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I am a fan of Judge Judy. She doesn’t take s*&t from anyone. She is strong and unaffected by BS. “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”, “Do I have stupid written on my forehead?” “I’m smarter than you on my dumbest day.” These are some of her greatest hits. She is one of a rare few who has earned the right to judge others. I’m not going to lie….I often feel judged by others and I hate the feeling. What’s more I hate that I allow myself to feel that way. Why is it that we often feel like we have to justify our parenting and our children to others. I often wish that I was the type to not care. I tell myself that I don’t but that is not the truth. We’ve all been there. Someone makes a comment about our child’s behavior, our parenting, a difficult situation and we feel the need to pour out an explanation. An attempt to make them understand. What a waste of breath. One I seem to find myself in that is particularly annoying is when people tell me my son doesn’t look autistic. There it is …. Busted. I made up this whole autism think because it is so glamorous and enjoyable. It’s almost like they view that as a compliment. It’s the same sort of compliment as telling someone who loses 20 pounds that they aren’t as obscenely fat as they once were so congrats. Um…thank you?? Too bad you are still ignorant. Apparently that doesn’t fade. I get this at school sometimes as well. The teachers would tell me how wonderful my son was in school which is great and a good thing but it also comes with a tinge of judgement. As if they didn’t really understand or believe the struggles we were having at home. I honestly once video taped my son at home just to show them so they could understand what we were dealing with. I mistakenly showed them my snapchat karaoke version of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” at first but I'm off topic again.
One big area where Judgie Judgerson occurs is in the topic of medication. My husband and I could never have pictured ourselves medicating our child. We looked at others and thought “not us”. We will do everything else possible to help him but will never go down that route. Well guess what? Here we are. It is not something I broadcast freely (oops guess I just did) but I am no longer ashamed of it. It simply is. We grappled with it so much but in the end felt it was merciful to him and his struggles to at least try. I’ve been seeing Dr. Merlot for a while and that helps as well (if you are judging me right now you are missing the point!) NO ONE is walking in your shoes. Unless they are Judge Judy they have no right to judge you. In her case I would make an exception because she scares me.
It would be easy for me to say to you all don’t let it bother you. It’s like telling the kid who gets made fun of to ignore it. But it still hurts. What makes it tolerable? Having a tribe of those people in your life who get it. You out there are all my tribe and I could not go through this journey without you….or hard seltzer…..or snickers bars, but I digress. So this is my way of telling you to hang in there and know you can vent to those in your tribe about your trials and tribulations and your frustrations at being judged in your everyday lives. Maybe we can all pitch in and buy out a factory of duct tape and find those Judgie Judgersons and go to town. Until then, I am here in the trenches with you.
I encourage all of you to make the time to go to an event or gathering. Believe me I would also rather stay home in my sweats, you know the ones with the broken elastic and the stain of an unidentifiable nature on them and binge watch Netflix as well but pull yourself out of that and come down to hang out with other families and I promise you will understand. It is worth it. I wind up feeling carefree and happy and yes, NOT judged.