And everyone was angry. People came out to condemn these woman for killing Alex. A man-child, with severe autism. How could anyone do that, we asked? There is always another way. I read blog post after blog post about how wrong murder was, regardless of the situation. Alex deserved justice.
Then, two days ago, THIS happened.
And suddenly, those same bloggers, those same autism parents, backed down.
This woman tweeted. She has a blog. A Facebook page. People had spoken to her online a couple times. She couldn't possible be a monster. Not like Alex's mom, whom they had all rushed to vilify day one.
Now, I am not speaking in this mother's defense. Far from it. What made me almost more sick than the actual situation, was the reaction within the autism community. That there must be more to the story, some other explanation, because this mother tried to help her daughter.
And Alex's mom tried to help her son.
But Alex's mother didn't have a blog. She wasn't sending messages on social media. Easier to condemn that way.
The truth is, I don't care what is going on in your life, murder is never, ever, ever the answer. I have been there with aggression. I have friends who have gone through worse things than either of these two families. Murder is never on the table.
It is the most selfish thing, taking someone's life. Trying or taking your own. Giving up so completely, you'd rather kill your child than do anything else. Than move. Than continue to fight. Than seek help for yourself, and not just your child. Loving your child means going to the ends of the earth to help them, regardless of how hard it is for you. They come first. That's the deal we all make when we decide to be parents. If you can't do that, you give up your right to be a parent. Even that is better than murder.
I get depression. I get not being able to get out of bed in the morning because life can be so.damn.hard. I get watching your family be torn apart because of your child's diagnosis. I get fighting the school so hard, you aren't sure you'll ever recover from the trauma. I personally get all those things, although none of them are the fault of our children. They cannot be blamed for our shortcomings as caregivers, or our inability to handle a life different from what we imagined. There is no way to justify killing, or trying to kill, your child. It is cowardly. It makes you a bad parent. There is no way around it.
The fact is, these kids need help. They need people to stand up for them, and find ways to keep them safe. There has to be a safe haven.
Sunday, from Extreme Parenthood, said it well HERE.
I am not expert in changing or making laws. I don't know how to make a Safe Haven law for older kids. I think you need to start at the beginning, though, contacting your Senators and Representatives. Making phone calls. Sending emails. Harassing them. Not stopping until they talk to you. Being heard.
It's incredibly sad there are children that need to be protected from those who should love and care for them most, but that is reality.
Alex, Issy, all the other children murdered because of their autism...they need our voices to speak for them, now.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where hurting your child feels like the only way out, please, please, I beg you, call your own doctor. Reach out to others in the community! Anyone would be happy to talk, for hours on end, if it meant keeping your child safe. I don't care how hard it is to ask, ASK! There is always another way. Heck, contact me. I'll come to your house and help you myself, or find someone who can! No, there isn't a magical solution, and laws won't change tomorrow, granting parents unlimited resources for their child. While we fight for those things, we need to be here for one another. Let other parents know, murder is never the answer.
It does take a village, and maybe sometimes it can see really lonely, but please ask for help. Stop and look at the face of your sweet child, and know there is always another way.