The real reason I posted the “courage” statement this last week had nothing to do with Down syndrome. It has much more to do with a person in my life who has been extremely critical lately. They have been ill, and I am hoping that as they get better, the verbal abuse will go down.
Last night I inadvertently interrupted their listening to the hourly news update, and I was roundly told off. So I apologized. So then I got told off for “apologizing all the time”. (What else am I to do when they get angry at every little thing?) I held my tongue, but I felt like saying:
-Sorry I am breathing.
-Sorry I am living.
Now I do not REALLY feel this way in general (I LOVE living). I guess that the person being discussed does not realize how negative they sound, nor its effect on others. But I, personally, am getting fed up with it.
Then I read Dave Hingsburger’s blog ( http://www.davehingsburger.blogspot.com/ ) (an interesting blog on disabilities, but, again, I do not identify with all of his positions) yesterday on verbal abuse. I quote:
The woman in front loses patience with her daughter, "You need to shut up now, it's times like these that I can't believe I gave birth to you. There's a decision I'd like to take back sometimes." Shock trailed through the line up. Then the boy got a withering attack, "you were useless as a child and it looks like your going to be useless as a man.'
I looked at the woman's face, expecting to see hate there. I didn't. I saw something worse. Pleasure. She was taking pleasure in what she was saying. I looked back down the line. Everyone had the look that I was sure was on my face, "I want to say something but I'm afraid I'll make it worse, later, for the kids."
(PS if you have a kid with DS, look up the original blog. There is an added story there…)
I know how I feel after one week (two?) of constant mild criticism. How could the children weather life if they have such a parent? The answer: they probably don’t.
And my reaction?
It is so easy to see the wrong in such a blatant verbal attack. Yet I suspect that any of us who are parents (excluding any angels who read here), should use this as a wakeup call. Are we guilty of a 5% attack? 3%? Lets each try to be a bit more positive and less critical today.... Have a nice day (and good “Shabbas” ie, Saturday)!
Sounds like the person you are talking about has some seriously unmet needs and is taking it out on you! Equally, as parents when stressed or having unmet needs of our own we sometimes commit that 3 or 5% act.
Sometimes we just need to breathe deep and remember how good it is to be alive- and when someone is is mean remember it's thier problem, not about us!
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