I’m Sorry I Hurt Your Feelings

Really, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.

Perhaps you are a parent, a therapist, a brother or sister, or somehow otherwise someone who has an autistic person in their life.

Perhaps I said something you didn’t like. Maybe I said I don’t want to see autistic people medically abused to solve “behaviors.” Maybe I said that ABA therapy is harmful. Maybe I said your anti-bullying system is cruel because it focuses on changing the bullied rather than the bully. Maybe I said that it’s okay for autistic people to have sex and masturbate. Maybe I said that doctors ignore our complaints. Maybe I had no sympathy for someone who murdered an autistic person, and said I don’t give a shit if they were stressed.

You see, no matter how nicely I try to say these things, how gently I try to explain that some things people do to autistics (even with good intentions) cause harm, it’s not these things that matter. Often, it’s the non-autistic’s feelings.

Even worse, for autistic people, these things aren’t about us wanting to defend our pride and ego, to have people have sympathy for us, or to justify whatever it is we’re currently doing. No, they are about our life.

You see, you might be upset because I dislike some random social skills training program.

Yet I had the shit kicked out of me for not being normal. I’ve literally run for my life. Even as an adult, I get stares, fingers pointed, and laughter directed at – certainly not with – me. So, yes, I’m sorry I said that social skills program was bad. But I’ve had decades of social skills training, decades of society trying to fix how I interact through negative reinforcement and repetition. I’d like to see people like myself able to live without fear of beatings and humiliation just because we forget some social rule.

You see, you might be upset because I say that the medical world sucks for autistic people, or that a drug is bad, because you’re doing that thing with someone you know.

Yet I go to the doctor and have my cries of agony ignored, because I’m probably just “anxious.” I’ve never had pain adequately treated by a doctor, with the exception of some dentistry (and only some). My cries of pain are ignored. Pretty much always. As are my sensory concerns. Ironically, I’m accused of not wanting treatment for autism, but when I ask for treatments that exist for sensory conditions that cause me pain, I’m ignored or told “everyone has that.” No, everyone does not have this pain when they go outside. You’re upset because I said the strong anti-psychotic you gave your kid might be a bad idea. Of course I’m part of the people doctors try to trick into receiving it against our will. So, ya, it’s a little personal for me.

You see, you might be upset because I lack empathy with the parent who drowned/choked/poisoned/stabbed/shot their autistic child — I don’t recognize how hard it is to be a parent.

Yet it’s not non-autistic parents that are being drowned and choked and poisoned, it’s autistic people. It’s people like me. So you aren’t going to get an apology from me when I have more empathy for the child that was a problem to dispose of, rather than having empathy for the adult who should seek a solution to their problems that doesn’t involve murder.

I realize #NotAllParents are awful to their kids. Plenty of therapists do good work. There are some wonderful doctors. I get that – how could I not? But I should not be forced to shut up about how me and my kind are being harmed just because people don’t like hearing certain things they might or might not do are harmful. All too often, we’re asked to remember the feelings of others, and how it might feel to have something they do be criticized – as if we don’t know what that feels like, having everything from the way we smile to the way we show joy to the interests we have to our self care skills criticized our entire life. We know what it feels like to be criticized. We also know what it feels like to be subjected to constant behavioral treatment, forced medication, inferior medical care, sub-standard education, and physical attack. We know what it feels like to be bullied every day of 13 years of school, with no day when you’re just left alone. We know what it feels like when the first thing talked about when another autistic person is murdered is how hard the caregiver’s life must have been.

In the meantime, I better remember to tell all the non-autistic people that they are okay and doing nothing wrong, whether or not they are. I can’t leave this unsaid, lest some person read criticism that wasn’t intended. Their feelings matter. That’s what this conversation is supposed to be about, after all.

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10 Responses to I’m Sorry I Hurt Your Feelings

  1. Xenia Grant says:

    Excellent! And so true.

  2. pvtsquid134 says:

    The enemy is worried about being offended…
    Told you A$ was communist! The FARTCRACKS want nothing more than to sweep us into the GULAG…

  3. We autistics DO interact well socially with other autistics and often with many other (kinds of) so-called “disabled” people. We may not interact “correctly” (according to non-autistic standards and values) with neuro-typical (non-autistic) people. That’s absolutely normal: NO ONE interacts as well outside their own social group as they do with others who are like themselves. Non-autistics have a responsibility to CHANGE, ADAPT, and COMPROMISE with us autistics (and all disabled people). The weight can not all be on us to change to meet neuro-typicals’ needs and demands.

  4. Mumma says:

    Oh please. You’re experience as a child with autism must have been pure hell to invite such a diatribe. My 5 year old son with autism is loved, treated with respect, patience, understanding, empathy. But do you have any idea how difficult it is? If I could be him I would. Just so I could understand. Autistic adults should stop nagging N-T parents. We are doing the best we fucking can here people. How about providing insight into the minds of your younger “kind” in order to help, rather than the constant negativity?

    • CC says:

      You say “nagging.” We say “telling you you are actively harming us.”

      If you actually want to understand, listen to us. You aren’t, so I have to assume you just feel frustrated and want sympathy. Go to Parenting Autistic Children With Love and Acceptance on Facebook – autistic adults give of their time and energy willingly to help parents. We bend over fucking backwards to help you people, and we get gaslit, insulted, and threatened for our time.

      In short, kiss the fattest part of my ass. Pathetic protestations of “it’s so haaaard” and “I’d do anything to understand” mean absolutely nothing when you are literally not even taking the first step – listening to the people in the group you claim to ally with. Never mind that hey, parenting is hard. If you couldn’t hack it, you shouldn’t have had kids.

      I grow tired of parents acting like we have no right to speak for our own community. And you should be lucky you tried this shit here instead of on my own blog.

      • pvtsquid134 says:

        These parent-led Commie collectives survive on forced compliance, just like the Jim Crow era. I say Jim Crow because we’re catching the same hell as our black friends have at that time; yet I pray there are no displayed executions like the Ku Klux Klan has performed. All we can do right now is coalesce as much as possible…

    • You can’t claim to be a good ally to me and mine if you don’t stop running your mouth and listen to us for five seconds. Your kind always say it’s time to listen but you never listen to anything but your own words. Hypocrite

      • pvtsquid134 says:

        RIGHT! These parent-led SHITOCOPIAS have destroyed the neurodivergent people LONG ENOUGH! However, God must judge our enemies in his time. All we can do is keep his laws and commandments for his kingdom is much more fruitful than the earth will ever be. I understand that A$ has turned the whole world into Babylon, but just remember this:

        “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
        call on him while he is near.
        Let the wicked forsake their ways
        and the unrighteous their thoughts.
        Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
        and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
        -Isaiah 55 Verses 6:7

  5. caelesti says:

    We do that. We offer guidance and advice to parents, and some of them listen and follow up on our advice. Others tell us we don’t have “real” autism, and that our experiences are not valid because we don’t have degrees in autism therapy. We recognize that raising autistics can be difficult. Older autistic adults usually have had more bad stuff happen to them, because there was less information available at the time.