D&C 35:17 ". . . and in weakness have I blessed him."

Sunday, April 20, 2014


" . . . the Savior makes all things right. No injustice in mortality is permanent, even death, for He restores life again. No injury, disability, betrayal, or abuse goes uncompensated in the end because of His ultimate justice and mercy."

Happy Easter

Friday, April 4, 2014

Accused of Hating My Son

        “. . . Open your eyes! Not everyone is a bigot like you. I now just feel sorry for your son. I suggest you find another group with other mothers who are as hateful towards autism and their own children as you are. There are plenty of people like you, the world is full of hateful people.
        . . . It is blogs like yours that encourage negativity towards autism and autistics.
        . . . If you stopped hating your child that would change your reality.
        . . . You simply do not accept your son for who he is. I think it hurts because you feel sorry for yourself. . . I feel sorry for him, and I feel sorry that he has a mother with your attitude. If you don’t like being called a bigot and someone who hates their son, stop being that person.
        . . . Try caring a little more about your son, and a little less about your own feelings.
        . . . I can't stop you hating autism and your son. It is like trying to convince a member of the KKK to love black people."

        These comments were made in response to my blog post, I Hurt for Him. In this post I expressed the grief I feel for my son's losses. 
        Quickly this became my most popular blog post yet. I received many heart-warming expressions of love and empathy. Yet amidst all of this support I also received the hurtful comments above. 
        They were made by a mental health counselor and father of an autistic child who is the founder of a closed online support group for parents of autistic children. A site that promises to provide a safe environment for its members and aims to make the world of autism more positive by helping its members "sail" towards acceptance.
        The reason for this man's attack was that my expression of grief (I Hurt for Him) is perpetuating negativity towards autism.
        To be concerned about negativity is one thing, but to accuse a grieving mother of hating her child?
        That's too extreme. 
        Not just extreme, it's cruel and unfair. And does not make the world more positive.
        It's also NOT TRUE.
        Grief and hatred are not the same emotion. 
        I grieve for my son's losses because I LOVE him and want the best possible life for him. I'm still trying to figure out how that became an expression of hatred.
        Yes, grief may be a negative emotion, but the truth is we are all going to have negative feelings. Raising a disabled child is not a one-dimensional emotional experience. My relationship with my son spans the full emotional spectrum from my greatest joy to my deepest sorrow. There are times when I feel both joy and sadness at the same time.   
        Sometimes we have to go through the negative feelings in order to get to the more positive ones. Acceptance is achieved by first grieving for that which was losta journey we all take at different speeds.
        But even when we've arrived at acceptance I'm not convinced the pain of loss is ever fully resolved. Because there are still unexpected triggers that can take us back to feeling sad. Somewhere deep within our hearts we carry the memory of our loss. 
        You don't help grieving parents move towards increased positivity and acceptance by condemning their grief or calling it hateful.
        There is a better way.
        I know this because I’ve experienced it.
        Kindness and empathy have always been the hallmark of my interactions with fellow parents of the autistic community. I’ve received unexpected gestures of love and support from total strangers who’ve embraced me as one of the family.
        Kindness is what makes us strong as a community. And it is through kindness that we help lift each other towards increased positivity.
        When we choose to be vulnerable and share our pain with others we open ourselves up to receive the gifts of love, empathy and support as we connect with others.
        But we also take a risk when we share. Because not everyone will be respectful of our pain or even have the capacity to understand it.
        All the same I still believe it's a risk worth taking.
        Because I believe in the goodness and kindness of others.

"Why do we hesitate to share our pain? Do we build walls to protect our images rather than building bridges to reach out to one another?"