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Thursday, June 14, 2012

ignorant strangers while getting your oil changed....

I really have to wonder how many other parents with kids on the spectrum have the same experiences I do? Because I know this cannot just be happening to me. While getting my oil changed a while ago I took the time to review J's IEP (Autism super mommy has got to multi-task you know). The elderly gentleman next to me noticed and we had a subsequent conversation during which he called J a "burden" because of his Autism. The really interesting thing is 
1. he meant it nicely, I truly believe he meant no offense.
2. I couldn't entirely disagree with him.
3. I wasn't angry at him.
4. I disagreed with him on principal.

Sometimes I think I have "Please talk to me about Autism" sign hung on my face. Have you ever met one of those people that just seem "chatable". Well I'm not one of them. I joke that I'm a social retard but for some reason people do approach me about Autism (with or without my children).

Well here and now, let me dispel that rumor. I do not care to talk with you (you being the generally uninformed public, without a child or other nuclear relative with Autism, someone who thinks Autism speaks is just great), and listen to your general espousing on Autism. As someone who has been in the trenches for the last ( for what seems like all of my freaking life) five years I have a pretty solid standing and knowledge base on which I draw my opinions. You do not.

One of the most interesting things is that people ALWAYS steer the conversation towards the "vaccine debate". Inwardly, I'm biting my cheek and focusing on not letting the innovative curse I just thought up leak out verbally. Random citizen says to me, "I'm concerned about getting/giving my child the "ABC" vaccine". I just nod my head noncommittally. At this point here are my options, tell them the truth (which is what I WANT to do), which would go something like this: "ARE YOU FREAKING NUTS, DON'T PUT THAT CRAP IN YOUR BODY/YOUR CHILD'S BODY, DO YOU KNOW WHATS IN THAT SH!T?"! Or option number two, which is what I always do. I say something true without the expletives that shocks of it's own accord. "Its all to profit driven if you asked me" while shaking my head in the no gesture. Then I tell them the number of childhood vaccines mandated today in a wondering tone of voice, "did you know when we were kids they were only ten vaccines?, and our kids have thirty-six mandated vaccines". Without fail people are shocked.

I have a few problems with these types of conversations.  For one you never know what response people want from you and consequently how they will react with any given response from you. Personally I'm not interested in what Joe average citizen thinks causes Autism (or how to treat it, how to accept it, etc, etc, etc) but that inevitably, this does not stop him from giving me his two dollars and two cents. His vehement disagreement against my ideas poses no value or likely possibility of changing my views. On the flip side, his non personal agreement that vaccines or environmental toxins (aliens, cell phone radiation, whatever he thinks) could be/is causing Autism means nothing to me either, because.... what is he going to to do about it? Its crazy but I  feel I am a Autism representative. I have to look sane and together, this is funny because Autism takes both your sanity and any togetherness you may have had away. I'm sick of being concerned with what the guy next to me thinks about Autism. Frankly, I just want to get my dam oil changed without having what could be a very terse conversation about the center most core of my life with a complete stranger because the Jiffy Lube is out of the most current issue of "People". For me this isn't just moot conversation, this is my child's life, and by extension my life. 

The ironic thing is that people approach me because they suspect. They have heard rumblings, a story here, a news bit there. A cousin friends niece's child had an outrageous fever after a set of shots and was never quite the same. Most people after recovering from the shock of the data, the amount of shots children today are subjected too, nod in stupefied agreement with me. While I may have given them a seed of truth the reality is, it will be smothered by a lifetime of indoctrination. Joe average citizen will go home and forget all the blase conversation that is non-relevant to his life. It's much easier to discredit a total stranger than do your own research, I did. After that, I will go home and add their children to my prayers along with my own children.

Hopefully someday some of the those seeds will take. My sanity act won't be for nothing and some poor child will be spared the equivalent of their own version lethal injection.

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