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crazed ramblings(25 Posts)
I was speaking to my Obstetrician who suggested I go to counselling before I have my second child, but my insurance wont cover it. The NHS has me on a waiting list for like 12 weeks; I also don't feel like a therapist who has no first hand experience of raising a child with ASD in a family structure like mine would even know where to begin. One does not just go to therapy and stop feeling cheated by the reckless comments of family members.
You may remember me as the poster who had trouble a month or two ago when one of my nieces asked me if my next child was also going to be 'autistic'. That conversation really stirred something in me that brought on quite a lot of unreasonable feelings towards a young child. I have worked through my issues and feel better adjusted to the idea of how many people around me will be wondering if my second child will also be affected. There used to be a time when I cared little about what anyone thought of me. Now that people are thinking this way about my children I am far more on edge.
So we've had a whole summer full of family events. I am currently quite heavily pregnant with my second. From May we have been constantly at engagements, and weddings, birthdays, funerals, religious holidays, graduations and baby christenings...it's been very full on for me, dh and our DS who has ASD.
Our family (or shall I saw DH's family) have children the same age as our DS and I am very proud to say that my DS has impeccable manners. He is kind, will share and is happy to play alongside and even with his cousins if he doesn't feel threatened. He will speak when he wants to, but it's rare.
However, last Sunday I caught one of his younger cousins being taught how to ostracise my son from a children's activity that all the other children were involved with by his mother (my cousin in law). She told her son to keep the door closed so that my son wouldn't enter, and if he did want to enter to just say 'NOOO' and shut the door in his face. She knew my son was just near the door; I'm pretty sure she knew I was with my son. She also told her child it was his right to play with my son's toys and he shouldn't feel he needed to share if he didn't want to. Her son is 2.5 and NT and mine is 5. The worst part of this episode was that my son looked at me and I was paralysed--I couldn't move or talk. I just held my son and tried not to shake. He was the strong one.
At the same event, another aunt made sure to give every child a (small) cash gift and when my son saw this thought everyone was getting one. He was the only child who did not receive one. I saw it, and my son saw it. He kept quite tight lipped about it as he would (because he doesn't talk much anyway), but told me on the way home that the family do not treat him like the other children. I agree. We cuddled and I told him that I will take care of it.
I would like to raise this with my MIL but I don't want to come off as petty. I just hate seeing my son hurt. He cognitively understands what is going on around him...and as he gets older I only feel this behaviour will get worse.
I'm already seen as the 'crazy' one in the family. I can't be weak; I never was before...I just cannot figure out how to be strong again. I just don't understand the motive behind being a bully. I don't get it. I can't justify it and what is worrisome is that my son has a whole world full of potential bullies to overcome. If I can't protect him from the ones within our own family--will I ever be able to raise him with strength?
I think it sounds like you need to spend much less time with some family members, who seem to me pretty rude, unthinking people. To leave out one kid, regardless of sn, is just awful!
We generally don't see all of them; especially the ones who are worse than others--they often treat us like we have something contagious. Avoid hugs, handshakes with us at social events. If we run into each other on the street they won't even respond to my 'hello'.
I just did a real life face
I am so sorry you have had to deal with this. You are not the crazy or petty one here, your family is full of complete and utter selfish arseholes. Personally, I'd stay away from family events and build a strong life for your little family, create your own support networks and gain strength from within yourself and those you choose to have in your life. I get immeasurable strength, confidence and solidarity from this board.
Our families have the potential to hurt us most, because we feel we must tolerate their excesses because they 'are family'. I don't buy this. For me being related to someone is irrelevant, what matters is respectful, caring, supportive relationships. These most certainly don't need to be familial relationships. Surround yourself with the people you choose.
It's all very hard, but you and your ds don't have to put up with it
They sound ignorant, you have enough on your plate. I expect this from strangers but not my own family!
To be honest, I think that the best way of dealing with this is to try to leave these people out of your entire life. You've enough to deal with without extended family being deliberately unkind to you and especially to your DS. Life is far too short to surround yourself with people who treat you like that.
Gosh, I just entered moment of severe depression reading your post.
You need to keep the hell away from these toxic people. It isn't you. It isn't your ds' disability. Really they are arseholes and would be if your ds were NT, you just might have found out a lot later.
Should I raise this behaviour with my MIL so she either understands why we aren't always going to come to these events or maybe she can think twice before inviting us all to the same gatherings?
You feel hurt atm and maybe want to direct it but just let them drift out of your lives.
Giving them up needn't be an active act of aggression just a dismissal and a shrug and a search for nicer people to take their place.
You sound like you are doing a fab job with your ds btw. You should be really proud of yourself and him.
I am finding strength here. I feel better knowing that it's not wrong to feel the way I do.
I don't know if I should address the issue with my MIL whose house this took place. Deep down, I really wish for a good relationship between my son and his Grandparents.
Well perhaps only see them when it is on a 1:1 basis so they can appreciate him for who he is rather than in a comparative way.
