Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

My boyfriend of a few months died a while ago and I cannot grieve for him in public because I was his secret girlfriend.

We only ever met up at my house once a week in the evenings  when my kids were asleep so nobody knows of our relationship, not my kids or my friends so I am sad and all alone. I want to tell everyone so they understand why I am so sad.

I know he would have left his wife.

My Counsellor has been cruel so I won’t be going back to her as she said he wouldn’t have left his wife for me and I should just move on.

I think I should tell his wife, what do you think?

Aunty S responds

Absolutely not.  

Keep right away from her and her family.

An occasional dalliance does not constitute a relationship so I am in full agreement with your Counsellor so please take her advice and return to her as you need assistance to regain control of your life.

Over and out.

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Bullying – Stan’s story

Last summer, a young man stayed with us for a few weeks whilst he recovered from the after-effects of being horrifically bullied.
He required somewhere safe away from his hometown, to try and work out how to rebuild his life after his previous one had been stripped from him.

The other day he asked me to mention his story on my blog in the hope that it helps someone who is going through a similar ordeal.
I will refer to him as ‘Stan’ from hereon to protect his identity.
This is his story, albeit very condensed.

Stan had worked for the same firm for over ten years, loved his job, had great workmates, loyal friends, owned his own home and was in a fledgling relationship with a young woman.
With one lie, his world came tumbling down.
At the beginning of this year, he had an appointment in the city,  an hour’s drive from his town, so he took a day off work to attend it.
On his way into the city, by sheer chance, he spied a workmate,  walking out of a house, in a loving embrace with a woman who wasn’t his wife.
The workmate looked up and saw Stan drive past.Stan didn’t give it a second thought and carried on driving.

But the next day at work Stan knew something was wrong when his workmates shunned him as soon as he walked in.
Shortly after, his boss called him into his office and asked him outright whether he was a Paedophile.
Stan thought he was joking and laughed.
His boss then shouted at him and told him how his workmate, the one cheating on his wife, had witnessed Stan with his arms wrapped around a young teenage boy in a compromising situation in the city the day before.
Stan was stunned and told him it was a lie and then tried to explain what had actually happened but his boss kept shutting him down, yelling at how disgusted he was with him and would fire him if he could, but his hands were tied because of his job contract.
It was a master stroke by the bully; isolating your victim is the first rule in the “bully handbook”, as once isolated, it is very hard to get the truth out there.

His friends were angry that Stan was being lied about  and  said they would stand up for him.  They didn’t follow through as they were terrified of the bully, as he had a name for himself as  being a nasty piece of work under the guise of a jocular man.
To make things even worse, Stan’s girlfriend walked out on him.

After two weeks of being ostracised at work, he knew he couldn’t go on so left the job that meant so much to him.
His parents took him to the Doctor, where he was put on anti-depressants and was advised to get away for a few weeks to calm his nerves.

When I picked him up from the airport, I found a traumatised young man, a man who had never suffered a day of depression in his life.

Quite simply, the bully had broken him, and furthermore he had been betrayed by everyone except his family.

Our home  is often referred to as a ‘retreat” as it is enveloped in a private garden so one has complete privacy which is exactly what Stan required to heal his mind and soul.

On Week Four of his stay, I asked him whether he would mind if I called his ex boss for a chat. 

He told me it would be a waste of time but “go for it”.

I was determined to sort this boss out once and for all.  

I doubted he would take my call but I was willing to give it a go so imagine my surprise when I found him receptive!

I cut to the chase and explained, ever so calmly,  the whole sordid situation in depth, exposing the bully’s affair and how Stan had witnessed the bully  in an intimate moment with this woman and how he used him and his workmates to help destroy Stan’s credibility should he decide to tell the bully’s wife as to what he saw.
As the conversation progressed his ex boss started putting it all together and then out of the blue, with a few expletives attached, he exclaimed how he had been gullible.  I agreed.
I then went on to tell him how I had used ‘Google Maps’ to locate the house where Stan had seen the bully. I gave him the location and to my utter amazement it was the address of a woman who once worked for him.
Stan hadn’t recognised her.

