Why I Live in Isolation!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bugsy, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    Sorry it is a bit long.

    Background: My son has a diagnosis of adhd/mood disorder. We have been
    through soooo much. I am sure I do not need to spell it out
    (doctors, medications. medications. medications., hospital, therapy, etc). Knock on Wood
    he has been stable and doing well for a number of months. We started
    him at one of the local private schools for special needs and so far
    so good (again knock on wood, salt over the shoulder, fingers

    Well I met a mom of one of the boys in my son's class. We hit it off
    right away (she does not know my son's diagnosis). Her son does not carry a
    diagnosis of mood, BiPolar (BP) or adhd. He is a sweet boy with non-verbal learning
    disabilities. Our boys also hit it off. Yeah my son seems typical
    and has a friend.

    Here is the reason to go back into isolation.
    There are 2 boys in the class exhibiting very challenging
    emotional/behavioral problems. My new friend's son is very bothered
    by this and so is she.

    1. Last week she repeatedly talked to me about a boy "H" that is a
    real problem. In fact he was suspended for kicking and is always in
    the principal's office. She had enough and wrote a letter to the
    school saying she was assured that her son would not be with
    children with emotional/behavioral problems.
    *Not going tell her about my son's true diagnosis.

    2. As for the second boy, "B", he had a major meltdown and she saw
    it and heard of this occurring other times. She said to me "that
    child is a real "mental patient". I looked her stunned and she
    said, "I am not just saying it. He is diagnosed as a mental patient."
    *Okay, definately not sharing my son's diagnosis.

    3. She was telling me about an experience last year when her son was
    in public school regarding a child always out of control. Her
    statement was, "And the end result, the kid was diagnosed bipolar!
    Can you imagine a kid diagnosed with bipolar?! I am not paying
    16,000 for my son to be with that kind of kid."
    *Well, back into isolation I go.

    Some people will think poorly of this mom. Other than this topic we
    get along great. I don't blame her at all for her thinking.It is the
    reality of society.

    My child is not one of the 2 acting out. She has been with my son a few times and really is encouraging her son to be with my son.

    I feel I owe each of you an apology for not having the courage to
    look her straight in the eyes and say, "My child is one of those
    children. He is a "mental patient" doing better."

    I don't have the energy to try to change the world one person at a
    time. So I will go back into my cave, and if she comes to my car
    this afternoon at carpool I will probably just say, "So you think it
    will rain today?"

    If you made it all the way to the end of this little pity party, THANK
    Bugsy's mom:(
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I hear ya, there is alot to be said for your cave. I don't know if the person you are describing could be "educated" about mental illness and I can understand avoiding the topic because I do suspect she would want to end the kids friendship if she knew, which is so sad. I could totally understand if your difficult child did something inappropriate but just for the diagnosis, sad. Maybe you could seek out friendships somewhere without your difficult child involved like a gym or bookclub, something along those lines.
  3. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    It is sad people in the world feel this way. Maybe this is the reason I am scared to get more testing for my ds. I don't want to hear that he has MORE problems and somone will put MORE labels on him and give potential to MORE teasing, etc. However, these people also need to know how to be kind and supportive and teach their children tolerance. If they do not see it in the home then they will not learn it. It is such a shame. I don't know if we have any more room on our plates to help people like this women, but I hope someone somewhere can instill a bit of tolerance in her heart. Someday she may be on the other side of the fence and she will be alone too.

    Maybe you can find some pamphlets or something. Without coming out and mentioning your son's diagnosis. You can say something like-"What you said the other day got me to thinking that you needed some information on BiPolar (BP). I don't feel the way you do and thought I would share my knowledge with you." Don't know if she would appreciate it but it was a thought. Good luck!
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    First of all you do not owe anyone an apology for the way you handled that situation. You handled it the way you were able to, that is a tough spot to be in. Especially because the kids get along so well. So don't beat yourself up!!! :)

    I would love 10 minutes with that woman!!! Whether that is the way society thinks or not, she is still talking about CHILDREN for pete sake!!!! Oooh that kind of ignorance really ticks me off. Instead of judging these kids she should empathize with them and thank her lucky stars her child was dealt an easier hand. How would she like it if people were judging her child for his disability? What, does she think these kids and their parents went through the "mental patient" catalog and picked which disease would be the hardest to live with just to irritate ignorant people such as herself!!!!! She should pick up a book on "mental patients" and educate herself on the subject. I mean lets not forget her child isn't flawless, he too has a diagnosis!!! He who lives in glass houses.............!!!!! So she paid money to put him in private school to keep him sheltered from those icky kids. What is she going to do about the millions that are walking among her daily, in the supermarket, driving the bus, at the library, on the swings at the park, or quite possibly the next child she may bear????? I'm sorry, please don't misunderstand my frustration, it is in no way geared towards you. People like that just get my blood boiling!!!!

