Friday, April 10, 2009

p38.And so it goes...

This year has turned out to be one of unforeseen challenges. Sometimes you wonder if the last 24 years might not have been a practical training course for now – now when you seem to feel a bit of what it must be like to be ostracized by many for an aspect of your life that is different or not in their realm of understanding.

I’ve watched many years go by, especially during the birthday party years–were Da was home because there wasn’t an invitation hanging on the refrigerator, but a frown on her face, with a stare to nowhere. It was a such a hard thing to deal with–these lack of invitations, it would tear your heart out to watch your daughter totally confused about why she was always excluded. But then you would understand because of the behavior she might act out or even yet, she may be the one who takes control and takes the other kids with her–you knew/prayed it was never a case of “tic tock the games locked”. Actually you would find yourself feeling sorry for the parents of the birthday child, just hoping it was truly a difficult decision for them to make, and one they did not make lightly.

Do you wonder where you fall – which parent would you have been for your child’s birthday parties?

• The parent that crosses that name off the invitation list – mindlessly, just thinking of the 
“things you have heard”?

• Perhaps the parent that talks with their child about the situation and better yet, all of their own family before making a decision?

• Maybe the parent that actually has the respect to call and talk to the special needs child’s parents about how to handle the party quandary?

Would you stop during your child’s party and think about the one that wasn’t there for even a brief second? I’ve learned it is certainly not hard to be invisible, especially when you’ve had 24 years of practice.

I can/could only imagine how incredibly hard it was for a young girl to deal with such rejection, I’m sure Da questioned her self worth often. Those of us who know her best and love her forever, they know, they know she is okay and they know she may need her space sometime to just leave it all behind, examine what’s next or just understand how to deal with the challenges on her plate, and importantly stay well doing so. We keep a watch from a far.

All of the ups and downs her father and I have been experiencing getting the "shorter", "friendlier", "less expensive" divorce, for over a year now (yes that was sarcasm), has been dealt with very differently between us. Maybe it’s just a guy/girl thing.

The worse has been the party invitations on the refrigerator – one gets them, one does not, I guess this is how it goes. I guess the devastation that really hits home to anyone with an issue that people may not fully understand or recognize, is how hard it is to understand why they are now treated differently by a person, or why they even feel as they do?

Everyone has people in their life they know are supporting, and I’m sure those people get very frustrated when calls and emails aren’t returned, to the point of giving up. Don’t give up, sometimes when people just see a name on the ID or mail software, they at least know there is a sincere thought behind the line of type that says they care, and hopefully they know the space needed maybe way to long, but it will come to a stop at some point.

If the invitation isn’t on the refrigerator, why not ask the child to come play another day for lunch and let them put that on their calendar, or “let them get back to you”!

So many things just run parallel, one lesson will always teach you another, especially if you take a moment to consider your actions or those of others.

One song might be “Happy Birthday to you”, the other “Jesus take the Wheel”.

Blessed Easter!


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Anonymous Rebecca said...

This site is wonderful. I have a husband and a child with bipolar I. Reading this article made me cry. My daughter is 9 and has an increasingly difficult time socially. She has had to be moved into a smaller class, she has become the kid on the playground that all of the other kids cannot be bothered to deal with. She knows that they do not like her. She knows that she is different. It is breaking my heart. On one hand I want to call these other mothers and yell at them for how their children are treating my princess Pea... on the other hand I cannot blame the kids. Thanks for this article. Although I cried when I read it... it hit home and is nice to know that I am not alone.

11:45 AM  

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