On Writers Block, Mud Wrestling, and the Autism Blogosphere

Alternate Title: What Happens When Flappiness Wakes Too Early and Gets to Thinking Without Any Idea of What She Plans to Write

Today my heart is waiting on a phone call that my mind knows won’t be coming.  A year ago today, my daddy called and asked me for the last time, “Will you be my Valentine?” – a little tradition between us that I loved.  A tradition that my little girl won’t get to remember about him. My heart is heavy.  I wish there was a place I could safely set it and not feel these raw emotions for just a few hours.  But grief doesn’t work that way. It’s been a hell of a week.  For personal reasons I can’t divulge and other dramas I don’t want to.  Since I didn’t already have enough on my plate, pneumonia decided to vacation in my lungs.  I’m tired.

I haven’t written much lately.  It’s not because I have nothing to say.  On the contrary, I have too much to say.  All of the thoughts are pushing and shoving, trying to get out of the door in my mind.  And since I don’t like crowds, I’ve just been sort of sitting back and waiting for them to calm down and line up in some semblance of order.  But the mind is a very uncivilized place.

So is the autism blogosphere.  If you aren’t a part of it, let me suggest you avoid it.  There’s a war going on right now.  It’s ugly.  Factions of advocates are angry with one another.  They bond together over whom they mutually hate, planning strikes and counter strikes in a war of words that no one is winning.  We live in a world where recent generations have little understanding of the commonly accepted rules of debate.  Thinking is very black and white, and one’s opinions of a single subject determine whether or not he is viewed as a person deserving of kindness and respect.  Autism bloggers write posts expressing their views, and – rather than simply commenting with a reasoned disagreement – others seek to discredit them by questioning whether they have a right to be heard at all.  Name-calling and personal attacks become a game whose winner is determined by the number of shares and likes received.  Because the subject matter is so close to the hearts of the participants, all of this is easy to get caught up in.  I know.

But today, I’m thinking about my father.  A man known to never say a bad word about anybody.  He was an attorney, and he knew a lot about arguing.  When you practice law for 40 years in a small city, you know all the players.  Every judge and attorney you know and like has been both on your side on cases and has worked against your side on cases.  You duke it out using the rule of law.  You win some, and you lose some.  But, when you bump into those folks at the deli, you don’t hold a grudge.  They made arguments that you didn’t agree with and maybe even won.  They may have won a case you felt passionately about and now saddened for your client.  But there isn’t an assumption of evil intent.  You don’t race out and publish articles attacking them as lawyers.  You don’t claim they have no right to practice.

Now I know that autism advocates aren’t necessarily lawyers.  It’s not a parallel for several reasons. But I was raised with this mentality.  That you don’t have to hate someone to disagree with them.  You don’t have to make it your life’s mission to discredit them.  You don’t need to be unkind simply because they see things differently.  You can argue and reason and even declare their statements to be illogical.  But you are never going to find anybody in this world who agrees with everything you do.  And you will wear yourself out and become a very unlikable character if you go around expecting and hysterically insisting that they do.

I do not require my friends to agree with me on every important issue.  I have friends who are pro-choice and friends who are anti-abortion.  I have friends who are pro-gun rights and friends who are terrified of guns.  Gay friends, straight friends.  Jewish friends, Christian friends, and even a couple of ordained witches.  I am positive that a dinner party with all of these folks would get lively.

The problem with the blogosphere is that the people behind the blogs aren’t really real to readers.  You see a joke, assume a tone, take issue with a perhaps unfortunately worded sentence and – in the absence of any other knowledge of that person – a real human being becomes just a viewpoint that you hate.  Unlike co-workers or acquaintances whose views you might disagree with, you don’t know that this blogger donates her time at nursing homes, feeds the poor, received a cancer diagnosis, makes from-scratch chicken soup for her neighbors, or whatever.

