Home > I'm embarrassed about myself

I'm embarrassed about myself

November 14th, 2021 at 07:21 am

 I'm writing this because something happened to me tonight and it really bothered me tonight and I didn't speak up. I realize I did the WRONG thing by not speaking up to offensive people.

I was sitting in a kitchen with a group of people, couple of neighbors and other moms/dads at a birthday party my DK2 attended. I realize that most of them might have been drunk and I did not drink anything. But I feel like people are being very honest when drinking and to be truthful I didn't much like any of the moms at that moment.

They were talking about a girl walking around the neighborhood calling her the "walk-around girl." That I could understand. This girl in 6th grade who walks around the neighborhood solo. That is fine a description when you don't know someone's name.  The name wasn't the problem.  It's how it was said, described, and the connotation.   It's the fact she was laughing that the girl was constantly smiling and occasionally it seemed flared/danced, or had a tic that caused her to behave a bit unusually while walking. I was curious about who the girl is because I wanted to speak up and say do you realize you are making fun of a child? And I didn't.

I feel sick to my stomach. The idea of this mom saying these things was offensive and I don't know her well but I knew I was wrong not speaking up to put that mom in her place. I should have and I probably would have ruined the mood of the party. Maybe I could have turned the mirror on them to reflect on their attitudes and mindset.

Is this because of my DK1? Yes and no. I would have felt offended even before because I have always been sensitive to knowing my DK1 was different. So I would never say someone else is different or make fun or comment because I always have worried about being judged.  Judged at how my DK1 behaved in public with some really bad meltdowns.  Judged at being a bad parent unable to "control" my kid.  Made fun of for my child that wore clothes that barely matched and marched to her own tune of just ignore all social conventions.  That "walk-around" girl could have been my child.  So no way would I ever say that.  I type this with tears in my eyes because I know this.

But yes I probably would not have been as offended before my diagnosis.  But it bothered me probably more than it should because of the sensitive place I'm in right now.  That now I can see even more clearly the kids who are "odd" and realize there are many other parents of kids who look "normal" who are struggling.  Who feel what I feel about being judged for my seemingly neurotypical child not acting "normal" but looking perfect.  That i'm a bad parent or neurotic for "giving" in to something that I know she struggles with like riding the bus.

I was wrong. I was wrong to sit there and listen. I was wrong to not speak up. But the question now is do I tell my neighbor that I was offended? I was going to tell her because our kids play together about my DK1 diagnosis and ask for an understanding in case when our children play something is said or misinterpreted. That's how another mom I know  said she does for her daughter. She will mention it to the other parent so they can can help smooth over rough edges for her daughter. But now I don't know. Would my neighbor even realize the offensiveness? Would they even care?

What happened to be kind? It's okay to be racially sensitive, gender sensitive? But mental illness or something like autism/add/adhd differences if not seen are ignored and allowed to be made fun of?   That being slightly different but looking normal is glossed over?

Should I say something?

4 Responses to “I'm embarrassed about myself”

  1. Carol Says:

    I think I might say something, but not " tell her off. " Just a quiet conversation that you were uncomfortable talking about a sixth grader and wished you'd spoken up in real time. And that you understood non typical kids better now that you have a diagnosis in your family and that you hope she would be understanding of your kiddo and the " walk around girl" and other kids who are a little (or alot) different.
    Maybe, it wasn't truth in drink but stupidity and soberness would bring out better sense and compassion.
    My heart goes out to you as you traverse these rough waters of motherhood. My very best wishes.

  2. Lots of Ideas Says:

    We seem to be living in a time that celebrates cruelty. We can change that only if we are willing to be uncomfortable and challenge it, but that requires thoughtful preparation.

    I think you should speak with the other mother, telling her you weren’t comfortable bringing it up in the moment because (whatever your reason). Then use the ‘when you did x, I felt y’ construct. Then give her space to be defensive, apologize, explain, whatever. If you receive an unsatisfactory response, close with ‘I am sorry you feel that way. Next time, I will be prepared to respond in the moment.’

    I don’t think you need to link this to your daughter - it is reasonable to not want children made fun of whether you have kids or not, whether your kid is super popular or totally different.

    Then think about how you wish you had responded. Perhaps role play that with a friend or family member. You could say ‘I’m glad we live in a neighborhood where the children feel free to be themselves.’ You could say ‘She’s always alone? I wonder who might be a potential friend?’ You could say ‘I’m not comfortable making fun of a child. Anyone else want to get a little air?’ You could say ‘Jane, you ignorant slut…’ (hope you are not too young for the SNL reference)

    Define in your mind situations that might come up, including bullying of, or maybe even by, one of your own kids and how you want to respond.

    A teachable moment, and a learning opportunity…and you woke up without a hangover…be kind to yourself.

  3. livingalmostlarge Says:

    This was very hard and I'd like to think that I wasn't the only person uncomfortable? It's that saying I couldn't verbalize why I didn't like it but I could feel it was wrong.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I have found that a simple "Why do you say that?" does wonders. It gives the other person a chance to retract or soften their language. And makes it clear you don't think it's all right.

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