Sunday, 4 November 2007

Sticks and stones

May break my bones, but words will never harm me. But they do.

A mother and daughter die after a campaign of intimidation and bullying from a gang of youths.
This is tragic and im sure it could have been prevented.

Every time I take C out, which is everyday, we face being stared at, laughed at, taunted and verbally abused and insulted. We have been surround by gangs of youths on several occasions. C has had dog biscuits thrown at him, kids mimic him and teenagers have filmed him on their mobiles.
So I do understand a bit how this poor mother must have felt.

I have got to the point several times when I haven’t wanted to venture out with C, but I have forced myself to. It is so much easier when i have my PA with me. When people are being ignorant to us I usually ignore it. I never let them see me get angry or upset, and we just carry on our business. But at times it can be so difficult.
Thankfully C 'appears' to be unaware of the affect he has on people. But I as his mother am not so fortunate. It breaks my heart that people can be so cruel.

50 comments:

Anne Brooke said...

It's a terrible thing - I have no idea why people are so cruel. I used to be bullied a lot when I was younger and I know it can be hell. It also happens at work - and anywhere else you go too. I think people must be hugely insecure to get their kicks from browbeating other people.

Mind you, I don't think modern society helps much either - there's such a strong push to confirm to an image of what men/women should either look or behave like - and if you don't conform, somebody will pick it up and be cruel about it.

Sending hugs to you both anyway - sorry for burbling on!

==:O

A
xxx

Casdok said...

Dont apologise for bubling on! You make great points about society today and bullying in general, it is a sad reflection.

toady said...

I am truly knocked out by your strength of will. I find it hard to credit people's attitudes these days. It may be just middle aged disillusionment [ is that a word, did I spell it right?] setting in but in these days there is no excuse for such downright pig headed ignorance. In your shoes I would carry a paint gun - and use it.
Toady

Casdok said...

Thanks Toady, it does at times take strength. Hadnt thought of a piant gun!!
But i suppose this blog is my weapon, to raise awarness, but im sure the bullies wont be reading it.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Casdok,
I'm a little out of my depth here
Nut are there no 'local' teenagers C can and does interact with
or no local teenagers who have the time to 'help' rather than be ignorant.

QUASAR9 said...

PS - Got that image of you in bondage firmly stuck in my head
Trying to figure out ways to gently release the leather straps

Casdok said...

C doesnt do friends or intereact with anyone (if im lucky i get a smile or a look, but thats it as far as Cs intereaction goes)

Some of the local children who have grown up seeing C around accept him now.

The most help i get is from the security guards in our local shopping centre where C likes to spend alot of time, they are really good at looking out for him.

Elissa said...

I agree totally that one of the hardest things to deal with is the cruelty and ignorance of other people in regard to autism.

I too, regularly have times where I don't want to leave the house with my son, for fear of the public attention we will receive as a result of his behaviours. It really is heartbreaking at times!

Feeling strong enough to 'push on' regardless of the judgement is still an issue I deal with all the time.

I must say though, even though I have always been accepting and understanding of others, having faced life with my son has certainly deepended my own tolerance and acceptance of the differences in our world.

I just try to hold onto the belief that if I can keep going on, then maybe someone else will have the courage to do the same, and then maybe eventually society will start to view things through our eyes.

...well, it's worth dreaming about, anyway...
xx

Jerry in Tampa said...

you are an amazing woman!!!! There is no greater love than a parents' love - I do not think you know what love is until you have children! I hope you can feel our energy of support and love for you and C....

Jerry in Tampa


***I love your avitar......

Amanda said...

bullies. (grrrrrrrr)
worse than child bullies:
those in authority over said children that ignore it.

Lady in red said...

this really struck a cord with me.

especially your opening line. When I was divorcing SF he kept saying that sticks and stones may break b my bones but words will never hurt me. He failed to see that living with him for 19 yrs and being put down by his words for all that time did hurt. I too was bullied as a teenager sometimes for being skinny but other times because my dad stood in local elections for a party different to the bully's family allegiance. In later years I have been ridiculeed in public for my weight.

I can't for one minute imagine the strength it must take to venture out each day to face everything that you do. Although I am sure it must be a small comfort to you that C is unaffected by it himself.

Pixie said...

