Hi, friends. Today, I want to remind everybody that there is greatness. Empathy. Wonder.
But. I’m crying, and I don’t know who I’m crying for.
I’ve been really sad and angry about what’s happened this week. For those of you not in the autism community, you may be unaware of the recent tragedy. Kelli Stapleton tried to kill herself and her 14-year old daughter, Issy. I “met” Kelli through Jillsmo, during a fundraising effort back in February designed to help Issy receive further necessary treatment to address her violence.
In helping to spread the word, Kelli and I interacted a bit. Not much – I can’t really claim her as a friend in the way that I can claim Jill as one just barely because she may qualify more as a blog crush, but we were friendly. I guess I’m telling you this because Kelli was so lovely. So gracious. Delighted that we were helping to raise awareness for her daughter’s situation. She was funny and genuine.
She was nice.
Last week, she attempted a murder/suicide. And I don’t know what to think. I don’t know who I’m crying for. Am I crying for Kelli? For Issy? For Tucker? For me?
Yes, I guess. But I’m not sure.
I am sad. I am mad. I’m mad at Kelli. I’m mad at the situation. I’m mad and scared and hurt and worried that, in some cases, special needs people are SOMETIMES violent. I think that the fact that special needs can include violence is the hardest thing of all for me.
I keep erasing my words. I have to ask myself what bothers me so much about this.
What I’ve come up with is that I don’t want you to think that Tucker is like Issy.
I don’t want Tucker to be like Issy.
And that, my friends, makes me feel like an asshole. She’s just a kid with autism and she acts out – violently – when she’s upset. She was in treatment for the past six or eight months. She was released. Kelli was happy to have her home. And then? Then, something happened and Kelli decided that it was better for both her and her daughter to be dead.
How does violence fit into Our Land? It doesn’t. So am I a hypocrite? There are people in our world – some with special needs and autism, and some without – who are violent. And I don’t know where that violence fits. The fact is that the media uses autism as an excuse. It’s not. It’s a fact that violent acts are committed every day. It’s also a fact that more of them are committed by people withOUT autism or special needs than are.
But that some are committed by special needs people hurts. It hurts and it hurts to the point where I can’t think, can’t write, can’t process.
I recently wrote that if I had a choice to fix Tucker or fix the world, that I’d choose to fix the world. I still feel like that. But. In a case like Issy’s, I’d fix the child. I’d erase the violence.
Violence is never okay, right? So where does it fit and how do we erase it? If any of you have any insight, I’d appreciate it. I’m having a really hard time processing this whole thing and don’t know what to do with how I feel about it.
The media is dumb. Violence is more often committed by people without special needs or autism. But still.
I don’t know who I’m crying for.
My husband advised me against publishing this post. But I have to. I don’t know how to do this processing thing differently. I tell myself that I can take it down, tomorrow. I likely will. But in the meantime, I’d love your thoughts.
Ok. I won’t take it down. Please read this amazing post by Rocks, No Salt Mommy. I am humbled and amazed.