Why can't family be supportive?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by southernmomma, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. southernmomma

    southernmomma New Member

    This past weekend has been a nightmare to say the least. On Wednesday morning, I found out that my husbands uncle passed away unexpecdidly and we were to be at his funeral on Friday. I set to work trying to get things organized and reserved. The funeral was at Nags Head, NC so finding a hotel at a reasonable price was pretty much not going to happen. I had to explain to my son (still not 100% sure on diagnosis but prelim was ODD) that we had to go on a mini-vacation so Daddy could see his family. I wasn't sure how to explain to him that someone had died. He's only three-after all. Anyway, long story short, we got to the beach and things went down hill real fast. He wanted to do everything, didn't want to sit still. this was understandable since it was his first time at the beach and it was a new terratory for him. I let some of the behavior slide because it WAS new for him and i knew some of it was excitment. But then he started yelling and everything that he does at home rared it's ugly face in public. There were several times he took off out the door and I had to chase him down. I punished him as I do at home but he was immune to it, or so it seemed. He would hit me, punch walls, etc. We tried to do things with them so they would enjoy it, but my husband had to be at the viewing, funeral, and wake most of the day on Friday so I was left alone in a hotel room with them both. He even tried to get out of the sliding glass doors to "jump into the pool" we were on a 2nd story room. My husband called and informed me that he was going to come get us so we could go to the wake as a family. I told him I did'nt think it was a good idea due to his behavior. He (my husband) got mad becuase I didn't want to take our son to the wake. Was I wrong in that? His whole famliy was upset at me because it seemed like I Had just come down for a vaction, not to be with family. That was totally NOT my intention but I did'nt feel that it was a good idea to take my son in such a delicate situation. What happens if he breaks something of the decesaed or ruined something in the house (this is a NICE....i'm talking BIG MONEY house). Or worse.....started telling people he was going to "kill" them. This has just started in the last week or so. I can't bring my kid into something like that and have him act like that. Now my Mother in law is mad at both me and my husband and thinks I 'overreacted' even though she's seen first hand the behavior he's exibiting. We go tomorrow for a first therapy session and this dr. is suppose to be able to refer me to a neuropsychologist. This is a 2nd opionion from the first diagnosis. A good dr, but $$$$$$$$. So may be he knows what he's talking about. ANyway, that was my nightmare of the weekend. Thanks for listening.
  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I'm so sorry this weekend went so poorly. I think you were right to not bring him to the wake. It would have been a huge fiasco (sp?) and made everything worse for everyone grieving.

    I'd call mother in law soon and try to talk to her about what was going on with your son. Let her know you wanted to be there for them, but you thought his behavior would have made things harder on everyone else. You were trying to think of them and deal with his behavior away from them. The sooner you call the better. The longer mother in law has to sit on this and think about it, the worse things get blown out of proportion.

    Let us know how the appointment goes. (((hugs)))
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If you get a diagnosis at the appointment, share it with mother in law and apologise to her for not taking the kids to the wake, but the way difficult child was behaving, you didn't want to inflict him on everyone. He was enough of a handful for you, one-on-one. And if she says you still should have brought him, then apologise again and say you'll take her thoughts on board. Even if you disagree - let her feel she has got through. It hopefully will make it easier for you to get through to her, when you need to later on.

    Sometimes you have to let your 'elders and betters' think they have successfully chastised you, even while you're feeling how unfair it all is. Never try to justify yourself under those conditions - you will fail. Instead, leave room for them to later on come to their own conclusions in support of you - this will be easier if they don't feel hostile towards you because of your apparent lack of propriety, compassion and empathy.

    I do know how you feel - when father in law was dying, he wanted to see me, wanted to see the kids, but difficult child 3 was too much of a handful, I had to stay away much more than I wanted. Often, I'd send husband in and stay outside in the waiting room with the kids, or only bring them in for a few minutes, removing them as difficult child 3 became noisy and difficult. In that hospital ward there were strict limits on noise and numbers of visitors.
    Meanwhile other family members were fairly critical of me, I felt sure - but at least father in law died never knowing about the autism. He enjoyed what he saw of his grandkids and he got to spend more uninterrupted time with his two kids, which is what I thought was important.

    In a situation like this, it's more important for the family members to feel 'heard', even if they're wrong. They're not exactly at their most receptive right now. Just you hold on to the thought that you were doing a generous, kind thing for them, and for husband, even if they don't see it that way.

    Good luck with the appointment, I hope you get answers. I wouldn't be pinning hopes on a diagnosis of ODD, at such a young age, without any other underlying disorder. If he does say ODD, keep asking questions. It rarely travels alone, it's generally a consequence condition, in my experience.