By then he was feeling more dreadful, so I told him that all bullies operate one way.
They recruit bystanders, folk who they believe they can manipulate, and then they feed them whatever they want them to believe knowing full well they will repeat it.
How sad is that, innocent folk being sucked into a bully’s world.

He offered Stan his job back and asked me to pass on his apologies to him, and made  it clear that the ‘bully’ would be shutdown from doing anymore harm in the workplace and he would talk to all the other workers and tell them the truth of what actually happened.
To his credit he was a man of his word.
Within hours, workmates and friends began ringing  Stan to apologise.
His ex girlfriend didn’t but that didn’t worry Stan as he saw a different side to her when she dumped him.

Stan stayed with us for another week and the day I took him to the airport I knew he would be okay as he was back to his old self; not that I actually knew his old self as I had only met him for the first time when I picked him up from the airport five weeks prior.
And by the way the bully walked out the minute his boss exposed him to the rest of his workmates. He knew his goose was cooked.

Justice!

Stan’s story has a happy ending; trust me, not all end like this.

                                  Peace and love always

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Down Syndrome – A basic brief overview

My Take…Part One

After a recent episode on Shortland Street, a New Zealand TV programme, where some very negative views were expressed about Down Syndrome, my phone was red hot for weeks and emails kept filling my inbox, so I thought maybe it was time for me to write a very brief summary on Down Syndrome.  (For the record, I have never watched Shortland Street.)

Down Syndrome is not an illness or a disease.
Down Syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.

There are varying degrees of intellectual disability associated with Down Syndrome; some mild, some severe.

Many people assume that Down Syndrome folk are all alike; this is not the case.
Each have their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses; the same as all other children.
Some have health issues, some mild, some severe; the same as all other children.
Some speak clearly, some will speak with difficulty and some are nonverbal with one or two word phrases, often spoken out of context but as long as their family or caregivers understand them, there is no issue.

Some have a limited ability to comprehend the world around them and require 24/7 care, however this doesn’t interfere with their love of life and there are some who can work/live in an assisted environment.

Many folk believe nonverbal Down Syndrome adults weren’t given opportunities to engage and learn language skills when they were young.  

This couldn’t be further from the truth and this misinformation has put many families under horrendous stress. 
Sadly there are many textbook cowboys who have and are still devastating folk with this misinformation.
Being at the coalface, and being involved with hundreds of families throughout the years has given me the licence to speak on this subject.   

Nonverbal communication includes gestures, facial expressions, and body language; I know this for a fact as my Down Syndrome daughter is nonverbal and we have absolutely no issues with understanding her needs.

I remember when she was a wee toddler, I allowed a Psychologist into my home. 
She came to assess her which was common practice in the late 1970’s.
I was about twenty-four, the same age as this woman.
Puffing herself up like a rooster, she informed me this was her first job after receiving her Degree.
I thought she wanted me to bow at her feet.
She proceeded to lay out some educational toys on the lounge floor & then fired instructions at my daughter as to what she wanted her to do.
She became annoyed as Belle didn’t understand what she meant, and for that matter nor did I!

This young expert was going by text book theories and was unaware that each child was different; she had lumped them all into one category.
When I saw my daughter become distressed, I reached over to her and this little upstart smacked my hand.
Yep….I picked up her bag of gizmos and told her to leave my house and not come back.  She huffed and puffed and left.
I wasn’t very assertive back in those days so I was rather proud of myself.
These days I often wonder how many lives she has ruined with her self righteous attitude.
And while on the subject of professionals.

Ensure you have a Doctor you can trust.
You know your child best so a good working relationship is needed.

If you disapprove of the way your Doctor treats you and your child, find a new Doctor, one who is kindhearted.
Even in our ‘modern enlightened world’ there are still some Doctors who aren’t very tolerant of our gorgeous kids.

