Topic: Support
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September 30th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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alittlelost alittlelost is offline
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What do you look for with support?

My uncle came to visit recently. I would say in my family, he is the most supportive, though I bet much of my family would beg to differ. You see, my Uncle is a "I'll give you right hand even if it means I can't feed myself -- but only if you are trying to feed yourself the right foods." In other words, if he thinks you are doing the right thing, he supports you by helping you do it. If he doesn't think you are doing the right thing, he supports you by telling you so.

Maybe my admiration of him colors how I see support. Some of my most supportive friends tell me things I don't want to, but need to, hear. However, I am learning that not all people see that as support. To some, support is agreement. How do you decide, then, who wants support as in help to achieve something that will be good for them, versus wanting support as in agreement?

Case in point, my cousin. He's addicted to drugs. To the point we can't even let him know where we live because he has robbed multiple family members while they were away and pawned the stolen items for drug money. He messaged me recently asking for help. He wanted a place to stay or money. He told me (from his iphone, which must have been magically charged) that he was living on skid row and needed help. I have to tell him to get back into rehab, that we can't enable him, and that I'm scared him. That I am afraid of getting that call that he's turned up dead somewhere. Maybe that makes me a b... or cold hearted... but to me, that was the right way to support him. I'm sure he didn't agree. I'm sure he's mad at me. I'm sure he thinks I'm heartless. But I told him what I felt was right.

Here's one where I always get stuck. So you have a mama who is having a hard time breastfeeding and REALLY wants to breastfeed but is thinking of quitting. I probably mess up every time I try to show those mamas support. Because I see everyone being like "If that's what you need to do, do it!" and while I agree with that sentiment, I guess I just think . . . but maybe what she really needs is support to KEEP breastfeeding? (This coming from someone who didn't even PLAN to breastfeed this time.) So I think, ya know, maybe I should give them advice on how they can keep breastfeeding *if they want to*. But then I feel like, is that going to be perceived as not being supportive? I mean, it guess it depends on who you are talking to, right?

So what are your thoughts on Support? What is support to you and how do you support others? Do you ever struggle with offering the support someone needs and telling them what they want to hear? How do you know when to just not saying anything at all?
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