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Welcome to My “Family Blog”

Trying to slay family dysfunction… by writing about it.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. The dysfunction in my extended family still brings me to my knees at age 47. There will be a fair amount of venting and asking “why?” My intention is first to help myself gain clarity, and second to possibly help anyone going through (or has gone through) anything similar.

This is my first time ever blogging… please bear with me and stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.


Change of direction

This blog began as an attempt for me to journal digitally, to express my feelings about my dysfunctional extended family in a way that will be therapeutic for me, and possibly help others.

I have kept a low profile, have intentionally made it difficult for others to find this blog. I don’t know if I have any followers at all, and that’s fine for now. This is out of fear retribution from my family, most notably, my sister.

However the dysfunction part of my family, while still there, is less in the forefront. Mom, dad and sister all live together. Mom has cognitive dysfunction, dad is a narcissist/suspected undiagnosed Asperger‘s and has no friends, and sister (47) lives with them and works full-time, and yet magically still… Has no money. That has been the story of her adult life. I don’t buy it. I think there’s something fishy going on. Even my dad suspects that there is something going on with her, and doesn’t understand why she can’t put away just a little money each month to create any kind of savings account, considering she is living rent and utility free. My therapist suggested finding a good lawyer, when the end of my parents life seems imminent, so that my sister doesn’t walk away with everything.

Our visits with my mom and dad are down to one visit per year,and that’s probably fine. My sister has not spoken to me in five years. Mom‘s short-term memory is shot. And dad… Well, if he does love me and our family, he sure has an extremely limited way of showing it.

So I just feel… Sad. I think I have grieved the loss of what the relationships could have been. I am deeply regretful that my children have not had the relationships with them that we were all hoping for. But now, with the family situation as it is, I have let go of any expectation that we will ever have good relationships with each other beyond once a year visits.

My mom still tries to be a cheerleader, and for that I am thankful. She is full of endless, if someone meaningless, compliments now. Now, that my difficult child is out of the house. She was never there for me during the hard stuff, but I recently realized after she passes, there were be no one to give me those compliments: tell me I’m pretty, that she’s proud of the life of I’ve built, proud of my house, proud of my boys.

So this blog no longer will be about me trying to slay family dysfunction, as exciting as it seemed at the beginning. It will evolve into some thing else, as I deal with the sadness and trying to accept my family as it is, and as I see the end of life coming for mom (5, 10 years?) I know things will change again.

Maybe I will begin writing about the joys of the frustrations of being a music performer and teacher in the post-Covid era. So much to say about that! Stay tuned…

Whoever loves first…

“Whoever loves first, wins.“

I’ve been seeing this a lot on SM lately. It bothers me greatly.

Love is not, and should never be, a race. If someone wins, that implies someone loses.

Second, in instance of conflict, perhaps one party has harmed someone more egregiously than the other. Perhaps the harmed party is hurt irreparably past the point of trust/love of the other. Is the harmed party thus the loser?

Third, in situations of abuse- should the abused love more quickly than the abuser? Isn’t that called Stockholm syndrome?

One can be the “bigger person” and forgive/love another in difficult circumstances. But let’s not call that person the “winner.” Please.

Last, if one person perceives themselves as the one who has “won,” that sort of prevents any opposing dialog or room for further understanding or growth, doesn’t it? High horse, much?

“Whoever loves first, wins.” If you see this on someone’s social, be assured they believe themselves to be the winner in some sort of conflict. Beware wolves in sheep‘s clothing!

And it’s all going away.

Years after my first post about my parents’ horrible treatment of my oldest son. (I wrote in in 2019, not sure why it posted in 2021). They just came for a visit. And my, how things have changed.

Mom has early cognitive function/dementia/early Alzheimer’s. Not terrible yet, but she asked about 10 times how old my youngest child is. It was not a fun visit for my children, but necessary I guess for me.

It seems gone are the days where they’re going to insult my ADHD son, who is now 18 and living on his own. Now our visits consist of each of them complaining about the other to me, and my mom superficially complementing everything she can think of about me and my family. Asking the same questions over and over.

