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To be finding my friend very difficult?

(87 Posts)
exmoormare Mon 26-Jan-15 18:30:58

This is not meant critically but I am finding my friend very difficult since adopting her DS, who is two.

She constantly rebuffs invitations or suggestions for things we can do citing the adoption as a reason. I understand this, but if you allude to the adoption yourself you are liable to get your head bitten off and I feel as if I am treading on eggshells in terms of language used.

I also find the put downs difficult: my dd1, who is three in march, was having a tantrum and she said 'thank Christ I couldn't have biological children' which I thought was a really unpleasant comment. She also says 'we couldn't have produced such a beautiful child with our genes' which is a strange thing to say.

I can understand feeling defensive and finding it hard but honestly the way she speaks about my and our birth children at times isn't on.

I want to disassociate from her but aibu? It feels rather 'mean girls' even though we are all well into our thirties ...

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 26-Jan-15 18:36:00

Sounds like she's struggling a bit. Give her some space and hopefully when things have settled down she will be back to her old self (assuming you like her then too?)

exmoormare Mon 26-Jan-15 18:37:37

She used to be lovely. This is what I finding baffling and if I am honest, hurtful.

DoJo Mon 26-Jan-15 18:38:53

my dd1, who is three in march, was having a tantrum and she said 'thank Christ I couldn't have biological children' which I thought was a really unpleasant comment

I don't really understand this - does she think adoptive children are exempt from tantrumming? Or is it possible that she was a difficult toddler and thinks that biological offspring might have had the same tendencies? It just seems like a weird thing to say rather than an unpleasant one.

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Mon 26-Jan-15 18:39:42

You sound really precious.

First comment - I would have seen this an attempt to lighten the mood. And laughed.
Second comment - just a bit of self deprecating wit.

I really don't see the problem. You sound difficult.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 26-Jan-15 18:41:01

Well she's right about not seeing loads of people after you adopt a child. And the other comments are probably just a bit of defensiveness.

kissmethere Mon 26-Jan-15 18:41:21

Give her some space. It's difficult to be around friends( or people in general) who make underhanded comments. She sounds like she's processing a lot.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 26-Jan-15 18:41:46

She's right about the adoption, she's doing the right thing. And the other comments is probably just her being a bit defensive or awkward.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 26-Jan-15 18:42:08

Oops I thought the first post had been eaten!

exmoormare Mon 26-Jan-15 18:43:21

I'm really not difficult, I promise ...

The comment re my DD essentially was a criticism of her (my DD) which is why I was pretty upset by it, though I was too taken aback at the time to say anything.

Of course she needs some space, however the child has been placed with her for several months now.

Crinkle77 Mon 26-Jan-15 18:43:26

I have to disagree with other posters. Ok the first comment about being glad not to have biological children could have been a joke but to say you couldn't produce beautiful children with your genes is down right nasty.

TwistAndShout Mon 26-Jan-15 18:44:56

Adoption is very difficult and it's really important to batten down the hatches and have some time for everyone to bond and get to know each other.

It sounds like she's given up trying to explain this to you.

If you're her friend you'll wait and follow her cues.

pillowaddict Mon 26-Jan-15 18:46:54

Sounds like she is struggling and making light of certain situations- dealing with something difficult by being facetious, but understandably not quite able to cope with others making comments about something she feels sensitive about. I would give her space while remaining open to being there for her. The early days of Adoption are very difficult, much like having a newborn your life is turned upside down, and advice is to keep life very simple so thus may be why she is avoiding unnecessary social situations, but this doesn't mean she doesn't need her friends.

Misspickle1 Mon 26-Jan-15 18:47:00

Christ ifyourawizz that's a bit bloody harsh isn't it?

exmoormare Mon 26-Jan-15 18:47:55

Twist, I really haven't done anything other than politely ask if she would like to attend the odd event - I'm not upset with her saying no but thought it was politer to ask than to not ask and be accused of alienation.

That is really all I have done - I don't really understand why that's so terrible. In fact I don't think it is terrible, although I can sympathise if she's finding things tough right now as we all do sometimes.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 26-Jan-15 18:49:06

several months really isn't that long. If she's usually lovely the I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt

Misspickle1 Mon 26-Jan-15 18:49:52

Exmoor your not seriously explaining yourself to somebody who posted so obnoxious to you are you?
What's wrong with you?
Grow a pair!!!

Ineedacleaningfairy Mon 26-Jan-15 18:51:35

The tantruming comment was odd, I'd have breezily said "don't count your chickens before they've hatched!" In all honesty I think that sometimes children only tantrum when they feel very secure, some dc will be tantruming nightmares at home and calm angels at nursery because they feel they can show their true feelings with their parents. I wouldn't say that to your friend though!