  4. southernmomma

    southernmomma New Member

    I fought with myself for hours deciding on which way would be the best for everyone involved and me and husband had told my mother in law that I wouldn't be attending the viewing,funeral or the wake because of difficult child. She "seemed" to understand and was OK with it. She knows how difficult child is and has even been helping me search for someone to help with a diagnosis. I know the reaction was due to stress,grieving, and all those other feelings that come with loosing a loved one. That's why I was suprised when she got upset with ME because I followed through with our first plan of action. She's been a very active part of difficult children' help/diagnosis. I felt horrible because everyone that was there wanted to see the kids and me, I just wasn't about to take him to where there was a lot of people for so many reaons. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle him amongst a few hundred people on top of the fact that they had a pool that was not protected by a gate. I guess as a parent so many things flash through your mind when you know first hand what your child is capable of. I just feel like sometimes I have to explain difficult children behavior in order to get people to understand the stuff I have to deal with or WHY I did what I did.It's almost like I'm fighting a loosing battle. I'm seriously considering getting some professional help as well. I am dealing with so much stuff right now. Between his (so far) unexplained behavaior, husband working 60+ hrs a week and going to school at night, my mother is battling lung cancer, my daughter sill needs my attention a lot, and husband's family (which is another story for another day), I feel like I'm loosing control. and I know that if I loose control, then I'm not going to adaquely help difficult child.
  5. Indianamomof4

    Indianamomof4 New Member

    I'm new, but I'm chiming in... sometimes it's so hard for others to understand why we make the decisions we do because they can't see past their own emotions. I think the other people here are right that you need to explain, but it may not help unless she can truly understand what it would be in your shoes if you had made the other decision.

    Sometimes we have to explain, then let it go. You can only do so much.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From the sounds of it, difficult child was intensified at the beach. So, really mother in law did not know the extent to what you were dealing with.
    difficult children can get 100x more anxious in new and different situations - no matter the age!

  7. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I completely feel your pain about feeling the need to explain. If you've read my posts lately you know how obsessive I've been explaining myself and my son to the new school. Sometimes I want to have shirts printed up with each of my difficult children different DXs printed on them, with a list of behaviors that point to that diagnosis and make one for every day of the week. Then my kids would be walking around with a label on them, but I wouldn't have to explain. I wouldn't do it, but boy would it make my life easier!
  8. southernmomma

    southernmomma New Member

    I have always been reserved about things that are going on with me or my family as far as behaviors, diagnosis's, etc. I have learned from the six years that we've been married, my husband's family (at least my father in law's side) are drama-hungry and want anything and everything they can get their ears and eyes on. I'm pretty skittish about what to tell my mother in law about what is going on because I know my father in law will find out and the crap will hit the fan.
    I guess to explain that better, let me start from the top. My father in law has always been the type to get in everyones business, even when it doesn't concern him and then he goes off and tells his mother (husband's grandmother) who in turn tells the rest of HER kids and they tell THEIR kids, etc. Eventually, things get so blown out of proportion that I'm the one who turns into the black sheep. Once my husband and I started initiating stronger punishments to deal with difficult child's behavior, I was accused of child abuse. (in a nut shell, the accusations came when husband and I wouldn't let difficult child go with father in law somewhere because he had been bad...no physical contact AT ALL!). father in law had called social services and they came to my home with the complaint of child abuse. After that, anytime I did something or said something out of the way, I was suddenly the bad parent. After the behavior escelated and I insisted his pediatrician. dr. helping me out and they refered me to a child psychologist, I insisted the husband and I keep this on a NTK basis. We spoke to my mother in law about it prior to the trip and let her know we were "thinking about it" and she agreed. I know this is getting WAY off basis, but I just wanted to get it out. I don't want to go into details with my mother in law and/or even risk anyone on my father in law's side knowing. I've already beaten around the bush about it and it's getting harder and harder. I WANT to let them all know about what is going on, but I also know as soon as I do, they will have every legal government agency on my butt. They've already told me to my face that I need to (and I quote) "Step up and be a parent, not a babysitter" and i need to "start punishing him more and harder" That is such a low blow. I"ve been walking on eggshells since the crap with CFS and now I am dealing with this. It seems like I'm going at this alone. husband is behind me 100% but he has other stresses too and says it's basically up to me to deal iwth his treatments and stuff. My sister in law is a good support, but she's in TX.
    For my sanity, should I seek treatment as well? Should I see a GP or a Psychologist? I could go on forever about what husband's family has done to me/difficult child/easy child. I'm really afraid too that husband's grandmother has fuled a lot of these issues into existance. Is that possible?
  9. Kathie In NY

    Kathie In NY Member

    Sorry for your rough weekend.As I said in my other post my family is on a need to know basis.They know very little.Early on I felt judged unfairly and made my decision. It is hard. 3 is young for a wake-and the unfamiliar surroundings intensify the behavior.It is easy for others to be armchair quarterbacks.Been there-didn't like it a bit.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Taking a 3-yr-old to a viewing is unreasonable. Period. Doesn't matter that he's a difficult child.
    What am I missing?
    I would still have told my difficult child the truth, and that this was not a "normal" vacation.
    Sorry about your rough time.
    I can understand completely.
    by the way, the Holiday Inn Express is cheap and centrally located, just in case you need to go again.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    After reading your 2nd note, I can see a bigger dilemma.
    On one hand, they (particularly father in law) will call Soc Svcs to complain you are abusive, but if you don't do it "his way," you're not disciplining hard enough.
    He needs to butt out.
    So, what sort of an upbringing did your husband have? Does he tend to side with-his parents over you? I can see huge problems here, that will slide over onto your difficult child.
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Over time, I realized that my daughter was just not capable of handling certain outings. My side of the family is very understanding, and I was always able to be honest with them. General, but honest. My inlaws were another story, so I either had to face the music, or have my husband be the go-between. in my humble opinion, your husband should be the one to talk to his family.

