An Open Letter to an Unnamed Prominent Autistic Advocate/Author

Dear unnamed prominent Autistic advocate/author,

I thought you were my friend. I thought I could trust you. I thought that you understood boundaries and that you were informed about trauma.

Even after you verbally assaulted me with vicious lies on vacation in front of my children I protected myself by isolating from you, but I still made excuse after excuse for your behavior.

However, I also refused to participate as the villain, which was the role you cast me in. I refused to take responsibility for information that I had no possible way of knowing because you lied to me about it.

Even as I refused to take responsibility for not-knowing you were lying to me, you decided that it was actually my fault that you lied to me.

Someone eventually let me know that you weren’t doing well mentally and that was used as yet another excuse for your abusive behavior.

But there is never NEVER NEVER NEVER an excuse for threatening to come into someone’s space when you have been told that you are triggering to that person. There is NEVER an excuse for triangulating someone’s children to manipulate them just because their parent set a boundary with you that you didn’t like.

Sorry, not sorry, but boundaries that you don’t like aren’t abusive. They’re just boundaries that you don’t like.

You do not have the right to access ANYONE’s residence without their consent, no matter how much you want to. No matter how much you’ve decided that person “deserves” your abuse.

After a great deal of thought and a great deal of therapy, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are simply not a safe person. You’re not safe to be around children (by your own admission) and you’re clearly not safe to be around anyone who’s experienced trauma (at least not the sort I’ve experienced).

I won’t smear you publicly by name because I know that you’re disabled and marginalized and that this information coming out could ruin you.

But if you decide to smear me publicly? If you decide to use your disproportionate power to gate-keep me from the Autistic community or the writing community? If anyone else comes to me and says, “Hey, I’ve had similar experiences with a prominent Autistic activist, can we exchange names privately?” then I won’t hesitate to share the threatening and abusive letter you sent me, complete with your full signature at the bottom.

Several professionals assured me that letter from you would have easily gotten me an emergency restraining order against you had I needed to follow up on getting one.

All the alleged “evilness” you attributed to me was fictitious, made up in your mind.

My actions were directly a consequence of the fact that you repeatedly withheld information about your access needs from me even when I asked you direct questions to try and find out whether you needed more or different accommodations than I’d already provided.

I asked you directly for that information and all you had to do was tell the truth.

You verbally assaulted me and yet all you had to do was to respect my boundary and not threaten to come into my house when I’d explicitly told you that you weren’t welcome.

All you had to do was be patient and give me time to work through the trauma spiral YOUR verbal attack/abuse sent me into.

You could not even manage those simple things.

You are not a safe person.

I truly hope that you get the help you need, but you will never again receive help from me or from my family. Do not contact myself, do not contact my children (especially not when they’re still minors), do not ever again ask my family for anything.

If I see you at a writing workshop in the future, I’ll be polite and pretend I’ve never met you as long as you afford me the same courtesy.

I’m giving you another chance, against my better judgment, but (often to my own detriment) this is who I am. I’m kind and forgiving, but I’ve also learned to cut people out of my life who are abusive and/or manipulative and repeatedly show that they won’t take responsibility for those harmful behaviors.

Don’t screw up this chance to fade into the background with your reputation intact. It’s your third big chance from me and it will be your last.

We helped you extensively and asked for nothing in return, instead getting horrific abuse in return from you. Your abusive and boundariless behavior is the match and gasoline to the fire that burned this bridge.

~Aria Sky

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