This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"We're gonna have a great day!"

No idea where I heard this lyric (probably Saturday morning cartoons!), but it's been running through my head all morning. Along with, "Our God is an awesome God" - which luckily I remember more than one line from.

Several years ago I started operating by a "Three Vent Rule." Whenever something was bothering me I used to ruminate over it, talk it over with anyone who would listen and dwell on it ad infinitum. This made things much worse, and alienated some of my friends (who wants to listen to someone who whines and complains all the time?). I tried making the stories as entertaining as possible, but I'm sure I was still annoying. I'm a woman and an extrovert so I have to talk my problems through (at least according to Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - which almost ruined my marriage, but had some valid points).

So Hubby and I came up with the 3 Vent Rule. I could only discuss an issue with 3 people - then I was done. Hubby was almost always one of those people, but I tried to spread the venting out among my friends and family so I wasn't burdening any one person besides him. I was an athiest/agnostic for many years, so have never gotten in the habit of "venting" to Him.

Then I discovered blogging. Here was my chance to "vent" to a bunch of people, and if they didn't like it they didn't have to read it! And I could do it any time without having to worry about it sounding unprofessional at my office (which has no soundproofing), or kids overhearing, and I could even do it at 1am!

Except for Hubby, I mostly stopped venting to anyone else. I loved the comments, and I read other's blogs so I felt like I was having "conversations" - sort of.

Monday when Hubby was home sick, I realized how much I'd come to depend on our talks to and from work. I called several of my friends to whine about what a horrible day (year) I was having. One friend gave me lots of sympathy and we talked about her special-needs daughter as well. Then I got hold of Lynn.

Lynn is a long-time friend who has survived a tough life. Breast cancer and treatment, getting fired from the company she managed (when we met), losing her house, almost getting a divorce, having her grown children with their special-needs children living with her (and refusing to leave), family members losing their job, and about to lose her job. What's the opposite of sour grapes? She talked about how content she is with her life. She loves apartment living and is grateful that they made a $100 profit on her house instead of foreclosure. Her kids are no longer able to live with her because the apartment is too small. Her relationship with her husband is much improved now that he's home more. She lost a lot of weight and looks and feels great.

When I started my venting/whining she basically told me that it's tough all over. Everyone is feeling the effects of the economy, and that's life. It was what I needed to hear. One of my friends noted in a comment that at least a third of my life is going well! (re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).

Last week a good friend invited me to a women only support group on Tuesday nights. I told her we have therapy on alternate Tuesdays, and with sick kids I would probably be too busy. I thank God that I went, but more about that in my next post.

2 comments:

Purplewalls said...

I hope you didn't think I was being dismissive or patronizing when I said "At least 1/3 is going well." I honestly was trying to find a silver lining and point out the good.

I have the utmost respect for you and your DH. Hugs.

marythemom said...

Purplewalls,

I took it exactly in the spirit you meant it. You were absolutely right and I DO need to look at the good.

Thank you for being such a good friend!

Hugs back!
Mary