Shocking to still realize...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    That we are still the only group I know of that truly understands each other. I mean, you are the only friends I know that truly, deeply, gets the pain of a family member having a mental illness.

    Last night made me realize why I still should not talk to any one about Matt and his struggles, let alone my own struggles with depression. The minute I am trusting enough with a friend to open my mouth, and ask for advice with Matt, I almost always regret it.

    "He just needs to grow up and be a man." Is my favorite.

    If it was really that easy, don't you think I would have already realized that by now??? Good Grief! After all the hours, and money I have put into helping Matt, don't you think if the problem was just him being spoiled or lazy, I would have had that simple epiphany by now. :mad: After all the meltdowns and outbursts and hospital stays, don't you think the simple solution of him just needing to "grow up" would have already been explored? Geez. Think people. Think.

    "The problem with our kids today is corporal punishment is no longer used." Yes that is definitely the whole problem with Matt. Yep. You nailed it.:faint:

    Really irks me how shallow and uneducated our society still is when it comes to mental illness. Really, really irks me. In fact it makes me wonder if I have an anger mgmt problem when I have conversations like this.:sick:
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Yep, you are so right Steely. My therapist asked me the other day if I had anyone else to talk to about "stuff". I said other than my internet boards (I have a forum I post on about adults, but I really get more info from here) nope. Very few real world friends truly know of our struggles at home, they do not get it. Some days it is so hard just to function, just to move on.

    This place is a god send.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    That is one reason this is the first website I come to every day, even though my difficult children are grown.

    I do know that, before I had kids, I was an expert on how to raise them. After having my own, I became much more stupid about it. LOL

    I try to remember that people who say those things aren't stupid on purpose and that they really aren't saying those things just to *&^% me off. They just really don't have a clue. Like you, I very seldom say anything about my kids' problems to anybody, except here. Until people have walked in our shoes, they just don't have a clue.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    You know, I recently had the opposite experience...

    I'm generally a very private person....and it's been wonderful to have the anonymity of this board to voice my stress without really "exposing" myself. But the events of this past week proved to much to keep to myself--and I spilled everything to the very gossipy ladies of my church group. Afterward, I was mortified that I had said anything at all (and to the very people who would be sure to spread it all around town!!!) and I awaited the social rejection that I was sure would come....

    Instead, we have received calls and messages and offers of help. A woman with young boys even offered to take our son for the weekend and give him some respite from the stress at home. Many people have begun "checking in" just to see if we are OK.

    It's been the most surprisingly positive experience...

    I'm so sorry you have not found any such support yet.

  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow, Daisy that is incredible. I am so happy to hear that there are still people out there that "get it", especially ones that are making things easier for you.

    Mutt, you nailed it, when you said people are not trying to make us mad, they are just not enlightened. I always thought it was my mission in life to write a book about difficult child and mental illness so that somehow the world could see more clearly. Well, I guess I still do think it is my mission - but I am currently stuck in a thick writers block.

    I am so glad we do have this board and each other to lean on. I truly am grateful for it, every day. Before I met all of you, I truly thought I was the only one who had a Matt, and therefore since my kid was a one of a kind, it must be my fault that he is the way he is. Now I know there are many Matt's, and we all are not to blame, but rather the illness. Still - I rarely share his true struggles with friends. Unfortunately when I share too much, I feel like most people want to push the blame back on me, and I can't deal with it. Instead I candy coat the issue when people ask about my son.
    "Oh, he is in Idaho in a program designed to help struggling kids." And when or if they push the subject I just tell them I do not want to discuss it anymore.

    Wouldn't it be nice if our world really understood without judgment being cast? They understand Alzheimers, and Diabetes - why not mental illness?
  7. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Just remember that I am reminded all the time that you are all imaginery.:tongue: Well, I guess imagineray friends are better than none at all.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ohhh- that applies to everyone I know- especially my bro, who has no children!