The gene comment, did she mean her and her dp could not have created such a beautiful child? I think that's quite a sweet thing to say, or did she mean you and your dp couldn't create such a beautiful child? If it's the latter then she's very rude and bassed on that comment alone I'd never contact her again.

I think stepping back from the friendship and letting her contact you in her own time is a good idea, it must be a huge change and they must have so much to think about with settling in, forming attachments, dealing with the child missing their birth/foster family at the same time as being thrown into the deep end parenting a toddler.

I imagine it's like the first few weeks after birth when your feelings/life/relationship is turned upside down but 20x harder because of the additional challenges and the fact that they have become parents to a toddler rather than a sleepy newborn.

Chilicosrenegade Mon 26-Jan-15 18:51:37

I'd leave her well alone for a few months. I guess it's been harder than she expected. Maybe she feels a bit embarrassed thinking it would've all been ok... Who knows

I'd leave it til she contacts you

exmoormare Mon 26-Jan-15 18:57:42

Thanks (apart from grow a pair! I don't need to be rude because someone else was!)

The problem is I am in a no win situation - I don't invite her, and am accused of not seeing them as a proper family, or I do and get lectures about secure attachment which is okay but really it's the tone - as if she is saying 'are you stupid' which is very hurtful.

The last thing I want to be is unsupportive or unkind but I saw her today and came out actually crying a bit - silly I know! - as I just felt exhausted from not trying to offend her but seeming to constantly. So many areas of what I think of as harmless chat are an absolutely minefield.

YackityUnderTheMistletoe Mon 26-Jan-15 18:59:46

Yes, there may be a good reason for her comments, she may have meant them in a light hearted way, but I think the OP has a FAR better idea of how she meant the comments than we do, because she was there and saw the face, heard the tone, and heard the comments and saw the attitude before and after these specific comments.

Op ignore those who are insisting that YOU have understood it all wrong. She's been your friend, and you know her.

Some people just have a huge chip on their shoulder, and until they get rid of it, you can't really reason with them.

She may be feeling that she has to justify her adoption, make it the best thing ever. Maybe from guilt, maybe because others have been critical. Who knows. But while she's making hurtful comments to you, really, why should you care?

If you feel generous enough, you can explain to her that you care for her, and when she's ready you will be there for her, but you aren't willing to put up with the criticisms that she is flinging your way in order to make herself feel better about herself and her position.

If you're not feeling that generous, just distance yourself and be polite.

rookiemere Mon 26-Jan-15 19:01:28

I think most people look at other peoples older DCs and secretly imagine that their darlings will never do awful things, will not play on devices, will eat all their vegetables etc. etc.

Most people however keep those thoughts to themselves as they quickly realise after a few months of parenting that a lot of it is down to luck or circumstances, rather than much else.

I have tremendous admiration for those who adopt, I believe there isn't a huge amount of post adoption support in place, so your DF may be struggling to find her way.

I agree with those who say standing back is the way to go.

Lilka Mon 26-Jan-15 19:01:57

I have to say that it's completely normal to not organise lots of meet ups for several months at least when your child comes home. My DS was 23 months old when he came to live with me, and there was no way he'd have managed play dates after only several months. He was really struggling with meeting his new grandma at that point, let alone a strange (to him) new woman and toddler. Newly adopted children are all a bit different, but don't assume that just because a child is 'only' 2, they will be comfortable doing that kind of thing after only a few months. They've been through a very traumatic move and plenty of children have other issues as well as that, so it can take a long time for parents to be ready to try something with the potential to cause a lot of confusion and upset, and for the child to actually find it enjoyable rather than upsetting and stressful.

As to her comments, have you tried saying that you felt hurt by them? Just walking away without ever trying to address it seems odd to me. She's also just been through a massive life change, she might be struggling, enormously stressed, thinking quite differently to normal. So I'd say let her know that you do completely understand why they need space, you're there when they're ready for a meet up (asuming you mean that), and maybe politely letting her know that you were upset by her saying xyz?

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 26-Jan-15 19:04:32

Crinkle I think she meant she and her own partner could not have produced a child as beautiful as their adopted child is, not that the OP and her partner don't have the genes to produce a beautiful child.

Lilka Mon 26-Jan-15 19:04:42

And if you're struggling enough that you're crying about it (I am sorry there's been such a strain on your friendship. I've found that adoption created a lot of strains for me), then maybe backing off for at least a few weeks before saying anything and reaching out again later on would be healthier for you?

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