Never allow yourself to be downtrodden, your Down Syndrome child/adult is depending on your strength of character.  

If you feel worn out, contact me and I will ring around and find a Doctor for you.  I don’t care if you live in the Northern Hemisphere; I will find the best care for you and your child as I have acted as a support person/advocate for many over the past forty years. Confidentiality guaranteed.

My younger children, who are now adults, love their big sister dearly and vice versa.   
Their patience, kindness, compassion and love for her brings tears to my eyes.
I know I have raised three fine human beings.
As for me my life has been greatly enriched by having Belle as my daughter.
We start and end every day with a kiss and a hug.
I am so grateful she came into my life.

Always remember, our Down Syndrome family members deserve to live in an environment where they are loved and feel safe and it is up to us to make sure this happens.
Furthermore there will always be some folk who strongly believe our Down Syndrome children have no right to life; this we have to accept but opportunities will present themselves from time to time where we can educate the ill-informed.

                                             Peace and love always.

 

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

I recently found out my father isn’t my father and my mother refuses to tell me who my real father is so my father is helping me even though he is devastated that a friend of his was the one who told me when he was drunk at a recent Funeral we all attended. 
Apparently it is common knowledge that I am not my father’s biological child, with me being the only one who didn’t know.
My father showed me photos taken at the time I was conceived and I am a mirror image of one of his mates.
My mother has never admitted to my father that this man is my biological father but it is blatantly obvious.
My father has been the best father I could have wished for and he is happy to make contact with him is I can meet him but I really don’t want this as he is nothing to me.

He had an affair with my mother and then went overseas when she got pregnant.
All I actually want from this man is the family medical history.
I know where his mother lives and apparently she is a very nice woman so I am thinking of writing to him and getting his her to forward it.
If I visit her she will see the striking resemblance  so my father has offered to hand deliver it.
I checked him out on Facebook and I really didn’t like what I saw so this confirmed my decision not to meet him.
Am I approaching this in the right way?

Aunty S responds

What an amazing young man you are!
You have a well thought out plan but there is a Plan B that you may like to consider.
Your father could phone your biological grandmother and ask for his address under the guise of wanting to catch up with her son as he will be in part of the world in a month’s time.
If by some chance your biological father decides not to speak/correspond with you, I have a Plan B to find out his family medical history which I will reveal should you get back in contact.
I wish you all the luck in the world.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

My mother in law is in the early stages of dementia and none of her direct family want to know! 
They keep making excuses for her irrational behaviour.
My husband knows she is losing the plot but says he doesn’t want to be the first one stating the obvious.
She is driving erratically and arrives at our house and forgets where she is.
For her safety we have to sort this out.
First off her licence needs to be cancelled and there needs to be a good long look at her home safety issues as she has already had two stove fires.
She nudged the freezer into the wall when she drove into her garage recently.
The list goes on.
What should I do?

Aunty S responds

Your husband and the rest of his family sound like they will never take their heads out of the sand so it is up to you my dear.
Approach her Doctor and explain what is going on, especially about her erratic driving, stove fires and freezer nudge.
If the Doctor isn’t interested in what you have to say and refuses to take away her licence, politely state that you will be contacting the Police for advice.
If you get nowhere contact me again as I have a Plan B.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

My mother in law is precious to me and has been throughout my long marriage to her son who left the children and I very early into the marriage.

After he refused to pay child support, he went overseas.
He hasn’t contacted his mother or his children during this time. We know all about him through his cousin who visits him.
My mother in law recently signed over her house to me as she is worried about her health and didn’t want her son getting his hands in it.
We live with her so she doesn’t have to worry about home assistance.
My children adore their Nan as I do.
My ex husband found out through his cousin that I am now the legal owner of the house and he is sending me abusive emails.
How do I stop him?

