Thursday, May 12, 2016

A proud "autism mom"...

Yesterday, against my better judgment, I looked up Bill's ex wife.  I didn't find anything earth shattering.  There's just a Twitter account which recently saw some activity.  Ex had previously kept her Twitter account private, but has now opened it to the masses.  On the Twitter account, she describes herself as a "mother of five, three on the autism spectrum" and "a child at heart".  Yeah, I had to laugh at that.  First off, she has no heart.  Secondly, she's a child alright... a screaming, colicky, tantrum throwing, toddler brat of a child who would make an excellent poster child for the pro choice movement.

I didn't spend too much time looking at Ex's Twitter account, mainly because it was mostly full of retweets and there was nothing original or interesting on it.  I also find that if I spend too much time looking for information on her, I invariably end up getting upset.  I did notice one thing, though.  Ex has an Internet handle that incorporates the word autism within it.  She is *proud* of having three kids on the autism spectrum.  It's now her cause du jour.

Bill told me that when he was married to his ex wife, she always had to have a cause of some sort.  Usually, her interest in the cause would eventually fizzle out.  For instance, she tried selling Mary Kay for awhile and even did fairly well with it.  But then she determined that the company was "exploiting women" and decided she shouldn't do it anymore.  They had just bought a bunch of inventory and lost a lot of money they didn't have selling the unsold products back to the company at a loss.

Another time, she got involved with Nutrisystem.  She decided she wanted to lose weight.  She went into the program guns a'blazing, but then bombed out.  She claimed that Nutrisystem was guilty of not empowering women.  She said they promoted a message that women shouldn't love themselves for who they are.  And once again, Bill and Ex lost money they couldn't stand to lose.

Ex also converted to Mormonism, which I think she's stayed with because it made her feel "special" and set apart from other people.  It also offered her people to admire and a way to figuratively climb up on the cross of martyrdom.  And let's not forget what a fantastic parental alienation tool Mormonism is, too.  Simply having a family member who doesn't believe the Mormon bullshit anymore is grounds for kicking them to the curb.  It worked very well in her campaign to kick Bill out of his daughters' lives.

In any case, I have noticed that Ex has been more into the autism cause than the other causes she's supposedly championed.  Like, she's been involved with it for several years now, supposedly because her youngest child, now aged 9, was diagnosed with autism.  Not long after that, we heard that her eldest daughter with Bill was also diagnosed as "autistic".  Given that Bill's daughter was a legal adult when she was finally identified as "autistic", I can't help but think Ex's mothering skills were seriously lacking in that respect.  Now she says she has another child "on the spectrum".  My guess is that she's now claiming that her youngest daughter has autism.  That surprises me, because although I don't know Ex's youngest kids, I had heard that her fourth child is very bright and articulate.

Now, I don't know a whole lot about autism.  I do know some people who have been affected by it or have a child with it.  I can't imagine it's a diagnosis most people would be especially proud that their children have.  I certainly don't think autism is anything to be ashamed of, but I have never met anyone who actually wears that diagnosis as a badge of pride, especially when it's their kids that actually have the disorder and suffer the consequences of it.  I can't imagine being a parent of five with three kids who allegedly have autism disorders and literally turning it into my online identity.  In fact, I think it's sad that Ex apparently focuses on her children's alleged disorders rather than their strengths.

My husband's older ex daughter is supposedly a talented artist and apparently attends an art school.  I think if I were her mother, that's what I would focus on.  She's a good artist and I'd be proud of that and her other positive attributes, not that she's one of three children I'm "mothering" on the autism spectrum.  I met the ex older daughter once and, of the three of ex's spawn that I've had personal dealings with, she actually seemed to be the most normal and empathetic, even though Ex had warned us about how she has outbursts.  Whether or not she has emotional outbursts, I don't know.  To me, she seemed to be the happiest to see Bill and the most genuine.  Of Ex's first three kids, she's the one I am the least angry with and the one I'd be most likely to want to get to know better.

Here's another thing about Ex's autism pride that I find odd.  Here's Ex, championing all these causes.  She supposedly finished college and earned a master's degree (apparently inspired by my "overeducation").  You'd think that she'd want to form her own identity.  You'd think that she'd go out and get a career going and become known for something interesting she's done or her own interests.  But no...  her whole identity is apparently wrapped up in her five kids, three of whom are supposedly "on the spectrum".  She's most proud of being the mother of three children by different fathers who suffer from a neurological condition that many parents would be devastated to learn their children have.  No parent I know of wants to hear that their kid has been diagnosed with autism.