    With time and experience, perhaps you would think twice before even leaving home with your son. At his young age, there is no way I would have brought him to the viewing either, so I would have probably avoided the whole fiasco by staying home with him, and then the inlaws would have no fuel for their fire.

    Just my opinion. Sorry you had to go through that.
  13. southernmomma

    southernmomma New Member

    Acutally, husband wasn't really close with his father. His father was rather abusive himself towards both his brothers and his sister. He still has a tendancy to be verbal and emotionally abusive towards him and his sister. His (husband) other brothers live in different states so we hardly ever see them. But ever since husband and I got married, his father has been out to get me. LOng story. lol.
  14. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    I know what it is like to be judged so harshly by the IL's - happens on a regular basis. I've learned to avoid situations - a lot of them too. I've been cussed at the dinner table on Christmas Day - how beautiful that was - and it wasn't by difficult child - it was mother in law! Honestly - with the way my mother in law acted - I started laughing when she did that and it made her even more mad. It was just so funny to me! I saw my difficult child in her and know exactly what husband talks about when he says she has always acted like that and why he seems so "calm" when difficult child acts that way - he is USED TO IT!!!

    Anyway - Christmas hasn't been the same since! But I am in "robot" mode when around IL's - and get difficult child out of there as quickly as I can.

    Hugs to you and just know that she will probably not understand.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry your inlaws aren't more supportive. Not easy. I think you made the right decision and it would be nice if husband would back you up. Hugs.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You ask about getting treatment for yourself - I think that is a good idea. I've done this myself a few times. Whenever I feel I'm not coping, I jump on it fast. It not only gives me back some personal strength and courage to keep going, it also give me the confidence that what I am doing and the way I am doing it, is right.

    I also have had to keep my in-laws on a NTK basis. I never worked out which one of them was the problem - but whenever they got a whiff of something we were planning or doing which they didn't approve of, we never heard the end of it. A long story. I mean, I thought the world of father in law but he had his blind spots. Now we have mother in law alone, living nearby, and it's very difficult to keep things to ourselves. But she has mellowed a bit as I've also grown stronger and husband has become more determined to back me up (not that he didn't; it's just that his parents could worm anything out of him so easily! Sorry, honey, I know you're reading this, but perhaps it's because you were so close, plus the eldest son). Anyway, I have my own technique for 'handling' mother in law and as long as we avoid certain topics and I carefully do not react when she is being provocative, we actually get on really well. It's been a lot of meticulous work to get to this stage but it has definitely been worth it. And I suspect she's been putting in some work there as well, I can't take all the credit.

    So hold on to this - your in-laws raised your husband whom you love, so they got something right. They feel a sense of ownership and concern, although it does sound a bit too possessive. However, it is the way they are. You can't change them. All you can change is how you react to them - you and your husband. Definitely get yourself some help - sounds like you need it, to give you some strength - and maybe see if husband will sit in on some sessions as well. And take it from me, based on my own experience - don't tell your in-laws about the counselling! Absolutely not! And sit on husband to make sure he doesn't tell them, either. It is amazing how someone like your father in law can successfully interrogate your husband, even when he has already determined to say nothing.

    And don't assume your father in law is out to get you - he's probably like this with everybody, I doubt it's personal. It's just part of being extremely possessive over his son, and his son's progeny. You're just their mother - when the chips are down, it's blood that matters to him. Am I right?

  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Marg that your inlaws should stay on a KTK basis, and that you cannot control them but you can control your response to them. First of all, make sure you have Caller I.D. (No kidding!) Screen your calls and don't take them if you're not up to it. Take care of yourself 1st. On other threads, people have mentioned how airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask 1st. That is SO important.
    Go ahead and get counseling with-a family therapist. They generally have good ideas and can be good coaches and cheering sections, when no one else is there for you. Even the littlest thing you tell them, like, "I thanked my father in law for his interest but told him that I had already made my decision, and then I hung up," will be greeted with-an "Atta Girl!" by your therapist, and that will mean so much to you!
    This family is toxic. Cleanse yourself. :smile:
  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other posters about keeping your Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) on a NTK basis. And about getting help and support for yourself.

    One thing to consider...your father in law may be targeting you because he senses that you have a backbone and will stand up for yourself and your children. He may be stepping up the pressure to see how much you can take before he can break your spirit.

    I have experienced this too, from my own father, and when I realized that he was never going to change, I ceased all contact. TerryJ2's idea of call-screening is an excellent one. You want to be in control of when you deal with your Integrated Listening Systems (ILS), and this is a great tool for that.

    You did the right thing, not taking your little one to a wake. Don't let them make you question your own judgment. Please take care of yourself, and get whatever support you need. It helps.

    All the best.