Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We are all so different . . .

I am gonna ramble. I know most of you are thinking, "Isn't that what you do every day Sheri?" But you are gonna get stream of consciousness today . . .

I was thinking the other day about blogging. I have often wondered if I should've blogged anonymously and made up cute names for all my kids. At the time I started blogging I didn't even know people did that sort of thing. I was bluntly honest. I suppose that is my personality in real life. People who I talk to on a daily basis get an earful of my life, probably more than they want.

Then I started thinking, "Do they really?". They get what I want them to hear. They get snippets. They get a small sampling of what I am dealing with at the moment. As do you, my dear readers. You don't get the back story all the time, or the ideas that brought me to the decisions I make at any particular time. Even though I am a storyteller in every aspect of my life, I wouldn't have the time or the effort to explain to everyone how I can to those conclusions or how each and every thing that happened today affected me and added to the frustration I let out here on my blog. No one would want to read all that.

Blogging is important for me for two reasons. One being . . . it fulfills my love of being nosey! I love to get involved in people's lives. Who among us hasn't talked about someone, whose blog they read, in normal conversation and referred to them as a friend. For example, the other day someone at work was talking about their child's asthma flaring up and I said, "Oh my friend Yondalla has had a rough time with her asthma lately as well." How many times have I started a sentence with, "This one lady whose blog I read. . . " Or I will say, "Wow, Cali is going in for a doctor's appointment today. She should be having her baby soon. I can't wait." Then someone asks who Cali is and I have to say, "Well I haven't really met her. I read her blog everyday." People think I'm nuts. Please don't tell me I'm the only one who does this.

The second reason is that it allows me to vent. I can rant and rave about what I am dealing with and you all get it. You encourage me. You make me feel not so alone. I read your stuff and think "Wow, you clean up pee just as much as I do!" It is cathartic.

And then there are those times that we are attacked by trolls. Torina recently was a victim or a troll attack. I began thinking, how can someone attest to what is going on in any one of our homes? You can't. I may think Kari is a "mother of the year" but she has her times when she questions her ability to parent her kids. She feels as though she has failed at times and worries about the future. Claudia is up front and honest about her flaws in parenting her hard kids. She honestly proclaims that some of the things she deal with are her own issues. Cindy honestly blogs about the mental illness that runs rampant in her kids and her inability to help the situation. We all have our issues, our ways of dealing with them, and our ways of blogging about them.

I will be honest and put myself out there. . . there are times I read a post written by the mom of a special needs kid and think, "Wow. You think that was difficult? Come spend the day with Dustin!" Or I may think, "Hmmm. You get PCA hours and I get none." I am certain there are those that may think, "Sheri, get over yourself, that is nothing compared to what I deal with." We all have our own set of experiences. We come from different places and I may not know what lead to your exasperation. I wasn't there. It is easy for me to think you have it easier that particular day. There were times when I started finding you all blogging that I thought "How can they write that about their child?" I didn't skewer you, I read farther. I read the daily frustration with medications that aren't working, therapists who don't get it, doctor's who wash their hands of the situation, and insurance companies who make you fight for basic care. I see the hurt coming from friends and family members who shun your family and your kids. I read about the feeling of isolation in your communities and your fights with the law. I feel your disdain for the people who caused this trauma to be happening to your child. I see your heart! I read about your love for you child DESPITE the trauma. I live it. I get it.

I may say things that outsiders don't understand. I may use words that in the heat of the moment sound harsh or cruel. You don't live in my world. You don't understand that by saying those things here, on my blog, that I can then walk back into the playroom, hug my child and deal with whatever they throw at me because I got it out! Out of my mouth, out of my head. I had people say, "I've been there."

You (collectively) can assume all you want about me, about us (my bloggy friends), but you have no idea. As much as I love all my regular reads I don't profess to know what happens in their family just as you have no clue what happens in mine.

The written word is a sharp tool. I am super sarcastic in real life and I am certain that sometimes I come across as rough in the written arena. I have written many a comment on other's posts that someone has mistaken my intention. I can them reread it and see where that could've been construed that way. It is a difficult medium, especially when you come as I do, to simply "vomit" out your frustrations so that you can adjust yourself and better tend to your family.

I am frustrated. I am frustrated with people being "attacked". I may bring some of that heat on myself. But "you" do not know me. "You" do not live my life just as I do not live yours. I may be Sheri Rouse from Indiana and then again I may be Terri Spouse from Los Angeles. You just don't know do you? You may catch people doing horrible things to children and then again you may destroy healthy families that work hard and have a thankless job.


Claudia said...

Good post! I have thought about this many times. I try hard not to leave any kind of judgmental comment on any blog because I figure I have no clue what is really happening and I give everyone I read the benefit of the doubt. That's why it always jars me when others don't do the same for me.

