Answering Questions

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JJJ, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    How to you answer questions about your difficult child? As we are approaching the time when many of Kanga's former classmates are choosing colleges, accepting scholarships, etc.. people will tell us their good news and then ask "so how is Kanga doing?". These are people who actually care but have NO reference in their lives for a Kanga. My stock answer is "she is still struggling but thankfully she is still in treatment". It feels like a nothing answer but...

    How do you answer?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If those asking really do care? That will be enough, even if they can't quite understand due to lack of experience.

    Personally, I think that she is sticking with treatment is HUGE myself. Kanga may get to those typical things eventually, but her challenges are mountains to her classmates molehills. They're not even in the same league.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JJJ...we live in a pretty small town and we see people who knew my boys all their lives from when they were young and either they were teachers, principals, coaches or other such people in their lives. Normally the questions come as "so how are your boys doing these days" and we answer with this.

    Well Billy is still here working in retail and he seems very good at that and doing fine. Jamie went into the Marines for awhile but is now out and works for the sheriffs dept up in VA, is married with 2 kids . Cory, well Cory is still Cory (chuckle) but he is coming along now and he has two gorgeous little girls who are the apples of our eyes.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Lisa -- Kanga is only "sticking" with treatment because the cops/staff have dragged her back 3 times in the last 6 months. She isn't actually doing the work that would improve her mental health, she is just playing the game to get priviledges and wait us all out until she turns 18 and they can't drag her back anymore.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's easier when there is progress, or when their limitations are obvious.
    I have no idea what a good answer is... but I sure feel for you.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I kept it very simple - "Oh, he's living up in the city now." If they pursued it, I just said that he was trying to figure out what to do with- his life just like the rest of us did when we were 18.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    We've been getting that question a lot lately - so many friends with high school students are busy planning college. We are going to just be relieved if difficult child graduates high school.

    I've been giving kind of a "non-answer", too....and then I ask more questions about THEIR child and the conversation moves on...
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I have found it interesting that some of the authors of the books have been so public about their difficult child and share all of the stories. I am not at that point and may never be.

    My daughter and my husband are the only ones that really know what is going on in his life. I am vague and just say he is in school and working part time jobs, can't afford too, or is too busy to visit. True statements!

    I have family members that have adult men living at home, some employed and some not, that do not understand my choices with my difficult child. In this area, the 'apple doesn't fall far from the tree' so it's always the parents fault, still applies to all situations.

    We moved after retirement from a large city so my friends here don't know too much about my difficult child and I have always enjoyed my privacy. I find not being asked about him helps me to detach. However, I do keep my daughter and husband updated and they prefer to stay mum also!
  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I just say difficult child is still trying to find himself. It isn't a lie and it doesn't give fodder for gossip. -RM
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, well..................darn, here I was hoping she'd turned a corner. :(

  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree that it depends on the person asking. If they know the background, I might give more info. But generally, I try to give vague answers: "Oldest is living in the city and working as a bartender." or "Youngest has 2 kids and is living in Wtown." Most folks don't ask much else after you answer, and you learn to change the subject quickly.

    In your situation, unless the people know some of the details of her history already, I'd stay as vague as possible. When Oldest was at her worst and people asked about whether she was going to college, I simply said she had some health problems that were getting in the way and she was trying to figure it all out.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Kanga is Kanga - and hasn't quite figured out who or what she wants to be yet. But I have a feeling when she does? She'll let everyone know.

    And I'd leave it at that. She's how old? Most people don't figure out really what they want to be or where they want to go until they are in their 30's - so it's really not important at this point. Or any point. Be glad for the kids that do know - or think they know and keep loving Kanga like you always have for being who she is - not WHAT she is.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I 100% concur with Star - because aside from being a Mom - I still don't know what I want to be. And of course Kanga will figure it out (or not)... Herself.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Seems most of us have those responses down pat. I also live in a small town where most folks are aware that my son-in-law committed suicide 12 years ago, his family is one of those old townie kind of families that everyone knows. My response to the question, "how is your daughter doing?" is always, "she's still struggling." Few if any pursue it after that. And, yes, these are generally folks who are sincere.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's easier when you have multiple kids because you can "batch" the update. With GFGmom, however, I used to say "she follows the beat of a different drummer and we hope for a happy future" then "Thanks for asking." DDD
  16. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Before I found this forum, I really struggled with such questions. I have used several of these responses in my own life, and it has really helped to have them at hand. Just one of the many valuable things that comes from PE.
  17. We use the moment to educate about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), encourage those asking to behave in a manner most supportive of our adoptees' mental health, and encourage whomever is asking that if they hear of another adoptive family in crisis, to please not hesitate to pass our contact info along.