Upset Friend Should I Contact her DH to Explain?(17 Posts)
The title isn't very clear, but I'll explain. Sorry it's so long. I'm feeling really awful about the way I dealt with a friend and what has happened since then.
At the weekend there was a group of us and children at a house party. We all meet once every month or 2 for drinks and dinner at each others houses. I'm quite close to one of the couples and less so the other two. Let's call the other two, the worried couple and the motormouth couple. Worried mum is worried about her DS. He is non verbal in company and perhaps shows ASD signs (although it's certainly not my place to diagnose or put a name to anything). I see that every time people asks how she feels/is she looking forward to him starting school, she tenses up and quickly changes the subject. I know she doesn't really have many close friends and or family she can talk to. When I was on my own with her I boldly/stupidly asked her if she had had her DS referred, was anyone seeing him to see if he needs any additional support. I work with children and thought I'd open up a conversation in case she wanted to chat about it. She clammed up, said he was seeing a speech therapist and it was obvious she didn't want to have the discussion. She left promptly after that. As she was leaving I apologised if I had upset her (alone) and she told me she doesn't like people talking about him. I also told her husband how awful I felt at mentioning it and he said she'd overheard the other women talking about him. I wasn't aware of this, or even if he just didn't want to say it was me who upset her.
After everyone left and it was just us and the couple I'm closer to, I told them she had been upset and that it would be a good idea not to ask her about him starting school again or to make her feel uncomfortable in asking questions about him. I've learned my lesson. She agreed it would be a good idea not to mention it.
Fast forward to last night, the closer friend has talked to Motormouth about it. Motormouth has put up a poster on Facebook along the lines of not avoiding Autistic children, but loving them. I'm really upset about this! It is very obviously aimed at worried mum. Firstly, how dare she even attempt to comment when this child has no diagnosis. She thinks she's reaching out, but worried mum will just think we're all talking about them. I deliberately said nothing to motormouth but closer friend obviously spoke to her. I feel I need explain to the worried couple that I've not been talking about her child, certainly not been armchair diagnosing him! Worried couple are having a party at the weekend. Luckily other two couples aren't going. Motormouth apparently said to closer friend yesterday she thought it will be awkward for me at the party on Saturday. She put this poster up after she said this! Dad might be more receptive to an email explaining the situation. Should I email him explaining that I have not been discussing his child with motormouth, and certainly not diagnosing him. Or should I just leave it? I don't think worried mum wants anyone to mention anything to her and I'm not going there. What would you do?
Lastly, I don't care so much at how I look - although it's not nice if folk think I'm a gossip. I'm very fond of this family and I feel that they're going through a bit of a hard time.
To be honest I think it would be worse to email and make even more of a fuss about it...I would just leave it. There is a chance she may not even have seen what motormouth put on Facebook, and even if she did, she may not assume that you've been all talking behind her back. There are memes like that all over the place these days.
I would leave it too, suspect this is one of those situations where the more you try to smooth it over the worse it gets. You weren't gossiping about her DS in the first instance and have only discussed him since in order to encourage others to do what worried mum wants and leave it alone, you've done nothing wrong so hold your head up at the party and don't feel responsible for other people's actions, you have no control over them.
Loads of my friends have put those posters up I'm not sure they're all in response to a child they know.
Definitely leave it. I have a young child with asd and it's much more common than people think (about 1 in every 100 children) so chances are if she's been reading up on it she may just assume the meme was aimed at someone else entirely. I wouldn't link it back to her ds again.
For now I would just keep quiet about it, be friendly and let them come to terms with whatever is going on in their own time. He may or may not have asd or additional needs and they need to deal with that on their own and talk when and if they are ready.
One of the worst things for us as parents when ds was being assessed etc was people thinking they somehow knew all about asd and the process when they didn't at all. Unless you're actually going through it you really don't understand what it's like - I don't mean that harshly it's just asd is so different for each child and each family it's not something you can generalise about.
I'm sure they'll talk to you about it if they want to.
