This isn't nice, but...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crabby erin, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. crabby erin

    crabby erin New Member

    I'm really having a hard time with people lately!! I have co-workers and friends who want to share their troubles with me, as friends should. But, in my mind, I'm constantly thinking "Oh big flippin' deal! I wish that was my problem!!" etc etc. You know, problems with their kids basketball teams, didn't get straight "A's" on their report card, kid stayed out 5 minutes past curfew, husband didn't wash dishes....

    sigh...if only my kid could BE on a basketball team, make straight "c's", be "normal" enough to go out with other kids, or if I had a husband to even THINK he might like to help with the dishes LOL!!!

    I know, I know, the grass is always greener.....:mad:
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Crabby Erin (LOVE that name, by the way)--

    I hear ya! It's hard to socialize normally when one is faced with the constantly ABnormal at home...

    Sending (((hugs))) and support your way...

  3. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    I totally get it! I often think the same things when I hear people complain about their kids... I just have no sympathy:( I am worried about my difficult child functioning in society so all other problems seem small to me. I constantly remind myself that it could always be worse though.

  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    we all go through this. We wish for what will not be with our difficult children. We wish we had the, what seems, mild problems that friends and relatives talk about.

    It's tough to get around these feelings sometime. I am one who is optimistic 90% of the time. I feel blessed, however frustrating, stress-inducing, nerve-wracking this difficult child parenting is, to have this child. There are unique things about my son that make me smile, that make me realize there is potential within, that make me love him even though he makes it difficult sometime! He didn't ask for the issues he was born with.

    We have all wished for what cannot be - it's part of the difficult child parenting contract. What's important is snapping out and moving on and realizes this is no dress rehearsal. Life is what it is and it's up to us to make the most of it, even when we feel like pulling the covers over our head!

    Hugs, we understand.

  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I totally get it. On one hand, you want to be a good friend and allow them to vent but on the other hand you want to strangle them because their issues seem so trivial in comparison to what we face with our difficult children. I also find it difficult to share with a friend what I might be going through at home because it is so far out of their norm. That's why this forum and my NAMI support group are so important to me, people understand.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Most of my friends are amazed that I even stay with husband and the kids - and they haven't heard HALF of what you guys have! But they're worth it.
  7. crabby erin

    crabby erin New Member

    I'm glad I have found a place where my normal is ya'lls normal!! LOL!!! Most people think we are exaggerating!!! Even a lot of the social workers, therapists, etc, can't comprehend until they have seen it.
    Thanks everyone!
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean, I never shared my difficult child antics with my friends, I was afraid that they wouldn't understand, but judge me undeservedly. Later I did tell them what I went through and they were mad I didn't tell them. Maybe your friends don't know what you deal with. Once they start complaining- interupt them immediately- and say, hey at least you have a husband" or something like that. They should get the message.
  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I definitely know what you mean! Sometimes I'll share a highly "sanitized" version of what difficult child is up to, and the response is always, "oh, he'll grow out of it," or "it's just a phase," or "typical teen behavior." NOT!! But if I were to give more detail, I'd be accused of bad parenting because others just don't get it.

    That's why I'm here. :tongue:
  10. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This is part of why I think we scarred the hotel staff in Cleveland. I don't think they could comprehend why we were laughing at some of the stuff we laughed at.

    Although, I always chuckle when dealing with new "professionals" who tell me, "Don't worry, we'll get him straightened out." Uh huh. You go right ahead. I had a resource officer at the high school tell me that.


    I snorted.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Erin, it's difficult. We can't compare - the friendwho is whining to you about how her usually compliant child refused (once) to fully clean her room because she had a friend waiting - "HOW disobedient is that?" will never be able to walk in your shoes. If she gets so strung out on something like that, how on earth would she survive a difficult child? Either that, or she would adapt fast (as a lot of us have to).

    We raise a child from babyhood, we get them to the potty trsaining stage, the cvhild fairly quickly learns to do it in the potty. At first they present teir behind to us for wiping, then they learn to do it themselves. We visitfriends, we are proud of our self-toiletting child.
    That is normality.

    Imagine the embarrassment andshame when you realise that YOUR child, for reasons you cannot fathom, never seems to 'get' toilet training. You find sgtreaks on the walls wiped by a kid who is way old enough to know better; a child who OUTSIDE the home, people praise for being a child genius. It's bizarre and you get zero understanding from a lot of people.

    But there are the Warrior Parents. Not all are on this site. Sometimes they may not understand YOUR situation but over time will still 'get it'.

    I have found that with those who whine over what I feel are minor things - I will offer a shoulder as long as I can, but if it gets too much for me I eventually distance myself from that person. I will be friendly to them, of course, but if they are work colleagues we will talk about work, or maybe where they went on their holidays. But never the kids. And I will NEVER share in detail about my kids to these people, just maybe mention that we had a tiring weekend.

