I’m sorry, but if you are an autism mom/parent and you abuse/neglect your autistic kids, force them into ABA therapy/JRC therapy, force eye contact on them, expose their meltdowns online for the public eye to see, support/donate to Autism $peaks and brag about it to their faces, wear an “Autism Mom” T-shirt and force them to see you in it, subject them to “autistic screeching” memes, kill them for so much as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth or chewing their pendant, force-feed them gluten-free diets (and dairy-free ones too) in a fruitless attempts to magically make autism go away forever (which they didn’t ever do), try to find a so-called cure for autism that has never existed (and never will exist), allow their allistic/neurotypical siblings to abuse them, falsely accuse them as “worthless burdens”, falsely accuse vaccines of causing autism, falsely accuse their meltdowns as “autistic screeching tantrums” or even falsely accuse people who wear “Autism Pride” T-shirts as “dangerous”, then you’ve never been brave, strong, loving or devoted parents.
That just means that you’re just ableist pieces of shit who only see your autistic kids as something you own and don’t give a flying fuck about their well-being as long as you can lie to people about how hard it is to be autism parents.
The fact that people know about genocide against autistic people and still happily feed these piece of shit parents makes me sick!
Shitty/abusive parents need to be punished and not babied because an “Autism Mom” shirt automatically means that you must be brave and strong parents.
hey, allistic siblings of autistic people, consider closing your mouth for two seconds please. you do not speak for your autistic sibling, regardless of how they do or do not communicate. lemme repeat that one more time in case it wasn’t clear.
you do not speak for your autistic sibling, regardless of how they do or do not communicate.
Particularly autistic people with older allistic siblings that pull that “I didn’t get away with that when I was your age” and “you should be able to do X by now because I did it when I was your age and I was just fine” crap.
The again, I have no experience with having allistic younger siblings, so anyone who does can add their experiences if they want.
A friendly note to allistics with autistic friends/siblings/etc!
We know we do repetitive things. We know we have sometimes really ridiculous habits or schedules that we follow that seem silly, but please don’t make fun of us or tease us over our habits. I know you mean well and you’re just kidding around but it can be really embarrassing because as funny as it may seem lots of us rely on our habits and routines to feel good throughout the day and it sucks to feel like you’re being insulted for it!
I really wish people would stop with the “I love someone with autism” images. Like, what, should we canonize you, you fucking saint? The idea that it’s necessary to declare that one loves an autistic person, as if it’s something that’s normally not done, is so horrifying and hurtful. And as you can imagine, since it’s April, the damn images are all over the autism tag.
So last night I found out that my sister is a typical autism sibling.
TW: Abuse, bullying, ableism, rape, possibly a few other things.
She thinks my autism ruined her life.
Things have been rocky between us for years. She wasn’t exactly nice to me while we were growing up. We mostly haven’t really talked since I left the US. There’s a lot of bad blood between us, and she wants to sweep it under the carpet and act like it never happened. I refuse to do that, because that’s what my family always does, and it means that the same mistakes and abuses happen time and again.
This, incidentally, is interpreted as me “never letting anything go” and “being unwilling to forgive.”
But I hadn’t spoken to her in a year. A couple years ago, she talked about how she couldn’t deal with the past right now but wanted to talk to me again, and I admitted that I wasn’t sure I was up for that. That I had a lot to sort out. Unfortunately, then the fibro struck but good, and I lost most of the year to the struggle with it. Which, incidentally, I told her. I never once promised her anything. So yeah, I’ve been silent, but I’ve also been working on the healing process in my own time, despite everything else I’ve been dealing with this past year.
Then last night I got one of her horrible, passive aggressive emails, complaining that she hasn’t heard from me in a year (at this point I would like to note that she never sent me an email in all that time, either) and saying stuff like how she shouldn’t be surprised. Also carrying on about how now I’m never ever going to meet her daughters because she lives in Maui and I live in Sweden. I honestly can’t figure out if she does this on purpose. She says she’s not being hurtful, but I honestly don’t understand how a person can say such things without realizing they’re hurtful. Then again, this is the same woman who waited eight months to tell me she had a daughter because she “didn’t think [I’d] care.” Wow, sis, great to know you have such a high opinion of me.
I was so fed up. I was finally reaching a healing place. I even planned to get her something for her birthday in September. And then this. So I told her everything that’s been going on to with me and how hurt I was by her words. Her response was pretty quick, and utterly typical: It was all about her, her, her. Not even the slightest acknowledgement of what I’ve been dealing with, and not a single care that she hurt me.
