August 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm #2296
Faithful catholic mom enrolled her child in small catholic school, hoping for a strong and warm religious community. Immediately, the power pot mom clique told me that I do not belong, not entitled to volunteer and told me stories of how other women would break down and cry at pick up. Astonished, I tried to avoid these women but the school is very small and these women have leadership positions at the school and church. One time one of the moms refused to shake my hand at the sign of peace during mass even though she and her family always take the first row! If I smile and say hello they would say I am not entitled to their friendship. They point and laugh at me and to be honest, I have another child with severe learning problems so I am not the most confident mom ever.
I went to my parish priest but he told me that he can not force people to like me. But I also found out that he spent Christmas with one of these mean moms so he probably won’t understand. Now the meanest of the mean, who works at the school and in charge of the women’s group, is telling everyone I sent her a hateful anonymous note in the mail! I do not know what kind of weird game is going on but I am almost suicidal. I am socially isolated with an autistic child, I did not send anyone a note’. I don’t even know this person well enough to write a mean note. I am getting snubbed and given the cold shoulder by the other catholic moms and I didn’t even do anything! Every day I pray to God that my child will start to talk, I am not in the ode to write a vicious note. Advice please, I am broken and do not even feel comfort in attending my church.August 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm #4041
I am so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds very strange that you are being treated this way. I don’t blame you for not wanting to attend church. Is there another Parish around that you can go to? You could possibly make an appt with the Priest there and ask what he would advise?
I’m so sorry… I will pray for you.October 5, 2011 at 12:24 am #4042
I’m not sure where you are located, but are there any groups or organizations in your area that have support for families of children with special needs? It can be difficult for families of typical children to relate to families of children with autism and other special needs. I have a child with Aspergers and apraxia (a speech disorder). It can be very socially isolating, but after a while I stopped caring what other people thought of me. Also, if they gave me nasty looks or made nasty comments, I sometimes replied “Thank you for your help” or “Thank you for caring about my situation” and let them think on it. Maybe not the best way to handle it, but I got tired of people making assumptions about what was going on with my children. People assume it’s “bad parenting” and not something more. I think perhaps a “sit-down” with the priest at your parish is in order and better support is needed. I have been told a few times that my child is welcome in our parish – at this point, I do believe it. But I am also at the point where I would have few problems politely talking to other parishioners on attitudes and assumptions about autism and other developmental challenges. More work on inclusion is needed, and unfortunately “mom cliques” are alive and well in Catholic schools and parishes. Do not be intimidated by them – what you are handling is challenge enough, and you are stronger inside than you give yourself credit for. Remember you are strong in God, pray often every day, and ask Jesus and Mary to walk with you always.October 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm #4043
Dealing with similar at our church! My husband and I just talked to our priests about it yesterday. The guidance given was to “ignore it” and be nice. Volunteer anyway.
Easier said than done, I know! I also have a son on the autism spectrum and get lots of comments about how weird he is.
Hang in there!!!
CarrieJanuary 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm #4044
I am so sorry that you’re going through this, I hope you’re still around the forums!
My husband and I went through something similar when our daughter first entered Catholic school. We sought counseling within the Church as well and were told to just ignore the issues, but it sounds like you have it much worse. I would, honestly, set up a time when you can speak privately with her and lay out the issues. If your child has a learning disability, explain this to her. Tell her that she may dislike you as much as she wants, but that you walk with Jesus and Mary, and assuming she too is Catholic than you have a commonality! Tell her she is negatively affecting your children and her own, and that this sort of thing needs to be kept out of and away from the school.
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