Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Another Ditch in the Road...You Keep Moving

I wrote a post yesterday about my big boy and how proud I am of the progress we have made with his speech problems and the other things related to it. I will post it eventually as it is something to be celebrated but I was reminded today that other people will still try and drag you down.
I was bullied all through primary school and most of high school. I never quite fit in right, I was the overweight child with frizzy hair who read books and was quite reserved. As I transitioned to high school I was met with a new group of people who picked on me. Some were just mean and others were friends who made fun at my expense, which hurt equally as much. I grew to be shy and unsure of myself, relying on other peoples opinions to judge who I was and learnt my place, that I just didn't matter so much. 
I managed to have a small group of friends and I slipped through most of my high school years in there. When boys started to come in the mix things became unravelled as they often do. My social life went down hill and I saw myself spiralling into depression caused by the very people who had been my closest. After social suicide, lunches alone and jokes behind my back, I never returned to finish high school at that establishment. I think it was one of the better decisions I made.

The Untamed Frizz Remains...
 Even though it was 'just' high school, it has moulded my expectations of friendships and people since then. I have always been cautious with meeting new people and making new friends, it is not my forte. I find myself being guarded and awkward and people often take me the wrong way, I am always expecting to be bullied again as it has followed me all my life, through friendships and relationships. I often haven't realised how down trodden I have been until after the situation has passed and I can look back.

The last week has been a difficult one for me.
I have been dealing with a lot of situations that I have found stressful and I have noticed myself feeling a bit more fragile than usual. I have also been sick with that damn migraine and I am feeling pretty wrecked.

Because I am so remote, I often feel isolated from those who can support me. I moved here when my first born was 2 weeks old, at the time I didn't realise how much in over my head I was, but I am rather proud of how I raised a baby with hardly any knowledge, resources or a network of support at all. *pats on back* 
I have learnt my mummy instinct is a very powerful thing to be relied on and not ignored.
 My husband is wonderful when I need him but I try to make a habit of not needing anyone until I can't cope, which isn't ideal.
Being such a transient town, the friends I have made have left and there are always new people arriving but having that close bond with someone is hard to form, I know we won't be here forever either.
Luckily there are plenty of activities we can be involved in mingling with other parents and kids and we do our best.

Parenting these days seems to be an open forum for anyone to comment on. 
I have always been of the view that you parent and raise your children in the best way you know how to do, I firmly believe that if a mother feels what she is doing is in the absolute best interests of her child then who am I to judge?
I try to be supportive of choices that others make and sympathetic of opinions I don't understand. I really value healthy debate and try to use facts to back up opinions I have formed and feel strongly towards, to educate others on my choices. Having a child that has had special needs has given me the grace to realise until I have walked in someone else's shoes I am not one to point fingers. I am also not one to retaliate harshly when some attacks my personal beliefs, I have come to the fact that these are still my own, long after the angry person has gone.

I felt bullied today and I was shocked that this could happen as it came from a person I thought was compassionate. I have been very open and honest with a few close knit groups of ladies/mums about how I wish to raise my kids and the things I have learnt that work from my experiences raising my two, in an effort to help anyone going through similar. Also to have a place to land when things are falling apart.
 I have always enjoyed the diversity of parenting ideas. It has been a lifeline when we're having a bad day and lately there's been more of those than ever and rather than advice, people to lean on and offer a virtual shoulder have been required.
I have never felt the need to make excuses about the decisions I have made about how to raise our kids but over the last few days some of the input I put forward had been used to make me feel bad about myself. I kind of swept it to the side as I have often found plenty of remarks are given by those not qualified to make them, especially when it's an emotionally raw topic. It doesn't mean you are on someone else's journey when they only stop to ask for directions, you should be pleased they saw you as a friendly face and impart any knowledge you have, not take a blind guess at where they should be going and demand they take that route.
So the final straw came today when rather than empathy I was made to feel insignificant and really alone in my problems, when I had poured my heart and frustrations out to friends. I don't think anyone has the right to pass judgement on anothers life and situation completely foreign to anything they have gone through.
I felt such a mix of emotions, shock, sadness and confusion initially, closely followed by anger and disgust at an absolute lack of respect, finally ending the day out with acceptance that my son and I would not only be judged by strangers but by friends and closing with pity for those that would pass judgement onto me.
I think I have coped quite well with the cards I have been dealt and am ultimately happy.
I don't want this to make me revert to being cautious and protected again but I am feeling delicate and walls have definitely gone up. I would like to say I feel like a stronger person and I am sure I will, but I just feel emotionally drained tonight.
A photo I took last week - A reminder to find your ray of sunshine in the storm clouds :)
I see mothers getting bullied for their choices and circumstances all the time and it makes me sad. Too often I have had friends who have felt conflicted by decisions they had made that others felt the need to comment negatively towards. Not only first time mothers, as I have now found out. I don't understand why the simple desire to raise children in the best way each believes cannot be enough to provide a network of mutual support and understanding but we must attack each others feelings and preferences in a bid to be right or superior.

After all of this monologue, I just urge anyone reading to just do something nice for a fellow parent who might be struggling or just because you are grateful you have the support of a friend. Everyone at some time has more going on than you see on the surface.

In an effort to bring happiness back, tonight Mouse made a mess of an orange and P played with his special train, he's very proud :) Also dinosaur kisses, RAAAAAHHH!
Here's to sunnier days and plenty more orange messy dino smooches!

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