Excerpt from my upcoming book (also being co-written by several psychologists) and some laymen who don’t know they are writing the ending of my book. They are.
What Happened To Me – No Longer A Mystery
It would be the epitome of hypocrisy for me to be for equal rights for those with disabilities (with which we who have them are often born with them) but not be supportive of the gay community (when it’s been proven again and again, gay is how they are born). There is no fixing autism. There is no fixing gay. Fixing hate is virtually impossible, but has been done and is done every now and again. Sadly, more often than not, hate remains hate, and the hater waves it like a sacred banner.
Though I am straight, and married to a woman who I love, I also am autistic/w Asperger’s and was not diagnosed until age 60. My parents decided not to have me tested but hid me away in an attic bedroom instead. They (my parents) and my siblings resided far on the other side of the house, in downstairs bedrooms. The “isolation process of Rick had begun” at age 6 at 109 Mandalay Drive. The year was 1960. I was six years old.
I could not hear them talk, laugh, or cry. I could not hear them interact. When my brother was born, I couldn’t hear him cry. I was basically alone from age 6 to age 17 unless friends visited. My parents banned most my friends “for their bad behaviors”, however, so it was “alone again, naturally”.
Isolating the “scapegoat child” in a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) family is one of the most common fingerprints of such a family; and there is no better way to do so than to make certain the scapegoat child resides in a bedroom (preferably in a large home) as far away from the other siblings as possible). My parents had that part down to an art.
They told me (when I cried which was often), it was “a special room” because I was such a “special child”. That did not stop the crying. Any 6 year old would be frightened out of his/her mind alone in an attic while the other siblings had rooms across and next to the parents (in what might as well have been another home….it was that far away from my “attic hideaway”.
Why was I chosen as the scapegoat child when I could have been “the golden child” or another archetype? Often it is “a luck of the draw”. There is little doubt, now that we know of my autism (people don’t ‘catch’ autism, they are born with it), it is because I “acted different”. Decent humane parents immediately get help for a child who “acts different”. NPD afflicted parents do all they can to punish and isolate the child from themselves (the parents) and other siblings. I’m certain my autism forced me to have odd movements, speech impediments, excessive eyeblinking, clumsiness, etc. That type child to an NPD parent would be the easiest to “be the troublemaker” or “scapegoat” and “programming” would not be as difficult.
This is not the kind of thing anyone wants to write of their parents. Like all adults, we want to have fond memories of our parents as so many our friends do. We want to brag on the amazing, wonderful things they did for us. So this is not going to be a “fun read” nor is it going to be fun to write. It is going to be pertinently necessary to write and I suggest if there is even a hint of the scent of narcissistic/manipulative behavior in your home, to seek professional assistance). Do not confront the instigators. Find a way to tell a friend, school counselor, psychologist, or even the police. Just make sure you get help. Otherwise, It only gets worse. Way worse.
My recent diagnosis of autism/Asperger’s was truly not a big surprise; but a bit of a painful one; a lot to digest/absorb at this point in my life. So was learning of having NDP disorder parents.
I also was born with vanus (a horrific form of flat feet which is very painful). That too, was “overlooked”. My wife saw it within 2 years. I stood and walked a bit like a duck with inward pointed feet. When asked I told her I’d always stood and walked that way. She was beside herself that nobody had diagnosed it before now (at age 60).
I had it diagnosed and sure enough, it was a classic case. People don’t catch vanus. One can only be born with it. Again, my parents decided best not to have it tested. No need. Crippling a child is fine. By the way I later became a long distance runner (finished two marathons). My parents knew I was running them (and training 100s of miles for them) and said nothing. My father was born with flat feet. He was of draft age during WW2, but at that time flat feet kept one from military duty.
