Say what you mean to say

Recently I have seen a rash of passive-aggressive posts on Facebook aimed at anti-vaxxers.

So since I was once part of that camp, I thought I would re-share a blog I wrote last year.

We’ll call it Throwback Sunday.  (credit Nicole)

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There are many times in my life I have done and said things I wish I could take back.

There are small moments….

Words said in anger.

False accusations.

That unthinkable one night stand.

Annnnd larger moments….

My ex-husband.

The decision to leave college for a music career.

My 80’s mullet.

But regardless of the sin against self or society, once something is said or done, it is official history.

There are no take-backs.

This is probably most painful when you say something publicly that you so deeply want to take back or change. Multiply the pain times 100 when you’ve taken a strong stance on something that you now believe to be false.

Enter Jenny McCarthy.

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From what I understand, since her son’s diagnosis of Autism in 2005, she has stood firm on the belief that her son ‘acquired’ Autism because of the mercury in his 12-month vaccinations. For this reason, for years, she was anti-vaccine. More recently, she has begun to back down a bit from that stance, and is saying that she now encourages “safe vaccine.” The issue is, that when pressed, the conversation with her tends to turn into a bit of a train-wreck.

Now add an outspoken arrogance about a very controversial subject, and the only people left who can even stand to be around you are drunk people on New Year’s Eve.

And Donnie Wahlberg.

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It is no secret, I have never cared for Jenny McCarthy…even pre-Autism.

It wasn’t enough to be pretty.

Or have ginormous cans.

Right there half of the population already hates you.

But then throw in the big-mouthed, funny girl role typically reserved for chubbies like yours truly, and you’ve escalated your hater quotient by at least another zillion.

But I have to be honest…there was a moment in time when I identified with her.

I read her book.

We connected on some level.

And for a while I deeply believed that my son’s Autism was caused by his vaccines.

I felt very self-righteous and justified in having something to blame.

But now 8 years later, I am past the point of blame, so I am going to admit a few things to you here.

I was anti-vaccine for several years.  After tons of reading and research, I decided vaccines were best given spread out, and only for deadly diseases.  To this day we do not get the flu vaccine.  It’s not because I’m anti-vaccine.  I just feel it isn’t necessary.  And guess what?  My kids have never had the flu.  Not once.

But let me tell you something else.

I am still scared to death at all times that every single thing I am doing is wrong. The decisions I have made and continue to make are based upon knowledge that I currently have. When I learn new information, my decisions can change. My beliefs can change. And will. And once I am convinced, I will change my mind…for the time being.

But if you are the parent of a neurotypical kid, you could use this as an opportunity to try to achieve a level of understanding here. Jenny and I are dealing with something that parents of neurotypical children will never understand.

Raising a child with Autism is a swirling vortex of pain that can only be understood by someone who has been through it. We are already dealing with a highly frustrating child who doesn’t return our love in tangible ways. That hurts.

Deeply.

Going through the grieving process involves anger, blame, denial…all sorts of emotions that could easily lead a person to blaming tendencies. Then add to all of that the fact that we are used to fighting with everyone…the pediatrician, the government, our insurance companies, naysayers, even each other….

and it is easy to see how a parent might be defensive about their stance on vaccines.

Or anything.

So please, back up off of the Jenny.

And all of us.

Just let us say we are sorry when we are wrong, and let’s all move on with our lives.

And to Jenny McCarthy, it’s okay to amend your stance.

It’s okay to admit you were wrong.

I have had to do it about a thousand times.

I work in healthcare, and I have had to eat poo with a knife and fork many times in front of my colleagues.

It has made me stronger.

We will all respect you a great deal more if you just tell us that new information has changed your stance.

It doesn’t make you look stupid.

Your personality and boobalopes are doing a fine job of that on their own.

 

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