Fifteen years of working with middle schoolers has taught me something.  (Actually, middle schoolers teach you a lot of things.) I have had to counsel more kids than I can count who are caught up in some sort of drama.  Friends who become enemies by lunch time.  Girls who insulted each other on Facebook.  Every day of the week.  And what I have found is that when you take two people who are passionately in disagreement, being egged on by an enthusiastic audience, and instead take them to a side room and close the door, they will eventually speak to one another.  It takes a long time, but usually all it takes is one telling the other, “This is how I felt”.  And the other usually says, “I didn’t intend to make you feel that way.  But this is how I felt.”  Despite all the animosity and stubbornness, they will usually find common ground and make a truce.  I’ve rarely opened the door and found them still mortal enemies.  They still might not agree, but they have become real to one another.  Usually, you don’t have many problems after that.  Sometimes, they become friends.

Here in the blogosphere, we cannot do that.  Even in an email or private message.  One’s mind interprets the words sent in the context of what one already believes about a person.  They remain just a symbol of what you disagree with.  Combine that with the anonymity of the internet, and you have a recipe for meanness.

I have been the subject of criticism this week and read some mean comments about me.  People who like me have jumped in as well.  Friends of those on both sides have gleefully infused themselves into the drama.  All hell broke loose.  And I find myself sitting here, early in the morning, wondering how to scrub off all of this caked on mud.  Realizing that everyone in the wrestling ring is also covered in it and unrecognizable.

But there is no little room to go into in which to solve our differences.  I remain the symbol of a viewpoint, as do they.  I want to disengage, but I sincerely believe the issues too important to abandon.  A friend told me last night that I just don’t have the stomach for all of this.  And I think she’s right.  I don’t like conflict.  I don’t like people not liking me. I don’t like accusations I know to be untrue but feel powerless to correct.  This ride – blogging – has a been a wild one.

I have been sitting, staring at this screen for several minutes now.  But I still have no idea how to wrap this up neatly.  Except to say that, aside from anything having to do with autism or parenting, it is my sincere belief that the first rule of discourse is kindness.  That we must remember that those whom we disagree with are not necessarily evil.  They have their own experiences that have flavored their perceptions, and those perceptions are every bit as real and heartfelt as our own.  The problem is that most people simply don’t have the right words to convey to others who they are or where they are coming from.  Not really.  We try.  We fail.  We try again. But there aren’t enough words in all the combined languages of Earth to portray a single human heart.

And there is nothing to be done for that but to keep on trying.  While trying to keep in mind that most people really are good at heart.  Most believers in any cause are sincere and want to do good.  Whether or not I agree with them is irrelevant to how they deserve to be treated.  With respect, with civility, and with the benefit of the doubt I believe every human being should be willing to give to another — that we are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have and know.  It’s a hard principle to remember in the heat of anger.

But it’s the best mud repellent around.

“I hope that one or two immortal lyrics come out of all this tumbling around.”   -Louise Bogan

35 thoughts on “On Writers Block, Mud Wrestling, and the Autism Blogosphere

  1. Niksmom

    I’m so sorry for the pain of missing your father. And all the rest. Sending you hugs and good thoughts.

  2. jillsmo

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I read it, um, earlier… life is indeed messy. Friends will disagree, they will argue, ultimately they will come back together because this is what life is. But it’s that “respect” piece that I’m currently stuck on. If somebody treats me, or somebody I care about, with disrespect, there is pretty much a 0% chance that they will ever gain that respect back. It doesn’t matter who they are or how they frame their argument, my problem with them is now personal. As such, when I see that kind of disrespectful behavior coming from that same person an additional time, I have a *really* hard time convincing myself that I am supposed to remain respectful in return, even in the name of general civility. I live my life by the credo “don’t be an asshole” and I’ve been struggling with this a lot these past few weeks because these things contradict themselves. I think your post was my wakeup call. Good stuff, Leigh. <3

    1. Profile photo of FlappinessIsFlappinessIs Post author

      I know exactly what you mean, my friend. I mean, I have gotten angry too. Plenty angry. I’m just trying to speak my truth as kindly as I can. But, clearly, words fail. And then I’m left trying to balance between a need for honesty — and everything I said in this post. I’m bothered. But I see no solution that doesn’t involve welcoming more ugliness into my day. I love the blogosphere. But sharing your head with the world really does a number on one’s self-concept.