It's not that I think Ex should be embarrassed that her kids allegedly have autism.  I just don't understand her apparent pride in it.  Why the focus on your children's autism?  My guess is that it gives her a sense of purpose.  She's probably convinced herself and her children that they need her.  They will always need her.  That makes them less likely to abandon her as she gets older and more needy.  I think Ex fears abandonment over everything else, even though her appalling behavior often drives other people to abandon her.  She realizes she's getting older and there likely will not be a fourth husband should her current marriage disintegrate.  She is highly unlikely to have more kids.  So instead of encouraging them to be independent, she clips their wings with a diagnosis and becomes their biggest champion.  Autism becomes the focal point of her life instead of just one aspect of it.

I can hear it now...  "Look at me!  Look at how selfless and caring I am.  Look at how I sacrifice my own life for my children!  Look at how I gave up having my own career and succeeding on my own so my kids would always have me there helping them!  They will always need me!"

Many people will initially find this posturing admirable, at least at first.  Before they get to know Ex, they might see her as a wonderful, caring mother.  If they stick around to see beyond the bullshit persona, they will see that she's really just a very selfish narcissist who is too weak to live her own life and fight her own battles.  She's a person who needs her children more than they'll ever need her, but she must convince them that she's a crucial component to their survival and without her, they'll die.  They won't die, of course.  But she needs them to believe they will.

I bet if she could, Ex would have the other two kids diagnosed with "issues", too.  But her eldest child is too far gone and, frankly, a bit of a narcissist himself.  I have a feeling he will eventually cause her a lot of heartache because she's trained him to be just like her.  And Bill's younger Ex daughter is supposedly very intelligent, outgoing (albeit in a weird, over the top way), and successful.  No one would believe she has autism and I doubt she would herself accept that "diagnosis".  I think Bill's ex younger daughter will also cause pain to Ex because she will be the one who does not automatically let Ex run her life.

This is all a bunch of stuff I probably shouldn't concern myself with.  Ex and her kids are not a part of our lives and that's definitely a blessing.  I find narcissists fascinating, but they are best observed from a distance.  If I could, I think I would try to forget all about them because their problems aren't my problems... except that two of Ex's kids are Bill's biological daughters and he very much did want to be a part of their lives.  Bill's loss affects me too.  In some ways, I'd say Bill's situation is worse than having two daughters that died.  At least when your child dies, people are empathetic.  When a child disowns you, people wonder what you did to cause them to do that and don't consider they did it strictly to be hurtful.  Then you have to wonder if you can trust them if they ever do "come around".

It's hard to live with that reality, though it's easy for others to say we should simply "move on".   I'll try again, though, because thinking about this makes my heart hurt.
      

4 comments:

  1. We had a guest lecturer who spoke to us about Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. Autism is one of the new favored diagnoses by moms with medical/psychoeducational variants of Munchausen by proxy. They try to "out-autism" the other autism moms. If one child with autism is good, two or three are even better. And my child is more autistic than yours, you know, even if I have to spend hours doing the opposite of what the behaviorist did earlier today so that my child displays his true autistic self in the best light.

    It used to be, supposedly that they all clamored for the asperger diagnosis even if it didn't fit because it was somehow higher-status and less stigmatizing than an all-out autism diagnosis. The the gods of the DSM decided to eliminate Asperger as a diagnosis in favor of the more-encompassing "autism spectrum disorder." so now they actually WANT the most stigmatizing disorder they can get. if they can find a psych to give the a co-morbid bi-polar diagnosis, they're practically orgasmic.

    Ex sounds like a real piece of work.

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    1. I'm slowly getting to the point at which I can laugh at her. I have a feeling that the whole autism nonsense has to do with her scheming for cash. I wrote about that some time ago and I base my theory on a comment on a newspaper article I found by her indicating that Arizona wouldn't give her the same benefits New Hampshire does. My guess is that the move was prompted by something other than welfare, though. She probably pissed off someone in Arizona.

      My guess is that she got some doctor to give her son a diagnosis, then got it in her head that she could get help from the state. That prompted her to get Bill's older daughter diagnosed, though at age 24, I doubt Ex could receive any benefits directly. Enter the third daughter, who still has several years left as a minor.

      I could be wrong, but this is exactly the kind of shit she does. All the while, she's crowing about what a dedicated mother she is. It's really sad. I hope those kids wise up and get away from her.

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    2. Yes, the kids certainly are victims, although at some choice once they're adults, they are responsible for their words and actions. I'm preaching to the choir here, I know.

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    3. Unfortunately, I don't think they've had any good role models. Bill wasn't allowed to be an example for them. They've been surrounded by cult members and seem to lack any situational awareness or critical thinking skills.

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