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very frustrated and not sure how to respond...

Posted by on May. 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM
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My husband's sister and I used to be close. After my son received his dx I was having a rough time with him. I needed my friends and family for support. I could call her up and talk to her and she was willing to listen and offer help but she never called me, if I didn't call for weeks I wouldn't hear from her. I was also not getting ANY support from the rest of his family and I just stopped trying with anyone. I kind of cut them out of my everyday life. Just recently I realized how much I missed her and her family and sent her an email apologizing for stopping having contact and then shared my feelings of how I was hurt that NOT one of them in the family ever called to see how he was doing with therapy, how school was going, if we needed any help with anything. She responded back by telling me I can't force anyone to think a certain way about his autism or be mad because they weren't calling me and doing what I want. She then proceeded to tell me that she thinks I am just using my son's autism to get attention! 

I created a facebook page for my son to help other families and to learn more from them as well, I am an advocate for autism, I created a team for the autism speaks walk last year, and proudly wear my autism bracelet and sticker on my car. I am very straight forward with my close friends and family about things that are worrying me or stressing me out at the moment, ie autism. However i do not make it the topic of the conversation, I don't ever sit there and talk about it at our family functions. I am more hurt that she could ever think that but I am not sure how to respond to that accusation. Or if I should at all. She said a couple other things that were negative to my character and I can't look at her without seeing myself the way she said she sees me. Which of course makes me not want to be around her. My husband has a large family that lives in the same town as us and they all do a lot of stuff together. I feel bad for my kids to miss out on growing up with their cousins but I cringe when I think about what she said, and when I see her that's what replays in my head...

by on May. 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM
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by New Member on May. 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM
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An autism diagnosis is VERY hard.  Living everyday and seeing it everyday is difficult.  My son is almost 11.  When I got his diagnosis I was overwhelming distraught.  I felt like no one wanted to talk about it.  That was awhile ago.  I feel like I can hear myself in what you have written.  People can become very uncomfortable as they see others handle emotions.  Especially very deep emotions.  I felt abandoned by people I expected would support me in many a crisis.  It is true that you cannot control other's reactions and level of love and support they are willing to give.   It is true that at times when you want to vent and cry there will be no one there to listen.  I hope your husband can be your strongest supporter and you will have enough internal strength and confidence to not need much outside counsel from others.  Family is family even in-laws.  I know I promise I really know how hard it is to go back around in-laws a smile the whole time hearing their words or gossip running through your head.  But as long as your kids are treated with respect and love they deserve their family around them.  You can maintain the upper hand by being a lady and presenting your strong mother-self.  You can remember that they will not be your support system and you can pretend that you don't need them to be.  I know you must have heartache.  A counselor once told me "there are some people with who you can only discuss rainbows and apple pie".  Perhaps your in-laws are those type people.  I hope the best for you and your family.

by Member on May. 17, 2012 at 6:07 PM
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My in-laws are very much a part of our family. But I am lucky to have thier full support with JJ's autism. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Big hugs!!!

by Head Admin on May. 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM
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Excellent words of wisdom from BayouMermaid , my family is of no support either' they haven't been my son's whole life .. I have to get respite for someone to help me with my son now .. That's pretty sad : ( they all have there own lifes' as ByouMermaid mom had said with some they just don't no what to say or how to even act around are children , just no your not alone in feeling like you do with your family member's ... I can't top anything better then the advice you already got .. Taking that advice myself too ..... Sending you my care and support ... P.s so many of my friends none of them are or were or even try to help or see if I need anything so pretty much alone on this journey taking care of my Kyle .. I FEEL YOU ... Go mama on being an advocate for autism .. yeahhhh for you ....   

by Member on May. 18, 2012 at 7:46 AM
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I think she is saying mean things about you because she feels like crap about herself. She probably doesnt know how to be around your son. I had people do this to me after my daughters diagnoses. I would tell them how i felt and let them make rhe next move. A lot of people chose not to be apart and thats fine because the ones who are in our life r true friends. You did your part if she wants to be that way let her ignore her. And when you have to see her still ignore her.
by New Member on May. 18, 2012 at 8:29 AM
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I totally agree with BayouMermaid happened to me with one of my dearest friends..her son was dx about 7 yrs ago. I never understood what that meant. I barely called her. I just had absoluteluy NO IDEA what she was goiing through..7 yrs later my son is dx. The first person I talked to was her and now I try to keep in touch with her and she is so kind and supports me NOW. Eventhough I never it is true. Your sis in law does not have a clue what your going through. She can't have the idea cause its not happenning to her but the most important is the love, friendship and the bond you have. And as I say this word to you I also say to myself., we do not ned more anger in our life. God helps us to avoid and be wise. Bless you.
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by Head Admin on May. 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM
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I agree with all of the mom's here that have posted, wonderful advice...Autism has many emotions that come along with the diagnosis, it's one of the hardest things ever to go through as a parent...and it makes it even harder when the people you thought would always be there to listen to your heart aches, frustrations and sadness aren't there to comfort or support you...but know this, we are all here for you and know what you are going through!  Hoping your husband is also a strong support for you...long road, and a long journey for sure. 

Love what BayouMermaid said about what the therapist told her, "there are some people with who you can only discuss rainbows and apple pie."  So true!!!  And it sounds like your sister in-law is one of these people...just have to lean on those you know you can, (all of us are here for you) know what you are going through...chin up momma, don't let her get you down...Big hugs to you!!!

by Member on May. 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM
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I completely understand the closeness you have or "had" with your sister in law. I am the same way with mine. We are pretty close and correspond alot online. She lives about 3 1/2 hrs away. She has been there for me emotional alot more than most people and I could not imagine losing our bond. I will say that the closest people to you will say the wrong thing and it hurts even more because it does seem like at the wrong time. Alot of people do not get advocacy at all. They think that we should be private or sit down and shut up and that is not gonna happen. Learn to forgive her, even if it is not for her, it will be for you. {hugs}

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