Seeking Advice

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My mom was crying again, and I felt responsible.  I was twelve and my world was dark. My life, since, has been shaped by that period in 7th grade. II’m sure there shall be eye rolls, but I know that my life long social anxiety, from fear of calling friends, to the need to be chemically altered throughout my high school and college days, and my assumption that I must“make” others like me has lasted years since.  I still have a hard time with the voice in my head, but it has quieted now, to only a whisper, instead of an echo. At the time, a friend became angry with me, and everyone followed suit. I did not have a friend, not one, for about six months. Some of the neighborhood girls threatened to beat me up almost daily, but that stopped after a few months. Exclusion and apathy followed, which was worse than having to sprint home from the bus stop. Eventually it blew over, and slowly I regained friendships … An old diary found recently after our move confirmed how low I was at the time..thoughts of suicide in a twelve year olds words..

I totally identify with my moms tears- the pain of a parent who can’t help their child. I resented them at the time because I couldn’t understand why she would cry…this was about me, right? and I should be crying not her. But now I am a mother of a beautiful, loving  boy who struggles socially. That amazing child, my hero, has suffered for most of his life, physically, emotionally, and socially. I can’t quite identify with what he has endured. Three and a half years of chemo, a brain full of blood clots, lost years of socializing in preschool and grade school, several rounds of both legs in casts, migraines, ADHD, surgeries, walking on toes, clumsy from the chemo, doses of steroids for years that would make an elephant crazed, rejection from kids that he loves….

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I get it- I know his shortcomings. But I also see what an amazing heart he has, he’s an incredible big brother, so gentle to younger children, hates injustice, has amazing discernment, and has true remorse when he makes mistakes. Also, I  believe that God doesn’t waste pain, and these hurts and pain will make him Real…

A few years ago, a Facebook “friend” wrote how annoyed she was that a mom of a little girl not invited to her daughters party actually called and asked why. She ripped that mom apart, and MANY other moms were aghast in their comments at the terrible behavior of that mother that bothered her, and put her on the spot about not getting invited.  Why would she do it? How embarrassing! I unfriended her, I was so disgusted. Shouldn’t us moms help these children, showing them grace and teaching our kids to do the same? I may not go as far to ask why my son was not invited to a party, but I have been tempted to throw myself on the mercy of another mom, in hopes that they may shed light on what exactly my guy is doing, as seen from another kids eyes so I can coach him, to help him learn from his mistakes. While some moms may see Matthew as a big, obnoxious, no boundaries guy, I see him here crying because, “he did it again” and he is trying so hard, but impulsivity got the best of him again. I see him helping out the little girl next door, hugging his brother, speaking gently to his grandma…

Help! Moms and dads, what do you do? Or what do you want to do? When your kids struggle socially, how do you help them? What has worked, what has failed? Any words of wisdom? Can we come together to help one another, so children stop being isolated and alone? Is it so hard to invite those few kids to a party when the rest of the class is going? Or I am I totally wrong? Can we take the time to help a family that is struggling, or are we too busy, and should mind our own business?

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