I don’t know what title to give this. But this is going to be a series and I am going to come out and write things that I have maybe never explained to others before. Some I have shared, some not! Believe me, it takes great courage to just do this now.
Why now? Because I am in a closed group of women who call themselves wonderful women, but now all of a sudden I feel they lack basic empathy. I really want to come out of the group now. I will do so soon!
Yesterday’s post by someone is where it all started. Let us not be judgmental! – read this to get a headstart!
I replied to them about my situation with my children, my son who is nearly 9, whose IQ is that of the level of a prodigy but his EQ is low! How he looks no different from any other child on the street. How he can talk about rocket science happily but does not know how to articulate his needs including hunger…. how he can solve a Rubik’s cube quicker than he would get up and get something from the fridge to eat.. no it is not laziness but it is because he does not recognise hunger! I told about how what is seen as a nuisance sometimes is not that but actually something else. It is a struggle of a mother trying to help her child who is actually struggling with something he or she cannot express or is frustrated about.
One of the responses was “Public nuisance is unacceptable under any circumstance. I come across a lot of it in movie halls . I immediately speak to the people who are not allowing others to watch by being loud. If they continue I call for the manager n that definitely works.”
Another response was “My daughter NEVER threw a tantrum. When she did initially, I used to give her a glass of water, make her comfortable & leave the room, asking her to approach me after she calmed down. That set a parameter. We talk to each other over her demands when she is herself. Tantrums do not work with me.She will now be 10 and I am proud of the way I raised her. Completely independent ( in thought too !!) mature & very jolly. Kids, I think like a bit of discipline & discussion. Treat them as different individuals, not brainless dwarfs. Respect is give& take. U respect me & I shall respect you. Even though you might be 2year old. ( they do get it, really)”
I am sad people who call themselves as wonder women lack basic empathy!
My response was this
“lucky you! Glad to know your child has never thrown a tantrum! My child has meltdowns, his stimulants are many…. he has to be on time, if he is late even by a few minutes there will be absolute chaos! I actually have taken him away from classes because we were late. Not under his control and he cannot understand. But just because he has a meltdown and it is a public nuisance I cannot stop taking him out. Agreed, public nuisance is unacceptable under any circumstance. I was on a plane from Abu Dhabi to Chennai with two children, one just over two and one just a couple of months old. The plane took off and we were all fine till food was served. I had specifically requested for Vegan meal and that was for a reason. I was served food, my son in all excitement opened it and ate it, a second later he was screaming and bringing the place down! Public nuisance – a screaming child on a plane! The solution should have been to land at the nearest airport and deplane us! The captain even offered to land in Mumbai instead of Chennai, but even that was nearly an hour and a half away. Another “friend” that was on a plane told me much later that she didn’t realise it was my child, she thought it was some cranky child who could not be consoled by its mother! Well, for the rest of the world that is what it looked like, for me it was a matter of life and death! The food that was given to my son had some form of dairy in it, the one small scoop he had was enough to give him a very serious reaction the next second. I had given him medicine immediately but that would still take time to react. We were in a pressurised environment which wasn’t making life easy. The child could not breathe or swallow and took about an hour to calm down. I could not have done anything about it. All I am saying here is we do not know what others are going through or what they are doing things for. I am not saying everyone one is perfect or everyone is wrong. Let us learn not to judge people. And please don’t say people like us who have super sensitive children should stop having a life and going out! I do not go to movie theaters because my children are sensitive to sound and darkness. I haven’t seen a full movie in a cinema hall in nearly nine years now (we did attempt a couple of times and gave up after five minutes and walked out)! But asking me to stop heading out, going to a restaurant for a meal, getting on a plane to travel somewhere, going on a holiday, etc is just not right! I do not know when a meltdown will happen or what might trigger it. It could be any kind of sensory overload. All I can think about that minute is calming my child down, in my case it could be a combination of allergies and sensory over load. I might not turn around and apologise to everyone around me, that is not because I am a mean person or I don’t have manners it is because I am busy handling a situation and I myself am broken and need support which I nearly never get! Many many times I would have just liked someone to just give me a hug and just ask if I am ok! Believe me, I have people looking at me with disgust and never once has someone come to me and offered help or just a hug or even just a smile and a pat on my hand! We are all mothers putting up a brave face and pretending and hoping that we are fine so that the world around us wouldn’t crumble. Many times I would be hungry and starving too and I would not have the time to eat because I am in a firefighting situation! Thanks for all your inputs, maybe next time with all my worries about my child and how to handle the situation I will lose my think skin and worry about the people around me too!”
” I have never spoken a lot of this even to immediate family. I am saying all this now because I don’t want people being judged for what is happening without knowing the background. I have been with Special Olympics as a volunteer for years, when people see a special child then people understand. In my case Abhi is a normal child, he doesn’t look different from any other children. It makes it worse when he can discuss rocket science as though he was talking about nursery rhymes! People think a child that knows so much should also have perfect control of everything else, but alas, that is not the case. I know many many mothers who are struggling like me! In many houses, people still live in denial! Even in my case, I realised something was wrong when Abhi was 6 months old, it took me another 8 years to get him assessed, even though I knew exactly what the problem was. Even then I went in for the assessment only because everyone around me was pushing me for it, getting more and more uncomfortable! When the results came out, I was fine with the results because I knew what exactly was going on, the rest of the family is still in denial! ha … that is another topic altogether! … but all I am saying is, just by the looks of it, things might look very different! I had a screaming child on the train three months ago because he did not want to sit beside an emergency exit and did not want to go anywhere close to the red chain that is used for emergency stop! I don’t know where that came from because he has never had a problem with that before! Travelling alone with two kids, one starts having a meltdown, I can only do so much, hold him in my hands and talk to him calmly till he calms down and request for a change of seat which is very difficult on Indian trains! I even overheard someone say if I hit my child it will all be ok! What do they know? I spent the entire night on the train without sleeping worrying if he would feel upset again and start crying.”
It is a pity that we talk so much about empowering women, but what are we trying to do? I don’t know what triggered that person to post this in the first place. Maybe she went in for a quiet meal and didn’t want to hear anything. And what she saw and heard was something that triggered off something she felt wrong about. That is perfectly fine. It is just that someone writes something like this and there are ten people to support them saying yes, the world is going crazy and people should think and not be a nuisance… blah blah blah… show some empathy people! It is a pity that it comes from educated, well-read and well-travelled people!
I will write more… about all the different incidents that I have faced and how it is difficult with a sensitive child. Not to gain sympathy but to let people know that there is much more to it that what you can see! If I can even educate one person about a sensitive child and if it helps one parent/child I would be very very happy!