Vanus does not get a lot of sympathy. Of all the pain I’ve experienced, and I’ve experienced a great deal including two major heart attacks (3 surgeries for them), appendicitis and subsequent surgery, serious sleep apnea and a new type of surgery that was the most painful post-surgery (including that of heart attacks) I’ve ever experienced, and several other horrendous experiences. Of all that pain, nothing even holds a candle to vanus when it is untreated. The pain was often so horrific, it was beyond child abuse. I did not “understand pain” that is not visible (such as a scar, a cut, or something that showed blood), as I was too young to describe that type of pain that came and went, was sharp, then dull (all depending on how I was standing or walking). My doctors and specialists today are, just like with my autism, absolutely stunned no parent or guardian cared enough to have me tested for either. It boggles their/and my mind. But it is truly the story of my life. It is very easily proven (one cannot “catch” vanus or autism, they are only born with it); end of story. No need for debate. Two of the state’s top experts made the assessments and diagnosis.
In my 60 years with it, it never occurred to me that I had it until Lee asked me why I walked and stood up funny. I didn’t have a clue. We were at a limb and brace company, getting an elastic brace for my arm (tendonitis..also quite painful), and she saw the foot chart on the wall, pointed it out, showed the worker, who said, “Yes, surely looks like it. See your doctor”. That’s just what I did, who referred me to a specialist who xrayed it, and guess what?
Vanus and a very bad case at that. Orthordic inserts almost immediately started the healing process, and I could even hike again. Though somewhat painful on some days, I can feel the orthodics grabbing all my joints, bones, etc and pulling them back into shape. Some days walking and standing feels “almost normal”. It is amazing (and sad) to think my parents didn’t know or care enough to even have them checked knowing it was/is congenital and my father was born with it and had it all his life. Again, fixing that did not play into the scapegoat child model.
Had they not worked, it would have put me in a terrible catch-22 in that my cardiologist demands that I get some exercise, and given that I like to hike with Lee and nature seems to have its own healing properties, I would have had to give up my favorite avocation. Lee’s even teaching me photography (and she’s really the master of nature/wildlife photography). Hiking and photography has added a whole new dimension to my life. Of course I love writing cartoons so take my “genius pad and pen” with me (as my 1st writing teacher used to call them), and often find ideas just coming to me from the universe without my even trying to force them. Something magic happens out there.
The pain aftershock was beyond belief. After 15 years of loving running, doctors suggested I stop running. They didn’t have to make me stop, I knew how much damage I had done. The local doctor said my feet were nothing more than a “bag of bones” that I was dragging around when I hiked or walked. Fortunately orthodic inserts have begun the healing process 60 years later. Again a big applause for negligence NPD parents. When I tell you they do not want their scapegoat to be healthy and strong, it is not sour grapes. It is the tell-tale sign of NPD disorder parents, a type of sociopathic behavior that is very difficult to treat. That is not “me talking”. That is from all the psychological textbooks in the study of psychology and psychiatry.
So I continued with life the best I knew how. No advice, no mentoring, just instincts.
Regarding the autism/Asperger’s, My wife Lee first noticed some of the “little rituals” such as “eye blinking”, “hand flapping”, etc. Though not always as noticeable as Michael J. Fox, but sometimes even more so, it came as a surprise to me. At first it confused Lee. Now we both laugh about it, given that we know what it is. I have scraped a large “artistic mural” with my fingernail by our bedside. This at first bothered her. Now she looks at it as a “work of art”. It is one of the many “little rituals” that my body does that it “simply does”. I cannot help it. It is a part of my autism. Back to the attic bedroom……
Many will say, “Well they didn’t know much about autism then”, and they would be correct. However, my parents were no dummies and they knew by the time I was age 6 something was very wrong, enough to keep me as hidden (and isolated from my other siblings) as possible.
If I could have been born without such a condition, I gladly would have. Does it hurt? Not in the least; that is, unless you want to talk about the bigots, the ignorant and the haters who run from me or project their evil behavior or whatever it is that floats their boat…makes them feel mighty and powerful.
