Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Support feels really good

I'm not a joiner. I don't do groups. I hate crowds. In general I hate people. I'm an introvert all the way. I'm more comfortable with small groups or one-on-one than I am in any other situation. So why did I just commit to joining a support group? Because I really need support from people who 'get' our family dynamics.

As a rule, I resist all efforts to get me to go to anything even remotely resembling a support group. In fact, the last support group I joined with after my second trimester miscarriage and I was such a walking disaster that I just had to find other people who got it. It was, by far, the hardest time I ever spent with a group of women. It was just so sad, all these women who had second and third trimester losses. I cried every freaking week and vowed never ever to join a group again.

Well, that was 17 years ago, and right now I'm feeling particularly emotionally fragile. I need to be with other moms that get what it means to parent special need teenagers. What? You mean there are more parents with kids like mine. Oh, so many more. SO many. When I was asked to come to this group, I said I would, but then I thought 'maybe I won't.' I don't commit to groups. But the group facilitator called me and we chatted and she sounded nice enough, so I said I would go.

Today was the first meeting I attended. It was fabulous. I cannot begin to express how much better I feel after listening to other women talk about their frustrations with doctors, psychiatrists, schools, and oh, did I mention schools? You know what's going on with my daughter? One woman's daughter has been out of school and any education for almost TWO years. No matter what, her school system lags and hems and haws, and her daughter is getting no education at all. Not even a tutor!

That's the thing with groups. There is always someone who has it even worse than you do.

I liked pretty much everyone there. There was one woman that was annoying. Everything was caused by vaccines. She just wouldn't stop with the vaccines, even though all our kids were teens and hadn't had a vaccine in years. I mean, wrong audience or what? She tried to tell one woman whose daughter has a chromosomal abnormality that it was caused by a vaccine. Good God, I almost punched her in the mouth. She also made this statement: "ADHD ONLY exists in the US. No other country has ADHD." That one really got me, and I corrected her. She went on to claim that no European country had ADHD and when I told her that I had lived in England and the Netherlands and assured her that both countries had ADHD cases, she said, "OH well England. They have the same system that we have." Um, no, they don't. Not the same school system, not the same educational system, not the same health system, not the same government. What is it with people that just make these outrageous statements with absolutely nothing to back them up? I hate that.

But otherwise, I loved this group and I can't wait to go back. Just knowing that there are other people struggling like I am, fighting systems that are just ridiculous, is extremely comforting to me. Plus, great women. Funny, smart, my age. What a coup! I feel on top of the world right now!

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Blogger Bobbiejjj said...

Just checking to see if I can comment now. Thanks for your help!


11/3/08 4:41 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I think this is going to be a REALLY good thing for you. I'm so glad you've found it.

14/3/08 2:46 PM  

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