    I am so sorry you had to experience that level of ignorance, and I am crushed for your son who has befriended this womans child. Poor thing. Your son is just as good as hers, he deserves the same love that she gives to her child, he is just as worthy of friends as her's is!!!!! You are a far better mother than her on your worst day. You will do for your son 10 times more than she will ever do for hers. You are the warrior mom and your son is lucky to have you. He will grow up to wear your love like armor against the ignorance of others. Kudos to you!!!!

    Hang in there and God bless. :)
    Lasted edited by : Oct 8, 2008
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    One more thing. Don't for one moment think that you and your child are not worthy of their friendship, on the contrary, they aren't worthy of yours!!!
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Bugsy! You're not being disloyal at all to us or our kids. No matter what, this woman is discussing other kids diagnosis's. How much would you want her discussing yours?

    That's the sad fact. Even in Special Education programs there are levels of tolerance and ignorance and yes, even predjudice.

    I was told my son didn't "look" like he had aspergers, but my other one "looked" like he had problems (his face was swollen from a bee bite!), etc.

    Don't live in isolation, just don't let people have too much information that they're too ignorant to handle!;)

  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I was lucky that my daughter's Dxes were such that most did not understand just how serious the behavior issues were. When she had outbursts, she drew sympathy because people knew she was adopted and had had a pretty awful prior to the adoption. I also saw kids with any sort of mental Dxes treated as vermin. It truly angered me. They had no control over their actions. My daughter did. They were ostracized by the parents and the kids. My daughter was ostracized by the kids, not the parents.

    I understand your reluctance in not wanting to discuss your son's issues with this woman. She's ignorant. I wonder if she would be as upset with a child with MS or any other physical illness. Mental illness is just that -- an illness. Maybe you could mention to someone in the school that some of the parents need educating on mental health issues. That kids are being judged because of their diagnosis and that parents are discussing these Dxes amongst themselves. (I also wonder how she knows these kids' Dxes. The school certainly shouldn't be discussing it.)

    Regardless, you have to do what is right for you and yours. Don't apologize for doing what you think is best for your son. His diagnosis is none of her business and you don't need to defend that fact to us.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm very outspoken, so she would have had a piece of me...lol. A Non-Verbal Learning Disability alone should not necessitate Special Education (I have one). Her child has to have many problems too that you don't know about and that she isn't telling. A NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) would belong in an Learning Disability (LD) classroom. Perhaps he acts out at home--you know that many of our kids do. I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing squat with this woman.
    I would probably make play dates for my kid's sake, but distance myself from his woman. I don't like gossips, and especially not about children. I don't like her attitude. JMO.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ya know, Bug, I'd be tempted to carry on with this relationship if you were enjoying it.
    If your son ends up having a meltdown in front of her down the road - well, until then, she will SEE how you interacte with your son, and SEE how your son holds it together for periods of time, it can be revisited then.
    If a long period of time passes without that happening, I'd be tempted to share, at that point, your son's diagnosis.
    It might be an opportunity to educate without either one having to do anything but be a friend to the other.
    And frankly, in the end, if she walks away without changing a thing - what are you truly out?
    Just my .02.
    On the other hand, tho, I totally understand that need to protect yourself. been there done that.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh how I understand... your post brought me to tears. I have to run to go pick up K. I go each day and wonder if anything will come up, wonder when someone will say something... K is not the one that acts out either, but she is different.
    Bugsy and K are the same age so I get it. School... the cave... how much do we stand up for our kids? I happen to have a very big mouth. But I regret some things.
    Hang in there. You never owe us an apology. We all have our own path, our own stories, our own battles.
    You are just trying to get through each and every long day.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Your friend is the one living in isolation and she is building that wall up around her son.

    If she continues, you can try making supportive statements for the child such as, "He is such a delightful child. So full of energy." "It takes a special parent to have the patience that the child needs." "Don't you just love seeing the smiles on the kids?"

    Some day you may be able to teach her through your example on how you see every child. Each child is special regardless of diagnosis or not. You uphold every child you meet as an individual full of potential.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Normal kids have meltdowns too. It happens a lot especially when they're younger. I remember a classmate of easy child 2/difficult child 2's having a VERY public meltdown at 12 years old, stamping her feet and crying like a two year old because it was time for her to go home! (mind you, with hindsight I don't think she was all that normal).

    I hear you, not wanting to speak up. Do not feel disloyal - your primary loyalty is to you and your son. You were the one on the spot, you were the one who had to make the call.

    But I also do not agree with people being so critical of this other woman that they want to get so angry with her - we are each a product of our own environment. If her environment included an upbringing with parents who were horrified at the stigma of mental illness, plus she's not had any personal contact (that she is aware of) with mental illness - then I can understand her lack of compassion. She just doesn't understand.