They’re leaving today and I’m exhausted. Exhausted from pretending everything is OK, saying thank you to Mom’s endless empty compliments (“you’re the hostess with the mostest”) , but never being able to say what I really want to say such as, “why do you favor my sister so greatly over me??” (monetarily and otherwise) ” Why did you give my Dad preference whenever I needed you?” “Why were you never there for me?” Every time I’ve ever wanted to talk, it can only be when Dad doesn’t need something. It’s ALWAYS been that way- when I has a child with tangled hair when Dad came home from work- through now (I’m 51 years old) when I call. Dad is a narcissist, diagnosed by Mom’s therapist through stories she relayed. I assume this is a terrible thing to say, but she chose Dad over me. Every. Time. So I just don’t feel that bad for her that she is now almost 80 and feels trapped in this controlling marriage!!!

And Dad- complaining to me that she hurt his feelings with and offhand comment. REALLY?? You hurt all of us on the regular as your default mode, from when my sister and I were kids until now. Except now not as much because FINALLY you’re in a position of discomfort, caring for a wife with early dementia. But now you suddenly want us to be there for you???

And sister. With how she treated me, in her BPD ways, again- I just don’t feel bad. That she is the backup caretaker. That she lives with them and has to deal with them daily. She can suffer all she needs to to get an idea of what she put us through by not speaking to us and depriving my kids of an aunt.

Now this latest development ought to be interesting. Dad told my husband that despite the fact that my sister lives with them, works full time, has no life, and has no expenses other than gas, she “has no money.” So maybe 1 of 2 things will happen- my dad will see my sister as she really is (a giant moocher) or he’ll change the estate because the poor little mentally ill daughter has no money- and she’ll end up getting most of it. Our therapist advised getting a lawyer when it looks like Mom and Dad’s passing is imminent, to prevent the latter.

To be continued.

A grateful heart

Waring- somewhat sappy post ahead. By this point, if you’ve read some of my posts, it probably seems that I am a bitter whiner about things from the past that I cannot change. Maybe I am.

But I am also SO grateful. Despite everything, I *kind of* have everything I ever wished for. I also have things I never knew could be wished for. Getting here is just not even close to how I thought it would look.

In HS/College I envisioned myself moving to Europe and making a living as a musician. MAYBE I would marry, but probably not (because commitment- ugh, so old-fashioned, right?). I thought I would never have kids (because really, who wants to be a part of all that screaming in the grocery store)? I never had even a picture in my head of being a mom of 2 BOYS (all my cousins and neighbors were girls growing up, boys are sooo yucky!), much less an INVOLVED mom. I thought I would live a sophisticated “musician” life, mostly on my own, with lots of time to ponder life and go for long quiet walks. And I thought that would fulfill me.

Now as I approach my 50th birthday, I am/have been a piano mom, band mom, soccer mom, flag-football mom, taekwondo mom, bike team mom, tennis mom, church choir mom, and now boy scout mom. AND a mom of a kid with 2 disabilities (ADHD/Diabetes). And I’m OK. Because here are the things I have (making a list of all one if grateful for is good for the soul):

Family: A husband, who is NOTHING like my Dad. 2 boys- not perfect, but they’re mine. We are all loud, crazy, and often gross. Not what I pictured, but I love it. It’s so different from my own upbringing.

A multifaceted career: Growing up, all I wanted was to be a professional flutist. And guess what? I was! For 10 years I made my living by performing with different orchestras around the US. Then I got pregnant, decided I didn’t want to perform full-time anymore, and went the Music Education route. Got my Masters in Music Ed as a working mom. Whew! Then got a job teaching Elementary music. Then got pink slipped. Not good- but then immediately found 2 part- time jobs teaching preschool music. This was SO NOT in the plan I’d envisioned for myself as a professional flutist and educator… but I absolutely LOVED it, and that phase lasted SIX years! I learned to play the ukulele, sing, and only brought my flute to class for special occasions. I learned to sing songs using funny voices and dance around (simultaneously!). I discovered talents and joys I’d no idea I had, and got so many hugs daily from grubby little Pre-K hands who couldn’t say my same (because of all the R’s: I was Ms Barda, Ms Baba, Ms Bwabwa, Ms Bahbwa, etc.). As my own kids got older, an adjunct college teaching position came my way, so I took that and phased out the preschool music. Again, I learned new things about myself as I was asked to teach college classes I’d never taught before. Last of all, I have created my own business, which is a joint freelance enterprise / Flute studio. I am good at teaching flute students who are very gifted, and those with special needs. And this fulfills me more than performing ever did. Not. Even. Close.

