The time I thought my mom was closed minded

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

about guys I was dating.

Disclaimer: dislike and not like are not the same thing.

When I first met Jayden, my mom didn’t seem to take a lot of like to him. he was nice and sweet and he even organized the pantry above the oven where my parents kept their cookie sheets and pie pans. He did talk about his school life and how incompetent his school was with special ed kids. He also had troubles with school work too like me but he didn’t have an aide like me. I didn’t like how my mom was critical about it. She told me he wasn’t very smart and said it was because he barely graduated. I told her it was because he didn’t have an aide like I did and they didn’t give him the help he needed. I told her I also wouldn’t have graduated if I didn’t get the help I needed.

She had other criticism about him and I said kids also thought I was weird and other people might think the same of me because I am also different and parents also didn’t want their kids playing with me and I have been banned from homes as a child just because I didn’t know the rules in their home and didn’t know how to act. Also another reason for her not liking him is because he had a history of being violent. I had to remind her I was also violent too as a child so how would she like it if another parent told their son I could be violent with him in the future because of my past? Also another reason was his memory problem and I thought she was being closed minded about it. Memory problems, big deal, I will just deal with it and help him with it. My mother refused to believe Ritalin did this and said it doesn’t work that way. Also the fact he didn’t have a job but that was because he didn’t have anyone to help him so I was helping him.

But then at the end it turned out their judgments about him were correct. He really was a jerk (I thought then) and I realize now he truly did have too many problems and he wasn’t just someone who was lazy and mooching off me and messing with my head and being manipulative. He did apologize deeply for hurting me and he called himself a screw up. But back then I had a hard time accepting his apology because I was confused. He was contradicting himself and that left me confused. I didn’t understand what his apology meant. Now I know it was because he had a undiagnosed mental illness and my mom was right about him. She knew he had more going on that what I thought. I just assumed he lacked motivation and needed help to succeed just like me, I assumed he had a learning disability like me, I assumed he needed explicit instructions so I was giving them to him. You could say I saw him as “normal” who was just different and had a learning disability and ADHD. I saw him as functional. My mom still says he was a jerk because anyone can be one. I am sure he had some flaws that were bad that had nothing to do with his illness such as being too into being true to himself.

Then I met Jerry and my parents also didn’t take a like to him (she was a he then so I am referring to her as a he in this post) but they kept it hidden from me because I was defensive the first time about Jayden. I remember I kept correcting them about him. They kept insisting he was trying to not let me talk to them but I said he was no because he isn’t stopping me from calling them. I also told them he is just too worried about what people are going to think of him and me not presenting the situation correctly and he doesn’t want them to get the wrong idea. But they saw this as all controlling. They were also critical of him and my mom told me afterwards she was so worried I was being abused. Not understanding abuse at the time I told her he had never abused me. He had never hit me or called me names or broken anything. I also remember telling my mother about how poor my self help skills were and how low functioning I am and my mom told me the whole meaning of having good self help skills is acknowledging you need help and getting it than trying to do it yourself. She told me it was not very good self help skills to not ask for help and trying to do it all on your own and figure it out on your own. My mom also insisted he was after my money and they said other things about him I thought were untrue because they were reading it all wrong. I then thought no matter what guy I date, they will always find something wrong with them. Everyone had flaws and problems and I had my own so how would they have liked it if someone’s mother told their son to stay away from me. Now I realize my parents judgments were right about him.

I didn’t learn my lesson at all from these two because when I met my husband I was worried about what my parents would think of him. He was also in special ed, he was also a loner, he was ignored and then teased. He had been held back three times (his mother says two) and he had three different learning disabilities and brain damage. He didn’t drive. He didn’t have a college degree and he never finished high school because he got too old to attend. But he was a sweet and understanding guy and he worked hard to not be limited by his birth defect in his ankles. He didn’t let pain stop him. He took public transport despite having poor sense of direction and always getting lost easily and turned around. I was impressed. I always like people with disabilities who try to find a way to live a normal life and find their ways around their limitations. I have also always tried to live a normal life I can and work my way through my difficulties. I could never understand how others can’t do it or why they would refuse to learn or try. But after what happened to my husband in 2012, it has changed his perspective about people with disabilities. He had realized the reason why he was having so many seizures was because his body was going through a breakdown because he was making his body do stuff his body isn’t meant to do and it couldn’t handle it anymore so it started to break down. His body couldn’t handle the pain anymore so he got more anxiety from it and then it was giving him seizures because of the pain. It was all a domino affect. Now I had learned something too. If there were a job out there he can do, he would do it but he has all these limitations. Can’t get a job that involves counting or he will make too many mistakes, can’t get a job that involves writing because he has difficulty in spelling and reading, he can’t get a job that makes him work on his feet because his body can’t handle it and he isn’t supposed to be on them for no more than two hours a day. So what job out there can he do that doesn’t require reading, counting, math, and movement?

I realize now my parents were only looking out for me so they didn’t want me to date anyone who had too many problems and they could tell Jerry and Jayden had too many of them. They knew it would be too stressful for me and the fact I am sensitive and it would have destroyed me being with those guys. But yet they were fine with me dating my husband go figure. Maybe because he doesn’t have that many problems.

How can one tell if someone’s problems is due to problems than just personality? How can you tell if someone has a mental illness? Surely not every rude person out there has a disorder or a narrow minded person or someone who is extremely judgmental and critical of everything, same as if they do abuse. Plus plenty of people have strange thoughts so how can one tell if they have a mental illness or just have that weird opinion? And lot of people are paranoid so does that mean they have some mental illness? So how can you tell if someone had a condition or not based on these behaviors? Some people even have depression so how can one tell if it’s just depression or clinical depression or a illness stemming from a serious disorder?

I don’t know how much of Jerry’s thoughts were due to her illnesses, that is if she is telling the truth. But I can never tell because everything is normal to me. For years I just thought medical labels were created for a list of behaviors we all do and doctors like to give out a label for it to anyone. People had personality disorders because they did behaviors people found annoying and found them difficult to be with, people had Asperger’s because of too many narrow minded people who didn’t like someone who is different and strange and weird and because they didn’t know the social rules and didn’t know how to act in a situation and people refuse to tell them how to do it and because they did routines and didn’t like change and because they had special interests and did behaviors like fiddling with objects or playing with their fingers or doing rocking and because they didn’t look people in the eye and didn’t know about reading body language. I thought anything that wasn’t considered normal doctors made it into a condition. Want to get your way and don’t like not getting your way, just be an asshole by threatening your mother and breaking things and making her afraid of you so you get it, oh you have ODD so here is your label. People were psychopaths because they didn’t care about people and they did cruel things and killed people. I thought this way about mental illnesses until my twenties. This is all still very confusing for me.

 

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