Hello world. I hope you are well and life is good! First off, I want to thank everyone who responded to my earlier post about the whole vaccination debate. I agree with both sides and I'm sure there are many different ways that autism can happen to our youth. Those of you who responded to my requests and questions I appreciate your input very much. Those of you who were more snobby because my family shows genetic traits need to open your own eyes to the fact that not every case of autism has to come from vaccines and I'm still trying to learn if the vaccination shots could still cause genetic traits that could be passed on. But enough about that. I received a letter from an old school mate who wasn't very nice to me back in those days. His letter and my response follows. Enjoy!
Between You and Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser August 30 at 8:17pm
Hi Scott,I can't believe how long it has been and it is so good to see and hear from you. I have been reading your info and your blog posts and I have to say I am in awe.I have been a high school teacher for 11 years (strangely enough with Beegle and Wheaton in a different town from Leslie). I have had many autistic and aspergic students and have always felt compassion and worked extra to help them succeed in my classes.It breaks my heart to think of the pain you went through in high school and the complete lack of help you received. It also makes me ashamed of the way I treated you. I want you to know a few things: 1. I am truly sorry for being such an arrogant jackass in school and I hope my actions didn't cause you pain. 2. You are an amazing guy. I have children of my own but I can't imagine having to raise them on my own. You have my deep respect and awe. 3. You are extremely talented. You are a truly gifted writer and I hope that you continue to do so and that it brings you solace and peace. 4. You have beautiful children. From what I have seen you have been an excellent role model for them.Again, it is really great to see you and I wish you all the best. Please keep in touch,Chris
Scott Crawley August 30 at 10:15pm
Hi Chris. I would like to say it was good to hear from you, but I can't say that was my reaction when I first read your friendship request. I felt fear, anxiety, and a general worry along with many images of school days starting to play in my head. That happens everytime I see a name from someone from our school. I know that I was the most unpopular and disliked kid in our grade. I had a few friends in higher and lower grades but just couldn't seem to connect with anyone my own age. But I don't want you to feel bad about things that still haunt me. I have millions of bad memories from a life time of trying to fit in to this world. It's not anyones fault that I can't get over them. It's a side effect of my autism. Just because I can't every seem to get rid of all my painful memories, however, doesn't mean I also hold grudges. I hold you and anyone else on the planet forgiven and blameless for mistreating me in my life, especially my dad and brother. If I would've been diagnosed as a child I'm sure my life would've been different and less painful. This is why I tell the schools, phychs, and the kids mom that I have no problem with myself or my children being labeled "Aspergers or Autistic." They seem to think it will harm their lives to not be considered normal but they have lived as an autistic being labeled "Normal" like I was. They don't know what it's like to have coordination issues, social anxiety issues, phobia's, depression, etc and still try to fit in. I was in for a hard life as a male just being underweight which I still am. Add the Aspergers on top of that and I was doomed to live a life of being kicked around. My life is focused now on educating others on how serious autism is and hoping the world will be a better and more forgiving place for my children. My daughter is five and still doesn't speak sentences. She copies some words like a parrot but only communicates by pointing or leading me or others to what she wants. She still asks me by touching my back every single time she goes to the bathroom and then comes out with her clothes around her ankles and has to be told to pull them up. I have to be a mind reader when something is wrong with her. Add to that the fact that she's been a type one diabetic for about three years now, but can't tell me when her sugars low or high. Add to that my sons problems with school, I had to home school him for the last year and a half, and his constant meltdowns including when his sister is upset and crying and yes I'm living a very full and busy life even though I'm on disability for my bad knees that I was born with, and have already had four surgeries on, I'm sure you remember me on crutches in school, and I need a fifth surgery. My hips are bad now, liver problems, the list goes on and on but this little boy in a forty year old body is still kicking and going every day even though I live with suicidal thoughts. Wow was that a mouthful :) Back to your letter, I only have one really bad memory of you and that happened this one time, at band camp.....and there was no flute involved lol! See even with my life I can still make attempts at humor and I hope I made you laugh. But seriously at band camp my autistic mannerisms got on your nerves and you punched me in the stomach and I can still see it as if it happened yesterday. But that's my curse. Part of my autistic nature having a semi-photographic memory. It's too bad it's not any use to me other than to bring back all the bad memories. Well, I can flip through page after page rather quickly and it baffles some people. But I think my gift from god all along has been singing. I can still go into any karaoke bar and have the whole place cheering and strangers inviting me to sing at their wedding, etc. It's the only time I feel accepted and loved. Most of the time I still feel like a freak. But I am glad that you are doing good, and I'm glad that you wrote and apologized to me. It shows me you have grown up in your mind. I wish I could. Feel free to write me any time and if you want to use this or any of my post to educate people I don't have a problem with it. My life is an open book. I want people to learn and to help each other so we can make a better world for all the autistic. I don't care about the debates about the causes other than for curiosities sake, I just want all the autistic children to get all the help, love and support they need. If you can please become a follower of my blog. It gives me more encouragement to write. Share my writing with who ever you wish. Take care of yourself and your family Chris. God Bless!!