My graphic novel is no longer available for sale.
Tonight, after pulling the book off the internet shelf (thankfully, it didn't sell many copies), I was jostled into action and so, blogged about someone else's book titled: To Siri With Love, authored by the mother of an autistic child.
"Afterbirth", while nothing remotely like To Siri With Love, does indirectly paint an image of my own child through my experiences in early motherhood as a pregnant, birthing and postpartum autistic person. My children's names come up in the writing, their likeness in some of the most vividly terrifying nightmares I had since the first birth in Israel, and real circumstances blended in with dream work, which could affect the psyche of my oldest child were they to develop a different relationship to the body of work as a teenager or adult.
For far, my 9-year old doesn't take issue with the art and writing. They understand that it's officially (or was) in print. Occasionally he'll flip through it, studying the pictures and asking questions about our past. Because we are an open and honest family David and I share these things with our children in ways that are sensitive to their psyche. Given that, I don't want the world knowing the things about us that my children are just beginning to understand. I don't want to create a voyeur-type situation with writing published about our family. I'm not so confident that my child will retain the same feelings about the book as he ages. It isn't just a book, it's my experience that involves him-- I want my children to have a say in what is published regarding them, even if it has to do with how they came into this world.
As parents, each of us walks a fine line, especially when we are artists and writers, on what is solely ours and what we share authority to depict. So, understandably, I'm on edge. This is an occasion out of many that my Autism activism and advocacy must stand alongside my responsibilities as a parent, which is to protect, nurture, and educate my children (but not at their expense!).
As for the book that's caused outcry in the Autistic community, I'm flummoxed that a parent could [would] write a book about a minor in a way which causes them to lose their agency. But even more than that, I'm angry that a big-name publisher, Harper Collins chose to publish and promote it. The book is damaging to the Autistic community, and must be discussed.
As for my graphic novel/memoir-- there'll be a time when I can disseminate its selected contents in a way that can help autistic mothers and parents without compromising the reputations of my children.