Monday, December 7, 2015

How We Do It, Part LVII



 
 To engage your humor and your emotions, that’s quite a trick. I’d like to think that I’m able to do that, to keep the reader off balance—is this the universe of the comedy or the tragedy? or some unsettling admixture of the two?—to go beyond mere satire into something more emotionally devastating, and gratifying. If that ain’t art, I don’t know what is. 
T. Coraghessen Boyle 


Spin.

What we tell the siblings of the one with special healthcare needs, despite.

What we tell ourselves about the siblings of the one with special healthcare needs, despite.

What we tell one another about the siblings of the one with special healthcare needs, despite.

What others tell us about the siblings of the one with special healthcare needs, despite.

Spin.

What we tell ourselves

What we tell one another

What others tell us




  1. You're really strong and developing your upper body strength! (lifting sibling's wheelchair into car)
  2. They are learning resilience! (the countless times they had to leave parties, not go to parties, not go on vacations or otherwise "give up" normal childhood passages)
  3. They are so compassionate! (which they've learned by watching their sister seize tens of thousands of times in their lifetimes)
  4. They're learning tolerance! (enduring the stares of strangers in public for their entire lives)
  5. They're tough as nails and fearless! (see #3)
  6. Look how able he is at age three! (learns how to get into and out of a 5-point harness in a car-seat so that mother can attend to disabled older sister)
  7. Your boys are so resourceful! (diminished attention at an early age from parents because they're otherwise occupied with disabled sister. See #6)
  8. At least she isn't an obnoxious teenaged girl! (she's developmentally disabled and hormone swings cause hideous seizures but no discernible obnoxiousness because she can't talk)
  9. You're so lucky that you can dress her in whatever YOU like. (disabled child is unable to make discerning choices and is basically stripped of all power)
  10. She's made you who you are.



21 comments:

  1. Laugh? Cry? If Boyle is right, you're life is art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, ma'am. I think you got it.

      Delete
  2. As a mother of a teenage daughter I am especially baffled at #s 8 & 9. Do people that say this sort of shit not think at all?
    (I have said before that Sophie is always dressed do nice but people thinking that YOU getting to dress her is some kind of reward is just baffling.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly (and hilariously), people do, Birdie. But it's ok. My intent with this post was just to convey both the absurdity and the sadness of what I perceive as "spin." No judgement, really.

      Delete
  3. #10 I no longer know this one. Did she make me who I am? Amend who I am? Devour who I was or might have been? I'm sure I had answers thirty, twenty, fifteen years ago, but lately not. A friend of mine who teaches anthropology has her students read TC Boyle's A Friend of the Earth, which came out around the time we moved to the country and made me so deeply apprehensive I couldn't finish it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. My words exactly, A. And TC Boyle writes like a punch to the gut. You never know whether to laugh or to cry.

      Delete
  4. we are all just stumbling along...well-meaning people do say the most awful things...it comes from their ignorance...we usually do not understand what we do not experience. Still and all, sorry you have to endure these comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I said to Birdie, Tara, this post wasn't meant to judge anything people say but to convey how weird -- both in a sad and a hilarious way -- we communicate things. I think of it as a sort of spin. I know very well that people's intentions aren't cruel -- I'm only observing here, mulling over and don't mean to judge. I certainly don't "endure" these things -- they're not that bad!

      Delete
    2. Got it -/ totally missed yer point

      Delete
  5. Many of the comments you have clearly heard from others baffle me. Especially 8 and 9. Really people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. But I don't think people intend to be so daffy!

      Delete
  6. Wow. I am amazed at what people can say. I don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think people are looking for ways to feel better about things they don't understand. Does that make sense? I think we all do that, including myself. That's why I called it "spin."

      Delete
  7. How can there be words? I am so sorry. xo

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    Replies
    1. Oy! I think I've failed in this post! Like I told the other commenters, I don't feel bad about these things. I'm just observing them and find them curious for the most part.

      Delete
  8. I hate no. 8 and no. 9. I like what Ms Moon said.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  9. My first born brought a "date" home at age 14. When they walked in, I had Scott's legs up in the air, bare bottom all for the world to see, and the smell of a good BM wafting about. I vaguely remember her turning around and running out. My son said something like, "what's her problem?" I'm so proud of my other boys and sorry for what they've had to give up, wait for, explain, tolerate. And by tolerate, I mean a mom that's often tired and depressed. So proud of all my kids. Saints.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I especially like 8 and 9, because everyone wants a grown up doll.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ANY sentence that begins with, "At least..." is TFBS and has no place in friendship.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I may have been guilty of saying at least one of these things. Before I knew better. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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