I don't watch daytime TV, nor do I get involved in large social issues that typically involve choosing opposing sides, so I learned of the interview on Dr. Phil's show in the 11th hour yesterday.
I am still sitting here this morning in a shock, even though I did not watch it. I caught a few glimpses. I read things from others who saw it, and I followed the event a little on Twitter.
This shock is one that I find myself in when I can't understand a social way of doing things. It's one that I can't shake, because I can't make sense of it. Not only did that interview upset me, (I am not even going to use her name here. She doesn't deserve to have her name in print giving it anymore attention.) but I saw a string of other articles yesterday (that I am also not gonna go search out, and share here) about abusive caretakers, and residential homes harming, abusing, and killing autistic residents.
My brain loops in confusion, and profound sadness.
I cannot make sense of why this is allowed to happen. Why is someone who tried to kill their child getting so much publicity? Why are they granted interviews with influential TV hosts before they are even sentenced? While she sits in jail accused of a heinous crime the spotlight shines on her struggles. This is not justice. This is not right. My mind trips on the fact that socially this is influencing people.
Then the fear sets in.
I fear the precedence this interview set for American TV viewing audiences. I shudder at the way strangers who saw that show will view my son the next time we are in a public place, and he begins to meltdown. A big, hefty young man bellowing loudly is sure to garner attention. I'd like the helpful kind. Maybe even ignore us, and mind your own business, but do not look at him with pity, and fear for the the person you judge him to be based on that interview.
What I fear most is that one single interview undid what years of autism (self and otherwise) advocacy took to get us to where we were in acceptance. Each excuse she gave unraveled a bit more of it until the audience was left with a view of autism as a monstrous burden. The exact opposite of how I want people to view my children.
As I have said before- People don't treat people they view as burdens very well. I cannot afford for my son's future to be seen as a burden on society. I fear the repercussion this will cause them.
Most of all I sit in profound sadness.
I am sad for Issy. I am sad for anyone who might lose their life, their dignity, and their freedom due to the impressions that interview left on people of what is ethical, excusable, and just.
I can't wrap my head around the damage I fear has been done. I can't understand the social contagion of condoning this act, understanding this act, or giving sympathy to it. You may think that it is my autistic brain getting stuck on rigid thinking. . I just can't see the gray in this situation. No. Failure to feed a psychopath's narcissism is not a gray are for me. It is not something I am interested in participating in at the cost of so many innocent people.
*Please note before commenting that if you're coming here to argue I am not interested. Thank you.