Don’t Tell me I’m an Angel
How often have you been patronized?
How often has someone said something like
- “you are so brave”
- “I couldn’t do what you do”
- “you are an angel”
and every fibre in your being has cried out
- “no I’m not, I’m not brave”
- “you would be the same if it was you”
- “I AM NOT AN ANGEL!!!!!”
I do not have a choice
I am a great believer in believing in youself, for loving and accepting yourself. I know that the truth is we are really good at putting ourselves down and being negative about ourselves. So what is it I react to so strongly about these sorts of statements? Isn’t it nice to be told I am an angel?
They do not know me
The occasions I am talking about are off the cuff remarks. These people see what I am doing and there are typically two types of reaction.
One is when what I am doing triggers their own “I am inadequate” buttons and in fact they are just putting themselves down more by comparing themselves to me. They really do believe I am brave, strong etc and that they are not….They are reminding themselves of their own inadequacy. This is sad, but it has nothing to do with me.
Two is when they really are genuinely thinking that what they say is true, and that they are doing me a favour. In fact it gives them a feel good factor by saying something “nice” to me but again, it has nothing to do with me.
So they are either making themselves feel worse or better but it has nothing to do with me…..AAGHH!
I know this sounds ungrateful. I know they are trying to be nice. So why do I react so?
They are projecting onto me, not listening to me
It is too easy to say those things and it is unkind. It is putting me (or you?) onto a pedestal that truly does not square with my everyday experience of life.
What they are saying is untrue. Of course they would look after their child if it had special needs. Do they think we have a choice? I know that can be the case, that sometimes the child is taken into care if the parent really cannot cope. But by and large, the parent copes because we have to. That doesn’t make me special, it makes me normal. That’s what parents do. We care for our young…
Don’t make me something I am not so that you can feel better…..
What I really need and what most parents need (in fact, what most parents need) is to be listened to and heard…
Listened to and heard
This is what I need.
Warts and all. And it’s OK.
Perhaps this rant is why I feel so passsionately that AutismParentSupport offers listening and hearing. You don’t have to be heroic. You don’t have to be right. It’s OK to ‘fess up to mistakes…
Because in the end you are brave, you are an angel. But on your own terms, not as a projection.
We have enough in our own headspace without yours as well…
So what do we angels do?
We find someone who will hear us just the way we are, and celebrate us just the way we are, and gently support us to find new ways if that is what we need….
And the person who can do that best is yourself….
“Even though I have these feelings, I love and accept myself…”
And, (by the way), I am really, really good at doing that too
That’s what AutismParentSupport is about.
Supporting you, not an image of you.
So where are you not heard? What has upset you about what people say about you? it would be great to hear your experiences….
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