading the positive. This. This gives me hope for our future as humans.