"Sticks and stones can break my bones,
But names can never harm me."
I was taught that, almost religiously at junior school. It didn't matter what somebody said to you or about you, because it's just words.
Some decades later, I have a new twist on the rhyme:
"Sticks and stones can break my bones,
But words can really bloody hurt me."
Through no fault of mine - at least as far as I can see - I am the victim of what I can only call a smear campaign. Now I thought that was the exclusive domain of politicians and the like, but no. I have joined the gang! I'm a fully paid-up member. I can see that you are impressed. No? Me neither.
I do not regard myself as being a terribly good person in the same way that I do not regard myself as being a very bad person. I am just me. With the same feelings and emotions as everyone else.
Yet, because I have a child who can sometimes talk to me as if I were filth, and who doesn't attend school because I feel it is better for her to be educated in an environment where she isn't filled with disabling anxiety, and who cannot comply with even the smallest demand sometimes; I have been ridiculed and accused of cruelty and even mildly threatened by someone who doesn't even know me!
How in the name of God does that work?!
This person has made outrageous assumptions based on one encounter with Daisy and various conversations with another person with whom we are mutually acquainted.
I am not about to "name and shame", not my style. Nor am I going to call this other person names, not because I don't want to, but because I have a bad back and find it impossible to stoop to such a pathetic level as theirs.
Why do the ignorant people of this world feel that it is their right to try and destroy other people's lives? I have done this person.....no wait, I can't keep calling them "this person", we are in a flower bed....Hmm....irritating unwanted unwelcome plant.....thistle? nettle? BINDWEED!
I have done Bindweed no harm that I know of. Yet it has systematically dripped poison into the Head Gardener's ear and spread malicious lies about me to all and sundry. People I might actually meet. People who now have Bindweed's opinion of me in their heads which may in time cause conflict as I am NOT the person Bindweed has made me out to be, which should be obvious within the first minutes of meeting me! Which shows Bindweed to be a trouble-maker and me just a normal everyday person. I'm not a saint, I'm not a demon from the pit either. I'm just me. I am not trying to be something I am not. I am just trying to be.
If it weren't so damaging, I would be flattered. Bindweed's feelings towards me are so strong, they have to try and destroy everything I hold dear. That's a powerful emotion. Utterly negative and totally wrong, admittedly but still powerful.
As any gardener knows, unwanted pests are not always easy to get rid of. Especially pests that don't know when to curl up and die.
I am trying to get through to Daisy that it isn't OK to hurt people's feelings. Working with her to understand that the things that she says might have an effect on someone elses' feelings. In good and bad ways. Bad things you say hurt people. Inside. Where you can't see it. I do this because Daisy doesn't have the ability to "hold her tongue". Indeed, if I told her to do that, she would. Literally. I have to do this because Daisy is autistic. She doesn't have the understanding built in to her brain. It needs to be lodged there and she needs to be reminded that it's there. Things that NT people take for granted are not a "given" to those of us dealing with autism.
I have often been told that having an autistic child is "a gift from God". I have issues with the whole God thing, as people know, but if God is giving out gifts I would have to say that the real gift is being NT. Knowing when to speak and when to shut the hell up, understanding when someone is hurt or happy because it shows in their face and body language, realising that words hurt. THAT is a "gift from God", yet it is taken for granted and abused by every single one of us on a daily basis. Without a thought for the consequences. Or, worse, to deliberately cause a set of consequences that will damage someone else. Daisy simply doesn't understand consequences, if you put a scenario to her she usually cannot comprehend it. Even a simple one will cause puzzlement at best and deep distress at worst. But us NT people, those of us who belong to the "normal" club, we hold that power in our hands and hearts and we misuse it every day. We have the ability to "hold our tongue" and we do not.
Give me a black and white ultra literal autistic person any day.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words should be chosen wisely ."