In addition, I was struggling with being the scapegoat child in an NPD family. The last thing people with NPD disorder should ever have is children, (unless they have years of intense psychotherapy first). My parents had three (children).
Generally NPDs are infallible, and they do something called “triangulation” with their children, that is, talk/gossip about the other children to one, and then go to the others and gossip and make up stories about the first one. They create a scapegoat child, often a lost child and a golden child, in cases of 3 children (such as my family). Sometimes the roles overlap. But the children have no choice to play the NPD parent’s nefarious game, or run away.
It’s hard to run away when you are five or even ten (especially when you have autism or Aspergers). The NPD model can be created with more (or less children) but three seems to be ideal. At least it was for my parents.
Of course the scapegoat child can “do no right”, the “golden child” can do no wrong” and the lost child is often a bit confused and often leaves never or rarely to return to his/her hometown. Sometimes the roles overlap depending on the situation, but in the long run they remain the same.
There is much more to NPD Disorder but, not being a psychologist, I can only purvey my experience as a victim of it (as the scapegoat child). There are countless articles on google. Perhaps one of the easiest to understand is one I found in “Psychology Today”.
Keep in mind, just because the scapegoat in an NPD unit sees “more trouble” than the others, does not mean the others walked away “unbruised”, anything but. Remember, they too were manipulated to meet their/our parents needs and played their roles well. Hopefully, they too, got the therapy they need and deserve. They were used, dupes if you will, and thought they were “in on some big secret”, or “in some inner circle”. They were not. It’s a very sad way to live and is usually repeated the next generation, and the next, and next until hopefully a conscience whistle-blower says “STOP THE INSANITY”. and get massive network (and if need be governmental support) if harassed. And that is exactly what I did.
Nobody needs to go through life only knowing the manipulations of NPD parents. Love is nothing like NPD manipulation. And love is worthwhile and my prayer is that everyone gets to experience it.
Please don’t get me wrong. I made plenty of errors and was far from the “perfect child”. But the more one studies, the more one realizes most of my behavior was simply “acting out” what narcissistic parents were programming me to do, so they could be “victims” of this terrible child. And of course the community “bought it” (perfect parents/demon child). Who is going to believe a 6 year old autistic crying child hidden away in an attic vs his already established 30 year old parents, icons of the community? The difference between me, and the now living next generation of narcissists (and their minions/flying monkeys who spread the gossip and lies about Rick) is that I KNOW I was not perfect. Until this day, they are not sure who/what they are; and sadly, why they do what they do. They don’t have a clue that their anger is not directed at me, but at the very people who really abused them. It’s insidious. It’s sad, but it happens all the time and some of the brightest people fall for it, or sell their souls for it (for a condo, or a family business) or you name the item.
Do you have “flying monkeys” in your life? They can be around long after your narcissistic parent(s) are deceased. They keep the rumors/lies alive about you. And they never stop unless they find out it can truly damage their lives. The very destructive ones continue nevetheless until the law makes them stop (or puts them away).
Though I hear often of the “flying monkeys” in my hometown from third parties (most related to me or married to ones related to me), the last one who really tried to do some damage in my local hometown was/is an 80 something year old cousin living in Houston, Tx. He’d contacted some local businessmen whom I know and made up some odd lies and wouldn’t leave them alone. He was determined to “put me on the street” or whatever insanity was in his mind. I immediately contacted the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) and the “flying monkey” was suddenly silent. I do not know if they silenced him or if my local businessmen friends asked him to leave them alone and if he had a fight, to take it up with me.
What they didn’t know is that all “flying monkeys” are cowards, very much so, and are not likely to do so. Especially knowing what the scapegoat has experienced. The scapegoat is much, much stronger than the lost child or golden child and can withstand situations the others could never imagine. Plus now this scapegoat knows just where to go if it ever happens again. The game of pin-the-tail on the scapegoat is long over, and if someone tries to play it again, they get to see this time what the consequences is, and to be fair, I don’t think they could endure it. Seriously, I don’t. And of course I wouldn’t want them to endure it. After all, they’ve been injured as well (and don’t know it) but it would then be out of my hands; hence I’m in great hopes they know to do the right thing. Time will tell.
