Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Somebody come and play

I had a great conversation this morning with a woman/mom I was friends with back when Murphy was in preschool. I had not seen her in a few years because her kids were in a different elementary school, but are now at Murph's school. We will call her Mom 1.

Back in preschool, I thought it would be the beginning of a wonderful friendship. We just seemed to really like each other. It was great until Murphy decided he did not like her son. And told him so. As in "I hate you." And then added in case there was any doubt, "No, really I do."

Though the Mom 1 was low key about it (I felt like a complete ass), our friendship petered out. I mean, back in those days, you did play dates with the mom and kid. It was just awkward.

Anyway, I saw her this morning. We talked for a bit. I thought it went really well and actually felt really, really happy. I was so pleased that I called Tom at work to tell him about it.

At pick up today, another mom--Mom 2-- who knows both of us, kind of pulls me aside and asks if everything is going okay. I know this woman, but not at that level. Then she mentions that she saw Mom 1 today, and that Mom 1 said she was concerned about me...that I seemed frazzled with my life and with Murphy, that I seem to be overwhelmed with Murphy. I tell Mom 2 that I'm fine and that my life is no more overwhelming right now than usual. But I feel like she is looking at me funny. I say, you know me, I am just hyper and that Mom 1 must have forgotten that about me.

Now I don't feel as happy about the 'reconnection.' I feel weird and awkward. Like I can't just be myself and keep it real without people who clearly don't get what it is like to raise a child with Special Needs thinking I am dealing well.

Our journey--fucking journey--is now including much more than ADHD. We would have been lucky if that is all it was. I have loads of paperwork to do and to pass on to the pediatrician and school. I have more calls to the insurance company and the company who 'handles' the mental health portion of our health insurance. Then we will wait at minimum 3 months for the evaluations to begin. The Big Time evaluations at the hospital, not the ones they do over at the school. Oh, plus most of it is NOT covered by our insurance and so far the costs are up to 8k. We have no money. Nothing. Nothing saved for college. No hidden savings anywhere to dip into. We do have credit cards though. Waah, waah, waah. Listen to me rant.

I just felt so happy. Now I just feel squashed. Like, really? Really? This is how she perceived someone who seems frazzled/overwhelmed and that she needed to share that with someone else. I think I act very much like 'Go with the freaking flow', especially in public. I act like "Hey, he is who is". I crack jokes about my situation. I mean who loves to hear that your kid spends recess by himself reading at a picnic table. And that is what he wants to do. He could give a shit about hanging with the other kids. Or as he put it, "Mom, they think of me as their friend, but I don't think of them as my friends." Because he does not care, not because he wishes to be included.

Everyone just wants to be understood, you know? And I truly understand that others not in our situation can not understand fully or really at all what our reality is. And that is okay. I know that. But I hate that someone is now "worried" about me. I also can't tell you how often people say to me "He looks fine to me whenever I see him." What does that even mean? It is an invisible disability.

The psychologist said Murphy doesn't fit in anything cleanly (who does?). He has attentional difficulties, sensory issues, defiance issues and oh, the new one, spectrum characteristics. He is brilliant, but not functioning. But he is functioning in his own way. I now have about 12 books out about Aspergers. And yet, he doesn't really fit that fully either. He is special in multiple ways! Hurray!

I got to say that Tom and I laugh our asses off all of the time. We have such a great sense of humor about life and OUR LIFE in particular. Maybe that is why I seemed overwhelmed? Because I tell it like it is, crack jokes and such. Mom 1 is British. Tom thought maybe she isn't used to someone who shares so much (although I DIDN'T this morning...I mean, it was a sort of short chit chat. I wasn't acting like it was therapy chat or anything.)

Wahhh....I will shut up now and get back to this life of mine.


  1. Oh I'm sorry that happened! I have things like that happen all the time... big surprise. It's actually when I'm in a good mood that I kind of get hyper and maybe over disclose. I'm just not good (or fond) or tedious fake chit chat... which seems to be a bit of a social problem. Just yesterday I did this with a mom outside of dance, who had been fairly helpful to me with trying to get Kid into Brownies, and I was sitting there noticing that she started thinking I was nuts. I could just watch from the outside as the conversation went from nice chit chat to ... hmm... maybe this Rachel is a complete crazy. But I've been watching her parent her kids and already knew we were not in sync so why should I be surprised. I find people either get me 100% and are drawn to that part of my personality... or they just don't get me at all... and sadly that's the majority. And of course after that conversation (wherein I told her I wrote down all the moves to the cheer camp cheers and dance including the beats... is that so crazy?... or just motivated to help my kid succeed when I know she's going to be fucking out of her mind before the performance worried that she can't remember the moves?... but this woman was like "cuckoo... helicopter alert"... which just made me start saying extra stuff that was crazy), then she got to behold Kid have a massive tantrum and storm out of dance because she did not like being told to point her toes. As she said "The first time it made me mad, the second time and I was done." I just looked at the other mom and said "She has a really low frustration tolerance." Then I laughed all the way home. Because... I wish I had been able to announce my limits like Kid does. You know? I respect it. I mean sure I wish she wouldn't embarrass me in public. But I respect it. Oh yeah... this is about you ;)
    Come move near me.

  2. Oh Mrs F, that was so awesome. All of it. I was cracking up because I totally understood. Yup, it is hard to stop talking crazy when you realize the other person thinks you are indeed nuts. And then to add Kid's thing at the end. Yup, I have had kids just walk out of classes/lessons. Like, fuck this shit, I am so out of here (sorry Katie for the massive swearing!)

    Maybe I will move near you. Maybe I will. We can have our own little club of extremely smart, witty kids who have sensory issues and low frustration tolerance and all of that.

    By the way, I would have done the same thing with the Cheers. The same thing. Of course, that would mean that Murphy would have to join something and that would never happen so I am off the hook.

    Yeah, it was awesome to have this mom ask me if I am doing okay twelve times in different ways because she had heard I seemed overwhelmed. And to be looking at me with this piercing look like "c'mon, admit, you are a freaking mess, huh" and tell me that Murphy looks just fine to her. And I am trying to convince her I am normal and fine and just naturally nuts and thinking "Please go away and leave us alone." I mean, really, did she really care and what value could she have contributed to my life? Nothing. And I don't mean that because I am 'shutting' someone out. It was not a 'hey, you okay? I really care". It was a "are you okay because I find this very curious' Meanwhile, she has her own stuff to deal with. She was on her way to bring her son to the same therapist that Murphy theoretically goes to when he is not sitting in the car while I am in there.

    Gawd, these people have not even seen me when I really am acting crazy and overwhelmed. The other thing is if you are really concerned about someone, you reach out to them, not chat about it with someone else who doesn't really know me either.

    Oh, and THANK YOU to all who read this and "listen" to me. I just needed to get this processed so I can be done with it. I actually find it kind of amusing. I must come across as a total spaz to some people. I really should be living back in the city or up in wacky Vermont.