      1. Cindi

        ((hugs)) I know this pain well and personally. I pray that you (and your heart) are able to find relief from it soon. It may come to a need to block the person though. At least from being able to private message if nothing else.

        If there is any way I can be of help or support, please let me know. ((hugs))

  3. Lisa R

    I haven’t much to say part from how dignified your post is. I know that’s an old fashioned word but its a good word and a good way of living. And you are gracious and dignified and tired.
    I’m sorry about your dad. Grief is just awful. It’s painful, it aches.

    And that’s all. Dreadfully uncoordinated but I loved this post. That’s all.

  4. Lexi

    Wonderfully put. As I read I kept thinking, “yeah…those people who were so mean need to read this and stop!” Without any introspection at all. I suck.

    So I read it again. For me, kindness is key, but also not letting people walk all over you. People aren’t going to agree. What you do with that is on you, only. I like this simple quote: “do no harm, but take no shit.”

    1. Profile photo of FlappinessIsFlappinessIs Post author

      I know. That’s why I feel so conflicted. What you just said is something I would say to them — if only locked in a little room. All this stuff is too hard to convey to someone intent on disliking you. I’m telling you, Lexi, my mind is dizzy today.

  5. Lizbeth

    Leigh, there are so many things you touched on in this post. One of the fundamental things for me is the loss of respect for another individual. We are all people behind the screen names. Real live people. When people start getting frustrated, respect goes out the window. Petty jabs and slights occur and when that happens, I disengage. I walk away. It’s a conscious decision to pull myself out of a situation that’s gone bad.

    I hear both sides of the issue and I understand what is being said, loud and clear, sometimes it’s the method of delivery that is questionable. I have learned a great deal over the past few weeks, I truly have. I’ve yet to figure out how to articulate that without my understanding, or my own Autism, being misconstrued or used against me. Learning, understanding and acceptance has to come from everyone.

    1. Profile photo of FlappinessIsFlappinessIs Post author

      I know EXACTLY what you mean, Lizbeth. One of the things that I think some people forget or don’t understand is that HOW you say something affects what you intended to convey. If you insult your audience, then they will either throw tomatoes or get up and walk out. Civility matters. Even having written this today, I’m still angry. I still think people are being mean. Conflict is a vexing thing.

  6. Sarah

    I appreciate your posts. I am interested in your thoughts, experiences and questions. I missed you when your grief meant you needed to focus on your family and your feelings. In the UK, in actual groups and in on-line communities, autism is a very contentious topic. Prejudice is rife. Opinions are harshly expressed. People – decent dedicated parents – trying to raise their autistic and non-autistic children get hurt. Frequently they get very badly hurt. Do what is right for you and your family. Keep yourselves safe and if you feel the need to go silent (in “Flappiness is” terms) we will understand.
    Take care.

  7. Jessica

    As a lawyer I so get where you’re coming from. And so many props to your Dad for teaching you those lessons. If the phrase “reasonable minds can differ” weren’t true, there would be no legal system. If there was always a “right” party and a “wrong” party the world would be such a different place.

    And the nice thing about the courtroom is that it requires you to do everything with a tone of decorum and respect. If you don’t you can get jailed for it. In fact, I still remember the big criticism I got when I was in law school doing mock trial: I looked upset when I lost arguments. The judge told me that I should never look or act happy or sad when I win or lose. And they were right. It’s not sports. You do your best and then you accept it and move on. In some ways, I really miss that.

    Then again, living your life completely around conflict… don’t miss that part at all.