Conveniently missing from our “family history” is the fact that our home at 104 Mandalay burned nearly to the ground after the landscaper left the cap off his lawn mower and put it next to the hot water heater in the storage shed. My parents were at a cocktail party and the maid/babysitter had locked herself out after smelling smoke and ringing the doorbell. The reason I remembered it was on a Thursday night about 7:40pm CST is that I was watching my favorite show “The Munsters”. Herman Munster was playing the piano so badly it caught on fire. Meantime smoke was coming from my closet door in the attic. I remember thinking “How cool. 3d TV” or something similarly.
Then I realized this was a real fire. My older sister was in the bathroom taking a bath. I pounded on the door to alert her of the fire. She thought I was joking as I tended to be a practical joker (to cope) but I was not. She finally believed me after I knocked nonstop for about 10 minutes. I was not sure what to do, as I didn’t know, at first it was the maid (who had locked herself out investigating what turned out to be a fire in the storage shed…by now quickly spreading across the entire home).
I made sure my sister understood I was being sincere and exited the house. My younger (5 year old) brother sat paralyzed in fear on the couch in the den. I grabbed him by the arm as smoke billowed throughout the house and next door to the Ward’s house (Frostop). Fortunately Dick Ward (we called him Dick then, he is Richard Ward now) was there to make sure Andy was safe. Fortunately he is still alive and can verify my fire story. So can the Hattiesburg Fire & Police Departments as I think they keep things like that on record. I also stayed in the house and called the fire department until I was sure my siblings were safe.
So, though never really given credit, we have Richard Ward (after I was able to get Andy out of the burning home and to the Ward’s home) to keep him there and safe, and from wandering back into our burning home. He stayed safe at the Ward’s until my parent’s returned. Rather late, but thank you Richard. I never (until this day) received a “thank you” from either of my siblings. They simply returned to their roles of “flying monkeys” where they have remained stagnant all these years. They have recruited many others; some (it has made the physically ill) and have revealed to me some of the insane lies, but at least they started me on my venture to find out exactly what was happening and why.
And though something like NPD disorder in parents cannot be explained with logic, it does show that even the most “reliable familiar” icons of any community can be very ill when out of the limelight. Beyond ill. Ill enough to make Joan Crawford look good. This kind of behavior goes way beyond child abuse. It is lifetime abuse. It is the undermining of every single project they were able to undermine. It is sick beyond sick. And sadly, it is much more commonplace than on my block. That is why I am writing this. Not for revenge. A blog is hardly revenge. It is to help others recognize it and escape it if they find themselves in it, or even find themselves duped as a flying monkey. It’s never too late to escape those roles, and it is so necessary for anyone’s sanity.
The 104 Mandalay house fire was a tragedy and we lost just about everything.
This incident was talked about often after it happened for several months and suddenly stopped as if it never happened. I thought that was just the way things happened at the time. Now I know my parents were scurrying for ways to put “Rick’s role back from hero/golden to scapegoat” and, at only age 11 or so, I was more than willing to play along. After all, didn’t all parents love their children unconditionally, or at least conditionally? Not necessarily.
A strange thing happened though. Keep in mind I was only age about 11 years old, I hadn’t a clue I had autism then, nor that I was in a dysfunctional home. All of a sudden my “role” went from “scapegoat child” to “hero child”. For nearly a week, I could do no wrong. It felt very strange, and frankly I didn’t like the role or all the positive attention. I didn’t realize why, but I was only used to negative attention (even when I was doing positive things).
