Exactly the Point!
In the last two days, I’ve had two friends (not connected at all) say to me – in relation to our blog – “I had no idea you were going through any of this!”
My reply: THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!
That is exactly why we’re doing this blog (and the accompanying videos, book, etc.).
Many of us who are “parents of kids with ‘issues'” tend not to talk about these things with other people unless we know they will “get it” … that they understand about the nail, that they understand about the back-to-school trauma, that they have been in the trenches and their feet are muddy, too.
Why don’t we open up to other people?
There are so many reasons, but stigma, shame and judgment from others probably top the list.
That, and the fact that we are just so overwhelmed trying to get through day by day, that we often don’t even come up for air.
So we keep it to ourselves.
And as a result, we lose a chance not only to connect with others facing similar challenges, too … but to open up these issues to the world and show how valuable each person is, and what gifts ALL kids have, even if they don’t fit in the “perfect” box ………. actually … ESPECIALLY if they don’t fit in that “perfect” box.
But for us moms (and dads), the stresses of facing these challenges, and the anxiety of trying to get through the day, combined with the stresses of keeping it all inside in order to “protect” ourselves and our children from all the negativity, shame and judgement …. well, “overwhelming” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
And that is something that often gets lost in all the discussions around “kids with issues.”
It is also why there is so much power in the “me, too.”
I asked one of the friends mentioned above to spread the word to people she knew who might be interested. She responded, “Will do, but I’m not sure I know anyone in that situation. Hell, I didn’t even know YOU were!”
I wrote back, “That’s actually one of the points of the blog, and the reason people often feel so alone and overwhelmed. You probably do know people in this situation, but you just don’t know it! It’s not something you can share easily (unless you know that someone else “gets it”). We’re trying to break that “stigma piñata” open for everyone.”
There is power in numbers, but only when all the numbers know they are in the same equation!
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + ………. = knowing we’re not alone = working together = MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN!!!
You’re such a refreshing breath of air! I love reading your posts.
For me, it’s not the shame of having a kid with issues but it’s the ambivalence of some folks, “Oh, that’s nice. My Johnny is going to be quarterback this year and my Suzy is a straight A student whose been accepted to Harvard.” Or it’s the well meaning but useless advice of others, “You just need to take this parenting class I heard of (or read this book or go to this seminar or see this counselor). If you would just enforce consequences, then your problems will be solved.”
That’s why I don’t talk about it. Either people don’t really care or they don’t really understand and aren’t willing to actually listen.
To be fair, I do have some friends who are kind and loving and accepting. But the majority of the folks out there just don’t have the ability, for one reason or the other, to dive into this sticky mess we’re in and see it from our side of the playground.
I’m glad you’re writing this blog. Thank you.
Thank YOU for reading, and for your contribution! You are so right. And funny you should mention the “my kid was just accepted to Harvard” thing …. Look for a post on that very issue, very soon!!!
Been reading ur posts day and night, truly refreshing, knowing that someday I’ll make it too 🙂
Mine is a 5 y.o. Boy with SPD, ADHD, coordination difficulties. It’s been a lonely, difficult road. Please do hop on my blog, all posts on special issues are written in English.
Keep writing, and looking fwd to ur book!
Hi Natalia, I did look at your blog and read your posts about your son (your description of him and the flower ceremony was perfect … and also the one about when you had a meltdown in the car … we have ALL been there ….) … it is all so well written and heartfelt and full of love and all of the same other up and down and all-over emotions that we all go through on this journey! This truly has no borders. (And it seems that neither does the judgment from others, either….) I will keep reading! And we look forward to all your comments here! It will be interesting to compare notes with people all around the world about how different countries and cultures address and help their kids with issues (as much as you can generalize about these things ….). I know that my friend from Brazil says that when she goes there with her son (she lives in the US), it is totally different, and he is much more accepted, whereas here, it has been much more difficult for him. Thanks again for reading, and for writing, and we are looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us all — our growing community — together! Just know — you are NOT alone!