    Sorry to comment-jack…

  8. Lelia Rose Foreman (@LeliaForeman)

    Aw, bless you. I hope you get well and feel well soon. Even though I’ve been on the computer a lot lately because my own pneumonia or flu or something, I managed to miss your little war. I have in past watched a few flame wars and was metaphorically incinerated once because I had an evil opinion that was so irritating an ATHEIST told me to go burn in hell. Wow.
    I have trouble figuring out why disagreeing publicly is hurtful (I was trained in debate) but I suppose in autism circles we are hurting so much already that disagreement is like a last straw. And the stakes are so high.
    Hang in there. I love your blog and usually pass it on to other readers.

  9. Karie

    Leigh, first of all I’m sorry. I know I’m in no way responsible for whatever ugliness has occurred (in fact I’m ignorant and prefer it that way), but I feel YOU are owed an apology…and you most likely won’t get it from the quarter it’s owed. I know when you started blogging you sought a release, a sort of therapy for/from the journey that was thrust upon you (and me and the rest of us Autism moms). I just want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart for enduring it, because you have touched my heart, made me cry (and laugh) and you always so eloquently put into words what my heart feels but I am inept at expressing. Don’t ever stop being you.

  10. Denise

    Things I have learned in the last 43 years–Most of it has been within the last 12 years of raising 3 kids I must say-
    1. You will never be able to make everyone like you or agree with you…..and that’s really OK. That’s life. And the first time you can say that and really mean it (I was 40 when I finally did!) is soooo liberating!
    2. You can treat everyone with kindness (or at the very least with civility) – whether they give you the same courtesy or not. That does not mean you are allowing yourself to be walked all over. Sometimes knowing when to agree to disagree and gracefully opt out of the drama…. is really a step toward learning how to nurture your own emotional intelligence.
    3. You will NEVER have control over others actions/comments/thoughts/ beliefs etc.
    4. You can only control how you react to others.
    5. The sooner you accept #3 – the sooner you will start living your life to it’s fullest.
    6. Whenever I do come across someone acting rude, nasty, just downright mean….I try my best to whip out my empathy card, instead of getting sucked into the vortex of negativity. I tell myself – wow if they are saying and doing these awful things to make me feel bad they must have even bigger issues going on inside themselves.
    7. Empathy- The single most powerful word in the English language. The single most powerful concept I work to instill in my children every day and they in me as well.
    And Leigh I’m so sorry for that ache you have inside of you that probably longs to see your dad walk in the front door or to smell “his smell” or hear his laugh. Although I know it’s not the same, my grandmother who I was so close to i considered her my “other mom”, died over 10 yrs ago. I still dream about her, hear her laughing and see that cute little space between her two front teeth, bury my nose in her jewelry box sometimes so I can smell her which makes me feel like she’s still right next to me.
    I’m not sure where I was really going with that other than to say I can relate to your pain. The only difference is I’m 9 years further out-and time really does help thank goodness- which I hope you have experienced over this past year.
    Now I just need someone to mix together all of these life lessons and make them into some sort of magic potion. Then i can give it to my kids so they won’t have to wait 43 long years like I did to figure all this stuff out!!
    I hope you continue to stay strong and write. You are an amazingly gifted writer and so insightful. I always look forward to reading your posts. thank you
    Denise – mom w/house full of ADHD’ers – mom, dad, son, daughter. And 1 daughter who appears so far to have escaped the gene- boy is she going to be out of place in this house!

  11. Cindi

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and the grief that can bring, especially on days where the memories were extra special. I too can relate closely to that pain. ((hugs))

    As for the points made about the rest, you worded it perfectly. I am so sorry for the pain though that was caused for you. While reading your words I wanted so badly to just reach through the screen and give you as comforting of a hug as I could offer. I hope my typed ones though help at least a little.

    If there is ever any way I could offer you support or encouragement and/or any thing I could do to repay your kindness and respect, please don’t hesitate to let me know. You are a beautiful person both inside and out and you set a high and respectable standard and example for the rest of us to see and follow.

