Wednesday, March 3, 2010

From the Wolf Den: Let's Talk, or Not

The most inspiring part of parenting a child with a behavior disorder is the support from other moms and dads facing similar situations. Usually my relationships with these people are built after a non-related meeting at which time somebody brings up the fact that they have a child with such-and-such, or so-and-so, and my jaw drops and I say with tears in my eyes, "Me, too." It never fails to amaze me how often I assume the role of victim without ever considering the thousands upon thousands of other parents who engage in the same daily struggle, or more so.

Today I met with such a friend, mom to two children, one with similar issues to Wolf and also dealing with her own painful and debilitating health problems. She wanted to talk about well-meaning family members of friends who offer their, um, opinions within the realm of our children's conditions. From physicians to pharmacies, discipline to daydreaming, everybody has a viewpoint, and this mom was at her wit's end.

It is hard to comment on responses and questions from other family members or friends because on one hand we have received so much positive support from both that any suggestion to the contrary might be construed as negative on my part. But on the other hand, I think any mother or father who has been inundated with comments by well-meaning people naive to particular, and private information surrounding a child would agree with me when I say there are certain things that are better left unsaid. Let this disclaimer be known: None of the following are from any member of my friends or family unit. Thank you.

Those things?

"Are you sure?" No. I am not sure. There are, in fact, days when I am unsure about many things concerning my children, not the least of which concerns a diagnosis of one child. But I have to start somewhere for some semblance of security in our family's world. Nobody's socks would match otherwise.

"Have you tried a non-medication route?" Yes. We have. We have also padlocked the cupboards, hidden the sugar, and buried our money in the backyard. These strategies, along with the Hair Club For Moms and Dads of Behaviorally Challenged Children have served to remind us that medication works for our child. End of story.

"I talked with Mrs. Busybody, and she said that her daughter-in-law's cousin's nephew had Asperger's (or OCD, or PPD, etc) and they found a great doctor in Topeka. Why don't you call them?" Thank you for your concern, and for your interest. We know that AS (etc.) affects many, many people. We also are quite satisfied with our physician and services, but we'll keep that name on file in case we need it later.

"I looked up AS (etc.) on the internet." Oy. Did you know you can also find a recipe to cure autism, too? Or how about a magic spell to wave over our child in his sleep? Please, please, use the internet sparingly. Except to read my blog, of course.

Finally, here is my favorite:

"You never want to talk to me about so-and-so anymore!" You know, I talk about so-and-so all the time; to health professionals, to case workers, to teachers, and to my spouse. Sometimes when I call you I want desperately to talk about something, anything else. This does not mean I consider you "out of the loop", on the contrary, it means I consider you so special that you get to listen to me talk about moose poop on the trail or the state of affairs in Bolivia. Anything so that I don't have to talk in acronyms or dollar signs or case numbers.

I love you all. Really, I do.


Jeni said...

Hey at least nobody told you that his problems weren't just caused by your bad parenting.

That was fun.

susitnajj said...

Thanks for posting this today, it was much needed! Sometimes this can be a lonely world and other times it takes reading these things to remember you are not all alone! Thank you for your words!

dorothy said...

yeah E- I have been dying to write this post but havent been able to without spitting nails... I LOVE the 'are you sure?' questions. No - I'm making it all up - my kids are normal and I do this for attention.....grrr...

nancy said...

Didja know that in CO elk poop is called Elk Duds? ;D