Monday, November 17, 2008

My In-Laws Are Driving Me INSANE!!!

Yesterday we went to visit the dreaded In-Laws. My Mother-In-Law is very ill with complications from diabetes, so we are visiting more often for that reason only. This is not something I truly look forward to, considering the bad blood between my Mother-In-Law, Sister-In-Law & myself. My crime? I fell in love with her son/her brother & I do not take everything they say as the gospel truth or cow-tow to them & (Surprise!!) I have my own opinions. Yep, I'm a horrible person/daughter-in-law/sister-in-law. There is some interesting history there. I have been with my husband for 20 years now (it took him half of those 20 years to finally marry me!) I will get to some back story later. Right now, I will tell you what happened yesterday that made my blood BOIL!

My daughter, as you know, if you are a regular reader, is a spitfire. She is pretty wild. She is constantly testing her boundaries & learning new things. This is all normal for a 3 1/2 year old, right? Well, not according to my In-Laws. In their view, Miss Ro has some form of Autism or Asperger Syndrome! Yes apparently they all recently got M.D.'s, Ph.D.'s & M.F.C.C. licenses, because they
just know this is true. They conveniently forgot that I am a Psychiatric Nurse who knows her profession quite well.

To bring you up to speed, one of my SIL's daughters has Asperger Syndrome & the other has a mild form of Autism. This is where the In-Laws are basing their diagnosis. They are painting my daughter with the same brush as the two older granddaughters & no matter how we tried, my husband & I could not convince them that Ro's behavior was completely normal for her age & abilities. They had a retort for everything. I said "No problems like that exist on either mine or my husband's sides of the family". I was countered with "there has been a 35% increase in all forms of Autism in families with no history whatsoever." To which I countered "Yes, well a lot of doctors, not knowing what to do & having a parent yell & insist to them that there is something wrong with their child because he/she misbehaves or is a little different & he/she must need medication, are in fact just saying 'OK, It's Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD or Asperger Syndrome, here is a prescription.' just to appease the parent. I have personally seen this happen. They are making it a default diagnosis, the same way they did with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." Nothing. No response.

It did not matter that we explained that Baby Roca had not had a nap. That when she is poopy, she runs wild & that's how you know (once she is changed, she is much, much calmer). They even had the unmitigated gall to compare my daughter's love of all things ballerina & her choosing to wear her tutu above all other clothing to her cousin Mak's Autism caused obsession with the color red & not liking to wear clothes!! We could not win with these people! What's worse, this was all said in my daughter's presence! She hears. She listens. She was being told she is damaged in some way just because of who she is!

We reiterated that her pediatrician has found no problems whatsoever with her cognitive or social development. She has even surpassed what is considered normal at every check up! It did not matter that a failure to properly socialize is a major symptom of both Autism & Asperger Syndrome, something my baby has no problems with in any way. No, our doctor is incompetent for not seeing this neurological/behavioral defect. Yes the hand-picked, Rutgers University Magna Cum Laude graduate, head of the Pediatric Epidemiology Department (the study of childhood diseases) of The CDC in Atlanta for 9 years, doctor who cares for our child is incompetent!!! Can you believe this crap????

I do not know what to do. I will not have my daughter labeled defective by her own blood! I see this, in a way, as an attack on my parenting skills. They are trying to get to the interloper (me) through my baby girl & I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT!! My husband's nieces problems have been blamed as coming from their Daddy's side of the family, so my daughter's perceived problems must be from my unsavory genes as well. Nothing wrong with their genes. No way.

My husband thinks I am overreacting & making it all about me. I reminded him of the history: they were deeply offended that they were told to wash their hands before they touched the baby (it was doctor's orders because of her illness & near death at birth, but attributed to me just being an overprotective "B". Did I tell you that my SIL, who works in a doctor's office, as a receptionist with no formal education in the medical field, said she knows of no doctor who would order hand washing before touching a baby (I asked if she had ever asked a pediatrician that question & got no response) & my husband's brother did not even acknowledge Baby Roca's existence for the first 3 years of her life because of this; CPS was called & told that my 3 month old daughter was underfed, underweight & possibly abused. While we can't prove it, we believe it was my SIL (my hub's own sister) who did it (the allegations were deemed unfounded by CPS & the case was closed); his family has no respect whatsoever for us as parents & they know everything about raising kids. We apparently know nothing & are completely useless as parents.

He still thinks I need to let it go. I think his family needs a full dressing down & told they will not see Miss Ro again if they don't stop this bull****. I don't understand why he isn't more riled up about this; he thinks I am too riled up. He says he knows they are completely narrow minded & that is why he can let it go. I say they are ignorant, mean, vindictive & dangerous to our daughter's sense of self-worth.

Who's right?
Let me know what you think. I need all the opinions I can get
on this one.

And please, please, do not take this as a sleight against children with these disorders.
If my baby truly had this, we would treat it & move forward. I am angry about my angel being labeled by my husband's family as having a disorder when she does not. My best friend's boys have disabilities & I love them like they were my own. I do not treat children with disabilities any differently & neither should anyone else.

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Queenie Jeannie said...

