Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flight or Fight?

I need advice.

I knew we weren't friends, even though she acted as though we were. I knew if she gossiped and criticized everyone to me, she was surely doing the same when I wasn't present.

We had a "discussion" two weeks ago, when I confronted her about several remarks. I agreed to "start fresh" with her as her family's camper is RIGHT NEXT to ours at Camp Redneck and our husbands are friends.

This weekend, I learned she is not happy dissing only a rip in one's boat seats or how many hours one's husbands works. She said the following (in a nutshell) to a small group of people in April. One individual finally told me.

"He's the way he is because they don't work with him. He's obviously autistic, but she won't believe that. People have told her, but she just wants to listen to that one doctor."

This comes from a woman who claims to love Curt. (Please note that I am showing great restraint in not calling her many, many names.)

I'm not going to defend myself here. If you read this, I believe you know differently. My question is: Should I confront her or not? Just because I sound calm, don't think for a minute her comments did not make me weep, scream and generally break my heart. She's a special kind of evil.

Oh yeah, and I listened to two doctors who are specialists, Bitch. (oops.)

P.S. This post is too damn depressing, even for me. To lighten the mood, I will leave you with words of email wisdom from non-blogger (but really, really should), Eva. Back in the day (for me, that would be to-day), we were notorious for our numerous p.s.'. I was known to open a sealed letter to Eva to add one, two, or maybe five postscripts.

SUBJECT LINE: another p.s.

I am reverting to all my old bad habits with you. What's next? Prank phone calls? Monogrammed sweaters? ABBA?

Late-talking retarded husband has a degree from Princeton. And enviable SATs. (I know you will take this comment as it's intended - to soothe your nerves.)

He has just chimed in from across the room: "Don't worry about it. Enjoy the silence."

Of course, the man can't change a lightbulb.

- Eva

Thanks, Eva. Clearly, your timing couldn't have been better.


Neurotic Grad Student said...

I don't know. It's a tough situation. If you think she's spreading it around to people who might believe her, you might want to say something. But if people aren't going to believe her, then I'd let it lie. She's not your friend and you know that.

It's the kind of battle that might actually hurt you more in the end than it hurts now, if you know what I mean.

I guess that's not much of an answer, but it's a hard situation. She sounds like an evil gossip and maybe it's best just to let her go her way as much as possible and you go your way, far away from her.

Brenda said...

Hold your head high, Jeanna, and ignore her. Confronting her won't help. As long as you know you're doing right by Curt, it makes no difference what she says.

The bitch will soon be gossiping about someone else anyway.

msmec said...

My thoughts:

-- You say she said this back in April, which was prior to the time you two cleared the air and agreed to a fresh start. So I think the statute of limitations has run out -- or at least been pre-empted by your recent truce.

-- She sounds petty and catty. Just give her a wide, wide berth. Leave her alone.

-- Maybe I'm just conflict-averse, but I've found in many situations that if you give people enough rope, they hang themselves. You don't have to raise a finger. Kill her with kindness.

-- Agreeing with Neurotic and Brenda, I say take the high road. She's not someone close to you, not someone integral to your life, so just let it drop. Her mouthiness is not worth getting your blood pressure up over.

Suzanne said...


My advice is that you consider what impact this twat is really having on your child's life. Is Curt any worse off for her having shot off her ignorant, uninformed dumb-assed opinons?

I'd say probably not.

While I know it's annoying and hurtful and quite naturally awakens the Mommy Tiger in you, it's really only impacting you to the extent that you let it and, most importantly, not impacting Curt at all.

Also, your co-campers have lived around this woman just like you have and may be more aware than you think about what a stupid bitch she is.

She isn't worth yours or anybody else's time.


Jann said...

Hi...a fellow member of the LT board here. I stumbled across your great blog by accident.

I think for us parents of LTs, living well will be the best revenge. There will always be these mean-spirited gossips who think we are in some sort of denial, even after having several evaluations that declared our children NOT autistic. My son has had 4 of these, but I'm sure the gossiping continues.

I'm keeping track of the naysayers. And someday, when all this is behind us, I'm going to pay them a little visit with my dear child, so they can see just how wrong they were to mislabel him.

I'll bring a little salt and pepper along, to make eating their words a little more palatable.

Laura said...

While it's inappropriate to reduce concern of this nature to gossip, your attitude, in general, is regressive. PDD is not a tragedy. It means "pervasive developmental delay." Why do the late talkers insist upon characterizing a condition as a pure language delay, when clearly there are associated issues beyond language. Even Sowell recognizes this. If you wish to continue to insist that 2 + 2 = 3, go for it, but don't be surprised when some one calls you out on it. It happened this time, and it's going to keep happening until he grows out of it (which, statistically speaking, may or may not happen) or you open your eyes.

