Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It is Our Life...

Reading a blog, and a post about the stresses of a mum, I was struck by a comment she made:
"And then I look around me and see how I don't have it anywhere near as bad as some others. And I think I should be grateful that he is healthy, (overly) verbal, mainstream schooled, intelligent, capable, wonderful, loving, helpful and all the other good things that make him who he is .. and I am grateful."  Read here.

It makes me think of a conversation I had with a friend a while back. It was during a very bad time with Boy 1, and I was at my wit's end. And so I talked to a friend.
MM: "I do not know what to do to help him, I am so worried about what he will do."
GF: "Look, I'll tell you something that will help you feel better. Our really good friends have a three week old baby after trying to conceive for years. Sadly, he has a serious heart issue and has to have surgery tomorrow. The risks are high and he may not survive it, but without the op he will die within the next few weeks.
MM: "And why would that make me feel better?"
GF: "There is always someone worse off than you, and it makes your problems seem less in comparison?"
MM: "It is sad, yes. BUT that is NOT MY son, and NOT MY life. It does not lessen what we are going through or help in any positive way. It comes down to what you live with, not what you hear."

We should never have to justify our pain/worries/concerns, or belittle their magnitude in OUR lives. Everybody knows there is always someone worse off than you (and wouldn't it suck to be the one with the WORST life on earth?), but that in no way relates to the emotions of our own lives.

So don't say sorry, or qualify the bad times, we get it. And we are here to listen, not judge.

blogs/rants over at Meaninless Meandering from a Madmother and is wife to Big Boy, mother to Boy 1 (Aspie) and Boy 2 (smart-arse), and daughter to Wise Woman.


  1. "...we get it. And we are here to listen, not judge." Sweet words!

    One of the best things I ever did (10 years ago) was answer an ad in a local paper asking if anyone with a child with Autism wanted to get together. Six of us met in my dining room. Ten years later, we serve 80 families in our area -- not as many as the probable 500 families in our area, but 80 more than none!

    Coordinator, Autism Spectrum Support Group of Southern Maryland

  2. I do that all of the "put things in perspective" but you're right. It is our life and what we feel is ok. Did you ever think it would be so hard? I didn't. I knew parenting was hard, I thought, but I never ever imagined this.

  3. As the one who wrote the post you quoted, thanks so much for just 'listening'.

    I know I shouldn't compare my life to other people's but sometimes it's the only way to make myself see things from the slightly more objective viewpoint of 'outside looking in' .. a bit of perspective for a compulsive worrier is probably not a bad thing! Of course PMS and depression never really help the situation .. lol!

    So thank you again for 'getting it' and for not judging .. me or him. I really think that is the hardest part of day-to-day life with my son .. no-one around me really seems to get how wearing it can be having to constantly think ten steps ahead of him and be so specific with instructions that the Supreme Court couldn't find a loophole in them. There are so many times when I think life would be easier if he weren't so intelligent as he wouldn't be able to think himself into trouble!

  4. I (Heart) Madmother! I(Heart) Madmother!

    Terry: I have spent time in your wonderful state. It was a terrific experience. Good for YOU for all the good stuff going there.

  5. Nope, I catered to the storybook parenting ideology... You know, the one where Meg, Beth, Amy and I help Marmy as... oops, wrong storyline. No, had no idea such battles to live life were possible.

  6. Yes, this is our life. Sometimes I find myself shying away from those friends of mine who don't get it and drawing closer to those who are living this life alongside me.
    I still have those "normy" friends, but I can't talk about my kid and I certainly don't want to hear about theirs.
    Yes, everybody's got something and there certainly are situations "worse" than our own, but it's silly to compare my pain to anyone else's. My pain is mine, and I'm feelin' it.

  7. Several months ago I posted about the "In-Group" on my blog because I have a friend who faces a different situation but still needs support.

    Feel free to check it out:

  8. You are so right, no one should take pleasure in someone else being worse off than they are.

    I am slowly more about autism and admire all you parents dealing with this.

    Mich x

  9. The thing that makes me really angry is when someone who is so much better off is bitching & complaining to ME about how tough their life is & how they just can't handle the stress of everyday life. I have a friend with 3 typical little boys and a husband to help, and every day is such a trial for her - I would love to trade with her for a day & show her how lucky she is if I weren't afraid my kids would come back even more damaged, if they made it back at all.

  10. Bobbie42: I feel like that, too. But I try to remember that everyone's stuff is relative to their own experience. And then I heard a story about a girl I know who crashed her car into a mutual friend. I asked the friend what happened and she said, "Jill was just so frazzled and wasn't paying attention." Me: what? what's going on? is everything okay with her? Friend: "yeah, she's alright. She just had her hair colored and it was WAY too dark."

    And that was yet another reminder that I/we are so so so different. Because I'd give a limb for that to be a "problem!"

  11. yeah but then you would have more than just a bad hair day to worry would be missing a limb! Lol, my 9 yr old son is an aspie and I am learning how to see the world in a totally different way...sometimes his way is better than ours! He throws stones at school when he is angry and they can't stop him. They chase him, restrain him and wonder why he gets angrier. He does not throw stones at home because I told him why he should might rebound and hit him in the face or might hurt his hamster...sorted! Made it personal to him, appealed to his one-sided viewpoint/lack of empathy for people in general "might hurt someone"..he does not "get" why that should matter to him. Have told the school how his mind seems to work but they have pre-conceived ideas and are not open to a different viewpoint.


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