Am I Talking to Myself?

ImageI am not sure there has been a time when I have felt less understood. Today as I sat at Dave’s appointment and heard myself speak and then listened to the responses, I felt as if I were in some parallel universe. I wondered to myself if I hadn’t spoken out loud. Dr. S asked how Dave was doing and my response was “not as well as he would have you believe.” I explained that I had taken a five day trip to Florida and returned to a very changed Dave. I expressed my concerns at his plans to “back away from work” and that he seemed to be putting his life on hold until the next scan results in six weeks. I mentioned that Dave was spending the majority of his time in bed or sitting around the house which was just not Dave. Here are some of the comments that these thoughts elicited –

“You feel like you are waiting for Dave to die.”

WHAT? No, I feel like Dave is waiting to die, and I am trying to get him to engage in life and live.

“My advice to you is to bite your tongue when he doesn’t want to do something. You will only end up frustrated. Instead go out with a friend.”

I can’t sit around and let him check out of life. And I wouldn’t call it frustration, I would call it fear.

At one point, Dave managed to divert the conversation to Jeff and his movies. I sat and watched the conversation and thought “who the f**** cares about Jackass right now?” Needless to say, I am a little frustrated with the mental health care aspect of Dave’s treatment. The reality is that he is not as engaged with his friends, work and life. And while I will not knowingly create more stress in his life, I will not just sit by and watch either. And I call on you his friends, colleagues and family to do your part too. Let’s all keep him engaged and involved in life. I believe strongly that attitude plays a big part in survival. Thank you for including him in events, asking his advice, and inviting him to do things. He will probably say no. A lot. But he might say yes sometimes too.



8 thoughts on “Am I Talking to Myself?

  1. Would he be interested, as a teacher/principal/adviser, in answering questions from parents on how to handle a school-related situation with a kid? I just posted this to Facebook and then immediately thought maybe Dave would have some experience with this kind of situation and have some advice.
    “Sigh. I am struggling with helping Hannah to stick up for herself at school. Today she was very sad and despondent on the way home. Turns out the boy she was paired with to read a book out loud together refused to read out loud – instead he cracked jokes about the cover of the book, and when Hannah tried to read, he called her a butt face and said she was so smelly because he whole body was made from butts.
    I asked if she told him to stop it (no) and if she asked the teacher for help (no) – so we sent an email to the teacher to see what her suggestions are for helping build Hannah’s confidence enough to ask for help when she needs it.
    Any suggestions?”

    Maybe you can start soliciting a “Dear Abby” like column for Dave to respond to – then he’s helping people, and reengaging his mind, and he doesn’t even have to go anywhere – so there’s no real excuse for him NOT doing it – right?

  2. I’m dumbfounded. He made these comments in front of Dave? He is the one who made a house call to get him in this trial , right? If that is true, shouldn’t he know that depression is a side effect and address that?
    I feel he sounds like Dave is out of options yet he hasn’t said that to him! The Dr. seems to feel Dave should live his life as he wishes and his family should be okay with that. The problem is his family wants to spend time with him doing fun and interesting things as they have always done
    I don’t think the main issue for him right now is actually cancer; but depression,and that is treatable! I would wish for him to live as full a life as possible now , spending quality time with his kids and family and friends. It would be such a gift to the kids especially, to have a vast bank of wonderful memories and life lessons on how to deal with what life throws your way ie Dadisms or Rules according to Dad.
    Dave has always been such an up an at’em kind of guy always looking at his cup half full and planning his next adventure. He should still be doing that but maybe he needs help from all of us to see that( hopefully ) winter is over and we all need to get out in the sunshine and enjoy all that Spring has to offer.

  3. I love Next Step mom’s idea! I have a son that shy’s away from ALL interaction with kids. He has an official ADHD diagnosis. So we have been trying to get him to play football with the other boys in his class since September. He is a big kid, and plays lineman. So anyway…at school it is just touch football so he says what’s the point he can’t do anything anyway. The social hierarchy is that the sports kids all hang out and since he refuses to participate (I even threatened to take away his video games if he didn’t – which he didn’t and then was so upset that I was going to take them away I couldn’t do it) he is the outlier. He has so little self esteem and we try to be his cheerleader, have asked the teachers to help out, and play football with him at home too. He is 10, is in 4th grade, and goes to a Montessori school. Any help would be awesome. He has one other friend who is anti-sports at school, but that kid will ditch him in a moments notice. So basically my kid is the odd man out all the time. It is effecting so much about him and he is so sad and withdrawn. Frustrating. Thank you!!

  4. Like Next Step mom, I too have a child who deals with a bully daily. Her hair is pulled, she is called names, she is poked on the bus. My biggest problem is, my daughter is so forgiving that she keeps allowing this child to rile her up! Any suggestions on how to explain to my child that she is putting HERSELF in this position and letting the bully win? I’ve already gone to countless teachers and daycare providers, and all they ever do is “schedule a conference” with the bully’s mother, and “speak” to the bully. RIDICULOUS!

  5. I also have a situation…my 7 year old is in 1st grade with an ADHD and ASD diagnosis. Yesterday he told me that two of the other kids in the class ( a boy and girl) are telling everyone else in the class that he’s “mean” and “turning the whole class against him”. He says that the girl constantly blames him for stuff that he doesn’t do and gets him in trouble. Now, I will say, that my son has a history if getting in trouble in class for talking, being out of his seat….”normal” adhd kid stuff. He also has a history of yelling at the other kids in the class when they’ve done something that he thinks is wrong and throwing tantrums. So, I’m not surprised that he has a reputation with the teachers as a “troublemaker: and the other kids as “mean”. So, how do I help him without being a helicopter parent? He’s actually a really friendly and outgoing child, but he does have a problem with boundaries and gets upset and mad when kids don’t want to play his way or when they take “his” pencil or “his” eraser. How should i tell him to deal with the unfairness of getting blamed for things he really isn’t doing just because the teacher is more likely to believe the other little girl’s story? Any advice?

  6. I need help/advice on how to deal with my daughter. She is a wonderful child. So good to her fellow classmates. So good in fact that she puts them ahead of herself. Always. To her own detriment. She doesn’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    How do I teach her choosing what she wants to do, where or who she chooses to sit with, and what she dreams for is okay? How do we teach her that not agreeing doesn’t mean being mean or nasty? How do we teach her to let others know that very thing?

  7. I love the Dear Abby idea because Lord knows I need some outside opinion on my kiddo! So, Dave, if you get to read this, I’d love to know what you think..

    My oldest girl is VERY set in her ways. By that I mean, if she doesn’t get her way, a tantrum of epic proportion will shake any room she’s in. This isn’t a new behavior but it is becoming more frequent. Aside from having non-functioning listening ears, she’s a amazing kid. She’s been tested and deemed gifted, so they want her to try the Kindergarten entrance exam and start school this fall. She would be 4.5 yrs old.

    On one hand, I’d like to think that it’s a great opportunity. She does very well with older kids and perhaps it will present more of a challenge so she’ll become less, um, bratty? On the other hand, let them be little, right?? I don’t want to push or rush her but I’m just not sure if she’s REALLY ready.


  8. I have a question for Dave!

    My 4yo is in preschool. He’s been doing really well up until recently. There’s a new kid in his class that I will refer to as…oh I dunno…Satan. He’s a menace and has the attention of my son. He’s been goofing off and last week, Satan pushed my son into a brick wall, face first.

    I want to switch his class, but it was suggested that I let him stay in the class and learn to “fight his own battles.”

    Again, he’s four.

    What do you think I should do?

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