Whose Issue Is It, Anyway?
You might ask … why are we calling this blog, “Walk a Mile in My Issues,” when it’s really our kids’ issues (or in some cases, their former issues) that we’re talking about?
Well, first of all, if you’re ever wondering where some of your kids’ issues came from, one of the first places you might want to look is in the mirror.
We can say from our own personal experience that the ADD apple definitely does not fall far from the … hey, wanna go swimming? 🙂
And depression, in both of our families, has a lot more than an apple … it has a whole ecosystem of roots, branches, brambles and thickets all its own.
So yes, our kids’ issues may or may not have been one of the lovely DNA gifts we gave them when they entered this world.
But there’s another reason that we said “My Issues” as well.
Because even if their issues did not come from us …
Our kids’ issues become our issues.
We start to lose our own sense of self as we get more and more involved in our kids’ issues .. often to the point of only seeing or identifying ourselves as “the parent of a kid with issues.” And that creates collateral damage in all aspects of our lives … our work, our finances, our friendships … our emotional state … our marriages … and our other children.
Yup … they’re not only our issues and our kids’ issues… they become our whole family’s issues as well.
Not that this is any news to you, if you are “in the club” ….
But for anyone else … picture a mobile hanging from the ceiling, with all the pieces floating in the air.
This is your family.
Now attach a bowling ball to one of the pieces………
This is your family on “issues.”
So we go into hypermode, scrambling to keep that one kid afloat.
What’s going on with our marriages in the meantime? Probably not much, especially if you can’t get a babysitter …
And how about siblings? “Thank goodness they’re fine/easy,” we think …
Well, that one can come back to bite you in the ass.
We put a lot of extra pressure on our other kids to be independent and self-sufficient, because they don’t seem to “need” as much help … only to often find out later that they are just waiting their turn to have their own moment in the sun. (Can you say, “Whack-a-Mole”?).
It is often said that you are only as happy as your least happy child.
As true as this is, if we don’t also find a way to maintain our own sense of self – and self-esteem – regardless of the issues going on around us – we won’t be of any help to any of the people we most love (including ourselves).
Again, it’s not that we’re telling you anything new. And everyone else is telling you, too, right? – “You need to take more time to yourself!”
Yup. No shit, Sherlock.
If only it were that easy.
So in the answer to the question, “Whose issue is it, anyway?” — the answer is: “Everyone’s.”
But the next, even more important question is –
How can we separate ourselves from that?
Yes, you are the parent of a kid with issues. But who else are you?