    I admire you. I respect you. I honor you. Thank-you for being you and for doing what you do here. ((hugs))

  12. Vic

    Thank you for such a thought provoking post. Disagreement is healthy as it can be productive, but when this changes to a personal attack or the “need to win at all costs” it becomes extremely unhealthy. Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree :o)

  13. Elise Ronan

    Personally I too am tired of people having to support their positions about parenting an autistic child by denigrating someone else and then trying to destroy them. I am tired of the self-important atmosphere of the autism world. As one who has been maligned by both ends of the autism blogosphere let me tell you…so what if someone says something horrible? As long as they don’t threaten you with physical harm (which can be frightening and there are things you can do about that) then either call them out or tell them to go to the devil (believe me I have done both).

    At first I would get upset and write posts about the lack of cordiality and respect for alternative ideas. But then I came to the realization that what someone else thinks does not matter in your real world. What some anonymous or faceless individual thinks has no bearing on how you chose to raise your children. You do what you think is best and go from there. Not all people are going to like what you write and they can get very nasty especially on the Internet. It is a haven for the socially dysfunctional. Better to remember your father and be like him.

    Having just recently lost my father I too look to the old adage..”what would my daddy do?” and go from there. Stick up for your core principles and always, just always do it with honor.

  14. Laura

    I am so sorry. Not just for your father, which I know is still painful and raw, and will be for some time to come, but for all of your difficulties. I know that you do your best, and that is all anyone can ask of anyone. And of course, some feel that it is not enough. You just keep on keeping on. Do what you do. Try hard not to worry about others.

    And your little girl will know someone who will influence her to the good too. You can look in the mirror and see her right now.

  15. MrsC

    I agree with Denise and Elise Ronan. I suspect that this person’s remarks were all the more painful because it came at a time you were feeling particularly raw, emotionally. And that attack was just salt.

    Your reaction – including this post, eloquent and beautifully written though it is – is, in my view, breaking the first, golden rule of internet interaction: DON’T FEED THE TROLL. Had you forgotten it? Let me put it another way: You are rewarding this person’s bad behaviour.

    Anyone who is that vicious does not deserve thought time, space on your blog, attention of any kind. Extinction is the way to go.

    God bless.

  16. tagAught

    {{{Hugs}}}

    I’m sorry to hear about your father. My sympathies and condolences to you.

    As for the blogosphere fight… I had no idea at the time. (Still have no idea, except for what you’ve told me, actually.) But you’ve got some really good points here.

    In fact, some of the things that you wrote previously about civility inspired me to have my first real post on my ASD blog be about civility and politeness: http://tagaught.net/civility-politeness-in-the-asd-community/

    {{{More Hugs}}}

    😐 tagAught

  17. Guest

    I see that this is not a new post, but it is a very serious issue that you bring up here. I am very familiar with the autism blogosphere, because one of my best friends used to be a part of it and he shared a lot of information with me over the last few months. Autism blogs seem to be dominated and controlled by cliques and cabals, as if they are trying to establish hegemony over all autism blogs. From what I know of it, it seems like a bunch of adults who behave like brats and bullies. And it all looks so legitimate and nice to the people who only come to those blogs in order to get information about autism so they can help their families. There are so many things those readers deserve to know.

    The readers need to know that much of the content and many of the comments on those blog posts are really placed there to humiliate somebody. Even positive comments. There are wars behind the scenes, very immature wars, ugly wars, vicious battles of hatred and hostility. So people post very positive-sounding posts about something related to autism, but it is all based on some argument that happened in private. Then lots of comments appear on that blog post. Keep in mind that the post itself was not sincere in the first place, it was written to piss someone off or stab someone in the back, the intent was never to provide valuable information about autism at all. But readers take it all seriously and they think that there is consensus in the autism community about this or that issue or topic, when there only appears to be agreement because a bunch of friends all agreed to comment on each other’s posts and agree with each other and share the posts on all the social networks. The comments on many of those posts are not sincere either. They are placed there so that specific individuals will see who agrees with whom, or who isn’t friends with some other person anymore, all in the hope that it might outrage and inflame somebody. But on the shiny surfaces of all those pretty websites, it all looks so innocent and nice. Yes, the readers should know about that stuff.