But this positive thing was on city and county record so my parents must have been beside themselves. No berating or criticizing Rick (though the majority of that was done covertly anyway except for the family-gossip-broadcasts). They knew they must at least make a public showing of how great I was for saving my sibling’s lives (which is what they kept telling me I did). They couldn’t stop “holding meetings with me and telling me how proud they were of me”, so often that it didn’t feel real. Of course now I know it wasn’t real in the least. It messed up their whole model of “scapegoat/demon child” who was making “their lives impossible”.
But it didn’t last long. The criticism and berating came back as fast as they left. It at least felt comfortable again, as it was familiar.
Since perfection/ambiance is so important in an NPD family, it was decided that I did not have autism (or whatever they thought it was). They decided not to have it tested (or me tested for any such disorders, though certainly they knew something was amiss, hence the isolation in the attic), and instead began their “isolation process”.
I am not showing a photo of our first home as it had no attic and I don’t remember it well. It is where Bob Wilson later lived and also AAA Ambulance Service was on S. 28th Ave. behind the Highway Patrol. All I remember from there is hanging upside down in the back yard on mimosa tree limbs and playing with insects. I lived there from age 3 days to 5.5 years old.
Then my maternal grandfather, Marcus London, developed the first subdivision west of the Forrest General Hospital, “Hillendale” in 1960.
We lived in two homes from the time I was 5 to age 17, one was at 109 Mandalay Dr. (1960-1963) and the other at 104 Mandalay Dr. (1963-1971). At age 17, my parents divorced and instead of living with either of them, my father purchased a trailer and rented it to me while still a senior in high school. In other words I was abandoned/orphaned physicallyat age 17, though of course technically, emotionally, I was abandoned the day I was born. I was often told I was an ugly baby; that I looked like “Andy Gump”. I didn’t know who Andy Gump was, but later discovered he was a character actor who played “the ugly guy in movies”. They all laughed upon saying it. I didn’t get why that was funny. Now I know it was all part of the abuse.
Above is our 2nd home, but our first home in Hillendale. The address was 109 Mandalay Dr was our home from 1960-1963. If you look in the center of the home on the roof, you will see a gable. That gable has no windows and it is the back side of my attic bedroom. My windows only opened via “slits” and a turn nob. Nobody could see me. It faced high hedges in the back yards. Even residents in the homes behind us couldn’t see me (usually crying) in the attic bedroom due to the high hedges. Those high hedges were “very important” to keep that NPD scheme alive.
My few playmates thought it was a “cool room”. Even though I cried for most of that period, I was finally convinced it was “a cool room that any child my age would want” and of course I believed it. It turned out to be a very common method of “scapegoat child isolation” to keep that child apart from the other siblings. Though the house does not look massive, it is. There is an “L” on the right side and the master and other childrens bedrooms are far away from the attic bedroom. I was unable to hear them, even when their voices were loud. I was petrified during those years. But did not know I had rights (such as calling social services etc). Today if that happened, the parents would be incarcerated and the child to a safe orphanage or other adoptable home free of NPD parents). The house still stands and one can drive by and see the “isolated attic in the back”…or the gable of the back of my old bedroom from the front.
Above you are seeing an aerial view of our next home 104 Mandalay Dr. I remember hearing my father alert us he was building it and we were moving. By then my younger brother was born. I was so relieved, feeling they had come to their senses and I would be living with the rest of the family. Not the case. The home was much larger…and so was my new attic bedroom. The red “balloon shows the roof”. Slightly to the right of that you see a white bedroom built into the roof with blue shingles on top, and white wood siding. It also faces the back, not the front, directly facing high hedges in back of our home. Another home and those high hedges blocked it from S. 28th Ave (and blocked from the back of the homes on that street behind our home). In other words, once again, nobody could see me from the outside; even with the windows and drapes open.
Again I cried and acted out, but still did not know I had any rights. So I stayed as the scapegoat who absorbed all the family’s issues, and lived there until age 17 when I was put into a trailer with other wayward kids only to get into trouble as I hadn’t a clue what I was supposed to do, which is perfect for a scapegoat child to do (it means he/she’s been properly programmed by his NPD parents). As scared as I was in the trailer with no skills or worldly knowledge, it was better than my “torturous hidden attic bedrooms”. I could see people and the street from my trailer window.
