Am I Over Reacting?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Am I Over Reacting?
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 2:45am

I struck up a friendship with this woman I had met 4 months ago, we had a lot in common and started hanging out a lot and it was great to know someone else who had retired early and could do things during the day. I told her off a few nights because I felt she insulted me and was being ignorant.

We had gone to the reading of a play and afterwards they were having wine and cheese and a discussion of the play. She wanted to stay and I didn’t because it was 10:00pm on a school night and I had to be up early to make sure my son got up and made his bus. I had suggested she drive her own car and met me there; because she is frequently late and likes to stay places longer than I want to stay but she chose to ride with me.

On the drive home she said how old did you say your son was? And I replied he is 16 and she said shouldn’t he be getting his own self off to school at that age? I told her that my son has ADD and loses track of time. I have to make sure he gets up and gets ready on time so he does not miss his bus because then I would have make a 45 min drive to his school and 45 min back home, 90 min total. I said it has happened more than once and it is easier on me just to get up and get him on his way.

That should have been the end of it. But she went on to say is that ADD something you gave him? I said what do you mean is that something I gave him? Then she went on to say people are always labeling their children and giving them disabilities they don’t have.

This really angered me because the last thing that most parents ever want is for their child to have any kind of disability. It is a very difficult thing to go through, especially trying to get your child properly educated. But what pissed me off even more was when she said she knows of people who label their children to get a SSI check.

That sent me into orbit and I told her if I was going to give my child something it would not be ADD and that was a very ignorant statement and a few other choice words.

This is a very touchy subject for me because I spent 7 years fighting with the public school system to educate him according to his educational plan, I paid thousand of dollars in legal fees, consultant fees, tutoring and for private school; plus he does not receive a SSI check.

I have been ignoring her calls and debating if I want to continue the friendship. My sister thinks that because this is a touchy subject for me I may have over reacted and that I should not be so quick to end a friendship over something like that. Is my sister right, am I making too much of


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 6:22pm

Your sister knows you best, so she may be onto to something.  

I would talk to your friend and see what she has to say.  Yes, her comments were unnecessary and for the most part, rude.  Your friendship may not continue, but I would give her the opportunity to make amends and see what happens.  

It clearly is a sensitive subject and yes, a lot of people have opinions regarding ADD and yes, there are people who take advantage of the system, and, and, and.....

So, coming from a place where I always look at my part, regardless of the other person, I would say you probably could have handled it differently.  Don't get me wrong, it sounds like she was out of line, but we can only change and control ourself; no one else.  

She is not here to state her side.  She may have a very different take on it.  Often times we "hear" things one way and the other person is like "What?  That's not what I said."  Or "That isn't how I meant that.  I didn't say that is what you do, I meant that it makes me mad when people do take advantage."

Let's be honest here, I think most would bristle when a mother says she has to make sure her 16 year old gets up in the morning.  I totally understand why you do what you do, and if I were to guess here, your friend is probably is of the belief that kids are over diagnosed, over medicated and it makes her angry to see people take advantage of the system, etc. etc.  

I guess what I am getting at here is I have a feeling her first comment offended you, you went on the defense, and everything else she said was perceived negatively towards you personally.  Just my guess.  

So again, see what she has to say, and go from there. She needs to accept that this is how you parent and she can take you or leave you.  I could be totally wrong and she is just an insenstive b****.  But you won't know unless you talk to her.  

I can't get my subscriptions to work, so I will try and check back and see what happens.  

(((Hugs)))  I struggled with my DS24 through his teens.  I know it is tough.  

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 10:09pm

I would have been offended too, at the point where she asked if you "gave" your ds ADD. That sounds like she is insinuating that you made it up (lying) to justify your actions, which she considers to be helicopter parenting. Then the part about she knows people using it to get an SSI check? Not sure if she was trying to backpedal, or insinuating more (dishonest/cheater).

I would expect that someone who you have hung out with a lot during the past 4 months would know your character by now and would have a sense of whether you would fabricate a condition, and then use it to milk the system; or not...and whether such an accusation or implication would upset you or if you would laugh it off. 

I don't think you are overreacting. However if you valued the friendship before this incident then you might want to give her an opportunity to apologize and explain herself. Based on what she says you can decide whether you want to continue to be friends with her.