Friends: 1- A small circle of close friends that I can absolutely be myself with. They are also moms, so our time together is limited, but I love them dearly, and they “get” me. 2- A wider circle of fiends that includes music colleagues, people from church, fellow band/bike/boy scout parents, and neighbors, who also get me, or at least accept my liberal Yankee oddball parts in this very Red area.

A church: I grew up Episcopalian, and got tired of it as a teenager. In college, I went to a service or 2 to see if it stuck. It didn’t. So I tried Quaker-ism, the Community of Friends. My grandfather, who I greatly admired for his calmness and dignity, had been a Quaker, and I loved the idea of seeing God in every man. I went to about 5 Quaker meetings in Boston. It almost stuck. After meeting my husband in grad school, there was no church in my life for awhile. After we got engaged we started trying churches- Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopalian. Finally found St Paul’s, an Episcopal church in Evansville, IN- the priest was young, fun, and related the scripture to current events and everyday life. Finally, it stuck!

(More about our church) After getting married and settling in Birmingham, we tried MANY Episcopal churches. We finally found one where the priest and other parishioners remembered us, even after one visit. St. Thomas. We are still there today. And that brings me to this… Through St Thomas and the community, I have things I never knew existed. A safety net of humans. Support. Presence and help during the hard stuff- and there has been a LOT of hard stuff. Death. Illness. Job slandering. When I was growing up, I didn’t see support. My parents were an “island” with very few friends. No one helped us when things were hard (except once, when my Dad’s back went out- thank you Mr and Mrs R). We didn’t help others when things were hard. I didn’t know this was a “thing.” Looking back, it’s a bit startling and disturbing. My parents were not “helpers.” Even in my early professional life, we didn’t know any “helpers.” When I was still a symphonic musician, I got pregnant with my oldest son. I thought my musician friends would surround me in love. They did not- in fact just the opposite- they ostracized me. None of them had kids. It’s no accident they are no longer my friends ;)- and I am no longer an orchestra musician.

Community: The week my oldest son was diagnosed and hospitalized with Type 1 diabetes, our basement flooded- TWICE. AND I burned my corneas with an accidental splash of peppermint hand soap (who knew?). Couldn’t see for 2 days. All of those things happened within 7 days. Who did not help us? My parents. Who did? My church. My community. My neighbors. My son’s percussion teacher. My students and their parents. The church Men’s group rebuilt all of the affected basement floor and drywall. Students and parents brought food to the hospital. His percussion teacher brought him a new snare drum pad, saying he had to get better so that he could practice and make All-County Band (he did!!). People in the T1D community came forward and let us know about a regional network of support and a special diabetes camp (which he is attending at this very moment as a counselor-in-training!). I didn’t know this level of care, concern, and support existed.

Maybe it’s that I grew up in the NE, where people are more independent, or maybe it’s just that my parents were so bad at showing concern for others that they pushed away any “circle” we may have had. Or maybe both. I’ll never know.

There have been lots of other hard moments in our lives. Maybe I’ll put those in another entry. I am so thankful- unbelievingly so, really- that we have found a protective circle of humans. I will always be disappointed that it doesn’t really include my parents or sister, but I am growing closer to acceptance.

This is my life. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It just in no way resembles what I thought I wanted, from the outside. On the inside, I am beyond fulfilled- in ways I never could have imagined.