I started a thread not long ago about my crap family and how since ds was dx we've been left out of all family events.
I've cut them from my life and I'm so much happier.
I've also just found out I'm having baby number three and I'm almost certain they will be saying what if it has autism like xxxxx. But cos I don't have to listen to them anymore it's not bothering me.
My immediate family that I live with bring me joy everyday and I just don't need their shallow comments
The good thing is, I think that for the first time my mother and father in law are actually seeing my DS as a bright little boy with good manners; it helps that most of his cousins behave wildly and violently. If they want a comparative scenario my DS will win every time. He's polite because he doesn't see the sense of being aggressive/naughty; for him it's too much work. Being nice gets him further, and he has to work less to get the love/attention/reinforcement that he wants.
The sad thing is: the nasty behaviour of family members who feel like they can put him down because they think ASD means brain dead. No one seems to understand that he has full receptive language. Not many in the family even realise that my son can speak; even though we have repeatedly told them.
I don't understand the motive behind secluding my son; is it to punish me? Is it to punish him and his disability? Is he just some sort of sick target for practice for the sake of bullying?
For now, I believe I will continue with the way I have raised my son: to be as kind and moral as he can be. He is not the problem. I will make sure to keep a healthy distance from the relatives who have behaved this way, all the while giving everyone else enough information regarding DS's dx and hopefully those who genuinely love us will learn how to interact with DS. Some of the family members have already made little cupboards full of reinforcers to pair themselves with my son and that makes me feel like they do care and do want to foster a good and deep relationship with him.
I just want him to have the best life ever. One full of love, laughter and lots of fun. I want his confidence to never suffer like mine has lately.
You can give him a life full of love and understanding - what do these nasty small minded people have to offer? Nothing worth having it seems. My in laws have never been interested in my kids. They were and still are pretty disinterested in their own kids. Once I realised they are just selfish it wasn't to hard to see that they have nothing to offer my kids anyway hence it's no loss if they never see their grand kids
Sometimes you forget how awful some people can be until you read stories like this. Please do not let these awful awful people hurt your son any longer. I totally understand that you want him involved with his relatives but you can still do this by organising your own family outings with selected members (granparents, nice auntes and uncles) exclude all the horrible ignorant prats.
I know its probably better to just leave it, but I couldnt help having a word with the silly cousin in law and the aunty, however, having said that i doubt itll do much good with people like that.
Your son sounds amazing and i wish you both a wonderful life.
I would probably have to say something to mil, because I have a big gob, but keep it factual and unemotional, then get off the phone and let her think it through
Another big gob here, I'm afraid the red mist would descended and the family event would have definitely been one to remember!
I think you're doing a great job, your ds sounds really lovely. You recognised you needed a bit of support and dealt with that head on. You can not however, deal with others (even family) who are just plain nasty, horrible and ignorant people head on, and you certainly don't have to put up with it, and you shouldn't, so your ds can see this is unacceptable and bad behaviour.
I would just drift away, eventually the in-laws will ask "what's up" and you can calmly tell them what happened and that your ds is as important and as part of the family as any other member and should be treated as such. Any failure is unacceptable and if people don't like that, tough.
Try to avoid the big fall out, it's stress you can do without - cold and clinical rams the point home quicker, you don't want your point swallowed up with "oh she's pregnant, you know how some women get like"
What does your dh think about this?
Your ds has autism, your in-laws are evil b**tards and are raising their dc to be the same. Is he some sort of sick target for practice for the sake of bullying? Probably, and upsetting you is most likely an added bonus.
I would suggest you pity them; your ds is a lovely boy and you will be able to do simple things to reduce the impact his ASD will have on his life, whereas your shallow, horrid in-laws will always be stupid and nasty.
you can even be passive aggressive about it
Grandma, I can see that contact with ds is really upsetting auntie x and cousin y, they're even afraid to let little z be in the same room with him. It's a shame to make them so very uncomfortable, look, they couldn't even cope with giving him the same £10 present as all the other little dc. They keep asking me if dc2 will be autistic as well, I think it's keeping anutie y awake at nights.
Best if ds and I avoid them for a little while, just till they come to terms with his condition <sweet smile>
My mother and father in law are actually seeing my DS as a bright little boy with good manners
and the less he has to do with his horrid little cousins, the sharper that contrast will become
Thank you everyone, I feel much better...stronger even. I hate feeling weak and 'hormotional'.
I haven't spoken to Mil yet this week; I have a feeling that one of my sisters or husband may bring it up at the baby shower this weekend.
AngryByrd no useful advice here I'm afraid, I just wanted to show my support and shock that anyone could behave in such a way. You are doing a wonderful job and our DS sounds absolutely lovely and it really comes across how much you love and care about him, don't let these ignorant people bring you down, you are both great
One of the most horrible family stories ive read im a while. Don't know how or if you can solve it - but don't put a lot of energy into working things through with people who are nasty you have better things to do and weeding the shitty people out of your lives opens up space for the nice ones
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