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Just had a lightbulb moment. Does anyone else struggle with this...

(30 Posts)
pagwatch Wed 03-Sep-08 08:45:14

I have just realsied that one of the effects of DS2's problems is that I struggle to maintain relationships.
I seem to only be able to cope with a few things at any one time and, once term starts I find myself hiding from people to avoid coffees etc as I get quite panicky.

I have a very few close friends who I see regularly but beyond that I struggle.
I am always polite to people and I am very very grateful that people want to spend time with me. I feel really crappy about myself that I end up avoiding social situations.

I don't think I was like this before DS2 and I think it is just that I am often right onthe edge of being overwhelmed in most areas.
But whilst I am keep my family and close friends going , everything else gets lost inthe mix as soon as I have a bad day.
Is anyone else like this?

I think I worry about it because my DCs are already a bit 'different' because oftheir brother and I just can't do the school fetes/PTA/mums coffeees that everyone else does.
DS1 seems to have managed fine but I wish I could make more effort for DD.

Anyone had this and come out the other side.
Or am I just a miserable cow hmm

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 03-Sep-08 09:13:51

I don't bother seeing many other mums. I have long term friends that I've known since childhood or pre-children. A couple of friends from ante-natal with ds1- but I haven't really picked up any mum friends with ds2 and ds3. I have friends at work.

We can never meet up as a family so a lot of my friendships are maintained by email or telephone and free time is too precious to sit talking about mum things with people who have no idea what our life is like.

I don't feel guilty about it.

MannyMoeAndJack Wed 03-Sep-08 09:17:23

I think I know what you're saying here. It's just easier and more relaxing to be with people who understand your ds than it is to be with people who perhaps make you feel uncomfortable because of your ds's difficulties. There just isn't time to educate every single person you meet so it makes more sense to stick with those whom you know understand your situation. I wouldn't feel bad about this at all!

We live different lives to the vast majority of families and unfortunately, that often means that we miss out on attending fetes and similar. I'm sure your other kids will understand more the older they get.

Tclanger Wed 03-Sep-08 09:33:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magso Wed 03-Sep-08 09:38:11

Yes - I can identify with some of your thoughts. Its an exhausting cloud of sadness (at the childs disability), struggling with acceptance, never being able to relax, and trying to achieve the best for my child seemingly against a hostile system.
Until recently any socialising with ds around was impossible- even answering the phone. The house (too tiny for our energetic child!) is messy and I'm ashamed of it - I can never quite get ontop of the continual trail of destruction and mess. Also I simply havent the time to sit and waste socialising! And once ds is asleep the clearup begins! It can feel like no progress ever happens! I cant just park ds to help at the village fete or pop out to the pta! And after one stint in a burns unit with ds - hot drinks anywhere near ds was out of the question for many years (so definatly no coffee shops then).

But slowly life for us all has improved. A bit of councelling helped. Ds is now at special school - so school difficulties have reduced and ds goes by school taxi so the daily schoolplayground trauma has gone. The house is still like a disaster zone and the bathroom needs springcleaning everytime ds goes near it! But ds is happier, he is making progress! His smile is radiant, hes learnt to say nice things like thankyou Mummy! We are able to go out as a family (with only a few stares! And maybe a coffee would be nice!
So life can improve!

kt14 Wed 03-Sep-08 14:16:58

I've had to lose a couple of friends along the way, but in the long run I actually feel better for it. I've learnt to suss people out fairly quickly and avoid competitive mums like the plague.

Like tclanger I put on a really cheery front, and have plenty of coffee morning friends, but have also made other friends through joining a book club, and having people over for a drink in the evenings, so I can get to know them without the children being around.

It's awkward now DS is a little older (3.0) as many other mums don't realise he has language difficulties and have invited him over to play through chatting to me. I hate then having to try and explain that it would be lovely, but he doesn't speak much, and might not actually wish to play with their children if he does come.

misscutandstick Wed 03-Sep-08 17:49:03

actually.... can i be completely honest? (without being shot down in flames please smile )...

People on the whole irritate me. I suss them out and then get bored - if they are more 'interesting'... I tend to get too involved, offering 'advice' which is never taken well blush (why dont i learn?)I tend to want to 'fix' other peoples 'problems' and shortcomings ...and the friendship usually dissolves very shortly after hmm ... grin

I think i am hard work, i come across as very 'in-yer-face', and act like its my opinion that counts blush. i suffer an awful lot from foot-in-the-mouth disease. And basically im completely socially inept. I know this... it doesnt take long for people to get to know this, and i kind of keep my distance until i find a willing victim friend who seems to need my help hmm - wait for it all to go belly up, and then later, another unsuspecting victim friend comes along...

perhaps i ought to take a look in the mirror once in a while...

is this anything close to anyone elses thoughts... or is it just me?

misscutandstick Wed 03-Sep-08 17:50:33

hmm just re-read both threads, pagwatch, i think i may have got hold of the wrong end ... again... hmm sorry

Tclanger Wed 03-Sep-08 18:17:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pixel Wed 03-Sep-08 19:23:36

Lol at book club. Some friends and I formed one once. We all dutifully read the book and had our first meeting which went quite well, but by the second one we'd all decided that actually we'd rather go to the cinema grin.