It is easy to show a house with an attic roof that was my bedroom. But it doesn’t give you the full story (as a neighbor would have seen it). So I remembered I occasionally chat to an old neighbor on facebook. I asked her on facebook in private message if she remembered my attic bedroom (I sort of doubted she would have given that she was only five when she and her family moved into the neighborhood). Here was her reply. (She said she didn’t mind at all if I used her full name and even showed her photo). I decided it best to block out most her face and name, knowing the type destructive damage the “flying monkeys” are willing to do to make it seem “Rick was bad and they were victimized”, but you can see her message. It even looked very sad to her. I can only imagine how it appeared to a young girl age 5 from a loving family.
After failing college several times, I was “taken back in” to have a roof over my head sporadically in my 20s and even 30s at times, but I had no workable skills of which to speak. I tried school a few times to no avail. I had been too busy simply learning to survive at poverty level (when I was lucky). Anyone who understands undiagnosed autism, knows this is analogous to a child living in a country who doesn’t speak the language. Another good analogy is a southpaw with his left hand tied behind his back forced to be right-handed. In other words it was torture that never ended. In between the pain, I spent countless hours in the library, and later on the Internet to learn as many skills as possible.
My dad said, “I have an opportunity for you. You study and get a real estate license and you’ve got a job selling residential real estate forever for me”. I passed the test after 3 tries and sold homes in his residential division which he had planned to close for about a year. It was on commission only which mean starving at best.
When my brother came to work for him several years later he was immediately put in charge of the commercial division for a very large salary and given a title. He later took it over.
When one thinks of my dad, they think of equality and fairness. (I hope you can see I am being facetious). I did not expect the same level of career, but slavery vs wealth is not quite what a healthy parent does either. I worked very hard when I worked for him. I dressed in a suit. I got to work early. I left late. I made calls. I had no idea I was a hated scapegoat child “at war with an NPD” parent. I know now.
Waterboarding is horrendous but abandoning an autistic child who is also the scapegoat of NPD parents is nonstop torture for many years. Not to underplay such torture which is hideous, it does end. Setting free an un-diagnosed autistic scapegoat child into the world makes waterboarding look like child’s play. It never ends. The pain and total confusion is a daily minute by minute experience. The years of experience tells the victim it is not going to end either. I am going to keep my opinion of the perpetrators to myself, and allow you to make a judgement call.
The only phrase that comes to my mind is “Extremely cruel and unusual punishment”. The living siblings and some relatives and their friends continue to attempt to perpetrate it. Word does get back to me. God help them in their illness; though my case has proven it is never too late to get well, or at least get on the right track to freedom from that kind of bondage. Yes they were harmed too, badly. They were simply given “balm” or material things to make it seem they weren’t. Most of them are old (and hopefully wise enough) now to know that is what that was.
Thank God some insightful lawmakers have now made it impossible to hurt me anymore. That does not mean they do not still try. Word does get back to me. No not my parents but numerous relatives and friends tell me. Now the DOJ (of which the Americans With Disabilities is a part) is monitoring my case, and they seem to have a special interest, and, I believe will make certain no more damage is done to me, no more needless pain is caused.
The rumors will continue to fly, most likely back home. From what all the articles read about NDP parents, their “flying monkeys”, usually other siblings, mutual friends etc., stay forever. Their lies and badmouthing are very much a part of their persona and they wear it as a fashion statement. And remember, now the “golden child” is an adult, and without a “scapegoat”, the adult “golden child” feels very uncomfortable and usually cannot stand.
