Heartbroken over lost dreams

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    The hardest thing for me to accept has been that our kids (via adoption) have low IQs. Most members of my family are MENSA level and this has been a source of intense grief for me, even more so than the difficult child behaviors. In the nature v nuture battle, nature wins by a landslide. All of their teachers say that my kids all over-achieve based on their IQs so I know that our nuture has had an impact but you cannot shove a kid up three standard deviations no matter how hard you try.

    Piglet's grades arrived for first semester. While I knew the grades (2.95), it was heartbreaking to see that she is in the bottom half of the class. I know she is working very hard, she studies every night. So many of our dreams for her include college. She will qualify for a decent amount of financial aid but if she can't get some other aid (athletic, merit, etc) it just isn't possible for her to go away to school.

    husband just doesn't get it. Partly is that his mom and many members of his family have low average intelligence (although his IQ is above average and his sister's is genius level) and mostly he thinks her athletic ability will get her into a college with athletic aid and she'll be fine. The problem is that her sport is not offered at most colleges and those that do offer it at the scholarship level are very high academic schools. Her GPA is the lowest on her team and low for most girls in her sport. Given the option, a coach will always take a similar athlete with a higher GPA. And even if she can get in, will she be able to pass the college classes or will she flunk out?

    I know I should be greatful that she is getting mostly Bs, has no detentions and is enjoying high school but it breaks my heart that all my dreams of what high school and college would be like for my kids is never going to happen. Heck, none of the others will even finish high school in four years. I know this is more about my loss and my dreams than anything to do with her, but it hurts so much.
     
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((hugs))) JJJ! I'm sorry you are feeling so down about things right now. I can understand. I am working on coming to acceptance with my kiddos. easy child/difficult child who has capability never did well in high school and still has a hard time being willing to work hard for an extended period of time. difficult child will be in school til he is 21 but I am more accepting of that with him.

    My husband, I think, has an even harder problem with it than I do but is coming along. Just know you are not alone.
     
  3. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    ((hugs)) I understand and am sorry you are grieving. I struggle with difficult child's future too.
     
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I completely understand.

    I watch other families and think, they seem happy enough. They're not all MENSA members. But it's not about them. It's about us and our own families, our own micro-cultures.
    What I have the hardest time with is that my son is very bright, but he doesn't care. Not one bit.
    He wants to put in only the least amt of effort possible. It is so frustrating.

    Other days, I'm just happy that he's safe and comes home on the bus.

    We have to change our goals and expectations. Totally. It is hard. We're all waiting for another John Elder Robison or Temple Grandin at our kitchen tables, Know what I mean??
     
  5. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    JJJ, I completely understand. While my ddgfg is a very intelligent girl, her gfgness is keeping her from doing her best. We have about a 2.9 if we are lucky right now. And prior to H.S. she was a 4.0 It has been hard to come to the realization it will be years before she may be ready to go to college. (Although in her mind she will be going right after H.S.) No one will take her with the grades she has right now. I hope you can find some peace with where your children are right now, and it sounds like Piglet could go to college. Maybe not IVY league, but a very good school that would cater to what she would like to become.
     
  6. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    Is there something in the water? I am right there with-you. I wish I had words of wisdom. I completely understand how you're feeling. As you know I'm struggling with similar stuff at the moment. Hope you have a peaceful evening.
     
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gosh, I'm sorry, I completely understand how much it hurts. Many, many gentle hugs for you.............
     
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I know the feeling from the other side... Onyxx and Jett are both supernova bright... Onyxx gets good grades (now) withut trying and because teachers think she's cute... Jett never quite fails because of his IEP. There's no natural consequences... and I don't think either will make it to college due to sheer GFGness...
     
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Many hugs. I think it's one of the hardest issues to deal with.....wanting the best for our kids. (Just went thru feeling so sad q won't drive or go to prom or.....not even go hang with a friend much less work/live independently.....I have to focus on positives not to be overwhelmed with sadness over all of that but some days? It is just sad and ok to say so!)
    I'm sorry you're hurting. Your kids are going to achieve their highest potential because of what you provide them. They are blessed to have you.
     