Avatar for nikki_lav_2288
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2007
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 3:49am

Well I have ADD also the comment your friend made would make me very upset! My mom fought with the schools to get me an education. I feel she does not know enough information on the disorder. She thinks people get SSI for ADD and that people make excuses for their ADD. My nephew has ADHD and he gets a lot of people giving him hell for it. People think I am mentally retarded which that makes me very angry! I think she was being very rude also. I would give her one more chance but if she continues to make rude comments about your sons ADD then you can stop being friends with her. I really do not think you over reacted and because I am very sensitive about issues with my ADD.


Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 6:58pm

I had to think awhile before responding to your post.  I do not think you overreacted.

My son has ADHD, so I understand all that you said.  I actually have a personal story regarding when my son was diagnosed with ADHD at 3 years old, a psychiatrist imlying I caused it (would be happy to share if your interested).  So, when I read that part of your post, my blood pressure went up a bit.  I would have been offended.

I don't even think it is the fact that she asked if you caused it, it just was out of line to say to a mother (or father) in my opinion.  What does that have to do with anything anyway?   Was she just making conversation?   I know so many times people make comments like that and maybe the person did not have bad intentions, but if they think before talking, that would help.  I know we all do that (we don't think before saying something out of line).  Or maybe she didn't think it was out of line.

As far as if you want to be friends, my thoughts are it depends ... do you like her as a person?  Do you have similar values or interests?  Or, do you think this issue has been too upsetting and you may not be able get past it and be her friend?

As I said, I had to really think about your post.  I can see both sides.  Some would give her a chance to explain.  Some would say, "you deeply offended me and I can't get past that....". 

What do you think?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 7:31pm

I think I was really offended with the part about did I give my son ADD and the remark about the SSI and labeling. Even though she has not known me a long time I would think in the 4 months we have know each other that she have gotten to know something about my character and me as a person.

I am sensitive about my son because I get so tried of people's ignorance about the disorder and special education and thinking he is dumb or stupid because I have him in a private school for children with learning disabilities. The public school bus picks him up at home and transports him to the private school and sometimes when other kids are walking by when he gets on the bus they laugh and say he rides the short bus or the retard bus. We even asked the  the aide not to get off the bus because it embarassed him when she got off the bus and waited by the bus for him to get on. Also when she talked about me labeling him, it really pissed me off because I didn't label him, the doctor's diagnosed him and they gave him the label that I needed to get my son the proper classroom setting and school in which he could be educated.  

I have been to hell and back dealing with ignorant people, teachers and administrators and I guess I was not in any mood to deal with it from someone I called a friend. I think because she is an ex police officer and has seen the worse in people that she has come to think the worse of people. I think eventually I will talk to her and tell her how I feel but I have to calm down 1st.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 7:42pm

I would be very interested in hearing your story, I am in the process of getting registered to train to be an parent advocate. The more stories I hear the more determined I become to help suffering parents; who have to hear teacher's say your kid is not paying attention, they know it they are just not trying and seeing their child making failing grades when they know their kid is smart. In my 7 year battle I have learned alot and want to help other parents get their kids the help they need without having to go in debt like I did.

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Sun, 02-03-2013 - 12:59am

The bus aide said you labeled your son by saying ADHD?  Are you kidding?  Or did I misunderstand?

I can sooooo relate to all the bus cenarios (sp?).  I grew up hearing the word, "retard" towards my older brother, who has ADHD.  Now, I have my son whom has it and I struggle with bus issues as well.

You mentioned you would hear my experience.  I will private message you on here.

Take care!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Sun, 02-03-2013 - 11:45am
No it was my friend who said I was labeling him not the bus aide.
Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Sun, 02-03-2013 - 12:19pm

Oh, ok.  You are labeling him by saying he has either ADD or ADHD???  That is a diagnosis, not a label, do you think?  What are you sapose to say then if she thinks that is a label?  Hmmm .... Maybe she needs to read more on the subject before she blurts out what she has already said.  What do you think?

I sent you a message Smile



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 4:14pm

Someone who doesn't have a child with special needs or circumstances or know of someone who does really has no clue what a parent who does has to go through.

As a grandparent of a severely autistic grandchild, I have had to school various people what that means. With my granddaughter it is pretty obvious and can't be denied. So many people do not understand that ADD is real and parents had to go through for so many years without any help.

I might give her the benefit of the doubt, some education on the subject and then go from there.