AVM Survivors Network

I Don't Want to be the Adult!

I don’t want to be the adult in the conversation. I don’t want to have to be the one who steps up and says, “I’m sorry, when you said, “________” I did not react properly. I got mad and I felt like you were doing it just to hurt my feelings.”

And it did hurt my feelings. But it didn’t hurt them for the reasons you might think. It didn’t hurt because of what you really said. It didn’t hurt because of what I think you meant. Looking back on it, I think your intentions were good. You were just using a different mode of communication (teenager texted me asking for permission for something that was only mildly questionable) - but you did it by text, harder to argue or discuss, even though 5 minutes ago, I had been there and we could have discussed it in person.

You did it because you weren’t thinking about it 5 minutes ago. You did it because you aren’t in as much of a hurry to get out of the church lobby as I am - because the noise in the church lobby hurts my ears and head. You might have even done it because you know it would increase the likelihood that I would say, “Whatever……”

And that irritated me. Even though I spend most of my communication time doing it digitally, it irritated me that you were using that rather than face to face. And that wasn’t fair of me, because I do it to other people all of the time.

I do it a lot……
- I do it because my head hurts when I try to listen to one voice in a crowd.
- I do it because my voice wears out after a very short amount of time. And that doesn’t even count the air that is “sneaking” out between my paralyzed vocal cord and my fully functioning one - that makes it even harder since I can’t finish a complete sentence without having to stop once or more to catch a breath.
- I do it because there are times when every word I say vibrates up through my skull and then I don’t want to talk and can hardly think over top of that let alone talk.
- I do it because I can hide my emotions more easily. When there is a screen and a keyboard in between me and the other half of the conversation it is easier to be open, honest and to hide the pain.
- Because I can proofread what I write and can edit mistakes and add in words that should have been in message but weren’t there. I don’t know why my brain just skips sometimes but I’ll be typing along and I know I “thought” that word onto the but it doesn’t happen. (How many times did I do that in those two sentences?)

So what right do I have to get upset when someone else uses electronic communications? Yeah, not so much. And there again is a time where I’ve got to be the adult. I’ve got to be the one who says, “I’m sorry, I really screwed up and I made things more difficult.”

And then if I want to invest in the relationship, I need to explain the why behind it. Why did I do what I did? Let me tell you a few things:
- Let me explain why I reacted the way I did.
- Let me explain why my brain has a hard time dealing with chaos or change or….
- Let me explain how frustrating it is when you can’t follow things and structure things in a nice orderly way like you used to.
- Let me explain how frustrating it is when things around you are more confusing, more frustrating, and more difficult for you to be part of than it used to be.

I don’t like being the adult.

I don’t like being the one who has to say, "Son, I’m sorry…… Here’s some things you probably need to know about what has changed in the way Dad’s head works. Oh and these changes are totally different than what your grandpa died from last year (cancer). As my doctor said, I have less of a chance of a serious problem (I.e. Brain bleed) than I do getting in a car accident driving home from my son’s college (25 minute drive). It changes some things and those changes, when acknowledged and worked through, can actually make things better in the long run.

But being the adult isn’t fun. It’s not always fun when you are healthy and all is well. It’s definitely not fun when it involves looking at your own actions and seeing how they impact others, especially others who matter to you.

I don’t like being the adult. But I have to.

Someone has to.

And I know what’s going on better than anyone else.


Morning, TJ!

Feels like you’ve been quiet for a little while, so I welcome the interaction, though I know it reflects a difficult time for you. I’m hoping the new haircut is playing out well and you’re getting more ok with it.

My thoughts this morning are…

You can just say “sorry” you know? You don’t need to give your son the full download. I have to say, if he’s absorbed the full download a handful of times, he’s doing so much better than my son. We try to look after them but they resist it all the way.

For example, my son has a 1-2 hour bus ride to college each day. If one of us drops him off on the other side of town, he can cut out one bus and about an hour of trouble. Equally, if we get there for about 7:30, he can catch the early bus which guarantees to get him to college in good time and he gets some welcome chilling time with a cup of tea in the college cafeteria before lessons start.

Last night he asked could I drop some parcels off at the Post Office today because he wants to get to college early and have a bit of a study session with his mates before lessons start today (so early bus required).

So, this morning, the alarms go off in each room. I can hear them. I leave it a while to give everyone the chance to make their choices: first in the bathroom or second or third. Then I shout up. (I mention to my wife before shouting, otherwise, she doesn’t like it!! :rofl:).

No movement, so Mrs D goes first.

Young master D then stirs, to find mum already occupying the shower and returns to bed. Eventually, I can hear the shower being switched off, so I call out “mum’s done!” but the reply I get is that it is an unwelcome prompt. I’m only trying to make sure everyone gets out to work and college on time.

“But I thought you need to be at college early this morning?”

I just get grumbled at for being right.

So, when I try to explain, when I try to help; if I try too much to be there and make sure everyone else achieves what they have said to me that they want to be able to do today, I sometimes get grumbled at.

They don’t want the full explanation. I’m overdoing it, apparently.

Very best wishes


And then there’s the time my oldest fell asleep in the shower.

No, that’s not a typo. Came back from a 3 day, 2 night youth conference having gotten maybe 8 hours of sleep in that entire time. Usual time for a shower to shut off. Nothing. Knock on the door, “hey, keep moving in there.” Nothing. Go to the other bathroom and flush the toilet which almost instantly makes the water in that bathroom drop 10 degrees (F) . “Hey, I’m getting busy!”

Yeah, been quiet - wife had surgery (as routine as any can be) so schedules have been off, thinking brain has been worn out with little time and energy to write beyond personal journaling (plus “my Randy” and I do a lot of therapy by e-mail).

Oh and you know how the dynamics are different with every kid? Throw in some reactive attachment disorder along with some PTSD, a little trauma and mix it all together. I am so abso-frickin-lutely proud of what he’s accomplished and how far he’s come in spite of a life that is full of scars from 3 years in an orphanage.

One thing that does is it pushes everything to seem worse than it is. Dad’s having surgery becomes “Dad’s got something like Grandpa and he’s going to die from cancer like Grandpa did.” So there are times when we don’t tell them everything. Absolutely times. But we also do share more with Mr. I as we do with Miss A because their past difficulties make it too easy for them to imagine and worry abouot something way worse than it really is.

Oh and I am happy to report that the only one who doesn’t like the haircut is my 18 year old daughter and right now, she doesn’t like pretty much anything I do, so I’m okay with that. My brother (who did the buzz 25 years ago) said he really liked it but it ticked him off because I could wait that much longer to do it than he did. He first buzzed his when he was 25. I’m 54.

I am thoroughly enjoying it and plan on keeping it this way.

Thanks for checking in, I’m here, not going anywhere.


That’s how to measure success! Definitely! I’ve a tiny bit of white hair in my sideburns. I’m hoping to stay that way sooo much longer than is reasonable… :grin: and I’m nearly 54.