    ((HUGS)), Steely!
  9. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I've always kept as much as possible from others all along. In the last six months or so I've gotten where I'll talk to people who have difficult children about my experiences. Then today I was talking to my cousin on facebook. She works for an assisted living place for developmental disabilities and I meant to just pick her brain for future reference, but wrote her a very long message detailing a lot of the things that have been on my mind with difficult child lately. I don't know why, but I just unloaded. Yes, she knows that difficult child has issues but I don't know if she even knows his full list of diagnosis. I don't think she's ever seen difficult child having a meltdown, but can't swear to it because difficult child and my parents have gone to her parents vacation place when she was there. I haven't heard back from her yet, so I don't know what her reaction was yet. I love her and her entire family dearly, but we aren't really close. They've always lived a few hundred miles away so we haven't spent much time together and honestly I don't think we've ever spent any time one on one as she's 12 years younger than I am. I hope I don't get well meaning messages from family telling me how to make difficult child better.
    I have one aunt who has seen difficult child in action many times, but she thinks he's just fine. She always has something to say about how I should do xxx and he'll get over it. Right now I'm unemployed and living in a very rural area. Things are really tight, heck they're so far beyond tight that the rubber band has snapped already. Anyway, she is trying to get me to move up to her place with difficult child. It's about 100 miles from where we live to where she lives. Her thought is I would have better luck finding a job in a more urban area, which is true, but then I wouldn't be able to keep it for long since difficult child would lose all the supports I've worked so long and so hard to get in his life. Pulling the rug out from under him would be guaranteeing he would wind up institutionalized in one way or another in the future.
    Sorry for highjacking your post Steely, but I wanted to say yes I agree it's great that we have this place to go when we need compassionate support and sad that for most of us we don't have the same support in real life.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Not shocking at all....many parents here will attest to that. Steeley, only the parent of a difficult child will understand the strain & stressors our "little wonders" put on ourselves, our relationships with spouses/SOs, our jobs, etc, etc, etc.

    So coming here & checking in daily; sharing a joke or something good about your day - the bad with difficult child & the indifferent makes a difference to me; I think to all of us.

    I have few friends left here in town - most of my friendships are here; Saying that, I'm putting myself out there & am making friends again - the physical isolation can just be too much.

    Take care of you, lady.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I'm with mutt on this. I was supremely confident that I could handle whatever came my way. Guess I was wrong.
    Mental illness makes people very uncomfortable. It's isn't a sympathy envocking disorder/s. It's sort of messy.
    It's only when people are touched by those with mental illness that they get some of it. If they live with someone with mental illness they either run from it or embrace it.
    Parents are forced to deal with issues that we can't share to anyone who isn't touched by kids like ours or we get what you got. Spanking, throwing them out, lazy, stubborn, spoiled.
    My mom offers not much support but will do novena's. I figure it can't hurt at this point. She doesn't understand so she offers what she knows.
    I think those you share with are similar. They don't know what to say so they say stupid stuff. Really you don't want their advice. They know much less than you. You want someone to say "it must be tough" or "you are really doing a good job considering what you are dealing with". Just listen and support.

    Hugs. I have a loving family and in law family and they know how hard it has been. They have seen our struggles. Very few of them know what to do or say. They are all affected but are at a loss.
  12. Very true. You don't get it unless you live it.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Gosh I read this thread, and listen to all of our stories, and it makes me want to do something to make it better for the world. I get so jazzed up over this discrimination we are facing. It shouldn't be!!!!

    I know, I am an idealist. I am a dreamer. There is just a drive, deep inside of me, to stop the injustices we all face. Sigh. If only I knew how.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    All we can do is not hide our children. Tell the truth when someone asks and educate people who want to know.
    Not living in shame or embarassment is a good way to set an example so that other people don't think there is a reason for secretiveness.
    When I think there are people who hide their diagnosis of epilepsy, I am shocked so I have no doubt that those families who deal with mental illness are hiding their shame.
    No one is their diagnosis. It is one part of who they are. Our kids are still human beings who should be treated with respect.
  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Fran, words of wisdom. I daily think about the choices I've made in life and they always come back to helping people of need, or just simple love. I think about the dozen or so people who come in with their caretakers at my job every day just to socialize, or being the crazy demo woman who hooked up with elderly/special needs people. It delights me I hope as much as them.

    You take someone at their worth and enjoy and explore their differences. I am quite well aware of my short comings, but also know I have some strengths. They do as well. You might just have to find a new avenue to do that. I think I'm pretty good at that.

  16. maril

    maril New Member

    Wow. Wonderful post with words of wisdom.

    I feel I have grown and become better educated about mental illness over the years through my experiences and exposure and have also come to better understand others who are dealing with similar challenges. As you say, "No one is their diagnosis. It is one part of who they are."

    Good thread. I, too, am thankful for this site.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009