Support, or lack thereof

My blog rules:

1) be kind to others

2) be polite and respectful

3) do not gossip and don’t talk about people who aren’t there (which is obviously following rules #1 & 2)

I am about to break all those rules.

Recently I mentioned the high stress levels associated with having children with special needs.  One mitigating factor in this situation is having a good support network.

We do not have a good support network.

And I stop writing and stare into space.  I’m not sure what else to say here.  I have a hard time writing negative crap about anyone.  And we really are fortunate to have some fantastic people who have really helped us along the way.  So on one hand we have an amazing support network.  And I deeply appreciate those people, and I’ve posted about it before in Amazing Grace and Amazing Grace, again.

But, on the other hand the closest relatives who can help out in an emergency live about an hour and a half away.  Never mind having anyone watch the kids for a while so you can get groceries or do some laundry.

Which leaves just Hubby and I.

And we make do, most of the time.

When Little Miss Adorable was born she went into the NICU at 48 hours old.  We had no idea what was wrong – she was floppy, seriously dehydrated and not feeding.  Once in the NICU she had tubes and wires attached to her to try to keep her alive and all kinds of tests were ordered – blood work, spinal tap, ultrasound, urinalysis.

Grim-faced nurses restrained Little Miss Adorable and took bodily fluids.  Little Miss Adorable protested weakly.  The nurses inserted an IV in the vein in her head, it was the only vein they could access because she was so dehydrated.   We did not know if she would live or die.

Hubby decided that he would spend the night in the hospital with Little Miss Adorable and I.  Mr. Sensitive was two years old at that time.  We needed childcare ASAP.

We had no friends or family who lived nearby.  Hubby called his parents, who lived about 45 minutes away.  They couldn’t make it, because his father had 15-dollar tickets to a local hockey game.

Hanging up in disbelief, Hubby handed me the hospital phone.  I called my sister, who instantly ran out the door to her car, grabbing some spare clothes on the way.  She arrived in our hospital room 90 minutes later.

Amazingly, the relationship with Hubby’s parents improved with time.  Hubby and I tend to be ‘forgive and forget’ kind of people, who believe ‘life’s too short.’

Then then his parents started sending emails and leaving phone messages.  Those messages… well, let’s not go there.  Let’s just say it makes my blood boil thinking about it.  Hubby and I would go to his family’s events and find the entire family was ignoring us.

Soon a pattern emerged – Hubby’s parents would leave messages and send emails that served no purpose but to provoke a fight.  Hubby (or I) would confront them, and then everyone would pretend things were fine.  Hubby and I would talk about the importance of the kids having a relationship with their grandparents.  Things seemed to be normal.

And then the phone calls and emails would start again.  Accusing, demanding, infuriatingly wrong; but full of the same venom that had poisoned our relationship with the rest of Hubby’s family.

Confront, pretend to be normal for a while, and then those messages would start again.  It is a pattern that would drive anyone crazy.

Hubby and I had been planning a holiday dinner for his parents.  I already bought all the ingredients.  We were just waiting to set a dinner date once we knew what our schedules were like.

And then the messages started.  Again.

Hubby is talking about trying to patch things up and the importance of grandparents in our children’s lives.  He still wants to cook them dinner.

I might just go for a really long van ride that evening.  So if you find me parked in front of your house, open the door and invite me in.

I have some gossip for you.

Do you have any advice for dealing with this situation?  Do you have a story you want to share?


About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
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10 Responses to Support, or lack thereof

  1. Sara says:

    Playdate? I’m free!

  2. teamharman says:

    Christmas? Family? Surefire recipe for arguments and stress. I know what you mean as we have been there in smaller doses with parents (and yes the hockey tickets strikes a chord here!!). Deep breaths, a glass of something festive and paint on that smile. Make sure YOUR Christmas is merry and bright in whatever way is best for you. Aand if it means only seeing them briefly for coffee – or just waiting till February for that holiday dinner – do it.

  3. Wow — with everything going on in your life, I would want to spend my holiday dinner enjoying it with immediate family and not having to worry about all the stresses that will attend a visit from the in-laws. Sometimes you do have to protect yourself to not add additional stress! Let us know what you decide!

  4. melbo says:

    Followed your link from Twitter – wow, what a story. It’s sad to me that the very people you should feel you can call on just aren’t there for you and I’m not just talking about a physical kind of “there”.

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