    The autistic bloggers are not treated well either. Many have said that they are afraid to say what they think and it seems like they live in fear of retaliation from certain NTs if they speak up. Many of the parents treat adult autistic bloggers in ways they would never want anyone to treat their own autistic kids. People also need to know that when an autistic person writes a blog about autism, they are revealing very private information about themselves and about millions of other autistics too. It can be self-deprecating in some ways to discuss being autistic at a time when autism is not yet accepted by the general society. The people who write about it are putting themselves at risk so that they might help others understand it and make the lives of younger autistics better in some way. Some people learn from that information and use it to understand autistic people in their lives. But others use that information to understand the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that they can exploit so that they can use it as a tool to bully and manipulate autistics. Certain neurotypicals use blogging as a form of warfare and they seem to think of autistics as collateral damage in their wars.

    My friend is the one who told me that I should come here and read this blog post, because he had a bad experience much like you had, and some of the same people were involved, and it has affected him deeply. As he puts it, he feels very “hyper-vigilant” and has not felt comfortable or safe going into a workplace since the bad incident that happened to him. He does not ever want to write about autism again and does not want anyone to know he is autistic ever again. Some people have urged him to keep writing about autism, but he feels like there is too much stress in knowing that some people can abuse him and none of this friends will support him, and knowing that he has to be careful about everything he says, and he feels like that is not the kind of environment he could ever feel comfortable writing in. It really bothered him recently when people were writing “autistic people should” posts, with titles like “autistic people should be respected”, but some of the people who wrote those posts showed no respect for him when they had a moral obligation to. That is what readers of autism blogs need to know, that much of the autism acceptance on those blogs is total hypocrisy.

    The only thing my friend did was to write a small message on a group forum. I read what he wrote, but I don’t remember exactly what it said anymore. But it was awesome, like almost everything he writes, and he thought it was beautiful after he wrote it, and then someone in that group attacked him for writing it and all of his friends turned their backs on him immediately and abandoned him. The only explanation he ever got for why they thought he deserved to be treated that way were some blog posts some of them wrote about it, mostly claiming they didn’t know right from wrong in that situation, or that they were afraid to speak, or were obligated to support his attacker because of what might happen to them if they didn’t.

    That group had lots of problems that came directly from the leadership. There were several times he said someone would post a message on the discussion forum and it would disappear 10 minutes later because the leader deleted it, and people were told that they were not allowed to talk about certain topics or certain people in the group discussion. That is how controlling it was in the group he was in. Others were given no information at all about what they could talk about. There were also several bad incidents with bullying and abuse, not isolated incidents, but frequent and common for a period of time until the group effectively disintegrated because of it. My friend showed me almost all of the group discussion during that period, the politics and favoritism, total lack of respect for certain autistics, passive aggressive tactics, and the culture of fear that caused significant distress to almost everyone in the group, but it caused much worse psychological damage to my friend who would never do anything to hurt a fly and never deserved the kind of treatment he received from those people. He did nothing wrong and was treated worse than I have seen anyone treated in a long time.

    He became friends with one of the people in that group for a while. Another blogger on the Internet warned him not to trust that woman, and I warned him too, and he took our advice and was extra cautious about his communications with her. I got the impression that she is a follower, a tag-along, like a beta female and a disciple of one of the alpha females of the group. That is the impression I got of her, and I told my friend that. So after all those incidents of group infighting and bullying recently, I became curious and agreed to help my friend watch a few of those people in order to help protect him. We noticed some pretty suspicious stuff happening.