A neighbor’s view

Last week, my family (me, husband, 2 boys ages 11 & 16) went on a trip to visit my roots in the NE US. We currently live in the SE US and it occurred to me during Covid lockdowns that my kids have no idea where I’m from. We’ve visited my husband’s hometown many times since his Mom still lives there, but my family has all moved away so we hadn’t been to my hometown as a family, ever. So…We took them to Upstate NY, where I grew up, Boston, where I went to undergrad, and NYC because I loved visiting there as a teen and I felt it important for them to see a big city.

We saw the place I went to college. Very small prestigious Music Conservatory in New England. Strange – not much of an emotional connection. Maybe because of covid restrictions, and we couldn’t get in. We saw the house I grew up in. Again, no emotional connection. Remember, my Dad’s way of showing love is and always was through animals and landscaping. While I was growing up, he beautifully landscaped the front and back yards, complete with “natural areas,” and had a tremendous vegetable garden. All of that is long gone. It’s now just a drab 1970s white raised ranch house with no landscaping whatsoever.

BUT! We did visit my childhood best friend’s parents, who still live across the street. It was WONDERFUL to see them. They’re late 70s, in good shape, gardening, making their own wine, and seemed genuinely glad to see me and meet my husband and kids. It had been 30 years. We caught up and looked at pictures, and generally had a wonderful conversation. They asked about my parents and sister and I gave as much info as I could without upsetting my kids. As we were getting ready to leave, “Mrs M” pulled me aside to ask/tell me something that she wanted to “get off her chest.” I said sure. She told me that, after 25 years of being friends and neighbors, there was suddenly a “For Sale” sign in my parents yard (this was after I had long since moved away, and my sister had gone to college, had a breakdown, and moved back home). My parents hadn’t told the “M’s” they were moving, after raising kids together and knowing each other for 25 years. Not a single mention. That being hurtful enough, Mrs M saw my mom in the grocery store the next day. When they made eye contact, my mom literally ran away to my Dad and hid behind him, then left the store without saying anything… unable to even come up with something like “Yes, we’re moving, sorry I didn’t mention it, things have been crazy/difficult lately.”

My heart broke to hear this- that my parents caused so much hurt in others, not just to me and my family. I’m sure there are more people out there. I should create support group for those my parents have hurt over the years. Ha! Even more heart-breaking is the fact that Mrs M wanted to get this “off her chest” – and that it had been any sort of burden to her these last 20ish years. I apologized, tried to explain quickly that my parents are crazy (yes, my bad for pulling out the “c” word), and that they (the M’s) didn’t do anything wrong- it was not their fault. We gave them a brief run down of how my parents have been there for us- how unsupportive they have been of Jacob (16 yo with ADD/diabetes), how they did not even consider coming to help us when Jacob was in the hospital for a week and could’ve died, nor did they come to help when my husband was in a horrific bike accident in which he almost lost his right eye. Their excuses for both? “We don’t like the long drive (10 hours).” “We can’t afford plane tickets ($200 each).” “We thought we’d be in the way.” HA! They didn’t even ask!

After this, Mrs M mentioned how they didn’t think my dad was suited to raise children. They recalled a memory where we had been socializing and my Dad got frustrated with my sister, then 4-5 years old, and shoved her to the ground. I don’t remember this event, but I’m sure Mrs M was not lying. This would have a been a 40-year-old memory. Why would she make it up? She hasn’t seen my parents in decades. But now a small part of my brain wonders if we were abused physically as well as mentally. Did I block things out? I do remember being spanked but not beaten. The spanks were not that bad. No belt. Just hands.

I wonder how much my neighbors talked about our family when we were growing up? I wonder if they worried? How much? Not enough to intervene, I guess.

Regardless, I am so glad to have reconnected with my lovely childhood neighbors. And it’s always nice to know- it WASN’T my fault. All the crap with my Dad. Because everyone who has ever know him has had crap with him.

Conflict resolution? Anyone?

