By Kim Rossi
I've had a lot on my plate during the last year and change. More than my usual as Mom to three girls with autism, Managing Editor of Age of Autism, consultant, writer, editor, speaker for anyone brave enough to hire me, karate and kobudo teacher and student.
I got divorced in June of 2017 after 25 years of marriage. Now I can include single parent to the above list of jobs. My divorce was as rotten as any. None are pleasant. I kept it as private as I could for numerous reasons, the first being, IT WAS NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT MY EX HUSBAND'S AND MY OWN. I got out poor as a church mouse, light as a feather, righter than rain and happier than a clam in cool, wet sand.
This week news broke about our friend Dr. Andrew Wakefield - and his possible, probably, pending - we do not know - divorce from the strong, smart, talented, smiling, partner we know as Carmel. IT IS NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT ANDY AND CARMEL'S.
Here is a new flash for you - during my Google Divorce U education, I learned that it takes more than 7 years to get a divorce from the moment you think, "This is something I should consider," to the day a judge gives you back your maiden name. And women initiate 70% of divorces. And according to Psychology Today, One might think that the majority of divorces in heterosexual marriages are initiated by men, due to the financial and social difficulties that many women face post divorce (Brinig & Allen, 2000). However, research since the 1940’s, has revealed that women are more responsible for initiating divorce than men and that divorced women are happier after ending their marriages (Brining & Allen, 2000; Rosenfeld, 2016).
Many people think autism broke up my marriage. Not so. In fact, the opposite. So while people wonder in newspaper articles and on websites better known for social gossip speculate about the Wakefields, please keep in mind that women like Carmel, like me - are not to be pitied. Life is messy. The road changes before us. And that's OK. My book All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa (which is honest and true as I wrote it I promise you) had just been published when I started to contemplate a divorce. During my VAXXED bus interview, I was asked "How do you keep your marriage alive, Kim?" And I tap danced faster than Savion Glover on Sesame Street, as I was well on my way to filing!
The bright side for me being a single Mom is that I have had precious little time to watch the news. Thank God for that. Here's my opinion. We have become a nation of bullies. I mean that. Both sides. Take a look at the Google "IDIOT" search message in the photo above. Can you imagine a world where someone(s) can change a search engine to say whatever they want? Love Trump. Hate Trump. I don't care a fig. But do consider what would happen if you searched, "religion" and "unicorns" came up? Or if you searched "car" and ONLY GM brands appeared deep into the search." Or you typed Anti-vaxxer and Andy Wakefield's photo popped up. Or mine. Or yours!
Civility is almost gone on both sides of politics. I've seen friendships ended. Relationships torn apart. Friends lists on social media whittled. I understand taking a stand. It's what I do every day for my girls. I don't understand the nasty bullying and controlling of information. For every Me Too rending of garments, WE autism Mothers of vaccine injured children have been ignored or called outright liars. Nothing happened to our kids! We're seeking revenge! No body shaped knit hats for US!
I can decide what's fake news. I don't need Twitter and FB to protect me. I have two black belts and three adult children with autism. I CAN PROTECT MYSELF AND EVERYONE I LOVE.
Here we are trying to teach our children the Golden Rule - and yet we're a Pyrite nation. It's disheartening to me. And I won't participate. I'm sure friends have wondered why I am rather silent on the politics of social media. I certainly have opinions! I just don't see the point of tangling with friends at the risk of losing them - one way or another. I'm still No Mother Teresa. I am not Kim Stagliano either. I'm Kim Rossi. I'm like Chrissie Hynde - Middle of the Road. But I am NOT a Pretender.
Kim Rossi is Media Editor for Age of Autism.