The Underbelly

Your child is diagnosed with Autism. You are reeling. Scared. No one you know has a child on the spectrum. You scour the internet for information. You wind up on Facebook looking, reaching, searching for others like you. You find people. Lucky you, right? Maybe….

What no one tells you about this community is that it is not so much a community but a group of sub groups or zones. The community is not much different than a war torn country. You have the adult autistics, the Autism advocates, the parents of autistics and then you have the bloggers. A variety of community wrapped up nicely in Pandora’s box. You open that bugger up and you don’t know what the hell will come out.

I opened the box up. I jumped right in with a PollyAnna attitude. In my mind, my limited experience, I was over the moon happy… I had found my people. What I thought were my people…for the most part they were… For the other part…not so much…

I consulted trusted others before writing this post…they told me..you’ll be shunned…you better have a thick skin…you better be ready for what will come…I listened..I heard them..and I thought. I thought, what the hell..I’m opening the box. That Pandora’s box of taboo…don’t tell..don’t share..only with the group…but who is my group anyways…

I thought I knew. I didn’t. Facebook is a great connection for an Autism parent. You have time during therapy. It’s easy. There is no face to face or distance to close in..just a keyboard and your fingers and sometimes your heart. Yeah, you get attached to people you never met. I wrote a blog post about it. About these sisters I made through a page we made…a page that went big..really big..it felt good..no..it felt great almost 1500 people in two days…over a concept I devised..with a group of “bloggers” I admired.

It turned out differently than I expected. People were bickering behind the scenes. Some people wrote nasty blogs about others..very passive aggressive..I had one written about me…for just saying I felt bad for that person. Two of the sisters in the community got pissed and messed with the page behind the scenes…turning off all admin settings except for three on the page and leaving a present for all the followers to see…a lovely cake..that simply said..Fuck you….yeah..I called these women friends..asking about their children..even sending gifts to one of them because she didn’t know how her kid would have presents for his birthday….Pollyanna….I will be this forever I guess…. I thought….

I wanted there to be a point to this post…at first I thought it would be a warning…to not trust people you don’t know…but I can’t do that…there are good people..there are kind people..from all different zones..autistics ..parents of autistics and even bloggers..but there are some who are not…they lurk…they become your friends or not…it really doesn’t matter..I believe in people..their faults..their challenges..their journeys..

My point..to bring an end to this rant is…trust your gut…but if you don’t and you get the proverbial “fucked”… Forgive…release..forget…that’s what I’m trying to do….
Xoxox
Lori

3 thoughts on “The Underbelly

  1. You are good people!! I appreciate you and the way you share your story everyday. Lots of love from one Southern girl to another!

  2. Thanks, this is a really important message not just in blogging or parent support groups but in all areas of life. I often have a Polly Anna attitude and have had my fingers burnt by people i know and have trusted in real life. I have had to put it down to experience forgive them and move on.
    When our kids are diagnosed we can be so vulnerable, when I meet new parents in our real life groups I see the fear in their eyes and remember that feeling so deeply.

  3. I love you and your honesty. It’s a mixed bag. There are lots of us who just are Pollyannas. I’m one of them. Just remember there are those who have your back. You are a wonderful mom and blogger and friend and those who don’t get you… are missing out. And we are just as vulnerable as our kids are as we feel isolated sometimes. ((HUGS))

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