So we have just joined our two families from two separate homes into one together home. We now have two adults, three children, four cats, and 2,000 square feet.
What do we see in this new space together?
Here’s the thing . . . all of those small and habitual things that I have normally done without outside observers are now being highlighted and shown to other human beings. Many of these I am quite proud of . . . like working out 3-4 times a week (okay, mostly, but I’m working hard at this), making my bed each morning, spending time with my kids before school and each evening, etc.
But there’s another side to this of course . . . some of these things bare the full truth of ugly. And it is simply no fun to have my warts and scars and active difficulties viewed by someone else.
One of the biggest issues is my son’s sharp tongue. You know the one if you have a different-brainer/Asperger’s child. Maybe you don’t, but I do. It’s thesharp tone, condescending statements, and hurtful words toward anyone close (mostly his little brother).
This is something I have let pass. Because it felt like too much to deal with. I’ve told him one thousand times, why do I have to use my breath for another thousand? And it feels too difficult much of the time to help him say kind things instead of the hurtful ones.
And to be clear, he’s very kind most of the time. We’re working hard to have a fully kind life, but of course, there will be mistakes. There are just a few more with a different-brainer. 😉
What do I want?
I want it to change. I want the thousand times I’ve said things like, “Wow, that was really hurtful. I’d like to hear you say that in a kinder way.” Or “Could you please apologize? Those words were hurtful.”
Or even in those moments of anger and frustration, “Could you stop being such a jerk to your brother? Gawd!”
Sometimes he looks at me with an odd or confused expression. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Or he might offer a quick apology, walk away, or continue on . . . all just depending on the mood of the day.
Then I do the whole eye roll thing about him “not knowing” because I’m never sure if it’s a different-brain thing or a manipulation thing or a combination of both. Arguing about this difference feels a bit pointless for sure.
“But it’s true,” he might say. “I didn’t know it was hurtful.”
“Yes, it might be true, but it’s very hurtful.” To which I receive a confused look again and then I’m all sorts of frustrated and so it goes.
People, this is what it looks like!
What happens when the audience looks on?
So NOW. . . I have these hurtful things being said, but there’s a larger audience looking on. A larger audience who knows a bit about our different brain/Asperger’s struggle, but not necessarily the depth or frequency of these hurtful moments.
Instead of just moving on and chocking the hurtful things up to “just part of my daily life” as I used to do before the big move, I now have an audience that’s staring at me with gaping mouths as if to say, “You let him say that to his brother?!?!”
Uhhhhh . . .
Well . . .
No, OF COURSE NOT. This happened very rarely (except everyday) before we moved in here with you. Together. In the same house. This same house where we are all together like all. of. the. time.
Pffft, who’s kidding who here? We are perfect angels except on rare occasions.
Warts and all
So it goes when other people pop some popcorn and enjoy their front row seats to your entire life.
So it goes with your children doing all the things they normally do, even at a different address. We’re still the same people after all.
And so it goes with being exactly who I am and who we are with these new people in this home together.
What’s done is done.
We chose this new phase of our life for a reason. It is because we love each other. It’s because we want to be together more of the time, not just some of the time. It’s because we want our lives intertwined, warts and all.
I now have the opportunity to create a broader scale for learning social skills. I’m so very fortunate, too, that our entire family is filled with kind and intentional people, young and old. We have our issues and outbursts for sure (all of us), but we’ll definitely be better off with everyone working together.
Before, I had created a tight bubble because I didn’t want to hear the screaming and the crying. But I was ready for this move, as were we all, and I’m so happy to share that our lives have already improved tremendously.
We all have to be more flexible while we are adjusting. We all need to make apologies when we make errors (more on this process later) that might hurt others, especially with words (even if we didn’t mean to say them).
It takes a village and I’m so glad I’m in the village I am. It’s not all roses for sure, but I couldn’t ask for a kinder family to be part of. I’m glad to share my warts with the two adults, three children, four cats, and 2,000 square feet. It’s a good thing.
I hope you have safe people you can share your warts with. It’s not easy, but there is a huge opportunity for gorgeous improvements if the right people can see where the work needs to be done, and helps you get to where you want to go. Together.
I send this with love for all that you are (and your whole family), warts and all.
And I’m so excited to share . . . Check this new page out on my site: Woo-Hooo!