Small Rant Then Second Post in How to Forgive Series 13

I last wrote a forgiveness post on May 15, 2011.  I started it with the first definition of forgive in the 2004 version of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: to give up resentment of. 

Immaculee IlibagizaMy Inspiration

The few who actually read my blog regularly know that I have been working at becoming more like Immaculee Ilibagiza, the Rwandan genocide survivor who inspired me to forgive others.  I have been reading Forgive for Good by Frederic Luskin from the Stanford Forgiveness Project to help me along my journey. 

The Rant

This is where I rant.  A few short months ago I started a blog expecting that everyone related to the autism community would embrace my cause of educating others about girls on the autism spectrum and how being misunderstood causes harm.  I mailed my novel to family members thinking they would read it and understand.  I also gave copies of my novel to people at two local schools including counselors at my daughter’s now former school. 

006I wish I could tell you that everyone has been supportive and they are all helping me to promote my little novel written to teach tolerance and acceptance of differences to help decrease bullying in our schools.  Unfortunately, this would be a lie. 

Maybe I expect too much from people.  My daughter is now at a virtual school because she did not receive adequate support.  Some family members have failed to comment at all after having my novel for months. 

I am really working on forgiving those who let us down.  I believe forgiveness is the best option to avoid being consumed with anger at a world that let down not just me, but also let down my beautiful, talented, smart daughter.  I do not want to become “one of them.”  You know the ones I mean; the seemly, heartless bullies. 

Rant over!

I left off my last forgiveness post promising to tell you more about Forgive for Good and how I am doing with this.  Obviously, I am still working on forgiving.  Part III of Dr. Luskin’s book covers eight chapters.  I am only going to cover the first two steps today.   

Part III: Step I

The first step is to change the grievance story, so we are no longer the victims and to let go of resentment.   

I now realize that my daughter’s former school is an unhealthy environment for her, and I am grateful she is no longer there.  I am also letting go of relationships that are harmful while continuing to work to educate those who are willing to listen.  Others are still welcome to reach out, but I will not be begging for understanding.  I am at peace with my decision. 

I have wonderful supportive friends and some members of our family are supportive while others are trying to be supportive.  My daughter is gaining self-esteem through the support she is receiving from the autism community.  She is happy and her closest friends are supportive too.  She is telling her story and I am very proud of her.  Her story changed course, but it is still full of promise. 

Remote - CopyPart III: Step II

Changing the grievance story is step I.  Step II is to look for beauty, joy, and love in your life.  You can start with baby steps.  My project gratitude posts are my way of doing this.  You might do it another way.  Dr. Luskin calls this changing your channel and he gives an excellent analogy of TV channel surfing to illustrate how to do this so we are not stuck on the anger/ victim channel. 

Today I am grateful for my daughter’s happiness and for those who are supporting her as she tells her story.  I hope some of you also will support her meager college fund by encouraging others to read the story she inspired. 


  1. Pingback: Back to Forgiveness | Delightfully Different Life

  2. When I was diagnosed with HFA, I told my parents and my brother, and nobody said much. My brother hasn’t said anything at all. My stepmother has asked me a few questions, but other than that, nothing. I get the feeling they think that since I am out on my own, that it’s “my thing,” and that their knowing about it is where it ends. It’s odd to me that they’re not curious though. I also wonder if they don’t want to talk about it because doing so would require that they re-examine their own words and actions while I was growing up with a level of honesty that probably wouldn’t be too comfortable. That’s just speculation, of course, but without anything else to go on, it’s all I have.

    I’m sorry your own family hasn’t been more supportive of you and your daughter. You, however, are an amazing support for her, and that is what will always matter most to her, guaranteed.

    • Thank you! I have no clue as to why our extended family or your family is like they are. It might be more a reflection of society in general, but I hope that will continue to change and more people will make an effort to really understand differences. That is my dream for the future.

  3. My husband has experienced this many times with his music. He has given friends and family CDs which he has spent countless hours on and heard absolutely nothing in response – not even an acknowledgment that it was received. let alone their opinion.

    There are some who have been great supporters, but I don’t think it takes away the pain of others who ignore it completely.

    • Trish,
      I really do not understand some although I still try. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take away the pain, but it does help!