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    *hugs* hon. I wish mine would at least try.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what to say. I think that we may sometimes have unrealistic expectations when we adopt. We were told that we should not adopt if we had college expectations; that we had to be able to accept what we got. I also read, interestingly, that working class families do the best with adoption because they tend to be more accepting of kids who don't excel in school. Because we had such good counseling in this respect, we decided that we would accept our kids the way they are. And we have. Both me and hub think Jumper hung the moon and her GPA is about 2.7. So what? I know she'll live a great, productive life. She is a really good kid. I don't even know or care what other kids in her sports get on their report cards. Nor should you. Personally, I think a B average is GREAT. That's way above average. C is average. Think of it that way. I doubt her IQ is that low or she'd be struggling more.

    I think we can look at things a different way. Our kids were born with some severe disadvantages. Some were abused. Some took drugs and drank because their birthmothers did. If t hey can overcome that, I think that's as great an honor as MENSA. My son who was born with cocaine in his system, syphillis and had open heart surgery at five months old and whose birthmother was a drug addict is a nice, polite young man who can hold a job and is going to be quite independent. He does not feel sorry for himself or whine or say, "Why me?" He is usually happy. I consider him a gift and my hero.

    The way I look at things, you don't have to be MENSA or be prom king to be special. I'm sorry for your grieving, JJJ. I think many adoptive parents go through this and most get over it. Our kids tend to be very tenacious and hardworking and very valuable people. We just need to adjust our expectations. Have a better day tomorrow :)
     
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what triggered your bout of melancoly but I'm sending understanding hugs. I know for a fact that many of us have had high IQ kids who opted for substances or legal issues and most every May or June you will see a post or two about how it makes us teary eyed...even years later. Some of us have had truly gifted athletes who worked hard to become the best and then...an evil coach, a weakness of spirit, alcohol or as in one case a physical injury ruined the expected future of a State champion girl athlete...whereas poor choices ended up yanking college and pro hopes for others. The thing is that it hurts to accept that your expected future is not going to be for your child.

    I don't discount the depth of your feelings at all. on the other hand, I know from raising eight kids that it is really easy to have a picture in your mind for their future and then have to fall back and regroup. Please believe me that the most important thing you can contribute to your children's future is a sense of safety and comfort for who they really are and who they can really become as an adult member of society. Going to college does not assure happiness. Most of my family have been there done that and most of our children too. One of the happiest of our adult children has two "big" degrees and ended up being a self taught chef and vegetarian with dreds. His son (also gifted) dropped out before H.S. grad week and he is now truly happy growing organic vegetables in Maine.

    Let yourself experience the heartbreak of lost dreams. Then, fall back and regroup. As a loving parent you will be able to support the child who works in a sheltered workshop with a trainer. You'll be able to be proud of the child who can hold down a full time job out in the "real" world. You will be able to be thankful every night that your children are safe and functioning. Hugs DDD
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what to say. I think that we may sometimes have unrealistic expectations when we adopt. We were told that we should not adopt if we had college expectations; that we had to be able to accept what we got. I also read, interestingly, that working class families do the best with adoption because they tend to be more accepting of kids who don't excel in school. Because we had such good counseling in this respect, we decided that we would accept our kids the way they are. And we have. Personally, I think a B average is GREAT.

    I think we can look at things a different way. Our kids were born with some severe disadvantages. Some were abused. Some took drugs and drank because their birthmothers did. If t hey can overcome that, I think that's as great an honor as MENSA. My son who was born with cocaine in his system, syphillis and had open heart surgery at five months old and whose birthmother was a drug addict is a nice, polite young man who can hold a job and is going to be quite independent. He does not feel sorry for himself or whine or say, "Why me?" He is usually happy. I consider him a gift and my hero.

    The way I look at things, you don't have to be MENSA or be prom king to be special. I'm sorry for your grieving, JJJ. I think many adoptive parents go through this and most get over it. Our kids tend to be very tenacious and hardworking and very valuable people. We just need to adjust our expectations. Have a better day tomorrow :)
     
  14. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    I too, can relate.
    My gig (son, age 17) though is extremely smart... Takes all AP classes, well above average IQ. Scored in the top 90% on his SAT,s. But he just got suspended for cutting school, and is failing gym (for cutting, and even when they gave him a second chance to make up the work, he just didn't do it). He smokes pot, drinks on occasion ( drunk, not just a little), and is so oppositional and unrealistic.
    What is so sad for me right now is hearing about all the kids his age getting accepted to colleges, planning to go away. My son has not even completed an application ( though at this point, he is in no state to go away to college).
    It has always been my dream for him to go away to college, as both my husband and I did. But now we a looking at placing him in a residential treatment facility, as I just can't live like this anymore, and no amount of therapy, medication, etc has helped him at all.
    I am so heartbroken. I am just hoping that having him move out will help get him on the right path. I don't know anything else to do.