    Then you find the Warrior Parents who can only understand teir own problems (which, admittedly, may be considerable). Be aware - YOU may affect them the way the "minor whingers" affect you.
    We had a neighbour like this - her son was severely brain-damaged at the age of 2 in a drowning accident. He was not expected to live; then he was not expected to be sentient. Then he was not expected to ever learn to communicate; and so on. They were leaving town (moving to be close to doctors) and by this stage their son was learning to walk again but was still tube-fed and non-verbal. I commented that difficult child 3 had just been diagnosed as autistic, we would be sliding right in to the funding they would leave behind (so the aide employed for her son would not be out of a job as had been feared).
    This mother's response - "There's nothing wrong with difficult child 3. He's just a naughty little boy."

    I was deeply hurt, but to hurt me was totally out of character for her. All I can think she meant was - "My son is the handicapped one. Yours can run, can walk, can read, can play piano - my son will never play piano, may never talk, may never be able to eat normally. Don't talk to me about handicaps, don't look for problems you don't have. Be grateful you have a healthy son."

    What she was doing, inadvertently, was comparing. Who knows how she would have coped with difficult child 3? She did an admirable job with her son, she was amazing. But he was a well-behaved child (a bit naughty sometimes) but he could listen to you, he would pay attention, he could follow instructions. He was clearly intelligent and intellectually undamaged. difficult child 3, on the other hand, barely knew his own name and was non-compliant. He needed constant supervision to make sure he was safe, and that other kids were safe from him. He would climb over fences and wander away, a big problem with a kid who doesn't recognise his own name when called. Would she have coped? I think she would have found it very hard work.
    Would I have coped with her son? I think the grief alone would have killed me. But I babysat her kids and knew her son well, aside from his disability he was very easy to look after. The main thing he craved was mental stimulation and company.

    I could go back and forth - would I have coped? Would she? But in the end we will never know.

    We cannot compare. We never should. Until we are challenged, we do not know what reserves of strength we have inside us.

    So if you find the whining too annoying, then avoid those people or avoid those topics. But to help you tolerate it a little better - comfort tem as much as you can. because a person who has it so good but can only complain - they have never had the chance to discover their own strength. And that is a tragedy.

  12. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Erin, something I learned along the way was that we don't know what others are dealing with at home. Their perfect children aren't always perfect. Their lives may not be so much better.

    I have gritted my teeth listening to the complaints of grades, little league coaches not playing their kid or a teacher who isn't appreciating how "special" their little darling is but it's real to them.

    Also,if a person has to be a certain level of anguish and pain to be our friend then everyone will be just like us. Not a fun group to hang out with I would think. Sometimes the one's that have less pain are able to spare a little more support than one of us who could be totally drained.

    I like to think that there are a lot of people who have it better than me but I know there is always someone who has it worse. They might not be too sympathetic towards my miserable existence so I think I should give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
    Besides no one believes us that it's as bad as it is. : ) We believe you.
  13. BemLmum3

    BemLmum3 Guest

    I hear ya on this one too. I have a very tough time with this. Not wash dishes, sheesh I wish that was all, lol. I do have a very good friend though, her "baby" is the same age as mine. She has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We complain back and forth im'ing and she "wins" alot. Funny and weird that that sometimes makes me feel better....
  14. crabby erin

    crabby erin New Member

    My mom had a valid point last night: She was telling me about my sister crying about her teenage daughter, who is annoying, but typical and how it's driving her (my mom) crazy because it IS typical and nothing can really be done about it. Then we were further talking about how difficult child had hit me in the head on Sunday, we were kind of joking about it, cuz that's how I cope, and then she said "There are people out there who wish their kids could hit them in the head!" and she's right!!!

    I try to always be upbeat and smiling at work and with my friends. I rarely tell anyone how bad it really is at home, with the exception of one good friend, because I know, there are people way worse off than me.

    I'm not saying I'm not supportive of my friend whose daughter only got to play two innings in her softball game, but, doesn't SHE realize, some parents would love to see their daughter WALK never mind play a softball game?!
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I find I am less tolerant of "whiners," myself. I do think there is a difference, however, between people that vent about "normal" issues .. and those that vent (whine) about those issues as if they were the end of the world and no one could possibly understand them at all, oh woe is me what am I going to do. THOSE are the people that pluck my last nerve and make me want to say, "ok, let me just tell you a little slice of what MY life has been like!" But ya know what? It wouldn't make any difference to them. Their issues would still be the end of *their* world, to them.

    I figure we all have our own issues to deal with.. and Fran is right, we don't know what goes on behind closed doors in the most "perfect" of homes. It's all relative.