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Friendships AFTER down syndrome diagnosis~parents not kids


 
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mesmom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 2:13 PM    Post subject:
Friendships AFTER down syndrome diagnosis~parents not kids
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Okay, I do not know exactly how to ask this, however, here I go. We all agree, some people say things they do not mean in this journey. And we need to be patient with them. So that part is easy, I have given tons of people a break in all of this. (It has been said that if you take issue with those who say something, you will have no one left. Which, I am not so sure it is true, cuz we have had TONS of people who have surprised us, in a great way, and they have more than made up for those who have surprised us in a not so great way.)

But anyway, what about those friendships that have changed SO much since your child was born, and you realize, you really don't have much in common with them anymore? For many of us, there are friendships that just do not fit any more, due to how much our children have changed us. Has anyone had to let go of a friendship that just did not feel comfortable anymore? If so, how did you do it? I am just curious. Thanks.

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kris10z
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 2:16 PM    Post subject:
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Great question! I am curious as well...

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Carson's Mom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 2:33 PM    Post subject:
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For me I didn't have to back away. They took off and I have NEVER heard from them. That has been the most interesting thing about having a child with DS-dealing with people.

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lespring
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 2:51 PM    Post subject:
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Of all the close friends I had before Angela was born, there are only 2 that I talk to now. But they both live over an hour away, and I only talk to them once every couple of months or so. Our lives just don't include eachother anymore. Somedays it makes me sad, but most days it doesn't. I have a whole new slew of friends who are near and dear to me...it just so happens most of them have kids with DS or other disability.

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dect
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 3:01 PM    Post subject:
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I have a simple answer for us - none. To be honest I don't think our friendship with any of our friends has changed. And with new friends it's not been an issue at all.

I have to be honest though and say that we have very, very few people we'd call "friends" - plenty of acquintences! But friends, I pretty much categorise these as the people who, even if we don't speak to them in a while, when we do or meet with them it's as though there is no gap in between!

It's easy to know someone - but to be a true friend takes something else. Very Happy

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pookeymom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 3:33 PM    Post subject:
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I dont really think to many friendships have changed for me, I think being busy parents and the daily routine of being a mom has made me and my friends not contact each other as much as before, but when we do get together or talk on the phone its the same ole.. same ole..

I do have to mention that I feel very blessed to have met NEW FRIENDS because of the Down Syndrome dx, these are friends that I probably would not have otherwise. And in some sense they do feel like closer friends now adays. (You all included)

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mesmom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 6:20 PM    Post subject:
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Hmmm...this is interesting. Deryck, like you, most of our friends are aquaintances, and we have had very little problem.

However, one friend who was a friend from when I was a "young" mom, made some very harsh comments about ds people, the day my daughter was born. Well, I think she said it without thinking, so I have tried to make her more comfortable, and move on from it. Because I read after ME was born, people will say things they do not really mean. Well...truth be told, I have not seen her move on from it, and it is getting very uncomfortable for me. I have been honest about it, and she gets mad at me, instead of moving on. I have pulled WAY away, and now she is mad that I have done that. I am just trying to do this without any hard feelings, but, the more I pull away, the worse it gets. I do not contact her. And I have tried to say, lets let it go. But, honestly, I have so many other things that I need to be doing, like with my 5 kids, and this is just not worth my time. So, I would like to just say, lets just move on in this friendship. I have never done this before, so I thought I would see how others have done this. I just want to enjoy my daughter and the rest of my kids and my hubby. To be honest, I don't want to hurt her, but I don't want this in my life any more. I just want peace. So, I thought I would ask you all. Thanks for any words of wisdom. I d believe I took one good step, and I did say I would not be answering any more emails or calls from her, as I don't think this is healthy for either of us. Hope I am right, thanks for ya all's honesty. God bless you all,

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dalaimama
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 6:40 PM    Post subject:
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I've noticed some friends don't call or email as much anymore. And the chill happened shortly after we got the diagnosis so I do think it's related.

It's really sad; some days I really need someone to talk to and I still can't talk about everything with my dh without tearing up. Rolling Eyes

I'm not sure why people tend to draw back.

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kwisteena1021
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 7:21 PM    Post subject:
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Well for me I have only had struggles with parents of kids with DS. All of my friendships that I had before I had Kallie, I still have. Most of the friendships I have made of parents with DS, I am speaking in real life, have been nice, however you do sometimes feel the comparisons between kids which I absolutely hate. Each kid is an individual and comparing kids is like comparing apples and oranges. It's a funny little world we belong in, speaking in terms of having a child with a disability. Anyways, I recently got a poem that I want to share that I thought was PERFECTO for this question. Basically, it says that if people want to walk away let them, they served a purpose move on and make new frienships.