That part I understand and they have my prayers. Meantime, I’ve worked steadily on my cartoons which have lured 8.8+ million fans to my website. Many of them have become real friends. My wife who I love is also my real friend, and we have real friends who hike on our same trails. None of them care about hometown/tiny minded rumors 500 miles away, and when it occasionally leaks to our locale, they toss it out and take it with a grain of sand. They know the real me, and most tell me how sad they feel of that experience and even more so of the people behind it.
I tell them not to, and I mean it. Had that experience not happened to me, had I been treated fairly or even humanely, I would have never moved to paradise (rural Arkansas), never would have met my beloved wife Lee, and never would have launched Londons Times Cartoons. So I really have “the bad guys” to thank for those blessed events (though I’m sure that was not their motive) but you know these things happen, and I do hope (not being facetious) that good things happened for them too.
This is not the type of story I like to write. The story does not define me, in fact today it is only a historical part of me.
Today I have a loving wife, I live in paradise and hike the Ouachita Mountains app. 3 times a week with my talented nature/wildlife photography wife, we’re vegans and we live a healthy lifestyle, nothing like what I was taught in my youth. It doesn’t even resemble it a little. We are inclusive to others who were born with disabilities, etc.
I returned to a very good private college at age 49, just one year after my first major heart attack, and finished about 3 years (before having more surgeries and yet more heart issues). I still plan to finish, and will.
Which brings me back to accepting gay rights. Gays are born gay. No matter what ones philosophical or religious feelings might be of gays, we can all agree that gays are born gay. It is not a choice. Children with autism are born with autism.
There is no fixing either. Hiding an autistic child away in an attic did not make him (me) less autistic. Had they been healthy parents, I would have most likely gotten proper assistance and “autistic education” which is quite a bit different than regular education which I found quite boring. I am what they consider “high functioning” hence I most likely would have been put in a gifted class throughout school.
But it was not to be. I have no regrets and I don’t feel sorry for myself in the least. Look at the life I’ve gotten to live due to my autism/and Asperger’s and am living now. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Now that I know my rights, and am plugged into the ADA/DOJ (who knows my entire story), it will be more difficult now to do more harm and if tried, I can fight back. It doesn’t hurt to also be plugged into two of the largest autism/Asperger’s sites worldwide, full of lawyers (many of whom have suffered the same/or similar fate as I did. That feels comforting and actually is comforting.
So now if the leftover “minions” or “flying monkeys” cast aspersions at their own risk and a very big-risk it is. That means a whole lifestyle/behavior modification for most of them. Even given the risk-taker I have been in my life, I wouldn’t take a risk like that for anything in the world. And the smart ones are finding new hobbies (other than “lies about Rick”, I’m told).
So, I learned (the hard, painful way) that autism cannot be prayed away, modified away via behavior modification, hidden in an attic away etc.
Now I realize what many gays have experienced. I learned that they, too, often suffered from “parental manipulation” or “behavior modification” from parents or teachers or friends or whomever, who decided it was there duty to make sure they “fixed them”. The only people who needed fixing were the ones trying to do the fixing aka “the haters”. Gays are born exactly as they are supposed to be. There is nothing to fix. That is abuse. That is a crime.
Whether a gay child has NPD parents or simply bad parents, if they get it in their mind that that child needs fixing, and tries, that is child abuse of the worse kind. Think about that, parents, if you happen to have a gay child. He/she is fine just as he/she is, and should be celebrated, not changed or even “just tolerated”. Parents should be proud and supportive of that child. The same is true of autism. Or any disability with which one is born. Any behavior otherwise is beyond sinful.
Please note many have good and even great parents, and they do not suffer the needless abuse to try to “fix them”. The same is true of so many children with autism and/or Asperger’s.
Meanwhile Lee and I will always be supportive of all people, however they are born. We will never “try to fix them” or support anyone “trying to fix them” whether they be gay, straight, male, female, autistic, Aspie-ish, slow, fast, fat, slim, or you name it.
The God to which we pray doesn’t make mistakes. We believe everyone is perfect just as they are. He knows what he’s doing, believe it or not.