I have a wonderful group of autism-blogger friends. This group started in the comments sections of each others blogs, brought together by Adventure In Extreme Parenthood’s Special Needs Ryan Gosling Meme. Through the blogs and then on facebook, I found people who really know what I’m going through. They understand my love of writing, they get autism. This is a group made up of parents of autistic children, many having autism themselves. These people have not only become some of my closest friends, they’ve become family. Especially Jill Smo and Flannery. I love eating cake with them.
It’s funny. I did Facebook’s ‘year in review’ thing. It basically crawled through all of my posts and then did a timeline of the best parts of the year. I made 458 Facebook friends last year, most through this blog. Of the 458, the ONE AND ONLY was highlighted in all of it was Jim Walter. I even posted that and made a dig at him about it. And he dug back. There was banter, as there usually is with Jim. It’s always good for a laugh. On the surface, it might very much look like a brother/sister fight between the two of us, and it’s not too far off. I feel like Jim has very much become like a brother to me in this autism family. If someone took our conversations literally, you might think that Jim had a sick fetish with my teeth, or that we were being mean to each other. Good thing no one takes us literally, right?
Well. Not so much. In a conversation in a closed Facebook group, Jim said something he didn’t mean literally. He was kidding around, as he usually does. The other person in that thread, a prominent autistic blogger, wrote a post about Jim calling him several terrible things. AND THEN WENT IN AND EDITED HIS POST SO THAT IT NO LONGER SAID THE THINGS IT HAD ORIGINALLY SAID. IT’S WHAT THIS GUY DOES. HE CHANGES THINGS TO FIT HIS NARRATIVE. HE’S COMPLETELY OFF HIS ROCKER. HE KEEPS COMING BACK TO THIS POST. HE’S BEEN HERE SEVEN TIMES IN THE LAST TWO HOURS! I WROTE THIS POST MONTHS AND MONTHS AGO. IT’S FUNNY, THIS IS THE GUY THAT SAYING THAT I WANT TO BE THE CENTER OF HIS UNIVERSE…YET HE KEEPS COMING BACK HERE. HE’S THE ONE WRITING POSTS ABOUT ME. HE’S THE ONE THAT COMPLETELY MADE SHIT UP IN A POST. IT’S REALLY QUITE SICK. AND THE WORST PART? HIS FOLLOWERS THINK HE’S THIS GREAT GUY. YOU DON’T EVER SEE A COMMENT THAT SAYS “UHM, I KNOW BOTH SIDES OF THIS STORY AND YOU WERE A BIG BULLY HERE” YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY? BECAUSE HE DELETES ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T SHINE A POSITIVE LIGHT ON HIM. HE SPENDS HOURS AND HOURS A DAY TROLLING PEOPLE THROUGH MESSAGES ON FACEBOOK. HE REALLY IS A SAD, SCREWED UP LITTLE MAN.
And I wanted to. I did. But I could not. That’s why I have my own blog. That’s why I’m here. Jim is too good to too many people to let me sit passively by as someone defames him in such a way. This was a misunderstanding. Jim apologized. The blogger accepted the apology, but kept the post up, and has allowed for the anti-jim dialog to continue in the comments by people who don’t even know Jim.
So let me tell you more about Jim.
Ask anyone who REALLY knows Jim if they think he’s a bigot. If they think he’s mean. They’ll laugh at you. Jim is nothing of the sort. He’s helped me to get through some rough times. He’s helped me to have more confidence in my writing. He’s helped me to understand my son’s autism better, and was instrumental in my coming to a place of peace- and even excitement and love- for my son’s autism. The LAST thing Jim is is bigoted- towards people with autism, towards anyone. Last month, I met a man whose own daughter had just been diagnosed with autism. He looked shell shocked. His situation was so similar to Jim’s that I sent Jim a quick message on facebook asking if I could share his info with this guy. Jim jumped at the opportunity to help someone out. He always does.
I joked about the day Jim and I became friends coming up as the highlights of last year, but it really was. I’m lucky to have him. The autism community is lucky to have him. If you are too, PLEASE, tell us why in the comments, or even go post it on his Facebook wall.