Perhaps the biggest block to a healthy dynamic is my parents’ (but especially my father’s) complete inability or resolve conflict in anything remotely resembling a healthy way. My Mom has spent her whole married life creating a life in which there was/is no conflict between her and Dad. She is truly the Great Appeaser. It’s his way or no way. Always. There are not and never have been conversations in my parents’ house about how to compromise. It’s a foreign concept.


When I was about 20, my Aunt (Dad’s sister) said something innocuous and funny while taking the yearly family Thanksgiving picture that set off my Dad completely. It ended up coming out that he was not mad about what she said, but rather about my Grandma giving some of his baseball cards to my Aunt- when he was 8 years old. Solution? Stop talking to my Aunt. It’s been 29 years since they’ve spoken.

Dad had grand plans to retire at 55 with full retirement benefits. He had worked hard as a traveling regional sales manager and he was ready. When he was 53-54 he got a new boss. A woman! They disagreed over some policies. Solution? He quit within a year of being able to receive benefits, because sticking it out for a year under and possibly disagreeable female boss was the worst thing imaginable. Definitely worse than relying on savings and the stock market unpredictability for the next 35 years. 🙄

My neighbor friend’s Mom “R” died of lupus when I was about 19. There had been disagreements between our parents but nothing huge- at least they were still speaking. Her death shocked our little street. My dad did not go to pay respects, to visitation or funeral. Why? “They wouldn’t want me there.” Riiiiight. Because when a neighborhood matriarch dies, it’s all about the sullen guy down the street.

When mom and dad moved to PG, it was supposed to be their final retirement house. My dad’s 2 loves are landscaping and animals. Within a few years of living there, he got into a disagreement with the neighborhood chair, about… landscaping. Dad could not fathom that this guy couldn’t see his brilliance. Solution? Start a neighborhood war to see who is on his side. Permanent solution? Move to another neighborhood because there’s one guy he can’t get along with.

It’s starting to sound like a movie, right???

In retirement, Dad has volunteered rehabbing injured animals. It’s one of his few redeeming qualities. Have I mentioned he knows everything? When he meets someone he disagrees with at PR (the animal shelter), he tries to convince them he’s right for about a week, and when they don’t bow down to his brilliance- he walks away. He quits PR for 6-12 months at a time, then begs to go back when he realizes he’s got almost nothing else in his life. I think he has quit 3 times in the past 10 years.

This is the weirdest one, and perhaps the most influential on my development. When I was a pre-teen, I started having trouble getting along with my neighborhood friends. I matured faster physically and emotionally, was interested in boys WAY before any of them, etc. In one of the very few moments when Dad sat me down to talk to me about it, I expected a conversation about – well- resolving differences. Instead, Dad got paper/pencil and drew a pyramid. Inside the pyramid he put a “B” at for every detail about me, and “S,” “T,” and “M” for my friends. The categories were: looks, grades, talents, and attractiveness to boys. All the Bs were at the top, and all the S, T, M’s scattered below. In essence he didn’t give a rat’s ass about me being able to get along better with my friends. He was trying to show me I was “better” than them.

S is now a nationally known artist, surgical assistant, doula, and part time symphonic musician. Married and living in a million dollar house with 3 kids.

T is the Dean of community engagement at a prestigious music school. Married with 2 kids.

S is the Principal of a school in Alaska and has run marathons. Married with 2 kids.

Obviously, I was never and certainly am not now “better” than any of them. My life is nothing to sneeze at, but I just wonder if I’d have had more confidence and achieved more career goals if my parents had made me work for it, and not given me this false sense of being “better than.” The kicker is that Dad closed the conversation by showing me a little black book called “the social register.” My name was in there, as well as my whole family. My friends’ names were not. He said this proved that I was better than them and always would be. (NB: if anyone in the SR ever reads this- you are NOT better. Than anyone.)

Have I mentioned that my Dad has never had friends?


What do you do when members of your family have almost certain undiagnosed illnesses?

