I was browsing through my emails and found this thread…thought it was fitting of this goal. Although a bit lengthy, it’s fitting regardless.
This woman (we’ll call her “Jane”) is my then-boyfriend’s mother (we’ll call him “Joe”). While Joe and I were together, I quickly realized the parenting style that I use is very different from Jane’s. Joe was raised a certain way and thought my son’s behavior was due to the fact that I wasn’t being more like his mom with such full structure. They were usually fairly tight-lipped about their feelings but it all came out in the end. One night, I was really frustrated by the people around me (that should be supporting me) just not understanding anything about my son and what’s been done to try to work everything out! I logged into facebook and typed in my status as: “is so irritated that some people don’t understand her son and the whole picture!” A friend of mine then said that those type of people will never change so pay no mind. I agreed. Well, Jane read that thread and thought it was about her and that I was “airing out” her business on facebook. This is what she wrote:
“Interesting comments: Read your comment about not understanding your son..Obviously I’m ncluded in that group..incld. the other comments. Not NICE “Seeking Serenity”...both Joe & I do understand the WHOLE picture incld the parenting adults. The only reason I never say anything is that t would fall on deaf ears & you would waste time blaming everyone else & making excuses or ignoring the bad behavior. My feelings are really hurt with you airing that stuff on Facebook.”
And this is what I responded with (in a feverishly, pissed-off mood):
“I’m sorry if I offended you, Jane. That wasn’t my intention. See, I use facebook as a sounding board the majority of the time, not as a resource to air laundry. I’m at home, with no outlet, and I sometimes have a need to blow off steam. The post and the comments were not aimed at you. I understand that you’ve never particularly liked what I write on facebook on a normal basis, but I’m not posting for you…I’m posting for me. That post I wrote was out of huge frustration for the lack of understanding I’ve been receiving amongst people lately. It wasn’t really aimed towards you. If it was, I wouldn’t have hesitated posting that it was. Jane, I understand that you’re trying to help, as is Joe, but what the both of you (and a few others) don’t understand is that those techniques that work for so many children in the population, may not work for others, specifically my son. I’ve tried many things (consistently, I may add) that have not shown the results I’ve needed…so I try another…and another…and another!! It’s been a process. One of which I am unfamiliar with and that’s purely the reasoning behing seeking out so many professionals to help the situation. Do you think I deliberately tell my son that he can behave badly? No, I don’t. It hurts my feelings that you would assume that I “ignore the bad behavior.” Yes, you and Joe both feel I’m making excuses. I disagree. I am busting my (pardon my languauge) ass for my son!!! Like a mother should! I have put forth every ounce of effort I have-my mom, as well-to find alternatives to help manage his behavior. And also our own. We have worked on ourselves and our home life’s struggles. And thank God, it has panned out pretty well recently! It’s one step forward, two steps back…everytime. I don’t feel that you and Joe understand the WHOLE picture because you’re not here on a daily basis, living it and trying to cope with not only my kiddo’s feelings, but our own, in trying to find new remedies! According to Joe, I’m insulting him by saying his brain can’t process that my kid is not like a lot of kids…that you can’t tell him, “this is what you’re going to do, and that’s it, end of discussion” but I’m not insulting him. I’m just stating that he doesn’t comprehend the entire picture and what needs to be done. I’ve been working so hard, Jane! You have no idea! And for someone to tell me I blame others, make excuses and ignore behavior is shocking to me. You were blessed with children who did what was expected of them, without baulking and knowing the consequences of their actions. I was not. And I’m okay with that. My son does not realize the mpact of his decisions until it’s too late and he’s far past the prior situation. He’s impulsive. He lacks empathy. And he is very behind in social skills and development. He’s smart as a whip, educationally-speaking, but lacks many skills kids ultimately pick up at a young age. My son has severe difficulties that impact daily life. Whether you see that or not. Those difficulties need to be addressed in a different manner than “okay, you did something wrong, now something wrong is going to be done to you.” He doesn’t understand that notion. There’s many, many kids like my son and I know I’m not the only parent out there that feels hopeless and told that they’re just not parenting well enough or standing behind what’s put in place, consistently. I know I’m not! So you and Joe, who think these things of me, are naive; inexperienced in knowing how to effectively teach my son the skills he’s lacking. I know I’m rambling, and I apologize, but I have a lot to say on this matter. I’m sure you’re quite upset with me but you really shouldn’t read too much into my fb postings, like you do at times. I’m a stressed-out mother, of an “Explosive Child” and sometimes just need a caring comment from someone who’s ‘been there, done that.’ I didn’t air anything out to anyone. I didn’t name names and even if I had made a list, none of my friends would’ve known any different. To air out, is to gossip. I’m not a fan of gossip, nor do I normally partake. I just needed a compassionate person to step up and say “it’s okay, you’re working hard, I understand, keep going” because I don’t usually get that from the people I should. Yet another thing that hurts my feelings, but I’ll live. I wonder if your reading has taken you this far down the screen or if you have given up and deleted me from your friends. Either way, I just needed to get that off my chest to you. Maybe you’ll understand, maybe you won’t but at least I tried. I don’t give up easily. Thank you so very much for the things you have put thought into in regards to my son. I appreciate it greatly. I’m still trying to put my thumb on exactly what works and what doesn’t but I have high hopes of what’s to come! That’s all I can do…along with pray a lot, have faith that I’m doing what’s right and that I’ll be led down the path I need, and hope for the best but quietly prepare for the worst-if need be. I’m doing the best with the hand I’ve been dealt.”
I talked with Joe about it but he didn’t back me at all. surprise, surprise. I never heard another word from Jane and didn’t speak to Joe for about a month and a half. I am no longer on speaking terms with either of these people. I know they felt they were helping but their naive nature was very disheartening, when I needed their positive support the most. For someone to talk down to you (from behind a computer, nonetheless) about their supposed lack of parenting is so incredibly mean-spirited. She’s apparently been raised to be propper but I don’t see it when something like that is written from an assumption. Oh well, mean people will always be mean people. I’m just glad that she was able to get her jollies off with her message to me. I don’t usually say this but…HA! I got the last word! 2 years ago