Friday, December 2, 2011

Bad Sport: NOT an inspirational post

I'm inspired today by Ms. Moon of Bless Our Hearts's post titled Attitude Adjustments. You might want to click on over there and read first before finishing here. Or not. It's up to you.

I, like most cognizant folks of contemporary culture, am saturated with doing good, feeling good, feeling virtue, feeling Zen-like, seeking to understand the positive pathways of the brain and how to ensure them, being mindful, counting my blessings, listing things to be grateful for, etc. etc. Every now and then, though, I'd like to surrender. I'd like to say to those people whose kids are really young or newly diagnosed that you know what? It's not going to get better. It's going to get worse. Your mind and your nature will be chipped away to such a fine point, you'll be capable of pecking at any closed door and slipping through. You'll be bitter and angry and self-righteous and you'll get things done, but you'll also do a lot of crying in the shower and sliding down the proverbial wall. 

I would like to be the John McEnroe of parents of disabled children. I'd like to curse at the ref when I miss a shot, scream at the fans and maybe even throw my racket and storm off the court. I'm out of here, I'd shout, I'm through with this shit.

I suppose it's actually time to meditate.


  1. I get pissed, I yell, sometimes I'm angry, sometimes I pull the "I have a handicapped kid" card. We're human. And the crying, oh my god, I cry a lot. Not to mention the worry and I don't even have Katie full time anymore, I can pretend I have a normal life. I don't really, but I can pretend for short periods of time.

    Sending hugs and virtual drinks and flowers, as well as chocolates. Why not? It's virtual:)

  2. Thank God! There is so much to be said for meditating and yoga and looking at others with compassion and empathy and accepting and gratitude and love. But sometimes it is just too much and we need that release of tears or shouting or pounding the walls. And when we do, we ought not to make ourselves feel guilty about it or judge ourselves harshly for it. I won't think less of you if you won't think less of me.


  3. Right there with you sister. But you already know that, didn't you?

  4. Elizabeth, I was thinking of you a lot when I wrote that post. I was thinking about how much I love you for not always being butterflies and unicorns about such an unresolveable situation as you are in but allowing yourself to tell the truth of the difficulty, or at least some small part of that truth. The How We Do It Posts.
    May I just take this opportunity to say that I love you? That you could break every tennis racket in the world and I would think to myself, "Good! Good for her!"
    And may I also say that you are an incredible writer?

  5. I agree -- sometimes it feels good to surrender and just feel the way we're feeling!

  6. even though this is no laughing matter, i'm nodding my head and chuckling... thanks for that.

  7. The image of the McEnroe of parents of disabled children is quite hilarious, ya know. I find that sometimes, it's critical to take out the anger, otherwise it ends up directing inward... and that's long term worse, I suspect. The challenge, of course, is finding the right place to take that anger out where no real harm gets done, so if you find a good solution to that, please call!

  8. Oh my god, Elizabeth. That bit in italics.........took my breath away.

    I don't have to think about it, I know that the thing that you have to do would be impossible for me, at least in the way that you do it. But for me, when I read you, the fine point that it has chipped you away to is piercingly beautiful. And if you need to share that in a scream, I feel blessed to be able to stand with you while you do.
    You are a wonderful writer.

  9. I have seen the John McEnroe of parents, he is the father of a child with autism who plays sports with us, and it is NOT PRETTY. I cannot imagine that even in your darkest hours, you would behave the way that he does!

  10. My sister (also a parent of a disabled child) said it best.
    "F%&K Holland."

  11. I think sometimes society puts far too much emphasis on "being positive" and "looking on the bright side". There are many things in this life that are just horrible and that are worthy of throwing a temper tantrum or two every once in a while.

  12. Bravo! I wish I were better at writing about my darker moments. I'm not a parent, and thus I have limited experience with disabled children, but I can only imagine the frustration goes into the red zone every now and then.

  13. I think anger is a logical response to situations that are uncontrollable or unfair. I don't have an accepting, zen-like personality, I just erupt like a volcano from time to time. And I'm not dealing with a fraction of what you have to.

    My mom's approach to her cancer diagnosis was to paint on a brave face and say to anyone who asked how she was - even her doctors -
    No sense grumbling. ???
    It make my blood pressure spike. Her attempt to not bother others with her story or her pain and play the positive role made ME mad. Yes, there is sense in grumbling, because we all deserve to tell our truth, even if it involves yelling, crying or throwing our rackets.

    Thanks for saying what you think. And let us know if meditating helps.

  14. How could any reasonable and true person be otherwise?
    Sending love.

  15. Your amazing writing sounds to me like its the only meditation you may need. I think that dealing with states of anger is such an important and vital part of the human experience. Finding words to express it is at best challenging (for this human anyway). Your description of the feeling is a great gift. I admire your ability not to deny your anger, but instead to own it, in all its horror.

  16. You can write. Oh my.

    Of course and amen to everything.



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