Friday, October 24, 2014

Saint Amanda martyr?

Saint Amanda martyr? from Amanda Mills

For the Iamnotkellistapleton flashblog.

This is likely my last  post about Issy Stapleton unless there are new developments and something more needs said.

When I was younger, around 18-19 years old,  I didn’t believe in grey.  Everything was black and white. Everything was either right, or it was wrong. It was good or it was evil. People who didn’t acknowledge just must be confused, or lazy.

In the last twenty years I’ve learned that nearly everything is grey, and really complicated. There are rarely simple answers especially when it comes to human relationships.

Late into those twenty years,  I earned my Bachelors Degree.

One thing I focused study on was family systems theory.  There are many different factors that affect each family, each member of that family and the individual relationships of members in that family in different ways. No single family is identical to another and each individual member of that family experiences family life differently.

There is no typical family.

People say autism is family/marriage ruining. They say that, because it is easier to look for a simple answer to “What went wrong?” than acknowledge its not that simple, or to acknowledge fault.

When an autistic child acts out aggressively its easier to blame the autistic child, or the autism as if its some sort of separate evil entity  than taking a close look at everyone involved and examining the environment and the people in it to see what factors are at play.

If a person  judges, others, or demonizes one person or one thing (idea, practice, set of people) it takes away responsibility for change. People will happily believe black and white, angel and demon, good and evil. Often we  don’t even make a conscious decision to do it, its merely a behavior pattern that works for us.

It is better to look at the facts and factors of each individual case.

It has been suggested that as a mother of autistic children I should understand and empathize with Miss Stapleton’s mother, because I must know, I must understand what autism puts us through.



I am not Kelli Stapleton.

I cannot relate to Kelli.

Let’s look at the facts shall we?
  • Kelli had supports and services for Issy that I never have.
I don’t think supports or therapy are half as important as love, and care. I do not believe in endless therapy that encourages “normal” behavior at the cost of individuality.
  • Kelli blamed autism for her daughter’s aggression and their poor relationship. It’s easier than taking a closer look at her own behavior or considering whether a change in their family environment, was needed.
I do not look for scapegoats.  I try to understand and learn because although over half of this household is autistic, myself included, I understand that we’re all different, and parenting is never easy. I also know its important to look after my own mental health.
  • Kelli posted in words, picture, and videos the  intimate details of her daughter’s life, putting her daughter in the worst possible light. She portrayed herself as martyr and victim.
Saint Amanda martyr I am not, and you won’t find me violating the kids’ privacy in that manner.  Whether or not too much is online, and how exactly to share our lives without oversharing about them is constantly on my mind. I also know that this  martyr/warrior attitude is unhealthy mentally in the long run, both for a parent’s mental health but also for their child. It is unhealthy for how the child perceives themselves and their relationship with their parent.
  • Kelli attempted to murder her child.
That is not ever going to happen.

As grey as the world has become, some things are still wrong.  Trying to murder someone is still wrong. Abusing someone, is still wrong.  Blaming a victim of abuse and attempted murder is still wrong. It is not understandable to me.
  • In sentencing Kelli’s lawyer also  blamed her mental illness for this behavior.
As someone with PTSD and the anxiety and constant low level depression it brings, I find that pretty damn insulting. 

No, I am not her, and I cannot relate.

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