 

Aunty S responds

Don’t open the emails my dear, it’s that simple.
Delete, delete & delete.
Continue being a wonderful daughter in law and mother.
Don’t waste a minute more of your time thinking of him.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

I can no longer afford the rates on my home so I am selling my home of forty years to move live close to my sister  and her family. 
They know I have been lonely for many years and have shown me such kindness and are looking forward to my arrival.
Working and then living on a single pension and keeping up the rates, insurance and maintenance on my large home saw me dipping into my savings which now is all gone.
I have been trapped in this house with no luxuries as my husband promised our children that I would stay in it until my death and then they would all receive a large inheritance.
I will be able to buy a house and a car, travel to England for a holiday with my sister and have more than enough for emergencies.
I am excited but there is one problem, my children say I am being selfish as I will be wasting their inheritance.
They are angry with me and won’t speak to me.
They even had the cheek to say I should sell the house and give them their share now. I asked where I would go and they said I could rent a pensioner flat.
I am sixty-eight, in good health and want to sell up for a new life,  but am I being selfish?

Aunt S responds

Of course you are not being selfish my darling girl.
Living frugally all these years must have been a harrowing  experience so you deserve all the happiness in the world.
Enjoy your new life with your other family…you are very fortunate indeed to have them as many folk are alone in this world.
Try very hard not to let your adult children’s behaviour drag you down emotionally.
Their behaviour is deplorable, they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves!
Just keep smiling and enjoy yourself and I am fairly sure the financial freedom you will experience once your house sells will keep a smile on your face for a very long time.
Only a click away.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

My daughter in law is a useless cook and my son is losing weight and looks miserable.
She gets home from work before him yet she only starts cooking when he walks in the door so I think he should stop in at my place for a meal each night.

Aunty S responds

Why not make a meal for both of them and he can pick them up on his way home?
Or pop them in their fridge so they can reheat them when they get home?
And how about offering to teach them both to cook so when your future grandchildren come along they won’t starve to death.
Over and out.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

I have never seen my grandchildren.
I assisted my daughter financially in the hope that she would let me see my grandchildren but to no avail.
She became a solo mother in her late twenties and her father and I started giving her money after she refused our offer of her coming home to live in our basement flat which we rent out.
We told her the flat would be rent free  and we would pay the telephone and power.
She declined our offer and then we found out she had told her friends that we had insisted she have an abortion which was a lie.
Then she met her husband and kept the lie going so when they had children he backed her in not allowing the children any contact with us.
Our sons have nothing to do with her as she created havoc throughout their childhood.
My husband is more heartbroken than I am over our lost grandchildren and now he is dying I feel I should make contact again for his sake and basically beg her to show some decency toward him as he desperately wants to meet his grandchildren.
I know it will be futile but should I at least try?

Aunty S responds

Dreadful things happen to good people my dear and I feel very strongly that making contact again would only distress you further which in turn would distress your husband even more.
Your daughter is caught up in a lie. She cannot afford her husband and children to find out the truth…..even if you promised her you wouldn’t mention the ‘abortion lie’ she would be frantic she would be found out.
Sadly there are many grandparents and parents in your position.
Treasure the last moments you have with your dear husband and be thankful you have great sons.
I am only a click away.

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Ask Aunty S

askauntys2

Dear Aunty S

When I go out at night my husband angrily refuses to look after the kids so I get my friend to babysit them in our house.
He always says he is not a babysitter.
Our kids are four and seven.
My friend thinks he is cruel as he won’t interact the kids,  he sits on his computer playing games all night.
He goes to the gym four nights a week so I feel I should be allowed to go out once a week for a couple of hours.
What do you think?

Aunty S responds

When a mother cares for her children it is called parenting.
When a father cares for his children it is  called parenting.
Babysitting is when an outside party comes into your home to care for the children.
As he is a disinterested father you are doing the right thing by having a trusted friend babysit them.
They are safe in her care my dear so keep with the status quo.
You look after yourself and keep being a good responsible mother.

 

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