Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why did the Blog Storm, that Engulfed Smockity, Erupt?

When I read Smockity’s original post and her defensive first response I was really upset.  I tweeted it, I facebooked it.  I sent her an email.  I blogged about it.  And then I started reading other bloggers’ posts and doing obsessive @Smockity searches on twitter.  Why did I react like this?  Did Smockity write anything that was worse about the child she observed in the library than what people have thought about Will?

I doubt it. 

I know what people think about Will before they understand why he’s behaving inappropriately.  Actually he probably gets more compassion from the average bystander because his behavior is so obviously due to a special need.  But he still gets those looks and some people are more expressive than others.  Sometimes I take the opportunity to educate the public.  I tell the person that Will is autistic and watch as their attitude changes.  “Oh, I wasn’t upset.”  I’ve been reassured.  But I know they were before they understood.  Usually, I disregard the looks . . . but some people have a talent for slapping you in the face with a single cutting look.

I think perhaps why I was so hurt by Smockity’s post was because she was reading the Bible.  I was discouraged.  If Will wasn’t cut some slack by a person like that, who would give him the benefit of the doubt?

But I’m even more concerned about Jake.  Professionals have told me they never would have known he was once diagnosed with ASD.  If someone like Will doesn’t get any slack what chance does someone like Jake, whose disability is invisible, have for compassion?  

Smockity’s post coincided with a boy on Bri’s bus mocking Will and my emotions erupted.  I can’t protect Jake from being bullied, Bri from being hurt or William from being mocked.  And I think poor, unprepared Smockity ripped the Band-Aid off the unhealed wounds that have festered for as long as our children have been mocked and disparaged.  And I think that is why the response to Smockity was so out of proportion to what she said.  She received a mountain of stored up hurt and anger.  The fallout was immense and I apologize for my out of proportion reaction to her post.

7 comments:

KWombles said...

Hugs, I think there are not enough hugs and compassion in this world. ((()))

I've linked to your post in my latest blog. http://counteringageofautism.blogspot.com/2010/03/weaving-together-of-community.html (yeah, one of these days, I'll work out the html tags, but not today, I think)


:-)

Nicole said...

I am upset for both sides. But my heart is so sad for the children who are being judged prematurely. Please accept my apology for my snippy comment in your previous post. You can withdraw it if you like.

My hat goes off to you. I will do my best to educate my children and set an example of tolerance. Please forgive me.

Nicole

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Kim thanks. I'm sure you've been there too.

Nicole,

I'm leaving your previous post. I don't mind being "called out" when appropriate. I knew when I wrote about my mom that I was using her as a mallet -- you were right.

I was never angry at you. My comment about your being a good friend was sincere. And I did write to Smockity to apologize.

Regards

Anonymous said...

"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
— Brigham Young

I wonder if the children care?

Will might say, "All done!"

Trish said...

I think for a lot of people, it had even more to do with her response in the comments section when people pointed out the child's obvious differences as well as her false pride in her own goodness.

We all do and say things we regret later. Ultimately, each person decides whether they will learn from their mistakes or defensively continue in their attitudes. And maybe some others looking in will learn new ways of looking at things.

Your own willingness to examine and re-examine your heart is an encouragement to me to do the same in all situations.

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Trish, I agree with you. I found those comments infuriating. After I calmed down I decided that I over reacted. I think that I (and I am ONLY speaking for myself!) became as judgmental of her as I felt she was being of that child and grandmother. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Kassiane said...

Yes, the children care.

We're autistic, not inanimate. I knew when adults were being...well, smockity. And it sucked.

It sucked almost as much as people assuming that I was unaware of what was going on around me.

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