    The beta female that I mentioned has now started a new tribe of autistic bloggers. The people in control of the new group are all NT. I think the alpha female got the beta female to create the group so that if it turns into a disaster like the last one did, then the beta female will take all the blame for it. So after they created a new group with a brand new name that sounded very pro-autism, they recruited a bunch of brand new autistic bloggers who have never been in a blogging tribe before and do not know the history of those people or what has happened in other groups they were in. And then they did something even more suspicious and disturbing. They sent multiple messages to the web forum where those groups of bloggers are hosted, requesting absolute privacy so that no one outside their new group can see what is being discussed or who is a member. The tweets requesting the extra privacy have since been deleted, but the responses from Triberr are still there. So now there really is no way to be sure what is going on in their new group. It is much more private than the last one. They are isolated in a sense, in a private group run by some of the exact same people who ran that other group where many of the members said they were afraid to say what they thought and were afraid to stand up to a bully for fear of retaliation. My friend has many written quotes from members of that group explaining why they were all afraid to speak and were all afraid of what might happen to them if they stuck up for him when he was attacked. I am sure he would be happy to let me see those comments if I asked him to.

    So now I have to wonder about an extremely private group of autism bloggers, run by some of the exact same NTs who were responsible for all the problems and trauma from that other group. And if no one from that new group complains, does that mean there are no problems there, or does it mean they are just as afraid to speak as the members of the other group were? My friend is right in bringing this to my attention so that someone else can see what is going on, and you are also right in writing this post, so I am sharing this information here because my friend wants to remove himself from autism forums and everyone associated with autism.

    So these are some of the things that go on behind the scenes that readers of autism blogs should know about. Some bloggers try to stay out of that stuff and write honest good blogs, but trying to go it alone in the cutthroat world of autism blogging would be, in my friend’s words, like living on gang turf when you don’t belong to any gang.

    1. jillsmo

      I am somewhat familiar with the situation you mention. I’m sorry that your friend has experienced such horrible treatment at the hands of people who were supposed to be his friends. Please tell him that he still has support from a lot of us bloggers and that not everybody behaves in the horrible manner that those people did.

      1. Guest

        Thank you. He does know that there are bloggers who are not like those people. But the experience he had has left him not wanting to go back to that blogging community, and fearful of groups of any kind, especially workplaces. A friend and I have been monitoring certain sites for him from time to time to make sure he is not coming under attack. After I posted my original comment on this post, the people in that new tribe changed the description of the tribe to “Autism Blogging Group Run By Autistics”.

  18. Elizabeth Grace

    Your father seems like a great man. I will be praying for you and yours in your time of pain. I was brought to this blog page by a misguided or deliberately inflammatory tweet but in any case it was good fate or divine guidance because I am glad for the chance to hear about a great man and to pray for you in your time of pain. I send love and light.

      1. Guest

        I think she might be referring to this tweet https://twitter.com/SocialJusticeAK/status/313999548630564864, left by a friend of mine in order to explain the dynamics of the blogging world that my friend got mixed up with. She tweeted that message in response to this tweet https://twitter.com/Maetheforcebwu/status/312565121404776448 which was one of many expressing concern for him and or shaming those who abused him. I don’t find anything inflammatory or misguided about people expressing concern for someone, or about directing them to a blog post where they can get more information about the kind of behavior that some people engage in in the autism blogosphere. It isn’t surprising that the commenter was bothered by that tweet. The name looks very familiar.

          1. E. Grace

            That was not it. The one I followed was a non sequitur on Emily Willingham’s critique of the news coverage on an unrelated matter. Thanks for apparently trying to help.

        1. Ib Grace

          The tweet didn’t bother me. It was interesting, though irrelevant and probably untrue, unless many more thing happened than what I saw. What bothers me is when people minimize the real pain of others by dramatization of grudges. The original post is about dire familial health issues!

Comments are closed.