Jeanna said...

Well, Laura, when words are said behind someone's back in hushed tones, I feel it is very appropriate to call it gossip. If she had my son's best interests at heart, she, as my so-called "friend," should have voiced them to me personally.

PPD is not a tragedy. Not at all. If that was how my son had been diagnosed, that would be the action I would take. However, he was not. He is now seeing a doctor who is a regional expert on autism and PPD. He agrees with his expressive language disorder.

I can tell you are a very positive person from your post. I'm sure your glowing attitude reaches out to all who know you. Good luck.

Laura said...

That's fair. True, I'm not positive or supportive when it comes to the late talker group. Kudos to you for seeing a developmental pedi other than Camarata. (I misunderstood the "that doctor" reference in your post.) Best wishes to you and your fam.

msmec said...

Note to Jann:

My now 10-year-old son was a late talker (as was his father and two male first cousins). It was troubling, needless to say.

Now he's reading C.S. Lewis and doing ninth-grade math. His reading scores say simply "post high school." Those kids who seemed like such verbal prodigies in preschool are still on Captain Underpants and simple multiplication.

My daughter was ALSO a late talker. (A girl?! Delayed!) She is the most advanced reader in her grade of 150 children.

This, after a couple years each of speech therapists and IEPs and hearing tests.

I'm not bragging (I don't know you, so it can't be bragging!) but hope this will help you take the Long View.

Every child is so different.

Jeanna said...

Thanks to everyone (well, mostly everyone) for your positive comments.

To Jann: If you will give me your email address, I'd love to converse to you. Thank you for your kind and witty comments!

To Eva: You rock my boat. Your children sound extremely intelligent and I'm so proud for you. Refer to my email. :)

Missy said...

Hey Jeanna,

Sorry I didn't see this post until just now! It sucks that it's our lot in life to deal with opinionated, immovable people (both offline and on). Everyone's an expert on your child except you. Just remember that motto. **cough b@$%#%^t cough***.

Keep your chin up and ignore her, I say. Oh and ditch the girl, too. She's definitely not a friend. I'm infuriated for you. A true friend would tell you her concerns because she loves you and your son. Never would she spout off such nonsense to others. Such "friends" are not worth the time of day.

Big hugs - you're doing right by your kiddo. Never doubt that.


P.S. There's this great feature to block certain folks from commenting on your blog. I use it for the people who have nothing useful to say. ;)

Jann said...

Hey Jeanna...love to email you, but not sure how to do it.

Is there a button to push somewhere on your profile to send you my email address?

Jeanna said...

Hey, Jann. I can add my email address to my profile, but, since it includes my last name, I'm hesitant to do so. I don't know how to use an alias or whatnot.

If you will send your email address in comments, I will delete the comment as soon as I get it. Yes?

Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

Looks like you got this all worked out.


Coyote Bebop said...

Good job, dahlin'!

Let idiot freaks lie. They never change their mind anyway.

I go back to my long ago advice though;

Start putting this 'late talking' thing on other people;

Doctor: "He doesn't seem to say very much. I think he is autistic."

Jeanna: "Naw. He just doesn't like ugly people. ...sorry"


Missy said...

Oh crap, that's funny. Someone in the LT group once came up with a great idea for a t-shirt:

"No, my son isn't autistic, he just doesn't LIKE YOU!"

Margery said...

Be aware of this "Laura" who is commenting on this blog and making conclusions that should be left to specialists and professionals .
Often she tries to diagnose children online.
She stalks parents of late talkers on the internet to harrass , quote out of context, and make claims she has knowledge about autism and other DSM IV disorders - and she is not a professional .
I just happened on this site reading about parents experience, and once again, here she is again posting for the sole purpose of degrading and slandering others .
Some people have experienced her publishing private emails from lists without permission.
This is truly a toxic individual.

Jeanna said...

Thank you, Margery.

I believe you and know exactly what you're saying.

I feel for this woman. I understand her anger, but that is no reason to project onto everyone else.


Jennifer Knight said...

Hi - found you from "that woman's" blog, which I found on the admin post on the LT board. I am an LT parent too and the other week a new lady at church was commenting on how well my 5 year old LT plays piano and said, "He's doing so well today...he's autistic, right?" I almost flew through the roof when she told me that's what she had been told by others...grrr...many of our friends at church know of our journey for a true diagnosis and the comment makes me certain that people are thinking we're in denial. Luckily our diagnosis was two years ago and people have seen the incredible improvements in our son, so they're starting to think, "Okay, maybe they're not as nuts as we thought." But if I heard one of my supposed friends was saying that stuff I'd go ballistic.