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

DON'T LOOK BACK

As you travel through life there are always those times
When decisions just have to be made,
When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,
And the rain seems to soak your parade.

There are some situations where all you can do
Is simply let go and move on,
Gather your courage and choose a direction
That carries you toward a new dawn.

So pack up your troubles and take a step forward -
The process of change can be tough,
But think about all the excitement ahead
If you can be stalwart enough!

There might be adventures you never imagined
Just waiting around the next bend,
And wishes and dreams just about to come true
In ways you can't yet comprehend!

Perhaps you'll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,
And learn there are so many options in life,
And so many ways you can grow!

Perhaps you'll go places you never expected
And see things that you've never seen,
Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
And wonderful spots in between!

Perhaps you'll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who's there
To help you stay centered and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.

Perhaps you'll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,
And believe that whatever decisions you make,
They'll be the right choices for you.

So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day...
There's a brighter tomorrow that's just down the road -
Don't look back! You're not going that way!

-- Author Unknown

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

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Mom to Kallie 7 and Brittany 5
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
~Albert Schweitzer~

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mesmom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 7:46 PM    Post subject:
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Thanks Christina, I needed that. I do not mean any harm, I just want to move on. I think that poem definitely fits. I do not feel disdain for this person, I just can tell that MaryEllen is a hard struggle for her.


As for the comparisons in the ds community, yes, I have seen this. It is just like the comparisons in the "typical" world. I never liked it there either. Makes me cringe. So I just keep away from that as much as possible. I am not a big fan of comparing, ds or not.

Thanks for this poem Christina, it was just what I needed. I never like to hurt anyone, but I do not want to feel this anymore either. I'm looking forward!!

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Maysonsmama
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 8:34 PM    Post subject:
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we have kept our relationships with all our friends since the birth of mayson. i think we have even gotten closer to some of them. they have also all become great advocates now that they are more aware of down syndrome!

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mesmom
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 8:40 PM    Post subject:
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Amy, That is how all of our other friendships have been. They adore MaryEllen, and are completely cheering us on. This one friend, told me the day MaryEllen was born that ds people were horrible. I think she can not get past her old feelings, and it is making me uncomfortable. But, I am moving forward, and I can not take care of that. We have so many people who adore MaryEllen, and this is really something that she had a preconcieved notion about prior to ME's birth, so I just have to move on. Thanks for your help though. I am feeling better already. It is hard to do, to move away from a person you have known, but I do believe it is the right thing to do. I can not change anyone, but, I also know that I will have much more peace. Thanks. and God bless you.

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jooniper
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PostPosted: October 08 2006, 8:46 PM    Post subject:
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Diane,

Your question is very thought provoking. Have you heard of the book "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud (I think)? It's a good book to help all of us feel OK about having personal boundaries. I've had to pull away from a few friendships in the past couple of years and it helped me a lot. I appreciate your heart in not wanting to hurt the person you are moving away from. But I do think that if it is an uncomfortable friendship that you do owe it to yourself and to your family to pull away. Like you said, you have 5 kids. No need to waste worry and time on something super stressful.

As far as comparing kids...I have to say that last week I hosted our first play group for moms and kids with DS. There is a cutie little girl who is a week younger than Polly. She is WAY stronger than Polly, bigger, more active etc... I am really happy for how well she is doing, but I didt experience some pangs of sadness that Polly is behind her. In theory I totally agree that comparing our kids can only be detrimental. I guess that I need to implement that concept. I hope that as I go along in this journey that I can just appreciate Polina for who God has made her to be.

Thanks Kristina and Diane , for bringing it up...

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alexmom
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PostPosted: October 09 2006, 1:00 PM    Post subject:
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For me, a couple of girlfriends just completely fell off the radar. They stopped calling and emailing. I'm still waiting for the dinner that one of them was going to bring over 2-1/2 years ago....ha. It broke my heart, but I guess that if they feel that uncomfortable then it is their loss. I have found many other amazing people in this journey.

There are a few other friends who we just don't hang out with as much. I don't think it totally has to do with the DS. I do think that we don't relate to each other in many ways anymore, and I sometimes get upset when they complain about mundane things or when the R word slips out (but I think we have fixed that one). I think the fact that we don't hang out has just as much to do with the fact that we simply don't share the same values.

