Last week I got so upset at a friend of mine that I was forced to get up in a packed restaurant and walk out as to prevent from having a full blow public meltdown: The kind of meltdown that is NOT a tantrum, but a GIANT emotional response to my feelings of being hurt, judged, misunderstood and totally overwhelmed at the injustice of it all.
I’ve lost it before. Primarily in doctors’ offices when advocating for my kid(s) was being completely missed and my impulse to protect and defend my boys was pushed to the limit. Then, I am happy to speak my mind. Which is usually met with less than the best of results. :-/
This time the boys weren’t with me. This time it was just one adult, who for all practical purposes meant well (don’t they always?) and was attempting to make a point – just as I was doing.
The difference is that my boys and I do not live in the philosophical world that non-special needs parents often do. We do not have the luxury of philosophical debate. We do not live in the land of ‘ideal’ and the place of judgment so many parents who simply have not been down this road do. I live my life. Not someone else’s. Not even the one I thought I would have. But the one I actually do have.
Now you’re wondering what the issue was, right?
What started out as a friendly discussion about whether or not to medicate children turned into war when I was challenged with the blind statement that children don’t need medication, including my son – who has Pediatric Bipolar Disorder I. The justification for the blanket statement relied on my friend’s personal experience with a family member’s children (nieces/nephews). The argument was that we as a society over-diagnose and over-medicate our kids, and yet that isn’t an issue other countries, but rather something associated with the US.
I wasn’t going to argue that. Whether or not we over-diagnose, over-medicate, or have lazy parents who want a ‘pill’ to solve their children’s problems here in the US (or abroad) is not something I’m interested in debating. Mostly because quite simply it has no impact on whether or not *my* child needs medication.