Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Emotional Vampires

Do you have some one in your life that is just so negative that they are pretty much an emotional vampire? I have a couple in real life and few who are Facebook friends most who have children with Autism. Some days, most days, I think about defacing them, I mean unfriending them. Honestly, I get tired of the whole life sucks, autism sucks, they have nothing positive to say about their child/children, Jenny McCarthy sucks, DAN doctors are snake oil salesmen, vaccines suck, etc.


HEY!!! It could always be worse. Many of my friends with kids with Autism that are dealing with that and a whole bunch more, they would be thankful to only have Autism to complain about.. Here are a few examples off the top of my head.
1) CPS.
2) Fighting cancer
3) husband’s has passed away in the past year
4) many with chronic immune issues
5) chronic pain
6) heart issues
7) domestic violence
8) drug abuse
Most of the friends I have with the above issues complain but not 24/7, and they do post some positive things when they have a good day.

I seriously worry about people who can’t find something good to post about once in awhile. I’m not looking for huge things; the something good could be that your child with Autism smiled at you, the sun came out, or you caught all the green lights on your way home. Any happy thing here would make me feel better.

This may sound like I am dissing one of my fellow autism parents’ but I am not trying too. If I was I would have already defaced them and moved on. I just want to feed them some food for thought. I think most of us on Facebook and have a child with autism are Autism Awareness 24/7 but I fear the always negative message may scare off the people in your lives who do not live and breath Autism 24/7. I also fear it will scare the new parents to autism from trying some of the interventions that have helped other kids. 6 years ago I was a lot like my emotional vampires friends, well except I am pro Jenny and DAN. Then I realized that I was sounding like a crazy person and alienating those I wanted to help. I then took a step back and changed the way I worded things. I gained a lot more supporters and people who do not have a child with Autism, but know someone who does and may need the information I have learned.

A great example of this is my Cousin Renee’s aunt friended me the other day. I’ve know this aunt all my life, she is like an aunt to me. She friended me a year and half after she heard me talking to Renee’s cousin April about why she should not use Dreft on her baby’s clothes. Renee’s aunt is becoming a grandma and she heard me talking to April at Renee’s daughter in law’s baby shower, trust me I wanted to yell full force to April to not vaccinate, but I didn’t. I did not because I knew I would send April the other way. Instead I talked to her about something small, because I DO NOT scare pregnant women. I want pregnant women to feel free to have an open dialogue with me at anytime. My calm attitude when speaking to April, left the door open for someone who was listening to talk to me about their concerns 1 ½ years after the initial conversation.

This same dialogue with April also lead me to friending and talking to another one of Renee’s cousin’s wives. Her child has been extremely sick and was recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies, and needed help with finding foods her child could eat and my thoughts on eating GF at home for the entire family. Had I stayed the crazy person both these people may not have learned the knowledge I had to share.

I guess the point of this blog is to:
a) Think before you speak, don’t scare off the people who want to listen to you
b) Remember you may not be able to change the entire world at once, but you can try to change the world one person at a time
c) Most important don’t be an emotional vampire, let your friends know something positive every once in a while other wise we will worry about you!!!

PITA up, you know you want too!!


  1. well said! you are absolutely right on so many levels. Some people with the most positive attitudes have had the most challenges and have chosen to rise above it!

  2. Great job Shannon. You are an amazing writer and all of these blogs are surely helping others. I love ya cuz!

  3. Nice. Do you have a copyright on Emotional Vampire? Catchy.

  4. I always bring it back to the homeless guy who approached me in the Starbucks drive thru because he saw my PITAmobile. He told me his girlfriend's 3 year old son had Autism, then proceeded to ask me... "What do we do for him?"

    I am married to a Marine in Special Ops, who can deploy at a moment's notice to parts unknown for time lengths unknown and might or might not return home to me alive and/or in one piece. My older son is on the Spectrum, but is more significantly impacted by his severe ADHD, that was very well controlled until puberty began to set in... right around the time my 2 1/2 year old was diagnosed with Autism. I, myself, go through multiple surgical procedures on my back for osteoarthritis and severe chronic pain every few months or so, then try to stifle the remaining pain through inadequate pain medication and good old-fashioned "sucking-it-the-hell-up."

    Some people might look at my predicament and think that I have it rough... but Homeless Man reminds me that even though I face adversity, I don't know Jack Shit about true suffering with Autism. Because tonight, I will lay down in my beautiful bed with my wonderful husband in my secure home with my perfectly physically healthy children sleeping peacefully beneath the same roof we'll be under for a very, very long time to come, full of the yummy dinner that I managed to cook with the food that our pantry is completely stocked with.

    Truth be told, folks... none of us has a corner on suffering. I've lived on the streets, and I can tell you, there's no way in HELL I'd be able to hack it living on those same streets with an Autistic child. I have my days where the world seems like it's falling down around my ears, but I always have to keep that self-pity in check... because somewhere out there is a woman who is laying her head down tonight in a shelter with her 3 year old autistic toddler sleeping somewhere close by, but not in a home of their own making. Hopefully, they've managed to eat well tonight, if the fare at the shelter wasn't too harsh on Little Man's gut. If she's a PITA at heart, she'll no doubt be unable to sleep much, afraid of what the future holds for her baby boy, and not knowing if he will ever get the help he needs... which she probably lacks the knowledge and resources to obtain for him.

    My life is AWESOME. If you think you've got it bad, remember... there is someone out there who would KILL for the life that you lead.

    PITA up.

  5. Your title, "Emotional Vampires," really put me in the mood for some Rolling Stones! Emotional Rescue! Come to think of it, if you put some fangs on Mick Jagger, he would make one scary vampire.

    Cindy makes a really good point. Most of us have it SO GOOD that we sometimes get a little arrogant. Seriously, I run into so many parents of kids with autism that have never even heard of a fraction of the things that we kick around on the So Cal boards. We are privileged.

  6. some people use their negativity as a false crutch. If they are this negative then by god they are going to prove that their life sucks. Did you hear them? bc their life sucks and they mean it. And god forbid something can go okay bc then how do they prove how much their life sucks if something goes right? So nothing can go right or their suckiness might go away too. xo Gabs

  7. Emotional Vampires! What a GREAT phrase!

    ...and I've known PLENTY of them who never saw autism. The dramas they need to live and breathe don't even have substance...

    but one of the things we've learned to do with autism is DETOX. we can detox ourselves of the emotional poison too!

    and don't we all feel better when we do!

  8. I dont have self pity. I have three boys, two are on the spectrum. I have a 15 yr old who has aspergers and ADHD...top it off with puberty. My 6 yr old is serverly autistic. We have very bad days...I dont complain I just get on with it. I will say that Jenny is a idiot though. Autism is for life. It can NOT be cured, it just gets better with age in most cases. That comes from top experts in Autism..not a mother convinced she can cure all. And I must also comment that most people complaining about parents with kids with autism are parents who have NORMAL kids and dont know what they are on about.