My Dad, I am 95% certain, has undiagnosed Aspergers. High functioning, certainly. He was very successful in his work life before retiring. He’s now 77. He sees things in black and white. He can’t read or respond facial expressions or nuances in tone of voice. I can count on one hand the number of times has has called me in my life. Two of those times were when his parents died. Once was to tell me he was going to help me financially with a cross-country trip I took in college. I remember my college roommate took that call; when I saw the message he had called, I thought something was drastically wrong. Why else would he call? On the day my second son was born, he called- to tell me he had caught the biggest fish of his life that day. Not a word about the baby until I said “Ok! And guess what- I had a baby today!” I have run 2 half marathons. Never any congratulations. Only comparisons to his HS track & field stardom. I played at Carnegie Hall. Did he come? Congratulate me? No. Because his sister (the one he hadn’t spoken to in decades) was there.

Dad loves plants. So do I, and that’s about the only connection I feel to him. He loves animals too, and volunteers at a wildlife shelter. Animals can’t talk back. Any pet he’s ever had must behave perfectly, or he trades it in for a new one. I do not feel he knows me or truly loves me for who I am; he may feel a generalized love because I’m his daughter, but that’s about it.

My sister, I’m about 95% certain, has undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. This was suggested to me by my therapist. Upon suggestion, I thought of the movie “Girl, Interrupted” and thought that didn’t quite sound like my sister. However, when I got in the car after that session I googled BPD and my jaw dropped when all the boxes were seemingly checked: volatile relationships, constant feelings of abandonment, money troubles, just to name a few. I went on to read “Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Randy Krieger and for the first time in my life, realized the relationship problems I’ve had with my sister for the last 15 years are not my fault. Had I known how ill she was, I would have done many things differently. So, I made mistakes. I would do almost anything to go back in time and be proactive in creating a different relationship with her if I could.

My Mom, sister, and me all agree Dad has Asperger’s.

My Dad, mom, and me all agree my sister most likely has BPD.

They all live together, as of 4 months ago. I guess at this point it benefits all of them, because my mom… (wait for it) has DIAGNOSED early stage dementia. But there is NO chance that my Dad or sister will get help for or even acknowledge their disorders. It’s sad. Being around them is hard. When we visit my parents when have to schedule an “opt out” day to possibly leave early because my Dad gets so gosh-darned cranky. My sister hasn’t spoken to me in 3+ years so I don’t envision being able to visit my parents any time soon. My Dad’s other love is money. He has only spent money to drive or fly to visit us 5-6 times since my 16 year old was born. 10 hour drive. $200 plane ticket. My parents’ net worth is $1 million+.

The sadness is from trying for so long to maintain a sense of normalcy with my kids, and not painting my parents and sister as the bad guys. When they were born, I envisioned a close relationship with the 3 of them and a support system to help raise my kids. It’s hard to let go of how I thought things would be.

Thanks, mom

We will, for the first time EVER, not be visiting my parents at Christmas this year.

I’m 47. I have 2 boys, one (J) with type 1 diabetes and ADHD. He’s 15 and a giant handful. My 9 year old (L) seems typical so far. I am a Type A musician and teacher who works 6 days/week. I have a wonderful husband named Steve who is a massage therapist. I love all of them with a hugeness I didn’t think possible before marriage/kids. This blog will be an out-of-order, as-I-think-of-it, account of vignettes from my life, recent and not. As I age I realize I am a very visual learner- so I am hoping that having these thoughts in print will give them clarity.

Saturday, I was sitting alone on my last morning of vacation with family. Vacation was a family reunion and my aunt’s idea, and invloved driving 17 hours each way. Parents paid for my sister’s plane ticket, because she is single and claims she never has money. They paid for my family to rent a van so we had more room to stretch out for 17 hours- my actual car is a Prius- and for our hotel for one night. A little unbalanced but much more on that later.

I was drinking coffee on the porch, watching the sunrise, before anyone else was up. This was intentional. I don’t often (really, never) have time to relax alone in such a way. I heard someone clomping around inside and briefly considered hiding somewhere. But the sunrise was so pretty, so I stayed put. My Mom walked out. She’s 75. She had her purse with her- never a good sign. Her purse often contains envelopes with newspaper articles, and lists of things she wants to talk to me about. These are rarely good things. Articles- because she’s got so little life experience, it’s the only way she can relate to my life, and perceives that she’s helping me by showing me the articles. Lists: becuase she spends 98% of her time catering to my Dad (recovering alcoholic, strongly suspected of having undiagnosed Aspergers, and generally cantankerous self-centered and self-righteous old guy), and needs to write down anything she deems important enough to talk to me about, so that she remembers.