Fortunately, it doesn't happen often that I get blasted -- even though sometimes I may deserve it.

But I make sure that I do my best not to judge -- I don't know you and I"m not walking in your shoes.

We are all experts when it comes to how someone else SHOULD be parenting. ;-)

Jo said...

I do think the stuff with Torina and others echoes into our own lives. Makes me sensitive and nervous.
You are not alone, I am always telling my family blogland stories!

FAScinated said...

I've had these same thoughts many times, Sheri. I am constantly trying to balance my need for support with my desire to educate and my responsibility to protect my family.

I get several emails a week from professionals and families who stumbled across my blog and now better understand someone in their lives who may have FASD...and I do feel less alone in this world because of you, my invisible friends, but it does come at a cost and Torina's experience just reminded us all of that.

"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." Anne Frank

I believe it, too. ~Kari

JR - A Green Eyed Gurl.... said...

I get what you are saying. I have seen the attacks, I have been attacked and I too have added my $.02 in heated situations.

I have found the times I personally have been attacked is when I express my own personal view on something. I have to shrug it off and not take it too seriously, afterall, I am entitled to my point of view and maybe just maybe the person attacking may have a valid point I have not considered.

More often than not Sheri, as you and I have agreed and disagreed, I have remained to true to the fact that we each have our own burdens to carry and we don't always understand what the other one is going through. I respect and admire you for the fact that you have not given up on Dustin, so many would have turned their backs to him by now. There are times I read your posts and think I would have lost my mind by now.

There are times while raising my three kids that I wonder if I am going to survive. I go to my parents and say "when I get these kids raised..." and they just laugh at me as I am their child sitting there expressing all of my woes to them and am indeed, still their kid that they are "still" raising.

Thank goodness we have ways to vent and deal with all of our frustrations as life comes at us fast and in full color, to me the blogs are a newer high tech version of the journals we are taught to keep in school and are encouraged by therapists for all kinds of treatments. Blogs are ours and our life and therapy for most of us.

Accidental Mommy said...

I was just telling Hubbins about what you had to go through when Dustin ran away.

I talk about you guys in blogland to him all the time.

It's funny...I do get jealous about respite and PCAs and stuff but most of the time I find myself saying I don't know how x does it, I couldn't do it.

I find I'm harder on my friends who have children who aren't special needs and can't take it. That's when I get all "for cryin out loud, you have no clue and you wanna have more!." lol Harsh I know. *smirk* But then I turn it around on myself and say "you want to have your own and look what you've got already." sooo...

I know how much of what I don't tell on my blog about what my kids do to know that we all have stuff we are dealing with that just can't be shared. I think it's so ridiculous when people try to come at us and have no clue. Somehow I have learned to tune it out. Even IRL, it has surprised me because I've found myself looking at a person coming at me and then thinking "Hmmm, did you say something?" because I have totally tuned them out.

You aren't alone.

Linda B. said...

Yup, I'm in total agreement. I could write a long comment on why I agree with what you wrote, but then I'd just be putting your post in this comment. You looked inside my head today. Scary place, huh!

Sheri said...

I thought I heard lots of meowing when I was writing this Linda! LOL

Lisa said...

Your same exact thoughts. More eloquently than I ever could. See.....this is why I love you!

Eos said...

I've been thinking of getting rid of mine (blog) again (I did it w/ my 1st one) mostly because I'm too afraid of being completely honest...I don't care about others judging me too harshly (ok...a little bit) but about the damage they can cause by judging w/out having all the facts.

Carol E. said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! There is a lot to digest there, so for now I will just say.. wow, I love it when bloggers "think out loud" and share it with us. Thanks! YES, I ALWAYS tell people about my "friends" (from blogs). I wish I had made up names for my family, too. I have not used my kids names at my blog (I think, anyway).. I just call them son, daughter, etc. (boring) I guess I could make up names for them, but my own name is real.... shucks.

Patty said...

People judge because they know no difference. Maybe they were raised this way, maybe they feel an entitlement, maybe a few of them are just evil, who knows?

The point is the only opinion that matters is your own and if you beleive you are doing everything possible to navigate your life to the best of your ability then you have nothing to worry about.

I think you write with honesty and integrity and are setting a fine example for others to follow if they so choose. The whole, "You can lead a horse to water..."

Don't change a thing about yourself that you are not led to change from that still, silent voice within. You ARE loved beyond measure.

Meg an Aggie in Frisco said...

So True! I try to leave a blessing when I leave a comment. I can't give advise to the situations... But I can lift up a family in payer. Or I can leave a funny. Good gravey what happend to the golden rule.


Amber said...

I'm liking this one. :0)