  4. I need to read your book. My four-year-old daughter with HFA/Asperger’s will be starting school with no support whatsoever. She “passed” the developmental screening (I need to find time to blog about what a joke THAT was), so we were basically told to put her in school and wait till she flounders. They’ll do a full eval at that time.

    YOUR daughter is amazing, and if you’re looking for a reviewer, I’d be happy to oblige!

    • Tessa,
      Thank you! I would be honored if you would review my book. I’ll e-mail you later, so I can get your address. My daughter tested well on the admission tests and always was in the 98% or higher on the IQ tests. That is part of the reason for the late diagnosis. The fact that her sensory issues were not identified did not help. I now know there were obvious signs that we even mentioned to the initial psychologist. Sensory sensitivities are not even part of the criteria for Asperger’s and since she is verbal autism wasn’t considered. Girls frequently have signs that are overlooked especially if they are able to mimic others. That is part of the reason I wrote the book the way I did with the mom’s POV included to point out what signs were missed. It is also the reason I included an introduction that included medical information and study information.

      The best advice I can give on the school situation is to keep a watchful eye on things as much as you can. Volunteer when possible and observe from afar how the other kids treat her. Give her downtime to help her cope before she starts homework and ignore so called “normal” parents who think you are babying her. Our girls do grow-up, but it may take them a little longer to do somethings and teachers frequently misunderstand because they know they are smart.

      I wrote a 2 part post on preventing bullying for S-O-S for Parents a few months ago. Read the first part for helpful information to protect her.

  5. You know I have to forgive myself daily if not hourly. I also get upset with people who don’t see the same value in things as I do or do not understand the concept. The hardest thing for me to do is to accept people for people. I just want people to be fair and they have their own standards obviously than mine. There are times I feel petty because I get angry about it stuff like that but sigh…this is how we grow. Today has been a day where I have just stepped on one toe after enough over an issue like this and I have chosen just to forgive myself and go on.

  6. It is always a disappointment when people do not support us in the way we need. It does cause hurts and sometimes other things fall into place along with it. Some may be jealous of your endeavors and the book you were able to write and chose not to support you from pettiness. Also others may not be as mature as you in thinking and still harbor the desire to hide the truth instead of support and embrace.
    The bottom line is that it is their burden. You did the best you could and you did more than what they would or what others have done.
    Your daughter if very lucky to have you for a mother and I would deflect my thoughts to that fact when tempted to let those other people rob you of peace of mind.
    Best Wishes my friend,

    • Grace,
      Have I told you lately how much I value you and our cyber friendship? You always warm my heart!:)

      I am working on letting go of the hurt feelings and disappointment. I have resolved myself to the fact that I cannot reach all of the people as much as I might want to do this.

  7. Wow, Sue, my wife Sharon had a similar experience with her book. She wrote “Ceramic To Clay” over 5 years which traced our journey with Adam over his first 12 years…hoping that people would understand, care and embrace him fully. Of course, all received e-mail flyers and postcards about the same. Two of her brothers never bothered to even read or comment. Very close friends may or may not have read it, but failed to comment. Adam’s teachers, forget it. Strangers….loved it and commented and bought copies for their friends. I wish I could say it changed lives of family and “friends”; it didn’t. But it helped many others. I guess the family is waiting for the movie? Sorry your experience; you are not alone. I wish I understood the dynamic, but I do not.

    I too am intrigued by forgiveness because it’s illusive for me. The most powerful book on the path of forgiveness that I read and swear by is “On Apology” by Aaron Lazare….I am finishing Luskin’s book. Warmest wishes!

    • Phil,
      I knew you and Sharon would understand this post although I did not know she too had given family members the book about your story. I just purchased both Sharon’s book and On Apology on my Kindle. I have to say that three of five of my sister’s-in-law have read my book and one of my brothers is reading it. I am not sure if my other brothers or my husband’s other sister have even opened it. I hope I am wrong and somehow they just forgot to comment or are unsure of what to say.

      I know the story is helping others and I guess I will just have to be happy about that and let the rest go. Not easy to do as I know you agree. Sometimes I do wonder how people who grow-up in same house can be so different. My dad never stopped caring about his sister when she moved far away even when they didn’t always see eye-to-eye. He still called her frequently and she called him too. My mom never had to intervene or ask him to call either. Certainly, my dad would have been one of the first to read my novel if he were still alive. Like I said before my expectations are sometimes too high!

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