On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another one bites the dust

If you follow my friend tudusamom, she is taking a break from blogging for now for privacy reasons. Pass it on. She has 160+ followers so I know I won't reach everyone that follows her without your help. She'll come back, she's just on hiatus. It seems that the blogosphere just has a hard time understanding our lives with challenged kids.

That said, a few months back I was asked to create a special needs group for RAD parenting. I've neglected that site but am back in the mix, full force. Please feel free to join Support for Special needs and look for the group RADical parenting Perhaps with a login-only site, we can be more open about our emotions as RAD parents without the threat of readers pulling the rug out from under us when they don't have a firm grasp on our situations.
BONUS: there is real-time chat.

So here's the question:
Why do our challenging lives with our challenging children make outsiders nervous?

Let me ask the question another way:
If a friend's child has cancer, do you question whether or not your friend is being an appropriate parent? Or do you just mourn with your friend, hold their hand, hug them, offer them a cooked meal and put the whole family on the prayer chain?

See, because when people make immediate, negative assumptions about parents of challenged children without ever considering that the parents need more support than the child, the whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down.

If you're living a life without challenged children, I challenge you to just embrace parents of challenged children. Don't question, don't judge, don't do anything other than love them, pray for them, support them, hug them, praise them, encourage them, build them up, take them out for coffee, make donations so they can go to Orlando, send them fat quarters (MANY THANKS mamadrama-timestwo!), get them gift cards to Wal.mart or JC.Penney, do something, do ANYTHING to prevent

another RADical parent from biting the dust.

On a lighter note, October marked a year out of the classroom for me. What's changed in that year? I used to listen to NPR. Now I listen Classic Rock. I used to wear heels, jewelry and make up. Now I wear hiking boots, do-rags and royal blue shirts. (I was recently mistaken for being butch. What a hoot!) I used to carry bags of books, pencils and stacks of paper. Now I carry buckets of water, mops and squeegees. I used to get stressed out about my job AND my children. Now I just get stressed out about my children. And best change of all, I used to have Penn State's fight song as my ring tone. Now I have QUEEN! (Bohemian Rhapsody, in case you wondered)

Yes I quilt while cranking up the classic rock.

Yes, sometimes I'll still be wearing the do-rag, blue shirt and hiking boots because by the end of the day, I have disgusting hair and it's an awful effort to change clothes just to use a needle and thread.

Yes. That is a strange image.

Yes, The Dad has photo proof of this monstrous sight which he blackmails me with. (Have you seen any snarky images of him on my blog lately? Right. Now you know why. There is a rather hideous digital image of me some where, waiting to be posted on FB if I do not comply.)

You.Tube embedded codes have been removed by request. Here are the linkeroos in case you've got a hankering for some Queen (and really, I can't see how you WOULDN'T want to listen to Queen)
Bohemian Rhapsody
Another one bites the dust


GB's Mom said...

sorry tudusmom needs to disappear. Tell her I will miss her and they are on my prayers.

jwg said...

Thanks for letting us know about the blog break. I was worried, especially since she received no comments on the post asking for help. I would have commented if I had anything useful to say.

Lisa said...

Just discovered Tudu's blog went private - thanks for explaining and letting us know what's up.

Also, thank you for reminding me again that in spite of my sucky life, I can help another awesome Mom to get thru the day by listening to her vent about her RADical child, sending her a card, etc. I have done these things many times, but I am so... burned out now that I forget.

My 17 1/2 yo RAD daughter is in respite for the first time ever right now. It started out as such a blessing - another Mom of a RAD kid offering to swap respite so we can both get a break. Sounds good, no? No - it hasn't been. I got her daughter immediately, saw thru all of the compliments and bs to the real kid underneath. It was a fun 5 days. Then it was my daughters turn - she has the whole family in love with her and they think she is so....much better than their daughter/sister. They want to trade permanently because my daughter is just perfect and fits right in with their family. My dd trusts the "new Mom" so much she's already confessed to her that she was cleaning the toilet with our toothbrushes recently when she was angry with us. I am so disappointed. This Mom knows better, she would be devastated if I told her these things about her dd and told her that her daughter was perfect to me. So, I'm feeling again that there is no hope, no help, no respite from the craziness.

Meg said...

I think it's really hard for people to understand what parents of mentally ill and/or traumatized kids and the kids themselves go through. It's impossible to explain to people who have not experienced it. I'm sorry that tudusmom is having to back off for a while.

missjenngirl said...

To answer the question about why people question your parenting, it is because the child doesn't "look" sick. There is no drool, no crossed eyes no limp, no bald head, no crippled limbs.
And she doesn't sound sick at first, she is intellegent sometimes articulate and can probably vocalize 100 things that YOU do wrong while playing the innocent abused child.
And for many that do not have special needs children, it is easier to believe that (in my case) I am a terrible jealious step parent bent on making this darling child's life a living hell (by holding her accountable for her actions) than it is to believe one child could actually be that manipulative and self centered...
That's just my humble opinion.
Your life and the lives of those in similar shoes goes against the rule:
The most likely answer is normally the correct one.

Marco said...

Thanks for letting us know about tudusmom. I, too, have been worried about her. I will continue to keep her and her family in my prayers. Maria (Canada)
Oh dear ... signed in as hubby again and don't know how to change - sorry

Elizabeth-Anne said...

Believe it or not, people DO say really rotten things to parents of children with cancer as well. I know two parents who have practically been driven underground by the rotten things people have said about them.

That said, I think three things are in play:
1. They have never been there or done that.
2. They are afraid it could be their child.
3. They are afraid that they, too, could feel the same way.

It is far easier to blame the victim than to admit "there but for the grace of God go I."

I also wanted to just apologize for my big mouth coming out with something that might have sounded really judgmental. What I meant was, in all of this mess, how can any one of us succeed alone? I don't have faith in us, but I have faith in Christ in us who is able to do more than all we can possibly ask or imagine.

God bless, Integrity!

robyncalgary said...

I still miss her and think of her and family often :(