Saturday, May 14, 2011

Forehead, Meet Brick Wall

I have been so unmotivated to blog about anything for quite some time. Work has been overwhelming for sure, but I realize it's been so much more than that.

I've really been struggling with how to accept that there are things in life over which I have no control. No matter how strongly I feel about some things, and no matter how deeply they may hurt, in many cases I just have no say in the matter.

I guess the only thing I can control is how I react to things. Easier said than done.

I'm currently wrestling (and have been since last summer) with the knowledge that a child close to me is being neglected, but the line between laziness and outright neglect is so fuzzy in this case, and I live some distance from those involved. That means I feel like my hands are tied. I know from direct, personal experience in my previous capacity as a teacher and mandated reporter, that the authorities would not determine an investigation to be called for based solely on information from me.

I have tried speaking with those directly involved, but have been dismissed on multiple occasions. It's so frustrating, because what's going on is so obvious to anyone on the outside looking in. Thing is, nobody is looking in. This child has limited contact with the outside world (no preschool, no play dates, few excursions beyond the house or occasional trip to the park), so nobody else is calling the immediate family on the problem. It's just me, being meddlesome and "overreacting".

If a child was being beaten, if the parents were substance abusers, if basic physical needs were being neglected, it would be a no-brainer. That's not the case here though. It's more insidious, and it's a perfect storm of laziness, misplaced priorities, and egos.

I am not an excellent parent. My shortcomings are many, and there are a lot of things I wish I had do-overs on with regard to my kids, especially my older two. First-time parents make lots of mistakes. That's to be expected.

The situation that's causing me to lose sleep, however, is beyond the norm. There is an extremely dysfunctional family dynamic perpetuating the situation. There's a lot of rationalization and minimalization taking place. It's really sick.

It's heartbreaking to know there's a little boy out there who is missing out on so many opportunities to learn and grow and be a normal kid. He will spend years trying to make up for the delays that are already resulting from the environment in which he's being raised, and the lack of early intervention he should already be benefiting from to address some obvious, serious developmental issues. The pediatrician involved has not stepped in, primarily because the parents do a good job of responding to screening questions with the "right" answers, as opposed to accurate answers.

Another situation I've been grappling with has to do with a HUGE lie that has been perpetuated over many, many years by someone close to me. It doesn't affect me directly, but there are a lot of secondary issues that this lie touches on, and decisions made that affect me directly and indirectly - decisions that would certainly be made differently if others knew the truth.

I feel like the last 12 to 18 months has been dominated by carrying around these burdens, feeling like there are things taking place around me that I cannot control. How do I take my hands off the wheel and just let it all go? I've got to come to some kind of acceptance of this, and make peace with the knowledge that these are not my problems, even if they do affect me. I can't do anything about them.

How do you make peace with things that you know are wrong?

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