What you don’t see on Facebook

Facebook. Instragram. Twitter. Snapchat. We have all gotten used to sharing our lives with our friends on Social Media. And it all looks so nice.

Everything looks great in those moments. You can even “filter” things so that they look even better. Some people are experts at how to take the best selfies.

I love how my family looks in those moments. Everyone is smiling. My family looks perfect.

A lot of these moments happen when we are on vacation. These “perfect” family moments.

When you have a child with anxiety, a mood disorder, developmental delays, etc., vacations are not always easy. When you have a child with a mental illness, things do not always go as planned. Don’t get me wrong, I love vacation and I love being on vacation with my family. I post a lot of great family photos from our vacations.

Here are some things from our vacations that did not make Facebook –

1. West Coast Road Trip – Last summer went took a road trip from Seattle to LA. We had a great time. This was a fabulous trip. And a long one. We did a lot, including Yosemite. Our pictures are amazing. The trip was amazing. We did not take any pictures of Bryce screaming at us throughout Yosemite, “I hate you all. I hate my family.” Our pictures do not show Bryce threatening to jump from a bridge at the waterfalls in Oregon. I can’t even tell you why he was screaming or why he got mad during any of the trip. I can tell you that Bryce loved Chinatown in San Francisco because he got a stuffed animal and he loved LA because he met my friend Ashley. That is all he remembers from our trip. That’s it. But that is ok. That is all he needs to remember.

2. Spring Break in the Shenandoah. Wait. That vacation never happened. We had to cancel it because Bryce was in the hospital. Instead we spent everyday driving back and forth to Towson to spend our one hour a day visiting our son (Did you know when your loved one is in a psychiatric hospital that you can only see them for one hour a day at a designated time?) There should have been pictures of staying in a cool cabin, hiking, etc. Nope. The pictures from our drives back and forth to Towson did not make Facebook.

3. Deep Creek SummerIMG_0384Here is a picture that did make Facebook. But right before this Bryce hit me and threatened to jump off the mountain. He was upset about something I cannot even remember and it escalated. We had to calm him down and make him safe. So, we did what any parents would do. We bought him ice cream. The pictures of him screaming and hitting me didn’t make Facebook. Neither did any pictures of parents telling us what we should have done instead. I cannot tell you the amount of times other people have tried to give me advice because they do not understand – I have learned to just politely nod or ignore them. Maybe I will take a picture next time. People also speak to Bryce directly – “Don’t talk to your mom like that, young man.” That isn’t really a good idea. When in a rage, Bryce tends to spout out some not so nice words.

4. Trip to Dutch Wonderland – One of our least thought out decisions was to stay at a quaint family farm in Pennsylvania near Dutch Wonderland. It was a family friendly farm that had tours, a trampoline, breakfast, etc. They had kittens. Bryce didn’t exactly know how to play with the kittens. He didn’t exactly know how to act at all. We basically left in the middle of the night. It’s a long story. It was a failed vacation. There are no pictures on Facebook.

5. Float Trip – Let’s just say one of my kids wound up in the water because the kids were fighting too much. That’s all I will say about that. Not on Facebook.

Basically I will just sum up and say that most of our vacations have good moments and bad. I didn’t even mention our cruise from last December. Bryce had an amazing time for 85% of the cruise. The first night, however Bryce had a meltdown and we had to restrain him. He was screaming and threatening to jump off the balcony.

I say all of this tongue in cheek and jokingly. But all of these stories are true and were terrible, scary moments. We got through them all and we managed to have great vacations. We show you the good and not the bad.

So if you are a parent of a child with mental illness or a disability, and you are struggling – Don’t worry. Relax. You might think everyone else is having more fun or having a “perfect” vacation, but just realize – they are only showing you their best moments.

We don’t know what goes on in other people’s lives. We only see the good and we all project that our lives are wonderful.

No one’s life is perfect. Some of us struggle more than others, but everyone has their struggles.

Life will not always be perfect, but it will be wonderful.

By the way, there are great places to go on vacation with kids that have special needs, especially all inclusive resorts. I will save that for another blog post!

Our West Coast Road Trip – Bryce is smiling at Yosemite.  But this is before we are hiking. We drove to this spot! 

13 thoughts on “What you don’t see on Facebook

  1. Gayle greenberg May 17, 2016 / 12:11 am

    In know you didn’t mean this to be funny and it wasn’t really funny but it was I remember all,to well,our vacations that had happy moments and some not so happy but you’re right , we choose to remember and share the happy ones. The fact that you and terry chose to continue on your vacation and have fun rather than letting that bring you all down, is a credit to you all. I would be interested to know what cole thought of all this. His diary would be interesting.


    • Tracy May 17, 2016 / 12:16 am

      It is a little funny. Somewhat tongue in cheek and hopefully hopeful to others. And yes, you do remember a lot of this – especially the cruise! Which – for the most part was fabulous. And yes, we have to live our lives. We can not put life on hold or do nothing. We manage and cope. That is the key.


  2. KatieComeBack May 17, 2016 / 1:37 am

    I still remember trying to ruin our family trip to Sesame Place….I still apologize to my folks for that one. My perspective is way different now as a parent. (I clearly needed help…but back in they day, that wasn’t done so much….)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy May 17, 2016 / 1:49 am

      I am sure you do not need to apologize! I think vacations bring on a lot of anxiety for everyone

      Liked by 1 person

      • KatieComeBack May 17, 2016 / 9:26 pm

        Oh, I was a horrible child. LOL Nowadays they’d have me on the meds I so badly needed! I get tastes from my kids at times and, remembering how much worse I was, text Mom an apology….


      • Tracy May 17, 2016 / 10:36 pm

        Well, it is good you can recognize it. I am sure your mom appreciates it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa Taylor May 17, 2016 / 1:55 am

    Love this story! I am annoyed with Facebook a lot of the time for these same reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy May 17, 2016 / 11:39 am

      Thanks Melissa! But you have a wonderful life! 🙂 and you are an amazing mother! xoxo


  4. Sarah May 17, 2016 / 2:21 am

    This so true! Every once in a while I try to break the cycle and post a funny picture about how things don’t go right. Or vent a frustration. But it usually ends in unwanted advice instead of encouragement.

    We are all just doing our best 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy May 17, 2016 / 11:38 am

      People do need to understand we all just want encouragement sometimes! Keep it up!! Thanks for the comment!


  5. Love, Laughter & Truth June 1, 2016 / 6:59 am

    Very interesting insight, Facebook life can be very different to real life!


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