Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by InsaneCdn, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome to the new forum... a place for parents of challenged and challenging children from the teen years through adulthood who are dealing with complex developmental and mental challenges.

    Please share your thoughts and definitions of "who we are".
    And, of course, feel free to start other new threads about specific situations, needs, discussion points.

    Thanks, @runnawaybunny!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Who we are - we are tired!

    We're the parents who have done everything we can to help and motivate our kids to become contributing members of society, but for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened.

    We're the people who advocate until we are hoarse, beg for help, take our kids to appointment after appointment and for test after test, and never seem to get anywhere. The closer our children get to that magic age of eighteen, the more frantic and worried we get.

    We're the moms and dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who at completely at our wits' end and yet still find the strength to try one more thing... Just one more.
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  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Wow. Well said!

    Yes. If we had given up, we wouldn't be here. We're still looking for "one more thing" - or 20 more - some combination, some change of balance, some words of wisdom... something, anything...
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  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I would add to Annie's beautiful definition that part of our task is to learn to love and to forgive ourselves. Once we begin to see ourselves and our challenges clearly, we begin modeling healthy personhood for our kids.

    And everything changes.

    As difficult as these years will have been for us, our children will need to know how to see themselves acting in their worlds in strong, healthy ways.

    That is the best gift we can give them.

    We are learning to differentiate between the correctness of identifying and taking responsibility for the ways we did parent (and hindsight is always twenty freaking twenty) and blaming or condemning ourselves for not having been perfect. Perfect enough to know what we had no way of knowing, at the time decisions needed to be made.

    We need to stop doing that to ourselves.

    Loving our children and ourselves through everything we have all been through is a kind of miracle, when you think about it.

    But here we are.

    Loving our children and ourselves when the neighbors and the families and the school systems are affixing labels or making sly comments into the deadly silence that seems to have fallen around did we do that. Where did we learn that kind of strength and commitment and integrity.

    But we are here.

    We need to remind ourselves of these good things, and share that strength, and those hard won self-concepts, with one another, too.

    The fact is that we may be better parents than those parents whose children came through without a hitch. It took me the longest time to understand that. We are not those parents casually mentioning our latest triumph so everyone can know how wonderful our children are. We are doing what we do without peer support or reward. We are making such hard choices on so little information.

    Our children that we love are challenging every parenting technique we know or have been able to learn...but here we are.

    I felt so badly about myself for so long. I blamed myself and was without mercy for myself, and was ashamed. Finding this site has helped me let go of those ways of seeing.

    This is an important piece of who we are, too.

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  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes Cedar. Some of that is FOO work, but some of it is here-and-now working-with-challenged-kids work and needing to be healthy ourselves, AND lead by example.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Who we are is - battered and bruised.
    Sometimes, physically.

    Why do we keep coming back for more punishment? Because there is no one else who will stand up for these kids. No one else who cares - in "the system" or anywhere else.

    "Don't get pulled in", the "experts" say. It's HIS problem.
    Sure, I'll agree with that.
    But all of the solutions are completely outside his reach.
    Social services won't touch him, because he is able to work full time.
    Working full time doesn't give enough income to pay for board and room somewhere (an apartment is completely out of reach, and neither situation fits with his physical and mental and emotional needs), a vehicle and gas (no bus service to where he works), food, clothes, and medication (which would take a quarter of his monthly income).
    So we pay for some of the necessary (like medications), and let him live at home (he's reasonably respectful), which leaves him enough money after paying for car insurance, gas, and clothes (including expensive composite-toe work boots required for work) to have a little bit of a life. And that little bit of a life is absolutely necessary. Meet a friend for coffee, join a small group at a sports event, buy parts for his car. These are the things that will help him move forward mentally and emotionally.

    So much of this wouldn't hurt as much if it wasn't for the fact that we have no chances to recover from the "bruises" - so we keep getting hit where we are already sore.
  7. Yep! That's me! My son is now 21 and we struggle. His friends were struggling too (all Aspies) so I started a support group for them. Now we're trying to find answers together and help each other.
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  8. Amen and Amen!
  9. Goodness! This sounds like I wrote it! Cedar, you been living in my head or what? Awesome comment! I'm right where you are now.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Cedar is special!

    You are also welcome to join us on the non-parenting FOO forum (Family of Origin discussion) - it's not about our kids, it's about us and figuring out this whole "where did we come from and how do we heal" aspect.
  11. Here! Here! Well said. My life - but..... I'm beginning to"see" what Cedar is saying in that Ifully believe that we have this "thing" more right than most everybody else. Our suffering has made us tuned in and purposeful. We live life on purpose. We can't throw away money or time on frivolity. We, along with our son and his few Aspie friends need us to model, to help, to love, accept, forgive, guide, coach, council..... And the funny thing is, we're as broken as they are but God helped us to find a way. So we now have the responsibility to share it as we can and as they can accept it. Friends, we are the pioneers, the Daniel Boones of this new era and we have a very significant role to fill here. Think of what's behind us... Those coming up! Thank you for this space and the friendship. It is too wonderful for words to have others to share this journey!
  12. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    This has to be one of the most accurate and eloquent things I've ever seen on these boards. Between 2 difficult sons and a severely autistic grandson who now resides with us I have nothing but bruises. This mayhem has gone on for 5 years now. I am so tired and ready for it to be over. What would make it better? Them doing things MY way. And that thinking keeps me feeling responsible and accountable. It keeps me precariously perched on the bough of the boat looking for icebergs to warn them of the danger with no regard for my own life. I have to find a way to disconnect and detach for my own sanity. It continues to be hard and I continue to try.
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My sister in law (not legal) and I were talking tonight about how we have come to fear life, fearing people, fearing what can and will happen. She does not have a difficult child, but has 5 garden variety children, all grown, and garden variety grandchildren, and a husband who is ill and depressed.

    I asked her. Do you think this is a normal part of life as we age, that this happens? Do you think it is we have received so many hits and hurts that there is no recovering completely anymore, and we have learned too well that engagement with life brings danger or hurt?

    Or do you think it is because we have become weaker, less capable?

    What do you think, she asked.

    The thing is Tish, the children, and your dear grandson are your life. How do you live if they are damaged irrevocably? That is the question beneath all of it. After all is said and done we choose between arms and legs because we feel we must. You watch for icebergs because you do not know a way to not do so. You know the harm to yourself. It is that you fear it may become worse. And that you among those you love, may suffer worse.

    I think there is the need to acknowledge the rationality of our choices in very difficult situations. It is not some defect that can be recovered from, I believe. It is life itself.

    What, really, are the ways you could have chosen better, Tish, given who you are? If you had chosen differently, would you still be you? You are choosing for yourself, I believe. Even if it ends badly.

    I do not know the answers. I really do not know.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Tish. It has been many months since you have posted.

    I still think about you and wonder how you are and how the family is.

    I admire you. I care about you. I believe in you. I respect you. Be well, Tish. And take care.