Why I Make A Bad Friend for NT Parents

I met someone new a couple weeks ago. It was at the clothing swap my Facebook group did. She was quiet, but comfortable. Once everyone left except five of us, she finally came out of her shell and really got to know us all.

Last night we got together for dinner with another person from the group.

Dinner was great, we all vented about our husbands and kids. We talked about potty training, which got kinda awkward when it was my turn to talk about it. They both were talking about how their kids were 2 1/2 when they *finally* got their kids potty training.

I just sat there and smirked that “you think you have it bad” smile.

It reminded me why I have such a hard time becoming friends of parents of neurotypical (nt) children.

I am trying so hard not to be “that” special need parents who is constantly reminding everyone she’s with that her child has special needs.

I either spend the conversation just drinking my water, listening, and avoiding actually joining the conversation or, I bite the bullet and try to talk about what we have going on like it’s normal.

Either way, I feel exposed and different. Like an outcast.

The friend that organized the dinner had to leave at 9 to relieve her babysitter. My new friend and I walked around for another half our or so. My new friend told me how bad she felt for me with every story I would tell. She thought maybe a play date with our kids might still go okay, because her son doesn’t always like to play with new kids. It would be okay if my son just wanted to sit all by himself.

Apparently I hadn’t done a good job of trying to portray that our difference are not a big deal. The last thing I want is for people to feel sorry for us. There’s no need for pity. We just do things our own special way.

Don’t get me wrong, I still am developing a “girl crush” on my new friend. She and I may make awesome friends in the future. I think she will fit into my developing “tribe” just fine. This awkward stage is nothing new.

For those who may ask, I’ve tried creating friendships with other moms on the spectrum here. Boy, was that a horrific mess as well. Let’s just say there’s a reason why I am not involved in any autism support groups anymore. It’s a story for another time….

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14 thoughts on “Why I Make A Bad Friend for NT Parents

  1. I can certainly understand why you would feel that way. You have the same issues as other parents but you also have very different ones. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you countering their parenting issues with your own very different ones. I think we all need to learn more about autism and maybe you can help educate them. It sounds like your new friend may fit in quite well with you. Good luck to you, also, on your weight loss journey.

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  2. I have to comment as I lurk far too much reading but not making my presence known!!! you have clearly misled me when you say you make a bad friend for NT parents…i think you probably make a great one. I really like to read about other people’s journeys because I think it is difficult to understand what it’s like in other families and particularly as I know little about living with autism. I think it’s really important to talk about it – it’s all about raising awareness so thank you for blogging

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  3. Ahhh, I relate to this completely. It’s hard, I know I’ve lost friends (although I’d admit they must’ve been fickle) because of how my life is. It’s not easy. The question, “How is [your child]?” is a loaded one many days. Either I tell the truth, and it makes their worst day pale in comparison or I lie. Lying is a little hard for me. Plus, then a friend who truly knows you is aware you’re not letting her in on the whole truth and she wonders why. Why won’t you tell her?
    I can’t wait to hear about your experience getting to know other autism moms. Sounds interesting. 😉

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  4. There are so many parts of parenting a child with autism that are challenging and exhausting, but there are also things that are special that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

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  5. Pingback: Walking and Dancing | The Ipockolypse

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