Blogging for a Mission 22

I have been reading others’ posts about the reason they started blogging.  Blogging is not without risks since it involves sharing with the world.  The risks for my family are even greater because a few years ago my daughter was targeted by people she knew shortly after she was diagnosed.

That is when my mission started.  I quit work, I read every book on sensory sensitivity and Asperger’s that I could find.  I bought books on bullying that I read cover to cover, and I talked to the local contact at BullyPolice.org.  I explored the local bookstores to see what tween girls were reading.  I set my TiVo wish list to include autism, bullying, and Asperger’s Syndrome.  I attended conferences and I googled and read more.

Next, I wrote our true story, and then reality hit me like a ton of bricks.  I couldn’t use our story!  The story had to be fiction to protect my daughter and to protect those who harmed her too ironically.  Still, I did not want to trivialize the facts, so it is fiction with all events and all characters changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.   The feelings from the misunderstandings, the love shared between the characters, and the effects of the bullying are real.

I will never knowingly do anything to hurt my family or anyone else for that matter.  Yet, I ultimately want this story disseminated to more people; therefore, my publisher suggested that I start a blog.  Previously, public forums were off-limits to me.  However, getting the message out that the world needs to change to a place of tolerance of differences and hopefully to acceptance of differences is my mission.  The question of how to do this while remaining anonymous came up from the day I took on this task.  Not an easy thing to do in this age of technology as I am sure many of you know.

Ultimately, my daughter agreed to my writing a blog, as long as I am careful about sharing too many personal stories about her.  She and I have come to the decision that it is not possible to remain completely anonymous and promote the message.  Still, I am very protective of her and of the rest of my family, and I will not apologize for this.  If this makes me appear untrustworthy to some, so be it.  If including information about my book, written to promote this message, makes others think this blog is just about self promotion, so be it.

Blogging has brought me to even more information and greater understanding, as I have read many of your thoughts and stories and I have commented on some.  Many of you have welcomed me into this blogging community, and I am so grateful to you.  I hope you know who you are even if I do not always comment on your blogs.  Others are not as welcoming to those they consider to be outsiders, but I cannot waste time worrying about them.

I have made a decision.  I will no longer allow other people to define who I am or who my daughter is.  I am her mother and she is my amazing, talented, brave daughter who I will fight to the death to protect.  I will do the same for my son, my husband, my close friends, and all of my family.

How about you?  What steps do you take to protect your family?  What would you do if someone targeted your loved one?

22 comments

  1. I think your blog is wonderful, and your clear desire to put your family’s well-being first is something I truly respect. I am very grateful that the people with whom I communicate through blogging have accepted my contributions just as they are, and I hope I always do the same for them.

  2. Good decision on the not letting people define you or your family. Why give them power over you? 🙂

    It never occurred to me when I started blogging to do so anonymously. I can’t honestly say nearly two years later that, even with the occasional difficulties I’ve encountered, that I’d make a difference decision.

    We all make the best decisions we can at the time and when we realize we need to make a shift in direction, we do. Some things I’d like to blog about but I don’t because we’re not anonymous. 🙂

  3. It is hard to remain anonymous..I blog under my surname..I have asked permission of my boys when I write certain stories. Unfortunately-some people who know them have found us. This in itself isn’t bad-however, when I had the head of special ed ask me to retract a post I had written about the system-I felt a line had been crossed. I think the most important th9ing for me is to write about my kids with love, dignity and respect. There are far too many who use humor to thinly mask anger. I look at it as our “baby book”
    I think that it is wonderful that your daughter has let you share her story. You share it with dignity and respect-while teaching. 🙂

    • Kathleen,
      Thank you! I know you are a parent who also works to protect her family. I also agree with what you said, “the most important thing is to write about my kids with love, dignity and respect. There are far too many who use humor to thinly mask anger.”

  4. I so admire you for taking the risk and sharing your story in the ways that you can, and I think it is wonderful that you and your daughter are collaborating on deciding how much that is.

    Even for someone like me who is writing anonymously, there is risk anytime you open your heart to people and wait to see what they say in response. For me, it is worth the risk because of what I have gained, but there’s still that little voice questioning why anyone would care about what I think or say.

    • Aspergirl Maybe,
      Thank you!

      Yes, there is the question of why anyone would care what I have to say. Then there is the reason I started the project in the first place. I made a decision that it was worth the risk even if it only helped one person. However, a couple of years ago I read Randy Pausch’s book, and made a decision that I cared enough to refuse to allow the brick walls to stop me. I know all I really need is either to get enough people to listen or to get one or two important people to listen. That is why I refuse to give up, but still there are days I get discouraged. Friday was one of those days and the discouragement lasted through the weekend.

      Then today I heard back from my son’s school and delivered thirty books for them to use in their character education program. Afterward I talked to another person who knows someone on the spectrum and she asked if she could get a copy of my book. I know there is hope. Unfortunately, patience is not a virtue I was born with although having children has certainly helped me to work on this.
      Aloha,
      Sue

      • Oh I am so glad that you had such a good response from your son’s school. I saw that you had been feeling down through a comment you left on someone’s blog and am happy that you are feeling better today.

        I am interested to read your book (and Rachel’s) and just remembered that I got an Amazon gift certificate from my boss for Christmas, so I think I am going to order both of them from there.

        • Thank you! 🙂 I am much better. I started Rachel’s book last weekend and reading it only makes me realize all the more how amazing she is.

  5. I think your daughter is very brave and is fortunate to have someone like you as her stanch supporter. It is a shame that there are bullies in the world and usually these actions are due to fear, intolerance and ignorance. So in essence not only are you getting the word out about Asperger’s Syndrome but also curing any excuse of ignorance that may cure a bully(ies) as well. It is hard to not let something like this define you but by writing about it you are speaking a truth and the truth multiplies to be given to another and another.

    • Grace,
      Thank you! I certainly hope the truth multiplies. I really want my children to live in a kinder world. I know you are doing your part too.

  6. I’m lucky, I can say what I want to whilst remaining anonymous. I think you’re very brave, as is your daughter. You have a very important message here. I’m glad I’ve found your blog.

  7. You have a blog that is not reflective of trend and the audience, but has a voice of its own that is shaping and influencing its audience. That is remarkable.

    Your story is also remarkable! In our reality, it is very hard to fight for a cause effectively, at the same time keep our privacy. But may you find the balance so that you can continue your great work.

    Best of luck to you and your blog.

    • Charlotte,
      Thank you so much for everything! Both my daughter and I think it is important to share while at least trying to maintain some privacy.
      Have a nice weekend!
      Sue

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