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PostPosted: October 09 2006, 1:16 PM    Post subject:
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u know, actually, we are the only ones married... all our friends are daiting, started dating,and have nothing formal. but we are good friends still. yes there is only one that got distant but we dont care either way he wasnt a very very good friend, the rest is still with us, they were there thru my pregnancy, in the hospital, in his bday, and they are good guys. yes THEY ARE MAN.(i went to engineer school, so all myfriends arealmost guys) love them to dead, and they love elias and care so much of him. i want to cry haha.

but yes friendships, interestings changes when u have a baby, and more a baby with special needs, but still u earn new friends, so its good i think.

real friends last forever, no matter what. i guess

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Carson's Mom
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PostPosted: October 09 2006, 3:48 PM    Post subject:
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Diane, it sounds like you have made a wise choice. If it is that much of a pain to have someone as your friend, it is just not worth the trouble. There are so many quality friendships that build both parties up. I would avoid the rest myself.

Kayla

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PostPosted: October 10 2006, 12:43 AM    Post subject:
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I have one friend that I have known for about eight years and since Avery's birth we have grown apart. I suppose that I just realized that she takes too much energy to be friends with and she never really gives me anything in return. I slowly stopped calling and returning her calls. When she asked if I was upset with her I explained that she is so consumed in her life that she wasn't "there" for me when I needed a friend. I was honest about my thoughts and feelings without being angry or hurtful and she has faded out of my life after that. She comes back every now and again, but I really can't give her much of my time anymore and she knows that. She seeks her attention elsewhere now. I hope this makes sense. It is a really tough one to talk about. Amazing how our children teach us to seek the deepest most pure relationships.

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MissTsMom
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PostPosted: October 10 2006, 2:12 AM    Post subject:
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kathleen wrote:
Amazing how our children teach us to seek the deepest most pure relationships.


I agree completely!!!

I am going through this now with two separate [friends] (?). One of them is a cousin even Rolling Eyes .They had always been there for me before. But ever since we got the official dx and I said to cousin in so many words.... that "if there are people that aren't accepting of Thea-Ann then they have NO PLACE in our lives"... I haven't heard from her since Confused I point blank have asked through email ...because she won't take my call or return it... if she wasn't getting in touch because of Thea?...her husband replied to say she/they were "very busy and that it has nothing to do with your angel".... You would think that if someone asked such a point blank question you would do whatever you needed to get in touch to "clear the air". No! Not a word from her since.
The other one never returned my phone calls after leaving several messages. I heard through others and her husband whom I saw at the mall and he said ..."oh we were just talking about you. "J" thought something happened to the baby and she was afraid to call you for upsetting you".... I told him we had some scares, yes, but she only has DS and doing very well so to have her call me when she can. He was agreeable but no phone call. After a week or more I waited to call in the evening, during the week when I knew she would be getting her kids ready for school the next day.....the phone picked up....I heard the tv in the background....then ....click!!!...... so I thought well I have picked the phone up and not realized or heard it ring..... the machine picked up......! So after lots of tears, anger, prayer and reading the poem above ...DON'T LOOK BACK that kwisteena1021 posted I am with the others I have received WAY MORE from Thea then either of them gave or could have ever given to me.........

Sorry if I used this post for myself but I needed it I guess .....thanks for starting it and listening... Wink

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Thea-Ann Marie 06/16/06 DS
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LovelyKennedy
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PostPosted: October 10 2006, 8:35 AM    Post subject:
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I have MANY aquaintances, and very few TRUE friends. I like it that way. My friends have been nothing but supportive. If I ever had issues with a friend I would probably make the decision to just let it go. I mean, what is the difference?? I wil add that my sister is a very ignorant when it comes to Kennedy, unfortunately she is my sister and we will always be sisters. I love her dearly, so we talk when necessary or I just don't bring Kennedy up. She has gotten better now that Kennedy is older and running and playing and talking like "other kids". But if she weren't my sister, I would have ended it long ago.

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LovelyKennedy
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PostPosted: October 10 2006, 8:36 AM    Post subject:
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I have MANY aquaintances, and very few TRUE friends. I like it that way. My friends have been nothing but supportive. If I ever had issues with a friend I would probably make the decision to just let it go. I mean, what is the difference?? I wil add that my sister is a very ignorant when it comes to Kennedy, unfortunately she is my sister and we will always be sisters. I love her dearly, so we talk when necessary or I just don't bring Kennedy up. She has gotten better now that Kennedy is older and running and playing and talking like "other kids". But if she weren't my sister, I would have ended it long ago.

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PostPosted: October 10 2006, 9:59 PM    Post subject:
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Some are gone but for the most my true close friends are here and dont think of Alexis any different then my others or there children. For the ones who dont come around anymore they were never a true friend and no matter how I tried to make them see that Alexis was just the same and not to be afraid and just plan educate them, they were just to blind and stupid. I know who is there for me and who arent.

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