I Just Want To Be Understood...
I recently read a post in a parent group that began with "I just want be be understood" . It was written by a Mom who was frustrated and exhausted at going to doctors offices and hospitals and community centres, etc. etc. and being judged for ....parenting the way she needed to parent.
I'm curious how many of us have sat in waiting rooms and have had all eyes on us. Other parents, staff members, even other children stare and make comments about either our children's behaviour or what we, as parents, are or are not doing about it. I am going to hazard a guess that most if not all of the parents reading this have felt that judgement. To say it is not a nice feeling is often an understatement. Eventually we develop skills to block it out and ignore those judging stares and comments however not before they wreak havoc on our mental , physical and emotional wellbeing. Just recalling those time turns my stomach.
For those of you that may not have experienced this sense of what I can only equate to bullying may be thinking 'who cares what everyone else thinks it's what you think that matters' . You might also think that once we pass through the waiting room to the professionals we are seeking that bullying stops. It does not. Not always anyway.
The unfortunate norm is to make it through the waiting room of tension while others talk about you and your children in hushed voices (or sometimes to your face) to get to a professional that tells you you are the cause of all your child's problems, you're a bad parent, you are wrong about what you see in your child, that you shouldn't question their knowledge...EVERY visit can be a fight, a struggle to be heard and understood.
There are some wonderful professionals (doctors, psychologists, social workers, nurses etc.) out there who put 100% of themselves into being compassionate and understanding. They work within and sometimes step out of the parameters of what they are permitted to do to help. They are golden! They are also very few and far in between.
The post I read went on to describe an ideal centre where we can access professionals in an environment that is welcoming, inclusive and understanding. The author compared their vision to that of a cancer treatment centre where everyone there "gets it" . Whatever stage you are at in your cancer journey when you walk through those doors you are understood.
What would it be like to walk into a treatment space created just for our children? The children whose needs are not always visible or yet understood. A space where as parents we are not judged or ridiculed, where we don't have to enter the doors ready for battle, holding our shields of protection over ourselves and our children. A space where parents can look across the room and see empathy and understanding. A space where we can look across the waiting room or the inner offices and know that when we meet another persons eyes, they "get it".
The isolation and loneliness that our community of parents feel is real. Is not in your head! Know that you are NOT alone. Until we are able to create that vision please reach out to those of us who "get it" . We are your tribe, where you belong.
Start a conversation, send me a message and let me know your thoughts !
Take care of you!