    My mother in law grew up in such an environment as this woman. She was also a nurse at a time when psychiatric medicine was primitive, hit-and-miss and suspect. When I hear of some of the things that used to be done in the name of psychiatry, I can understand mother in law's bias. I am grateful my own mother didn't feel this way. mother in law is someone I can't re-educate. It's too late. She is increasingly understanding towards difficult child 3 and has even (reluctantly) accepted the wisdom of the counselling we've had in place for difficult child 3 and for easy child 2/difficult child 2. I explained exactly what the psychologists were working on and especially explained CBT to my mother in law and she said, "Well, THAT sounds sensible. I certainly approve of that!"
    And yet a week later she will again be sounding off about psychologists all being charlatans out to invent something wrong so they can clean out your bank balance and make you think you're crazy. She is a product of her environment.

    The funny thing - mother in law was saying to me yesterday, "I wish sister in law would get some counselling, she is so stressed right now."

    So there is always hope!

    Sometimes the best way to teach someone like tis mother, is to say nothing at all and just let circumstances do the job.

  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    So sorry she has such a view of theings. I would taking the other side by saying things like, "It sure sounds like that kid could use additional support at school. I can imagine what this family is going through."

    When she expresses her opinion that these children do no belong with her son, ask her where she thinks they should go? Perhaps she will start to think about things differently, especially if you ever feel it is the right time to share your son's diagnosis (she will probably feel terrible for what she has said). People who only know part of a story tend to have extreme opinions. I hope you can continue the friendship and through it, she becomes more educated on mental illness.

  14. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    Okay, I had to reread your post to make sure I read what I thought I did.

    "local private schools for special needs"

    What the hell did she expect it to be? The gist is right there. A private school for children with SPECIAL NEEDS. I can understand your reaction. However, I would feel the need to point out my child also has special needs. Not necessarily the Dxes, just the fact that it is a special needs school, so naturally ALL the students have a need in some area(s). If I were her, I'd be so embarassed to be caught with egg on my face. The problem here is not yours; it's hers. You have no reason to apologize and I don't think you need a pity party either. If anyone does, she does for being so ignorant to think that kids with special needs need to be segregated from the "normal" people.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm going to say what you already know, that apologies aren't necessary to anyone here. Also maybe just maybe this friendship in which you have formed with her should continue, and if difficult child does have an issue of any sort maybe she will become more knowledgable of certain types of diagnosis's because you being her friend will tell her.

    this actually could be a good thing on multiple levels for both you, difficult child and her son and herself. her attitude unfortunately will be shared by her son in time yet the two of you hitting it off and creating a friendship and then in time you sharing difficult child's diagnosis will enlighten her, her son and enable your friendship to continue.

    just a thought :)
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jennifer - bingo.

  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Yup. Jennifer, you hit the nail on the head.
    Bugsy, sorry that the other mom's thoughtless words and prejudices are making you feel this way.

    The others are right...you have nothing to apologize for. This is a safe haven for all of us, and you need to make the decision that works best for you.

  18. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    Thank you all for the responses. Here is the update. One if the children has been having big difficulties and the reality is this school is not fit for these behavioral problems BUT they are trying hard to work with the mom and give the child time to work on medications before saying you are expelled. The child has been suspended twice (explained to the class that he is just in need of a break). The mom is somewhat socially odd herself.

    As for my friend, when she brought it up to me again and was fed up with this mother I was able to say a number of things such as:
    *(without saying the diagnosis) My son had a SEVERE reaction to an ADHD medication and it caused him to be hopsitalized. I would not wish it on any child or mother. We do not know why the child is acting the way he is so we need to be compassionate and yes still be concerned about the well being of our child.
    *Understand that this child is in need of help and I agree that this school is not equipped for this type of challenge but he needs help.
    *We can not hold against the child the oddness of the mother. that just makes it that much more sad for the child. She does not seem to know how or what to do even when given the information.
    *I gave the mom a ton of information about local doctors, therapists and in/out patient options.
    *I asked my friend how her son is doing as far as learning and she is very happy, so I said the school as been able to manage to help our children as well as trying to give this kid some time.

    Well, by the end of the talk she said some postive things and was willing to try to understand . She even e-mailed me that night and wanted to make sure I knew that if something like this happened with my son she would be suppotive.

    Who really knows? Anyway, I felt better that I said something and did it in a well thought out way.

    Thanks again,
    Bugsy's mom
  19. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Good for you Bugsy. Who knows, maybe your kindness will bring her out of isolation and see the world as it is. You certainly are making your corner of the world a better place to live in as you share your compassion and support.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Way To Go, Bugsy.
    I, too, thought it was odd that her child was in a special needs school and it seemed like *her* child's special needs were okay, but others' were not.
    But you waited, and gave her a measured response, and she responded well. Way To Go!!!!

    Oh, I wanted to add, I have a friend who is bipolar and I have to remind him not to tell certain people, for exactly that reason. They think all bipolar people are going to pull out a machine gun and down us all. NOT. My BiP friend is so naive he thinks he can just tell anyone. Sigh.