Debs75 Wed 03-Sep-08 19:46:21

I had trouble when ds was due to start nursery, they wouldn't take him as he was in nappies so I fely i missed out on a lot of friends that way, most of his 'friends' were brothers and sisters of his big sis. When his behaviour got really bad he was at special school and I found it a relief as I didn't have the looks off other parents when he was tantruming etc.
Another thing I hated was parties, sis's friends mums would invite him but there would always be something unsuitable ie pool in the garden but noone allowed to swim or food laid out but not to eat until a certain time. He just couldn't cope and would get really agitated then I would get upset and take him home, in the end we stopped taking him to parties and outings but then i felt guilty that one half of the family were stuck at home and the other half were having fun

Tclanger Wed 03-Sep-08 20:16:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kt14 Wed 03-Sep-08 20:50:26

well, I say book club, but in truth, we just end up drinking wine, munching crisps and gossiping. And we went to see Mamma Mia instead of reading anything last month!

And Debs, I agree on the party thing, it translates to playdates and playgroups too for us. It's a nightmare if DS wants to play with a certain toy on show at someone's house but he's not allowed as it's only for babies/elder sibling etc, or even at playgroup where one week they had footballs which had to be kept at one end of the room. Spent my whole time running back with the balls as he couldn't understand that he couldn't take them where he felt like.

And I totally identify with tclanger, sometimes you just want to talk about your anxieties but it's difficult if others have no way of relating to what you're going through. That's why I love this site, it's the only time I feel like people really understand how frustrating and bloody scary it can sometimes be when your child is different from others.

Tclanger Wed 03-Sep-08 22:19:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magso Wed 03-Sep-08 23:11:41

Can relate to the high alert at parties also!
Having thought about it I think one of the adjustments is scaling down social expectations - to almost nothing. When ds was younger I tried to take him to parties (when he was invited)- or organise playdates, and felt consderable guilt when they did not happen. Now I accept that some things are just too stressful and disasters waiting to happen. And those friends who were offended that I could not chat to them with ds to chase after and shepherd well they are long gone! Perhaps its just my excuse for social laziness! Social isolation is our my normal and Iv'e adapted to not needing friends ( well except you lot ofcourse)!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 03-Sep-08 23:21:31

oh ds1 never goes to parties (except his own or his brothers').

We don't try things we know won't work anymore and he no longer has mainstream friends so that side is easier.

I think you just have to do what feels right (rather than worry about what you 'should' be doing). As long as you're happy, no worries about not doing the PTA stuff etc.

Shells Thu 04-Sep-08 02:00:00

Yes I have this too. I am very unsociable - especially compared how I used to be. Can't be doing with mother/toddler groups. Can't really even be bothered with a cuppa at someones' house unless its a very good friend. Too hard to keep explaining why DS behaves differently. He has never been invited to a party. Makes me sad, but I know he wouldn't cope either with the rules and expectations.

I think this is one of the unacknowledged fall-outs of having children who are 'different' - certainly by professionals. I feel as though I am quite often low-level depressed because we just do with our own company such a lot. Its hard.

TinySocks Thu 04-Sep-08 06:42:04

misscut, I also put my foot in it big time all the time!!! As my DH says, I tend to ingage mouth before brain and to say exactly what I think. I find it very hard to hide my feelings. But having been together with an english man for 11 years now I am learning to be more reserved and careful now.

Can relate to plenty of what you all say here. I love seeing people and going out, talking to people. But after 2 years (since DS started walking) of running around after DS trying to stop him from grabbing children I can honestly say I am getting tired of it. He is getting bigger and it is just not appropriate behaviour for an almost 4 year old, I fear people are going to start being less tolerant with us. I can see less and less invites to people's homes.

FioFio Thu 04-Sep-08 12:52:04

Message withdrawn

nikos Thu 04-Sep-08 20:12:03

It's our third child who has SN and I did the mother and toddler thing with the other two and really enjoyed it. But like others it is just too pointless to go now and spend the time stopping ds running out the door or hitting. Just don't go now. I do feel my other two have missed out this summer as we haven't gone to many meet ups for the same reason. Don't think they've even noticed though. I can echo the kind of low level depression that this brings on, kind of like a trapped feeling.
It's one of my ambitions when we have more time to start a special needs coffee morning at our church once a month so there is somewhere mums can go and not worry about what their child is doing.

allytjd Thu 04-Sep-08 22:07:23

I know what you mean Pagwatch. I have felt an urge to draw away from some of my friends, I haven't quite come to terms with the fact that their kids will have some chances available to them that mine probably won't and I find it painful to here them discuss various schooling options etc. or academic progress. I feel guilty about it too, i know I shouldn't dwell on these things, I wouldn't swap my quirky kids for anyone elses. I have always been a bit shy and awkward socially though, sometimes a little paranoid about what people think of me and i also have a depressive streak too. These days I try to keep two or three friendships going as well as i can, i have to force myself sometimes, and I try to do practical things to help my friends to pay them back for the emotional support they give me (and am trying to become a better listener). I find even on mumsnet I get a bit stuck sometimes, feeling it difficult to just give a quick supportive comment to reply to posts, I even panicked a bit and removed my kids' photos the other day as no-one had looked at them and I suddenly felt I had barged in where I wasn't wanted. I think I need to get over myself and get out more - have made an effort and invited two friends round for lunch tommorrow.

magso Thu 04-Sep-08 22:36:34

Allytid your pictures were lovely! I know what you mean about struggling for words some people give support so eloquantly -actually you do pretty well too!
I think poor sleep affects so many things for me (so not just my typing then)!

cyberseraphim Fri 05-Sep-08 06:46:14

I didn't see your photos ally - they must have gone in a flash ! I don't think anyone would see any poster as barging ine but I know what you mean in a way, if you stop to think too much, you wonder why you are posting anything! For me, I think it is the lack of people in real life who understand etc

misscutandstick Fri 05-Sep-08 08:04:09

aww ALLY i missed them too!

I understand your reluctance re 'friends'... and i think you are way more brave than me! yay - GO YOU!!!

Tclanger Fri 05-Sep-08 08:32:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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