Explaining to people...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allie80, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. allie80

    allie80 New Member

    When you really just want to tell them to SHUT UP! Yes, I know difficult child is a bit hyper, yes he doesn't listen, I KNOW. I KNOW. I live with him...you think I don't know???

    Still playing phone tag with the dr. His turn to call me but it's been since Friday so I will be calling him when I get home from work.

    It is frustrating.

    My mother in law - who never ceases to amaze me with the stuff that comes out of her mouth...and I quote " well he is good for me" - the whole one day she watched the kids for me. That doesn't mean squat! She then went on to make some other comments that left me feeling less than nice...and I just had to end it with, well, this is how I feel and we will see what the dr says.

    Ugh.....gggrrrrrrr.......and whatever other noise I can make.
  2. judytor

    judytor New Member

    I could have written your post (if that makes you feel any better :) )

    I have mother in law problems too. Her exact words to me when I told her that ds4 is being evaluated was "He's fine when he's with me ....but the second you pick him up, he acts up.....He knows I dont allow it so he doesnt do it with me...he knows better" OHHHHHHHHHHHHH thanks! So I stink as a parent and I'm making it all up?

    Actually my mother in law is just the tip of the iceberg......friends and family dont "get it" either........It's a lonely feeling to not only have to "fight" for your child's needs but also be basically alone while you're doing it......:( I can so identify with you.....:)
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something to hold on to - family, especially grandparents, would rather believe you're a bad parent than accept that something could be wrong with the darling child. We went through this with difficult child 1, and then with difficult child 3. With difficult child 1 it was my in-laws who really didn't want to know there were problems. They also belonged to the generation that says psychiatry and psychology (same thing in their eyes) was all mumbo-jumbo trickery and fraud; never go to one or by definition they will tell you you're crazy and you'll never get out of their clutches.

    When I took myself off to see any in that category I had to keep quiet about it - at a time when I really needed to be able to talk to people about how I felt. At least I could talk to my mother about it. But she died not long before difficult child 3 was diagnosed, so not only was I trying to cope with my increasing concerns, but I couldn't even tell family that I was taking him to a psychologist (part of the multi-disciplinary assessment process needed in Australia) because that would have caused a huge fight.

    By the time we were getting difficult child 3's second opinion, father in law had died and mother in law HAD to be brought on board - I invited her to come along to the assessment. She was highly critical of the process (I was too, but for different reasons) and very angry when they said he was autistic and they were so pessimistic.

    Meanwhile we had friends in the same age bracket who were insistent that the boys were fine when she minded them one-on-one. She insisted there was nothing wrong with difficult child 3, who at that point was sitting on my lap, having just been collected from pre-school. So I said to her, "Ask him about his day."
    She leaned over and said, "Darling, how was pre-school today?"
    difficult child 3 looked out the window. "Bird," he said. "Water." No eye contact. No further response. She tried again. No response.
    I looked at her and said, "This is not normal. This is not bad parenting. We need to get help."
    Unfortunately for me at the time, there was a renegade GP who had recently left our GP's practice and stolen half the patients (including files). This renegade was also regularly having coffee with my 'stalker' who told him I was a nut case. Our friend (who was asking difficult child 3 how his day had been) was totally in thrall to the renegade, telling everyone how wonderful he was and how the regular GP should be thrown in jail (words from the renegade).
    Just before his defection the renegade had publicly attacked me, when I asked him in a consultation to check difficult child 3's ears and throat because he had a fever and I wanted to exclude tonsillitis and middle ear infection. The doctor said, "If he's got tonsillitis or middle ear, he will be in pain and will let you know."
    I replied, "He doesn't though. The pediatrician you referred us to diagnosed autism and difficult child 3 doesn't seem to respond to pain the same way."
    At this point the renegade threw me out of the room into the (occupied) waiting room, following me with, "There's nothing wrong with him! Stop trying to find things wrong with your children!"
    About the same time my 'stalker' and renegade's coffee buddy wrote to an organisation I'd been head of, to tell them that I was Munchhausen's by proxy.
    So as a result, it took a long time for our friend (and other sycophants of the renegade) to finally accept that autism was definitely an issue we were dealing with.

