Thursday, September 06, 2007

p34. Beth – it’s not always about you!

Please remember you are reading the most current post, the first in the random succession of this blog is listed on the right, Sept. 13th.

Often, well more than often I hear this statement – “Beth, geeze (better yet, insert expletive here) - it’s not always about you”, and honestly I am perplexed – perhaps it is because others see something in me that I don’t, something bad and irritating. Maybe it’s because of all the things I have been through as a mother of a special needs child, I tend to relate my experiences more, especially with more forceful authority, I also feel responsible – which my doctor describes as not having boundaries. No boundaries translates into one simple concept, everything becomes your fault.

Boundaries for moms of these special kids are not the idyllic picket fences that contain fluffy little dogs and happy little children – this is your neighbor’s house (possibly). Boundaries for moms like myself, is when the dog is sick – it’s because of something you’ve done – if the paint chips on the fence it because of the way you treated the yard, etc. Unfortunately it is not this simple.

I am not sure if all mothers of bipolar kids might experience this, but with a lack of boundaries mixed with guilt and a huge dash of over sensitivity you can have a very good recipe for someone that comes across as sounding like it’s always about them. But is it?

Have you ever checked out at the food market and found the cashier to be a bit snippy or sad? Have you ever felt it is your fault? Have you ever looked at someone who is a complete stranger and just knew they need your empathy and hugs because something just didn’t seem right? This all happens to me often.

Unfortunately it feels even worse when people judge this as a fault when they have no idea what’s behind the emotion. Sometimes mask are developed and when you are in a room of people that are either uncomfortable or overall not your cup of tea, you change colors as the chameleon I discussed earlier.

I had a mother come to my window at work and she was on her way to pick up her daughter from physical therapy. When she told me how far she had to drive, I asked if it would be intrusive for me to inquire why she goes so far away when we had a number of good facilities locally. She then proceeded to have tears rolling down her face as she described the tragic accident of her daughter becoming a quadriplegic through a diving accident.

After handholding and both of us crying, I asked how she was and what she was doing to help herself? When I came home and told my husband about it and how I also felt bad for this mother having to drive so far twice a day, daily - his response was just like the one above, “it’s not about the mother, it’s about the daughter”. I listened to what he said carefully. But I guess I am guilty as charged.

The daughter is utmost number one, but the mother – she has to been taken care of too, we have to think of her sacrifices too. I think she needs some “it’s about me, and be able to feel that’s OK without the judgment of others. She has a hard job now and ahead, and she loves the reason why more than anyone.

Her boundaries are now going to be miles and miles, I hope she doesn’t get so far away, but I do hope she stays close to herself, even though she will not be as close as the holding, rocking and hugging of her daughter. I think moms of special kids could use some “moming” themselves.

Sorry to be selfish, but hell yeah – it is about me sometimes, forgive me for being concerned and wanting to relate. Maybe this just isn’t the right way as I have said repeatedly…

But you know what, it’s all I have to give right now.

Oh to let you know I am thinking about Da, she was asked to get her ASCAP number for radio, but she is falling into a sever depression. Pray for her, I don’t need them right now... I’m just scared.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is about you, Beth. How is it about you? I think that is evident. Without you, what else happens? You have to have time for yourself. And, then, you turn the attention on their needs.

Amanda is your daughter? Blown away! What about her doing American Idol for the exposure? Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I am going to keep up with your blog. I want to encourage you on your path.


12:45 PM  
Blogger ewschott said...


I can't thank you enough for your kind words!

Raising a bipolar kid is certainly filled with plenty of loving heart aches and heart breaks!

I'm afraid she isn't disciplined enough for American Idol, she has to take off with it right away and give Paris et all a run for their money :)

It's kind of ironic that the song they want to start airing is not one of my favorites it's the one called "Move", now that's about me. HA! No "f" bombs anyway.

If you want to follow you can go to the subscribe spot on the top left, just make sure you activate your account given the choice to do so.

Best, Beth

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all about being a caregiver. Most people (I hope) have compassion for a caregiver for someone who has a serious, potentially fatal, and chronic illness - as long as it's "physical." But we are no different. We have the same issues and needs as any other caregiver for someone with severe needs.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:58 AM  
Anonymous Jan Connair (Magpie) said...

I don't understand the "it's not about you" criticism either! If you are part of the situation, then it is about the main sufferer, of course; but it is also about you and every other person immediately touched by the problem!

Love and empathy are two emotions that can move mountains in this world. When people are able to observe suffering and NOT empathize, what is their motivations to act to make things better for the sufferer? Those empathetic and loving souls are the ones who have the ability and motivation to get up off their bums and DO SOMETHING to change the outcome. Do we criticize Christ for suffering on the cross for us?

And flame me if you want to, but I think moms have a connection to their children that is bone deep. They grow inside you, you are one of the first to see and hold them as they enter the world, you watch every phase of their development and try to ensure that they can thrive in this world. And then what--you are supposed to be able to see them as separate from you?!!! You are supposed to NOT feel joy when they succeed, NOT cry when another person's unkindness makes them cry, NOT hurt when they hurt?

4:37 PM  

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