Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Expression of Outrage

I have a younger brother. I don't like talking about him, especially in a public forum, but he exists.

There's a reason I don't like talking about him, too. Specifically, the current state of our relationship is a very painful subject for me. There is a very good reason for this.

Specifically, he will not respect any boundaries in our relationship. Whenever I tell him that I am not comfortable with something, whenever I ask him to stop something... he takes it as encouragement to continue. This pattern has continued for more than a decade, progressively getting worse and worse. There was even an incident where he wouldn't even respect the boundary represented by a locked door as I lay curled on the ground inside, crying and begging him to leave me alone.

If you're reading this as "he broke the door down", you are entirely correct.

I do not feel safe -- physically safe -- in his presence. I do not feel comfortable when he is so much as in the same building.

The latter is mainly because he's tended to disregard the former... and sneak up on me to initiate physical contact, usually in the form of a hug. If I don't feel safe when he's in arm's reach -- and he knows this -- how the Hell can I regard this as anything but a hostile action?

Meanwhile, my mother is in denial in regards to the nature of the situation. She insists that my brother loves me and cares for me... and that this somehow invalidates all of the above. She has repeatedly laid the blame for my "outrageous" behavior (e.g. exhibiting a startle reflex when he sneaks up on me, trying to stay out of arm's reach, leaving the room when he enters) entirely on me. She has also made repeated efforts to force us together despite the fact that I've directly told her (in writing, no less!) that her attempts often render me unable to focus on my work for days.

Her last such attempt was made on the day my final projects for my last semester's classes were due. The less I say about feelings about that, the better.

I bring all of this up because of their impact on my feelings regarding a recent statement by Tony Attwood, made in response to an ASAN petition. When boiled down, the general gist of what he's saying boils down to, "Wives who cannot accept their husbands for who they are and/or fail to understand the ways in which their husbands express their emotions may become depressed and feel deprived of affection"... only formulated in a way that places the blame squarely on the husband.

The sheer absurdity of this, especially in this context, is hard to describe. The outrage I feel at this is equally so.

Disregarding the fact that any relationship goes in two directions, individuals on the spectrum tend to recieve an absurd amount of blame for things that, frankly, were not their fault. As I've mentioned above, I have personal experience with this sort of thing.

Dr. Attwood... for perpetuating psychosocial stigma towards your clients, for directly causing harm to the very people who your profession is supposed to help, and for using your professional reputation to help legitimatize a group of the worst clinical frauds I've ever seen... shame on you.

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