So I decided I was done, and I told her so. It was pretty clear that she’ll never respect my feelings, and I was tired of this happening every time I didn’t meet her expectations. I told her not to email me again. Fortunately I had the foresight to get my husband to block her and filter her emails to his account, since she sent another email despite my telling her not to. (My family has no respect for my boundaries. They never have.) So I didn’t actually see the horrific screed she sent, but my husband gave me a few of the details.
Somehow she found out about my name change, but refuses to call me by the name I chose for myself (like I said, no respect). Which seems kind of moot, since she has declared that she considers herself an only child. (Classy, too.) But the worst of it is, apparently she hates my autism because I took up so much time and got preferential treatment and people were always bending over backwards for me.
God, I’d laugh, because that’s so hysterically wrong, but it’s kind of hard to laugh at something that hurts so much. I was alone so much as a child. If my mom wasn’t sleeping, then she was off spending all her time on her social life. She didn’t nothing to stop my sister and her friends from bullying me, and allowed the school to punish me for being bullied. Of course, my sister thinks my IEP was some kind of leg up, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, but…well, let’s just say I find it ironic that she says I never let anything go, when she continues to resent me for things that never even happened. God, the family treated me like such shit. The one concession they ever made was allowing me to spend some time alone reading during large family gatherings, and they only did that because my mom finally grasped a tiny bit of why I needed it and made them. But they always took it personally, and it was never personal. My family is big and loud. I needed time away from all the stimulation. The idea that this is “bending over backwards” is ludicrous.
And as to my IEP…god, I had to have things in there to protect me from bullying and, later, in high school, as emergency options for things like panic attacks. I couldn’t make an entire school day; by the time the end of the day rolled around, I literally could not breathe. Nowadays I can’t even go into a school building, because I can’t breathe and I have awful flashbacks.
What really gets me was while I was struggling to get through high school despite the severity of my PTSD from being bullied in middle school, she had dropped out years ago, and while I got yelled at for never putting in enough effort, no one gave a damn that she’d dropped out. Or that she had a constant stream of dead end jobs. Or that she kept getting these ideas and launching herself into things that cost money (like once she became a door-to-door knife salesperson, and once she went for OSHA qualification) and she never finished a single one of them. But the family still thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. My grandma co-signed so my sister could get a car. And my uncle paid the tuition for an art program my sister decided to do–which she also didn’t finish! I paid for community college with student loans and had to stop going when the tuition kept rising every semester. One of us got preferential treatment, all right, but it sure as hell wasn’t me.
Like, what, does she think it was a picnic being bullied all the time? A joy knowing I was different, that something wasn’t right and that people hated me for it, but not fully understanding what it was? Does she think it felt good to have the family treat me like I was so freaking weird, and having to deal with all the shame because I didn’t, at that point, understand why I needed time away from our family gatherings, and why I don’t much like being hugged? Or that it was the greatest thing to not have any friends, to be raped by my boyfriend because I finally did have friends, his friends, and I was terrified to lose them? To not be able to go to concerts with her, even though I wanted to, because I couldn’t take the noise or crowds?
No, no, my autism is the big bugbear that was somehow so awful for her. It’s not like I was the one actually experiencing it or anything.
And then after all of this, last night she tells me she hates me. Mind you, she doesn’t realize she told me she hates me. Aside from having all the self-awareness God gave a puddle, my sister is extremely self-absorbed. She clearly hasn’t listened over the years when I’ve talked about my autism, how I’ve come to understand it and accept it, and view it as a fundamental part of me. And if she hates a fundamental part of me, she hates me by default. She’s one of those siblings who thinks of the autism was just scraped off, everything would be fine. Might as well scrape off my skin.
She can’t ever take that back. As far as I’m concerned, there can never be reconciliation between us now. I know the truth, and it makes so many other things she’s said and done look like lies. I don’t trust her, and I never will again. I just hope that at some point I stop hurting.
Because it hurts. I feel so much pain and anger and betrayal. I cried so much last night. It took me until 3 in the morning to fall asleep, and I got maybe five hours of sleep. My neck and back are a mess of stress tension.
People like my sister are toxic, plain and simple. I thought things could eventually heal between us, because despite everything, despite the fact that she was often abusive to me, the fact remains that we were both victims of some pretty fucked up shit as kids. But that doesn’t excuse her behavior. And she’ll never admit it to herself. Mom always protected her from things that might make her mature and grow, always told me not to tell my sister the truth about so many things because my sister “couldn’t handle it.” Now this is what she’s grown into. And it’s not my responsibility to deal with it. I have no obligation to take the hurt and the abuse. She can sit and stew in her resentment and hatred.