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Overwhelmed and Feeling Guilty

I am so overwhelmed with the start of the new school year and the worry of a new school, new teachers, new friends. I already spoke to one teacher who said "he is doing great when he can focus" When I asked him if he was aware the my son had severe ADHD and was unable to take meds he was like "oh that's right'. Did not give me warm fuzzies that is for sure. Some days I want so much for things to be "normal" whatever that is. My husband has no patience and just yells all the time. It gets old. Some days I catch myself comparing E to other kids and wishing he could be more like them or the star athlete or the popular kid....then I feel guilty for not loving him the way he is. I am always worried others are judging him or don't understand him. I hate that I worry every waking hour of every day. I don't know what to do most days and it is taking its toll. With the special diet because of the kidney disease and dealing with the ADHD I feel like I am drowning. Of course I get the "he could help it if he wanted too" advice, that is always fun. Unfortunately I think my husband thinks that way also. "But he has to do this everyday, how can he forget"? "If he would just pay attention". "He knows what comes out of his mouth and when he is making noises". I am so over it all. I am not myself.....I am loosing myself.

It’s overwhelming, I know, NinjaSue. I’m not a parent or a sufferer of ADD myself: I am a moderator on another Ben’s Friends rare disease site, and I’m part of a team that lends support to moderators on the wider BF network. I’m also a retired educator and school counselor, so I’ve met plenty of ADD/ADHD kids and their parents. And the new school year is tough for everyone!
I know how disappointing it is to have caught the teacher out when you reminded him of your son’s disability. The teacher is overwhelmed as well, and disappointed in himself too, trust me! I’ve been there myself. You do need to develop a good relationship with the teacher, though, for your son’s sake. Don’t wait for the teacher to phone you about a crisis – maybe you could request a meeting with him, and try to stick to positives, for the first meeting at least. Ask the teacher to call you if he has any concerns. Have your son carry a notebook to send messages back and forth as necessary. Do what ever it takes to keep the communication between you and the teacher open and positive! It will pay off in spades for your son. And when he comes home from school in a good frame of mind, things will go better on the home front as well.
Please let us know how things go.

Thanks....the teacher was great, but it was disappointing. E has cystic kidney disease also, so I think I spend a lot of time worrying. I know I don't need to, but it happens. All of it was diagnosed at the same time last spring so it was a lot to take in. We are trying hard to work with the school and the entire staff has been very supportive of the situation for the most part. It is just all so suffocating sometimes.

You don’t need to worry? My goodness, you are his Mom … what do you expect? Good for you, working with the school. This is a great place to vent: the people here get it. Hang in there, NinjaSue, and hnng out here!

Hi NinjaSue!

I am in a similar position to you in that my partner has no tolerance/understanding of ADHD behaviours, and my son cannot take stimulant meds due to tics. Nothing else seems to work, so I rely on Omega 3 and cross my fingers alot! Much of my day is also spent worrying - can't stand the parents who think that if you just parented more/better/harsher it would shape the kid up! My son just started Grade 1. I am lucky with the teacher though - she is trying really hard. My son's agenda is filled with communication between the teacher and I!

For me, the most exhausting part is being a buffer between the child and the intolerant other parent. I find myself stepping in more often than not to calm things down, then I get resentful that it all seems to fall on my plate. As much as my partner wishes the kid(s) would be 'normal', the more I wish I had a more supportive partner! Some days are HARD!

Hang in there!

NinjaSue, do you have access to family therapy sessions so that your husband can hear information from your son's doctor or psychologist?

I also hear what 3Gkids said about it being hard to be the "buffer". Some partners can be helpful in so many ways but disagree about treatment for kids with ADD/ADHD. Can you see any common ground that you and your partner can agree willl benefit your child? It's exhausting to experience disagreement too much of the time. Team members don't have to agree on everything, but it's good to be on the "same page" as they used to say.

We don't have a therapist. Though at times I think I need one for myself. Part of the reason is we don't have good insurance and with E's medical bills for his kidney's we already owe a small fortune in medical bills.

I have felt ALL of those things. Some days are so much harder than others. My husband also has little patience and yells when our son doesn't do "normal" things. I also find myself wishing for some sort of "normal" and some days I am completely at peace with the hand my family was dealt. This road we are on is not smooth or easy, it is bumpy and curvy and full of pot holes! I know all too well the judgments of others....like your examples. I try to remind myself that somehow they think they are being helpful and that rarely ever makes it easier to listen too. I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you NinjaSue or could say something that makes today easier...just know you ARE NOT alone.

Knowing I am not alone is a HUGE help in itself!

JMom said:

I have felt ALL of those things. Some days are so much harder than others. My husband also has little patience and yells when our son doesn't do "normal" things. I also find myself wishing for some sort of "normal" and some days I am completely at peace with the hand my family was dealt. This road we are on is not smooth or easy, it is bumpy and curvy and full of pot holes! I know all too well the judgments of others....like your examples. I try to remind myself that somehow they think they are being helpful and that rarely ever makes it easier to listen too. I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you NinjaSue or could say something that makes today easier...just know you ARE NOT alone.