Friday, March 6, 2015


Wow I really need to work on my interpersonal skills.....A situation has cropped up for one of my kids at our homeschool group - I think it's probably typical kids learning how to interact stuff, but my first instinct is to quit. Unfortunately, this is also my daughter's first instinct. No matter how much I try not to let my baggage weigh my children down - it does.

My kids are well aware of my struggles - they even visited me in the hospital after my last suicide attempt. They get that I have depression and that sometimes I have a hard time holding things together because of my illness. I try to teach my kids that my own shortcomings and habits do not have to be theirs, but still I see my own behaviors reflected in theirs, especially my daughter.

So this means I have to work through my discomfort and try to learn to interact with others in a healthier way and to stop running away from things that are difficult. I'm outside my comfort zone here. I've spend some years in isolation thanks to my depression and I've dragged myself and my kids out into the light because it's better for us. But now we have new skill sets to learn.

Now I'd love to tell you that these are skills I need to relearn because I lost them during those years of isolation, but honestly, I've always been socially awkward. I either try too hard or I shut down completely. I come off as needy and clingy or snobby and out of touch. Of course that's what I think others think of me - I don't know for sure, because I can't know what others think or feel.

A lot has to do with expectations I think. I expect people to dislike me, so they often do. I try to be a good friend, but I don't know that I succeed - I think maybe I close myself off too much.

So, now I have to watch my kids struggling with some of the same shortcomings. I've wrapped them in cotton wool trying to protect them from being hurt, but I've ended up doing them a disservice. In trying to protect them from others, all I've done is really make them lonely and craving the company of their peers. I'm trying to rectify that now, but sometimes I fear it's too little too late.

It's hard being a parent. I try so hard to do what I think is right for MY children based on my experiences and sometimes I get it all wrong. Yes, I've failed in some ways, but I have two very special, loving, compassionate, intelligent kids. Yes maybe they are a little late to the friendship thing, but they are learning and growing with every new experience and all I can do is grow and learn with them.

I think that's what I'm trying to do right now. So......I'm not going to quit. I'm going to try to communicate with others and learn how to work through an uncomfortable situation and try to trust that all will work out for the best. My kids will learn from it as will I. And isn't that what life is all about really? Stretching and growing and finding new reasons to love ourselves?

1 comment:

  1. I resonate with this, Hope, because I have also always been awkward. I, too, have chosen isolation over situations where negativity was too much for me to handle (perhaps I'm just not as adept as others at ignoring when people are cruel, dishonest, and unloving)

    It is soooo hard to find a "tribe" to feel a sense of belonging within. I think that if you sense that perhaps given some time and communication that this situation could be resolved in a way that would allow the kids to stay in the group, then that's probably the best route at least until/unless ya'all get to the point where it just doesn't feel like a good fit (hopefully that doesn't happen!).

    I had to leave our homeschool co-op because a woman was being openly cruel and impatient with our youngest, who has mild autism. I couldn't escape this woman, because she was one of the adults in charge of the pre-school room, which is of course where S. would need to spend her time while K. was taking classes in other rooms.

    I stuck it out for a year with that woman, and when we returned the following year for the intro day to their new location at the golf course, that woman was there, and the moment she saw S. enter the room, she literally rolled her eyes and said to the woman beside her (not realizing I was standing right behind her) "Oh God, S. has returned again this year". Naturally, I got my kids out of there as quickly as humanly possible and we un-enrolled from the co-op, because I knew I could not put S. through this woman's attitude for another year.

    Long story short, if there were other things S. could have done, where she could have felt safe and loved, we would have stayed. Do you think that could be created for your little lady? Could some tweaking allow her to feel better about staying? Can you all work out the situation with the person involved, or would there be a way to sorta avoid that person and hope tensions lifted over time so they could make things a bit better?

    I am hoping the answers are "yes", even if it seems awkward or a little challenging. As I said, if it were another child and S. I would have tried to find a solution and/or tried to divert S. away from the child for a while....but clearly I couldn't divert S. from her "teacher", and I couldn't ever leave S. alone in the room with that woman to help D. out because it didn't feel safe to do so. So, not knowing the variables involved in your specific situation, I guess all I can offer is hope that your situation is a bit more fixable than mine was.

    Don't worry about what your children have picked up from their journey with you. Some of that is hereditary, and if you believe in karma/fate/etc you might consider that they chose this family to grow up in for the soul lessons. The fact that they've had to witness some very challenging times for you is of course tough, but they've also seen you stand strong and fight for your life. They've seen that it's OK to love someone who may be struggling, and that really at the end of the day we all have our stuff we're going through.

    That sounds like a recipe for compassionate children that will grow to be compassionate adults. Hugs, Val