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That Achilles has a lot to answer for!

(6 Posts)
GrandmaB63 Sat 30-Jan-16 11:55:25

Achilles’ heels, we all have them, don’t we? That’s the truly vulnerable spot that we protect with emotional sticking plaster all our lives. Of course you don’t know what your Achilles heel, (Ah), is until someone hits you right there. Poor old Achilles died when he was shot in the heel which had been the bit his mother hung onto when she dipped him in the magic strengthening waters of the River Styx. Naturally, it was mum’s fault, isn’t it always? My first Ah was my weight. I was a bonny baby, a chubby child and an Amazonian adult – pleasant enough adjectives meaning FAT!!!!! I’ve been on some kind of diet for most of my adult life, very few of which have actually worked. Now aged 64 I’ve grown into my own plump skin and feel relaxed enough to say “Sod it”, what you see is what you get and that goes for all the other insecurities of youth. Ah its grand growing old when you can do and say exactly what you like, (within reason).
My second and probably hardest Ah became apparent in my early thirties. Married for over 7 years and tired of the usual tactless remarks from so called “friends” about the patter of tiny feet, we had our fertility tested and received the devastating news that the only way a baby would come our way was through AID and that wasn’t guaranteed either. I remember one particularly insensitive colleague at work who kept offering friendly advice on fertility treatment. Having popped out three of her own as easily as shelling peas she was obviously fishing for news. After a few months treatment we gave up on that too and later became proud parents through adoption. Like all families, we’ve had our ups and downs; the teen years were particularly challenging, but when aren’t they? We don’t regret our choice for one moment and our daughter’s beautiful little girl has brought untold happiness to the whole family.
However, that doesn’t stop the busy bodies from trying to shoot that arrow at your Ah. People, i.e. those who consider themselves “normal” parents, whatever that is, like to parade their snug middle class offspring in front of you. You know the type, whose children have made good marriages and have set off into the sunset in a haze of white tulle. Of course I would love my children to meet, love and be loved by good partners but adopted children often find adult relationships tricky as they come to terms with their own life story. Still things are looking up – last September our son got engaged to his lovely girlfriend of 6 years and our daughter at last has a new boyfriend who treats her like a person and not a chattel. Where there’s life there’s hope I suppose. I think I’ll try and fill a bottle with water from the River Styx just in case though.


Imperfect27 Sun 31-Jan-16 09:53:41

If I didn't have one before, my children must definitely be my Ah. And it is hard, as they grow into adult life and their lives take different courses, to see one child flourish and another possibly flounder. This thread chimes with others on when and how we step back in their adult lives. Even when we get this balance right for them, I think we go on bearing anxiety and the will to do anything that would help them to be happy, even if at some cost to ourselves.

downtoearth Sun 31-Jan-16 16:09:48

This resonates with me also,my family too are my AH,the part about how difficult adoptive children find relationships as they are dealing with their own life history,I am living that situation at the moment.

GrandmaB63 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:21:17

Imperfect27 and downtoearth thank you for your comments. I know when you start talking about this you realise loads of others are going through these emotions too. I know my dear old mum who lived to the ripe old age of 96 worried about me, an only child, every day of her life. I guess it goes with the territory whether you grew them yourself or nurtured and raised the seedlings. All part of life's rich pattern I suppose.

Imperfect27 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:24:24

Life's rich pattern indeed, but harder when we have to see our children struggle and as someone whose children, natural or adopted, have had traumas that can impact on their adult life and greatly affect their ability to be happy, you are undoubtedly caught emotionally too.

GrandmaB63, I think there is an accumulative affect to bearing sorrows in life and you seem to have had more than your fair share to contend with.

Someone recently gave me the analogy of our sense of well-being as like a rubber band - each difficulty stretches it a little and whilst it goes back to it's original shape, over time it takes longer to do so and then a fairly insignificant tug might make it snap!

I get that - it feels true for me. I think it is natural for us to give of ourselves emotionally and to put our children's needs before our own but it can get costly. xx

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Feb-16 13:40:03

My grandsons are very definitely my Achilles heel. If anyone were to say anything untoward about them I would come over all tiger grandmother. With teeth bared. Not my children though. They can look after themselves.