Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Risks of advocacy

My purpose in advocacy is to inform and assist families and people in finding helpful information. I want the general public to simply know and understand more about autism. In doing this, I discovered those who victimize people on the spectrum and their families. I decided that people need to be informed on them as well. Even in that, you have to be careful who you get involved with. Especially who you get involved with on the internet. You have to be careful who you trust. And sharing information on people who may rip you off will make you some enemies. Those people don't like being exposed.

Seeing the depths that such people will go to when they claim to be advocates themselves, has been a real learning experience for me. It's shown me where I need to have a thicker skin to shrug them off. When you are autistic yourself, that's not always so easy. You can get hung up on the injustice of it all and it can get under your skin. But it really is amazing what these people will spend their time on when they could be educating on autism themselves. So this blog is dedicated to all of those advocates who struggle to do the right thing in spite of these behaviors from haters. Also to those of you who want to be an advocate.

Because some people take being an advocate and turn it into the chasing of the spotlight. They think it's supposed to be how they become famous and anyone else who gets any attention besides them is an enemy. It may be anything from jealousy to serious mental illness that drives them. They will go out of their way, spend months of time and even money to do low and terrible things. In short, they resort to internet bullying. At that point, they are not advocates any more and stand for nothing good what so ever. They only care about themselves. Some are full of audacity and false authority at the same time and will try to make you answer to them as if they are some special court. That's different from simply informing on your personal experiences or someone asking for your money and the things they are doing recently (compared to umpteen years ago).

I've already talked about these people in my blogs and anyone who has been following my writing knows the details in and out. My point is that, if you want to be an advocate, you may face people like this and there's more than what I've even posted.

You may, for example, stand up for someone and their rights. You may be supportive to that person and even a friend. That person may turn out to be one of the fame seekers who will turn on you and stab you in the back. When you see those true colors emerge, the best thing you can do is walk away. And that won't feel good. And sometimes, that won't be enough to stop that person. They may go to lengths of posting comments about you under pseudo identities all over the internet. They may follow your blogs and stalk on them just as badly as the pseudo authoritarian.

The reality is that they feel you somehow threaten their success. They want you to fail. What you need to understand and keep in mind about them is this: They are the ones who will ultimately fail. They are on a course of self destruction. You have to keep that in mind and not let that stop you from helping someone else. Don't let them push you down for any reason. Your work will show what you are really about to anyone with any cognitive thinking ability. The same goes for your reasons for doing that work. It will show for anyone who wants to give you a fair chance to be known.

Another risk is the people you defend and their enemies. People who are discriminating or attacking someone you are trying to help, will turn on you as well. It comes with the territory. You must keep in mind that these people have a mob/pack mentality and will act like animals of the same. You cannot educate them and they often have their own agendas. Some, because they think they are better than everyone else when they're just a bunch of dangerous fanatics. They will resort to stalking just like the others and other immature and sometimes frightening behavior.

They will twist your words and post partial quotes from you in manners that completely alter your context. They will post web pages dedicated to you with inappropriate photos, slurs, slander, libel and any other insulting insinuations they can invent. Some of the really sly ones will skirt just short of the laws that would have them prosecuted. Why? Because their true intent is to do harm. Anyone who gets in their way is a target for their rage. They're selfish and psychologically imbalanced. Be prepared.

Now, remember this: Words on a screen, photos posted on a website, insinuations and insults, cannot kill you. They are stressful and they are wrong, but you can brush them off. I have recently had to learn this the hard way myself. You can seek legal action, but under most circumstances, it will be very expensive. You have to balance what it is really worth to you and what that person can really do to you. Even if they take something deep in your past and splatter it like fecal matter all over the internet, calling you a criminal and trying to make it look like you're a total low life, it can only hurt you with people who aren't fair enough to look at the whole situation or the person you are today. There are points where you can report them to the authorities and there are laws regarding misuse of public information that you can report as well. Past that, you have to carry on and not let them stop you.

For example, many of you know that I have a group of stalkers following along and reading my blog. They will read this posting too. They take snippets of what I say and post them with insinuations, accusations and exaggerations for no other purpose than to try and hurt me. They want me to look bad. They want to do damage. But, thanks to the overwhelming number of supportive messages I have received, I have learned something. A few things actually:

1: They cannot hurt me. All they have shown the power to do is alter the light and image of things to try and make them look like something more than what they are, or blatantly what they are not. At this point, the more they do this, the worse they look themselves.

2: They cannot STOP me. Nope. I'll click publish post on this blog and it'll post just like the rest and I'll do the same for the next one and the next one. I have a long history of helping others and will continue to do so no matter what they do. And, as stated above, my work will stand on it's own.

3: They're helping me. Surprised? Consider this: my stalkers continuously post my name in taglines and the subject matter of their blogs. Any reasonable person who reads their work about me is likely to come and look because they simply want to see for themselves. I know this, because people actually found me by googling my name after reading that work. Those persons are some of who sent those supportive messages after reading what they found. So, in the end, I got free marketing out of it. Not that I'm seeking fame, my purpose is stated way above, but even negative publicity is still publicity. So, the more my name is posted, the more it can actually be found. The more my name is posted, the larger my internet presence becomes. And that's despite the negative intentions.

So, if you are considering becoming and advocate, take all these things into consideration. And please, become an advocate for the right reason. Helping others is what it's about.

4 comments:

Amy C. said...

Brilliant.

As advocates, we are prepared to fight since that's often part of the job. However, what we don't expect is having to fight those who are supposed to be on the same side.

But as you mentioned, bad publicity is still publicity. It works both ways. Maybe a few more will be helped by the good advocates because our names are out there more.

Heather Babes said...

Good points. We sometimes, by nature and instinct, want to lash out and fight at unfairness. It is that passion that drives us.

However, sometimes, we make mistakes and get caught up in things and don't walk away when we should. Thanks for the reminder (and lessons for the new people!

It's that passion that drives us to do right and to fix wrongs that can lead us astray into this fanatical debate with others. We have to remember that at a certain point, it's time to put up and shut up.

Our work, what we DO, more than anything we can ever SAY, will be the measures of our judgment: which does not come from anyone online but, in my belief, the Lord above.

Marc Rosen said...

If they're going to insult us, at least let them be DECENT insults. At this point, it feels like they're not even trying that hard to attack any of us, or is it just that much of a failure. Also, to correct any misunderstanding on the part of "certain persons", Perspectives was NOT self-published. It has been published by Local Gems Poetry Press, a small press based out of Long Island, using Lulu.com as printer and online distributor. Said persons would do well to note that "self-publishing" is a term which only applies to books which are directly published by the author, and which actually have a single author. Therefore, it is impossible to "self-publish" an anthology by its very nature.

Marc Rosen said...

I guess I should also add, since I've been informed that "certain persons" refuse to cease in their false assertions, that I do not own Local Gems Poetry Press in whole or part, nor am I a representative of the same.