I need thicker skin….

Today I took the Roc to the clinic for a follow-up with his new family doctor.  She wanted to see him again so she could get to know him a bit better and give him a chance to get used to their office.  Nice idea but it wasn’t a fun experience.  We arrived 10 minutes before our scheduled appointment and the Roc was well behaved for the first 2 to 3 minutes in the waiting room.  After that if felt like pure chaos to me.  He wouldn’t sit with me, wouldn’t stay away from the Christmas tree, kept standing on his chair, wiggled all around like a monkey when I tried to hold him on my lap, ran circles around me when I tried to move him to the other side of the room so I could try to talk to him, and was sooo loud.  I started to feel a bit panicky.  After 20 minutes in the waiting room and quite a few stares as well as a few disgusted sighs from the people around us, I carried a wiggling Roc to the front desk and pleaded to go back to an exam room.  A few minutes later my wish was granted, and as I struggled to get the Roc through the door feeling all eyes on my back, it happened, my panic turned to tears.

I started crying and was having a hard time getting myself under control.  I haltingly tried to explain to the nurse that I was having a hard time controlling the Roc which was doubly hard to do under the scrutiny of the packed waiting room.  She said something to the effect of “little boys will be little boys”  and her son always behaves worse than her daughter.  But it’s more than that.  Those people looked at him like he was a bad, naughty little boy and at me like I was a total moron who couldn’t control her kid.

By the time the doctor came in I was under control but one look at my face told her that I had been crying.  So again I explained my tears and she said some nice things that I can’t remember now and also that this will probably happen from time to time, especially from the “oldies” who just don’t get it.  She said that the Roc is a darling little boy and that he’s doing great.  Nice to hear but I still felt deflated.

My head knows that it doesn’t matter what any of those people thought of me or my son, but it still feels bad to be judged and stared at.  It just does.  I also know that it does me no good to get worked up and cry about it, but sometimes I can’t help it.  Maybe it’s PMS or maybe I really do need to toughen up about this sort of thing.  GC is always telling me that I need to have a thicker skin.  So, does anyone know how to grow thicker skin?  Sandpaper?  Brillo pads?  Roughly scrubbing with a towel?  Special toughening creams?

Right now I think I’ll settle for some chocolate…

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9 thoughts on “I need thicker skin….

  1. You’ll get there Kim – it will just take time. Don’t be so hard on yourself – you need to experience and deal with all these emotions to get to the point where others people’s actions won’t matter to you anymore. You are such a devoted Mom, it’s only natural that it hurts when people judge Rocco when they don’t know him at all. Hang in there – we are all in your corner… Hey – a good remedy for growing thick skin would definitely be to hang around Big Daddy, that would do it for sure (ha, ha)…..

  2. I agree hanging around big Daddy will help!! haha But seriously it is only natural to feel upset when someone is judging your child. The important thing is at the end of the day you and everyone else who loves Rocco knows what a sweet little boy he is. Every time I think of his sweet little smile it makes me smile:)

    Annabella is looking forward to some “running to the Mommy” games! haha Can’t wait to see you guys:)

  3. awwww…..that is so hard. I used to think it would be easier if the ‘disabilty’ was more obvious on the uotside…..ignorance is the most frustrating. I hated explaining, and finally I just got to the point where I decided I wasn’t going to explain anymore…..if she carries a stuffed dog and crayolas at age 15, who really cares? She does now tote a big purse with all her belongings…..:)

    Remember that all those people are on their own journey…..that is just where they are at. Hand it back to them, don’t take it on–it is THEIR issue…
    Peace, Stacie

  4. I’m sorry, I know how awful that can be. I’ve had strangers comment, negatively, and stare while pointing, at my son two times at his pediatric neurologist’s office. (There’s been many other times, but those two times, people actually spoke up pretty graphically.) All I could do was point at the sign that we were in a specialist’s waiting room and hope for enlightenment that probably never came to the rude people. I even mentioned it to the doctor once inside, and he told me I’d have to learn to brush off others’ rudeness, and remember it stems from ignorance, that they wouldn’t understand until/unless they had a child like ds. Sad, but true. Sometimes I explain, most times I don’t, but I also carry around autism cards. You can get them at quite a few gatherings for free, order them online, or make your own. (I have a handy template if you’re ever interested.) Good luck, it gets easier with time.

  5. I wish I knew (how to grow a thicker skin). I really do. I have no answers. Give yourself and hug and a pat on the back for surviving another day. Sometimes that’s all we’ve got.

  6. I saw this a few days ago and had to run out the door, but have been thinking about it ever since. That is so hard, I know exactly how you feel. It’s so terribly frustrating to feel that way.

    I still get easily upset by things like this, but I’m finding the upset doesn’t last as long as it used to. I don’t know if that means I’m getting thicker skin or what, but I’m hoping you find the same happens over the years. You are going through a lot right now in some tough years. It never gets easy (or if it does I don’t know when), but somehow you get better at coping, I think. Or something like that.

    In the meantime, big hugs to you, dear one. Hang in there.

  7. Kim, I know I am just getting to understand but I know that you are a strong woman! Keep your chin up and if you ever need anything I am just half a country away! Ha! Love ya-Candi

  8. I don’t think there’s one answer as to how (or whether) to deal with these situations. I think maybe we need to respond in a manner closest to our natural personalities, in order not to have regrets afterwards. The confrontational types will likely feel better if they confront or address the offender somehow. The quieter/nonconfrontational types may have to bite their tongues simply because they don’t know how to confront people…and the doctor’s office on the verge of tears is not likely the place to learn.

    I am so sorry you went through that scene. I’ve been there often myself and feel your pain.

    As for thicker skin…my theory is that it grows thicker VERY slowly, because it only grows while we sleep. And the less sleep we get, the thinner our skin stays and the quicker we are to crumble in the face of jackasses. Just a theory…

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