    But over time, people have come round. In the meantime I just got on with what I had to do and kept my mouth shut around people who were only going to give me a hard time about things. If they brought up a subject I knew was going to be contentious, I said, "You know the direction we have been following in trying to get answers. If you are going to get annoyed with me because I don't give you the answers you want to hear, then please don't ask the questions. Let's just leave it as untouched topics, unless you're really wanting to know without adding any value judgements of your own."
    A sort of "Let's not go there today" response. I found that if people are changing their views then they will often persist and make it clear that they are now beginning to recognise that the child needs help. It is at that point that I begin to co-opt their help in managing the child.

    You often can't take them fully on board. All you can do is let them in as far as they can handle.

    It's part of a grieving process - as parents right at the coal face, we're the first to have to accept the reality and to grieve for the perfect child we thought we had and which we now know we never did. Other relatives take longer to get to that point; they will still be stuck in the denial phase of grief while we're working our way through anger. It's not a good mix.

    Or they will get to the anger phase while we've reached acceptance. Again, not a good mix.

    All you can do is try to be the strong one, the hero, and hold things together for everybody. You need to be the one to set the boundary conditions and make sure the boat doesn't get rocked by fruitless argument.

    It takes time. And the more someone loves you (or the child) the worse they will be about it. They may be wrong, it will be hurtful, but they are generally speaking out of love for the child. You do have that in common.

    Hold that thought.

  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It's time to toughen up when it comes to other people's opinion. They aren't responsible for your difficult child, so their opinion doesn't count. A word of advice: only vent or discuss difficult child's problems with like-minded people. Anyone else is need-to-know only. It would be nice to think that our families would be supportive, but gene pool bias can be a strong force for some people.
  5. allie80

    allie80 New Member

    Gah!! My mother in law says the SAME thing!!! He "knows better" with me. What kind of thing is that to say?

    Thanks for gettin down in the trenches with me. I appreciate it. I can't express everything I am feeling on top of not getting ahold of the dr yet. It is beyond annoying but I do not have another contact and I am going to send another email to the main address....

  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    In-laws... yes they are tough. I try to keep my rants to my mother in law only to safety issues. Which seem to be all of them!!!
    2 years now of them saying they "get it" yet they don't see it. It is hard, only these past few months have I really been able to back off and let/force husband to deal with her.
    But it is hard when she says things like, "Oh, every one is Mentally Ill" Makes fun of my Step-mother in law who has some pretty bad Mental health issues.
    Yeah we have to vent here and try really hard to bite our tongues when it comes to parents and in-laws. Sometimes they are all we have.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    When I started Miss KT on Ritalin (after having tried everything else I could think of), my former mother in law sent me a letter saying I was "poisoning the child", and also sent me I don't know how many books about alternative ways to deal with behavior, but really the whole thing was my fault since I had divorced her wonderful son...grrrrr! All you can do is what you feel is best. Former mother in law is still in denial about Miss KT's issues, and about her son being wonderful!
  8. Mallygrl

    Mallygrl Mallygrl

    I agree 100% it gets sooooo frustrating to try and explain things to people when they have the mind set of "well, he/she just needs a good spanking" or something like that. And then look down on you like you are doing something wrong!!!! Like you said they don't live with our children and have NO IDEA what they are talking about!!
    Whew, guess I needed to vent a little bit today too.....LOL.
  9. Holliewho

    Holliewho New Member

    I can vent to my sister in law because both of her boys are ADD/ADHD. In fact maybe I should send her here as her second one has gotten mixed up in drugs and dropped out of school etc.

    Anywho my mother in law doesnt believe in ADHD and so my husband was so against me doing anything. Being a military family he deployed once and I kept telling him this is not right well he came home after being gone for 3 months and said "Okay I see what your talking about and yes you should get her tested." So he blames it on me and not on himself but honestly I think she got it from both of us and he just did other drugs (non prescrip) to meet his needs.

    So we dont tell my mother in law and we medicate her in our rooms when we stay there. We do not let it slip although we may have to this summer as she is so not behaving right and I am not going to tolerate her disrespectfulness on my summer break. So she will just be punished with no going to the amusement parks or other things if she cant be nice and not hit the others. Or instigate things etc.