My heart bleeds for you casdok, I pick up the pieces so often of people who have been bullied in way or another. And you have to face it endlessly, you must be so outwardly together..... but whether that's true alone who knows. Just hope you have a really good support network in RL to listen to you.
pxx

her indoors said...

how very sad that this mother and daughter had to die, i can only imagine the suffering she had been through.
i hate the way people see and react to any special person, my son was picked on because he was caring! he was just friendly and thoughtful, he would talk to those of us who are different and involve them if he could.
the world can be such a damn cruel place.

abstractjenn said...

This kind of thing makes me so angry and sad at the same time. Amanda is right the only thing that is worse is that adults who ignore it.

Everyday that you take C out you are effectively telling those people that you are stronger than them - and you are. I admire your courage and your devotion to C. I have worked with a lot of parents who would be happy to have C in a facility 365 days a year - you aren't one of those people and that makes you very special in my opinion.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Sweetie - my heart breaks for you both just reading that. {{{{HUGS}}}}

Patti said...

You are indeed raising awareness, Casdok, with all that you write about autism and C. But like you said above the bullies won't be reading it.

Club 166 said...

From the article:

...A police spokesman said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for the beat that covers Miss Pilkington’s home and we police the area with this very much in mind.”


He added that “all lines of inquiry” were being investigated into the case, but that no one else was being sought in connection to the deaths. ...


OK, so how can they both have a priority on "tackling anti-social behavior" while simultaneously saying that "no one else was being sought in connection to the deaths"?

Surely when there has been a pattern of bullying and intimidation, there are some crimes that these bullies can be charged with. Of course, that might call attention to the fact that the police really didn't do anything effective for this family before their deaths.

Joe

p.s. I know that things are sometimes very tough for you, and am sending some (((hugs))) your way.

Elizabethd said...

Total lack of understanding, of awareness, of fear too of the unknown. There are some people who can only respond in a negative way. After all the input in schools to integrate children with a handicap you might expect the new generation to understand?

Casdok said...

Elizabethd, i certainly hope so. Cs generation seems to be inbetween of the large hospitals closing and more intergration in schools. And with more laws being passed and more awareness i want to believe so.

Pondside said...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071102.wautism03/BNStory/Front/home
I read this in yesterday's paper here and thought that you might like to see it too.
Have a good visit with your sister!

Rachelle said...

(I am out of my cocoon briefly)
I think there is a special place in hell reserved for those without compassion.
Many times I have been in the community with my precious autistic charges and had them mocked and mimicked. My little brother being one of them many years ago.

That certainly is a disturbing story, what are we coming to as a society when this can happen in broad daylight in sight of our neibors and no one intervenes?
**sigh**
Slainte~
Rachelle

Self employed mum said...

Ignorance, people make fun of something they don't understand. Good for you continuing with your life as best you can. Your son is a human being who has the right to walk or stim the streets as he pleases. x

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

Keep going out with C... TFx

Simple Mindz said...

That is just awful. I really do not understand how people can be so mean to one another. I have been reading here for a bit now, (lurker) and I gotta tell you, you are a wonderful mother. C really has been blessed. ;-)

Casdok said...

Thank you simple mindz, nice to meet one of my lurkers!
Its not good is it, i can understand people staring and expect it as C is so how shall i put it - unusual, but when it goes beyond that its not much fun.

Maddy said...

We get the looks the stares and the occasional comment too, but because they're still relatively 'little' people are just often confused and curious rather than cruel.

I certainly relate to the need to 'will' yourself to go out, to be mentally prepared in advance.

Best wishes

DJ Kirkby said...

Maybe C knows the effect he is having on people but likes to get a reaction out of them...who knows? You mentioned coping mechanisms for noise overload on my blog, can you elaborate please?

Cait O'Connor said...

You are very strong and an inspiration to others.

kristina said...

Sounds like some other people/kids need some "social skills training"----intensive course. Keep going out --- the problem is with those who stare, I think.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

People are beyond cruel sometimes... I think it goes beyond tragic.

Cormac Mac Art said...

Such people do such things not because they are strong, but because they are so weak they cannot restrain such monstrosity. Bastards.

david mcmahon said...

The real lowlifes of this world pick up those whom they know will not or cannot retaliate. As a parent, I feel your helplessness.

I wish there was something I could do to help.

BBC said...

Thankfully we don't have any gangs here that I know of. If confronted with youth like that I would keep my distance but give them a good verbal lecture on how to be good and respectful. Maybe accuse their mothers of being bad mothers and not teaching them properly.

But some of those kids do have good mothers, they just fall in with the wrong groups of other kids and become as them.