Mom: Well, I found out why your father was cranky yesteday. He just doesn’t like some things about J’s behavior. (J is ADHD/Type 1 child)

(We only see my parents twice a year. I don’t like many things about my child’s ADHD behavior either, but we deal with it EVERY SINGLE DAY. His behavior is magnified when his blood sugar is very high or very low. It’s a thing. Surely, since we only get together twice a year, they can suck it up and just love on the grandkids?? Apparently not.)

After telling Mom I didn’t want to hear it (and maybe uttering a few curse words), I caved and asked what? What could possibly have been so bad? Mom: Well, after we told him he couldn’t drive the golf cart by himself (borrowed from a relative), he kept asking. Me: So he didn’t actually drive it without asking? Mom: No, but he kept asking. And that really bothered your father.

Oh really. He kept … asking. What a horrible offense. And that bothered Dad. Thanks to FB (terrible in many ways, but there are support groups for parents of ADHD kids!!), I know there are MANY kids who would just have disobeyed and jumped on that golf cart any way. That’s the impulsive part of ADHD. Duh. Did I mention he’s also 15 and due to get his driver’s permit this week? So his asking was quite reasonable.

Part 2. After cementing herself as the good guy / messenger, and Dad as the bad guy (which is the picture of my WHOLE life), she tacks on: “If I had a child with diabetes, I wouldn’t let him eat all those cookies and ice cream!” Me: “It. Was. His. BIRTHDAY!!” We limit and watch his food intake 24/7. She couldn’t understand that for ONE day we can let him eat whatever, if he takes enough inslulin. J is maybe 10 pounds overweight right now. During his active seasons of marching band and Mountain bike team, he drops the weight. But of course all of this pales in comparison to … the cookies consumed.

Here’s what’s funny/sad about Part 2. 1-My Dad had no less than FIVE containers of ice cream in the freezer for our visit. 2-My mom has been borderline anorexic (25 pounds underweight) her whole married life. I’ve always figured it’s the only thing she can control. I have NEVER called her out on this or used that word in her presence, although other people do behind her back. 3-My parents and grandparents gave me SUCH grief about my weight/eating habits while growing up. Always with my mom doing the talking… “your father said…” My grandma (Dad’s mom- also probably 30 pounds underweight at the time- notice a pattern??) once called me out for having the audacity to be holding 1 cookie in each hand (she called it “double fisting”- ha!). In middle school, my dad said that I was getting to be the same weight as my underweight mom, and that was too much. He called me “Hippie,” meaning my hips were too big. He said he was embarassed that I was the “heaviest girl” at the masterclass (by then world-renowned flutist Julius Baker) I attended in high school, instead of focusing on my performance. So one little comment about my CHILD’S weight, while we are supposed to be enjoying vacation, has VERY deep roots.

Hello! I am a….

…47 year old female, musician, music teacher, married Mom of 2 magical boys. One has Type 1 diabetes and ADHD. The other is “typical.” I am the daughter of a recovering alcoholic father and an enabler / obliger mother who is in the VERY early (almost unnoticable) stages of Alzheimer’s, and sister of…. well, more on that later.

  • I have kept a personal journal, but am shifting to the blogging world becuase 1- it’s faster to type than hand-write, and 2- because I am feeling increasingly that my story needs to be told (if nothing else, to help others in similar situations).
  • Most topics will involve my immediate and extended family. There will be a fair amount of venting, questioning, and frustration. Hopefully some insight / inspiration will be gained along the way.
  • I would love to connect with others who are actively working through the dysfunciton in their families, and who are trying to change the course of their lives so the same dysfunctions aren’t repeated.

Again, thank you for your patience with the first-time blogger!