It is said that if you are patient, especially regarding an issue that has been bothersome, “more will be revealed”.
I decided, for the first year to alert my contacts in the autism network regarding my entire story, so that if anything happens to me, the story will be written. The whole story. Not just the very late discovery of the condition, but the scapegoating, the being hidden in an attic for 12 years, the current flying monkeys, etc. So the world is aware.
(For those who aren’t aware flying monkeys are generally low self-esteemed persons recruited by narcissists, who often give the FMs money or material goods or both and pretend to be their friends), in trade to do “their bidding” and purvey lies, rumors etc about the scapegoat in their family-of-birth. This can, and often is a “lifetime friendship”. Flying monkeys can also often be narcissists as well). Though most are unaware of “their roles” they’ve been given, many are aware and enjoy further damaging the real family victim to receive favor from the narcissist.
The second year, I plan to get more formal education on the topic and write a book, and the third year release a film. I don’t feel those are lofty goals, and I will have more education at that time to temper my knowledge with more researched information, making for a better film.
But back to the people with whom I cyber-associate.
For the several years I’d looked up to one, given that he has a descendant in his family with autism, and he showcases her, especially regarding her accomplishments. That made my heart flutter; to see a family that embraced the condition, and is actually quite proud of it.
I posted an Anne Lamont meme, one of her famous cynical quotes regarding “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better”. I didn’t say I was going to follow that “order”, I only posted it.
This kindly grandpa (and good man) wrote under it, “Oh so now you’re going to write about them”.
Am not sure what he meant by that. I am in hopes he was just having a bad day rather than projecting double-standards; that it would be okay for me to be abused, but not his own. Those things happen.
But much more important are the positive aspects of learning of this condition and how to deal with it. It is part of life. It is biological. It is inherited. It is not something I necessarily wanted. But it is something I ended up with.
I learned that the woman I chose to be my wife is the best wife anyone could ever have. She is not deterred in the least by the condition. If anything, she is my greatest advocate. We both make fun of, and laugh at “some of my little rituals”, mainly because they are, indeed funny, and it’s fun to laugh at that kind of silliness with someone I love dearly. I like to scrape paint off our walls (really); even in my sleep, I occasionally flap my hands, and other funny things. Really.
Also, emails and messages have come in almost weekly, many from my hometown who have told me they have children or other family members with autism, and discrimination is alive and well there (in Hattiesburg). In fact, they still “eat their young”. That is sad to hear, but really not so surprising. Hopefully the next generation is ahead of us in such ignorance and will do the right thing.
I also have received emails from scapegoats of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) families in which they are just now discovering what happened to them, why they are not liked, why the lies have spread to everyone except them, etc. That is also alive and well. NPD is a disorder (not a condition like autism) that is addictive and people with it are in denial. If they are parents they tend to “triangulate” their children creating a “golden child”, a “scapegoat” and often on that overlaps (or leaves) who is the “lost child”.
They often don’t help their own, yet are hyperactive in community affairs, doing far more than anyone else in charitable work, but of course it is all a show. They almost always have “to advertise” all the good that they’ve done. True charity is very quiet. NPD charity is fired with a cannon.
Those of us who are survivors of both autism and NPD families will continue to pray for them. Miracles do happen. People do get better. But only if they want to.
Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer. He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts. He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who is best known for her popular hiking blog HikeOurPlanet.com.