If I ran this planet I would outlaw youth gangs. Mutter, mutter. Hugs.

having my cake said...

In the light of the recent event on X Factor where a 15yo contestant was filmed attacking another schoolgirl and forced to withdraw from the competition, I can only hope that other teenagers will learn from the consequences of her actions. Bullying will not be tolerated.

The OE said...

This is but one of many reasons why my life is dedicated to maintaining National security

Joy said...

It's sad that people with autism (and their families) not only have to deal with the behavioral aspects and learning challenges but we also have to deal with jerks. It's difficult enough with all the outside interferences. It's sad to know that a large part of our challenges will come from other people and not the autism. Best of luck to you and C.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

That is terrible. I don't understand people who treat others like that. It makes me sick.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

What always strikes me is how you and others try to understand the people that bully that you - but I doubt it ever occurs to the bullies to try and do the same. What they are following is a basic animal instinct to attack anything that appears different. There is aggression caused by fear of anything different . . . and I thought we humans were supposed to be 'higher' up the evolutionary scale because we can reason . . it is not always evident. At least through your blogs you gain some support and compassion and understanding for yourself and C.

Ian Lidster said...

The cruelty of others (namely the stupid) staggers and disheartens me. Thank God there are people like you, my brave and lovely friend.
And, I agree with Get Off My Lawn's comment, I too would love to learn more about you because you are an amazingly interesting person.

Angela said...

It seems like it doesn’t matter what difference you have as long as you are different people seem to think they can be cruel to you. It sure isn’t easy being different. It is like they think a person should be locked up and not have a life. Almost everytime someone finds out that I have a child they are shocked and wonder how I could possibly care for a child, or even myself. Ignorance is annoying. I do like it when people are willing to ask questions instead of just assume.
Thinking of you.

Suzy said...

It is so difficult for me to comprehend why people do this.

It is repulsive behavior.

Stay strong and keep going out.

Wished you lived in the states. I would protect you and C.

Love
Suzy

bullet said...

There are some despicable people out there :( . C's not doing any harm, he's happy, why do people feel the need to mock and pass judgement on him? :(.

Wooly Works said...

When all is said and done, Casdok, you'll be rewarded for your tenacious love. The blessings will come because you continue to love and persevere through rejection and hurt at the hands of others, as well as through your own confusion and doubt. How I envy you that ability. You are the most blessed and gifted of women.

MY OWN WOMAN said...

Casdok....I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and have learned leaps and bounds about autism and the stimuli that affects them.

I also have a friend who has a 10 year old child with Terret's Syndrome (and boy did I just kill the spelling of that) that displays many of "C'" characteristics.

She has been through the full gamit of testing, retesting and having teachers tell her that he is attention seeking and has complete control over his actions. She is at wit's end and I am sure you have been there before as well.

But......today when I read the article you sent about the mother and child dying in an accident because of the ridicule they have endured......to me this is nothing less than a hate crime. The whole situation sickens me.

Shari said...

I don't think that will change. If someone is "different" in any way, they're singled out.

When gangs are together, they conform and do stuff they probably wouldn't do if they were by themselves. Maybe one or two will know deep down it's not right, but they will follow along.

I am sorry you have to deal with that. Being stared at and laughed at is not fun. That's one of my fears of the cane.

Randy said...

I ignore any looks or comments we get in public. Fortunately, those have been few and far between. Once at McDonald's, however, I had to climb up in the playland tower, grab T, and pull him down kicking and screaming. As I dragged him out of the restaurant, I told my mother and sister to get to the car, pronto. They sat there like bumps on a log, mortified by the looks we got. That concerned them far more than the fact that T was freaking out and needed to be taken away from the place.

I hate bullies. I have several relatives who behave that way, and I have nothing to do with them.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

It breaks my heart for you. Prayers for your strength and a smile for you!

:)

Suzanne said...

I love how you love him. Keep on showing the world. SOME people WILL catch on.

But Why? said...

"...words will never harm me. But they do."

Fortunately, they're also really handy for transmitting supporting messages. It's a pity there are such idiots in the world who misuse them when they can and should behave differently.

Hugs xx

violet_yoshi said...

I think what might help. Is to say to yourself, "At least my son doesn't behave like those monsterous boys" and be greatful, you don't have to be known as a mother with a son who bullies others. A mother who lets their child prey on others sadistically. They are the ones who are really sick.