Leave it and don't being it up with either friend again. I think close friend and motor mouth are both gossiping, or maybe the meme was coincidence, but I'd be discreet with my secrets around them from now.
I would explain in a very very succint email howyou're livid you are with your motormouth friend, as you had suggested to them not to raise this sensitive subject (as his wife explained to you) amongst yourselves or with either of them - and she's done the opposite in a completely passive aggressive FB post.
Ignore the FB post. Contacting worried mum on the assumption that she thought the post was about her DC would be fussing and rude.
By talking about the DS to other friends you were gossiping. You've made assumptiond about what worried mum would prefer, talked to her H and suggested your friends behave differently: that was interfering.
If worried mum dislikes people mentioning her DS' differences, development or whatever, that's for her and her H to handle: it's not appropriate for you to seek to manage others' behaviour (as you did by saying they shouldn't mention X or Y).
I'd assume that worried mum either hasn't seen the poster, or doesn't link it to you.
Then I'd focus on what you know she does feel i.e. that you overstepped the boundary last weekend.
So, I'd send an email saying how much you are looking forward to seeing them next weekend, ask a question about what to bring / time to arrive if you can think of one. Then just briefly add that you've thought about your conversation last weekend and you realise that you shouldn't have asked what you did, but you promise that you won't raise it with them again, and obviously you won't speak to anyone else about it either. Then finish off with something more cheerful.
That way she can read between the lines that you didn't speak to motormouth or prompt her to put up that poster.
As an aside the conversation with motormouth did happen, it just wasn't you. Why did your good friends do that?
Id leave it. My DS has ASD, he's 11 now, and I'd have given my right arm to have someone want to hold my hand all those years ago pre starting school. But wanting and knowing how to accept help are two different things.
My advice to you is carry on what you are doing. Let worried mum know you are there for her if and when she wants to talk. Perhaps just offer to meet up in day with her and ask her questions like - where shall we meet, is there anywhere your DS feels more confident/happier/comfortable? Give her time to see you aren't judging her or him but just want to be involved in ensuring he's happy.
It's a strange old place to be when you know your child is different and wanting people to notice it and accept them for who they are whilst also wanting it not to be so glaringly obvious they are different!
Just leave it. The FB thing has got nothing to do with you, you've already apologised so contacting worried couple again just isn't necessary.
You seem to think it's your job to sort everyone out - opening up an unwanted conversation with worried mum about her child because you work with children and then advising the others what they can and can't discuss.
You need to take a step back and let people get on with organising themselves without your assistance
Being that you had a conversation with motormouth about your worried friend's private situation, I am astonished that you are astonished. Why would you even do that?
You need to leave it tbh.
Just be friendly when you see her and stop talking about her child unless she does.
The thing is, I know you are cross with the other two for 'gossiping' but to be honest , your having a chat with your close friend about how upset you were and discussing whether to raise her child's issues again, is going to feel to her like exactly the same thing.
When I walked in a room I didn't particularly care whether every one in that room had discussed me and my son because they were gossiping or because they were concerned. I just wanted to walk into a room like everyone else.
I'm not blaming you. I'm just maybe saying stop thinking her child is your concern.
Do you like her. Do you have shared interests. Maybe focus on that.
Please just leave it - it will only make things worse.
I agree with Marshy if she is upset then she has the right to feel those feelings without you trying to "help" or sort everything out.
I just came back on to this and realised people had responded after a few days of me posing, thanks for your responses and sorry I didn't check sooner.
I just left it and I'm really glad I did. I emailed her beforehand to tell them we were looking forward to party etc. Ended up spending a lot of the time with worried mum chatting about lots of shared interests and there was no awkwardness and it was all very pleasant. She seemed more laid back than usual with just us there and the other two friends not being there.
Caprinihahahaha what you wrote about how you felt about just walking in to a room like everyone else, that's how I think she feels. I agree with everything you said.
DoreenLethal - Just to be clear I didn't talk to motormouth about worried mum.
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