Trying out a triad

Cookie at least has fallen victim to the brainwashing - if I don't do something special, she'll be upset. I've always hated how stores mark up everything like flowers and candy because they know men are expected to buy it.
It never fails to amaze me the "reasons" people will come up with to get themselves upset over.
 
Does Pumpkin really care if I take her out? I have trouble reading her feelings
Im wondering why you are trying to read minds? Just ASK! Ask them both what they want to do. Then you’ll know.
 
It never fails to amaze me the "reasons" people will come up with to get themselves upset over.
I blame the constant messaging from advertising, TV, movies, and social media telling women that love is best expressed through things like diamonds and lavish resort vacations. Cookie has struggled with comparing herself to her friends on Facebook - the friends with neurotypical kids that vacation in Hawaii every year. With kids that are going away to college, and the like.
For many, many years I tried my very best to come up with what I thought were good gifts that she'd appreciate, but she was always disappointed and angry at me getting it wrong. It was one of the things that pushed me to become more distant and just focus on work.
Now that Cookie has a girlfriend, and on this strange, new path in life, things will hopefully be different and she'll stop comparing herself to the stuff people post on Facebook.
 
Im wondering why you are trying to read minds? Just ASK! Ask them both what they want to do. Then you’ll know.
With Cookie, if I ask, she'll say that I don't pay attention and don't understand her - I should know what she wants without asking. And that asking what she wants to do is putting the burden of planning on her.
With Pumpkin, she'll just shrug.
 
Now that Cookie has a girlfriend, and on this strange, new path in life, things will hopefully be different and she'll stop comparing herself to the stuff people post on Facebook.
Yeah here's the thing about people posting about their perfect, happy little lives on Facebook. Those are the people who are trying to convince *themselves* that their lives are so wonderful. In my experience, the more people gush about how wonderfully awesome everything is, the less wonderfully awesome things actually are.

I have this friend who was doing that like every hour of every day, then one day suddenly she was posting from a battered women's shelter and get this: her abuser got custody of their kids because they live in Michigan and she "abandoned the family home".

God bless the USA and the internet.
 
With Cookie, if I ask, she'll say that I don't pay attention and don't understand her - I should know what she wants without asking. And that asking what she wants to do is putting the burden of planning on her.
With Pumpkin, she'll just shrug.
This is not healthy adult communication.
 
This is not healthy adult communication.
I agree. Another reason I had become withdrawn. I extend a lot of grace to Cookie because she has been so stressed and depressed for so long. There really is no help out there for the parents of special-needs kids. It's just a constant hamster wheel of case managers stopping by for an hour, making a few notes, and leaving again. Nothing ever happens, nothing ever changes. Sometimes a person will be assigned to provide a service, but they never last more than a visit or two before "They Are No Longer Employed Here" and we are dropped back to the bottom of the waiting list. A large amount of the household budget is spent on medical bills for specialists that are not covered by insurance. Their only answer seems to be prescribing more pills to add to the pile. It's all very discouraging, and the whole situation makes Cookie feel like a complete failure as a mother. The way she sees it, she only had one chance to grow a human, and she messed it up.
 
I agree. Another reason I had become withdrawn. I extend a lot of grace to Cookie because she has been so stressed and depressed for so long. There really is no help out there for the parents of special needs kids. It's just a constant hamster wheel of case managers stopping by for an hour, making a few notes, and leaving again, Nothing ever happens, nothing ever changes. Sometimes a person will be assigned to provide a service, but they never last more than a visit or two before "They Are No Longer Employed Here" and we are dropped back to the bottom of the waiting list. A large amount of the household budget is spent on medical bills for specialists that are not covered by insurance. Their only answer seems to be prescribing more pills to add to the pile. It's all very discouraging, and the whole situation makes Cookie feel like a complete failure as a mother. The way she sees it, she only had one chance to grow a human, and she messed it up.
I have zero maternal instincts, never wanted to (and never have) become pregnant or raise a child, and cannot wrap my mind around how that is such a fundamental part of many people's self-esteem. With that said, I do not see any connection between why that means you should be a mind-reader and refusing to even entertain your questions when you do ask them.
 
Cookie has struggled with comparing herself to her friends on Facebook
She needs to stop that. It’s all lies. People put bullshit lies on social media because they are just as insecure and have just as shitty problems as she does but they think posting lies on social media will make them feel better. She should drop social media completely. She will be much happier without it.

With Cookie, if I ask, she'll say that I don't pay attention and don't understand her - I should know what she wants without asking
Nope. Bullshit. You arent a mind reader and if she expects you to be then you have no relationship. Tell her you want to give her the time she wants with the person she wants. Does she want to be with just you, or both of you? That’s all she needs to answer.

asking what she wants to do is putting the burden of planning on her
If it’s Pumpkin, then Pumpkin can figure out what to do. If it's with you or all of you, you can plan the outing and let her act like a toddler if she’s not happy. If she responds that way, tell her you want a relationship with an adult that can communicate her wants and needs, and until she learns that skill, you wont be participating in these holidays or gift giving because your effort is not appreciated and you have no idea what she wants.

This could be a mental load thing, and if it is, the break for both of you might be helpful. You can revisit a conversation again later.

I extend a lot of grace to Cookie because she has been so stressed and depressed for so long. There really is no help out there for the parents of special-needs kids
There definitely are therapists that can help, and it sounds like she desperately needs one! Self esteem, relationships, special-needs child and depression on top!? She NEEDS a therapist, and a good one at that. Probably the best gift you could give her, in the long run.

That's really the ONLY help for special-needs kids-- help the parents cope. Give them skills to manage their own lives and emotions so they can better help their kids who feed off our emotions. Parent gets better, kids become easier. It won't be like magic, but even small changes can be HUGE with a special-needs kid.
 
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