    Karen
     
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I know I am being whiny and this is such a first world problem. Most of the time, I can be supportive of who she is rather than who I wished she would be. After Kanga, I know how bad it could be. Report cards came out today and she is in the bottom half of her class. B=average at our school. It was just really hard to see it in black and white. I know she works hard and if that is her best, it saddens me. Her desired college major is not highly academic but I don't know how successful she will be as she does not have an amazing talent in that area either, at least not that she has shown. Her sophomore schedule will have two classes that will give us a better idea.

    I had to get off Facebook. I couldn't read one more post about someone's kid getting "high honors"
     
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This isn't really about adopted kids.
    Scan the sigs on this board... there's at least as many non-adopted difficult children as there are adopted ones.
    There are at least as many non-achieving - and/or limited potential - kids out there who are adopted vs in birth family.

    It isn't even about the kids.
    It's about US.

    I gave up my dreams years ago.
    The "white picket fence" that SuZir talks about... never got it.
    Wanted to be a stay at home mom. Didn't get that either.
    Dreamed of being able to take 2-week vacations as a family. It doesn't work, not here, not now, hasn't for years, probably never will.
    Simple things ... I will never have.

    And yet.
    I didn't think I'd ever get married.
    Much less have kids.
    And a house, a car, two dogs... and a raft of other things.

    I don't have "dreams" for my kids.
    I don't even encourage THEM to have "dreams".
    Plans, yes. Goals, definitely. But tangible, reachable, realistic.
    If they can turn out to be kind, loving, productive members of society, I'll be pleased.
    If they can raise a couple of kids to be that way too... THEN I may be proud.
    But even that isn't mine to dream.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, I love your post. Wish I could "like" it :)

    I was always more about happiness than a "brag" degree for my kids. Seen plenty of miserable college graduates who don't achieve. I am so proud of Jumper, Julie (my chef) and Sonic that my heart almost bursts every time I think of them. To me, they are far above MENSA.
     
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    IC....and that is another source of grief for me, I can no longer dream. I spent so many years dreaming of what it would be like to be a mother and that lays in ashes at my feet. I need to set new goals, find a new dream, but the reality is no matter how hard I work at something, reality can crash it down around me at any moment. I find it very hard to care about anything anymore. It is time for me to go back to the working world....but I have no idea what to do.

    MWM....I'm glad that you are proud of your kids success and I know your relationship with your high-IQ kids is less than great. But for me, having a strong intellect and all that goes with it is important. I can't even have a true conversation with Piglet because she doesn't even grasp that there is something to talk about. Tigger is way behind her academically but I have far more hope for him because he is curious about the world, he wants to learn, he asks questions and debates ideas. Eeyore and Piglet will learn exactly what is on the study guide, no more and often less. They have no desire to put their knowledge into the greater context of the world. That is so devasatingly sad for me.
     
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I could have been MENSA. Instead I decided it was more important to fit in with my friends and try to make B's so I didnt look as smart as I was. Do you know how hard it is to not answer a question correctly? And then I would do their homework for them so they could actually pass classes...lol. Oh I was an idiot. And SAT's...yeah...I could have gone anywhere I wanted except I didnt know how to keep my legs shut. If I could do things over, I would be a whole different person. I could kick myself just about every day.

    I always knew I would never be able to send my kids to college. If they wanted further education it was up to them. Billy chose community college but it did him no good and Jamie went military. Cory, well he didnt even graduate. That is sad because he was the smartest one of the bunch. He was just like me. My mini me. And McKenzie is his Mini him. She is super smart. Scary super smart.
     
  20. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Janet -- with Corey on disability, Mickey will be able to go to many colleges for free if her grades and test scores are solid. She could probably get a full scholarship to a prep high school as well.

    I wish high school/college wasn't wasted on the young. I think we'd all make better choices with a second chance.
     
Loading...