Hun? You're right!!!

OK, now breathe....

The simple fact of the matter is that when you get married, you marry into the family too. Sometimes it's a fabulous blessing and sometimes it feels like the most malicious curse. My ex's family were THE WORST!!!! The things they said about me, in my presence!, were just soooo awful and not once did my ex ever stand up for me. So yeah, I've been-there-done-that.

I would only put my foot down that they NOT express their opinions in front of your daughter. That's non-negotiable! But in their house, I guess you have to suck it up and let them have their say. Just keep the mantra running in your head (You're SO STOOPID!!!); preferably while smiling. They don't have to know, right??

Cheryl Podolsky said...

Don't you wish you married an orphan? I know I do.

My first husband was a total loser, but had a wonderful family, including great parents. My present (and I hope forever) husband, to whom I have been married almost 17 years, has the worst parents imaginable. I haven't blogged about them yet, but believe me, they won't escape me anytime soon.

Luckily, mine are complete ignoramuses. My father-in-law is college educated, but may as well not be. He's a malicious, opinionated asshole. My mother-in-law is one of a set of twins, and most definitely was dropped on her head upon birth. Dumb? Dumber.

I feel for you; I really do. Perhaps one day, their brakes will fail. Of course, that never happens to the right (wrong) people.

(And pretty please, can I see your other blogs? I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!)

jules said...

Don't let them get to you!!

Everybody thinks they are doctors these days especially when it comes to what's going on in people's heads. We got to cancel Dr. Phil!!!

You know your little girl better than anyone AND you have the education!!

Remember when kids were just kids? I don't believe in most of these diagnoses (is that a word?)..

I think they're just trying to sell a whole lot of pills.

Sounds like they are just jealous of your amazing little girl.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Thanks for popping in to *see* me today! I love seeing ya!!!

babyrocasmama said...

Thank you all for your comments & encouragements. I needed that!

It is REALLY nice to know that other, completely objective people think I AM RIGHT about this!!;P HA!!

I'll let you all know how this turns out. BTW, I told my Big Bro & he is STEAMED, he is a former cop & used to work with mentally disabled kids, so he knows what to look for as well.

The things some people THINK they know all about both amazes & infuriates me.

As my best friend, Carol, always says, "Other people's kids, man! Other people's kids!"

Court said...

leave and cleave baby, your family is your hubby and your baby and that is it. everyone else is secondary family to me and secondary family comes just that second. i would tell everyone that. its us and then you!

Hollie said...

you're right girlie! cheryl's comment about marrying an orphan was hilariously perfect!

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

Oh wow, I totally wanted to reach through my computer screen and hug you because I experienced something very similar with MY OWN FAMILY when my daughter was 3-4 years old.

They thought she could be autistic, then they thought she had a sensory disorder, then they thought she had a social disorder, then they thought she might have never stopped! I was always being criticized and like what happened with you, it was being said in front of my poor daughter. Ugh.

I think it was because of my sister's jealousy. She works in the field of child care and was always considered the one who 'had a way with kids' in our family. She was the one who wanted to have kids, while I couldn't stand other people's kids when I was in college and would talk about how I never wanted to have kids. When I got married and had my daughter, I think they just couldn't get their heads around how I had changed...and I think they figured I must be a bad parent because I used to have such disdain for children. (I had moved out to the West Coast so they didn't get to see me with my daughter very much...or see how motherhood and marriage had changed me.)

Anyway, my daughter is now 6 years old, thriving in Kindergarten and I wouldn't change her for the world. She is fiery and passionate, sweet and compassionate, determined and stubborn, and curious and creative. I am so glad all that negative crap from my family didn't poison her...or me. (It was really hard for awhile, but they finally realized that they were WRONG and stopped.)

I'll cross my fingers that you won't have to wait until your child is 6 years old until you get a reprieve from it all!

Hang in there! :)

babyrocasmama said...


My "other" blogs, although brilliantly (only in my own mind) titled, are only "test' blogs, for titles, templates, etc. I really wanted to name my blog "Hearing Voices" or "You're just jealous 'cuz the voices talk to me", but was advised against it.

Who knows, maybe I will make one of them the active place for my "voices". We'll see.

Thank you for becoming a follower. I was getting worried that no one liked what I had to say!

And your line about wishing you had married an orphan? Classic! Even my husband laughed!

Cheryl Podolsky said...

Oh, don't get me started...!

thedomesticfringe said...

Oh, I would be very, very say the least. All of our children are created to be unique and all have their idiosyncrasies. I think it's a shame that we (as a society) have worked so hard into placing our children in these neat little boxes. We forget that some children just have certain talents, abbilites (or lack thereof) and personality traits. I once had a teacher tell me I should have my son checked for ADHD...she was certain he had it because he never stopped talking in class. She forgets that she never disciplined him in class for talking too much. It's amazing how he can stay quiet during church services and even graduation ceremonies when he's with me. No words, no fidgeting, no misbehavior. I was very troubled by her lack of tact.

Sorry it's your own family. That's a tough pill to swallow and considering you're profession, I think you'd know if there were a problem!


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