When you are raising a special needs child (or 3 in my case) sacrifice becomes second nature. Don’t get me wrong I have freely and happily given things up and would do it again in a heartbeat. However, sometimes I still have feelings of resentment. I feel incredibly guilty for these feelings but I have to acknowledge them because they are part of my truth. There are days like today that are harder then others to make peace with this. Today Emmett is in rare form. I don’t know what is going on with him. He is literally going around the house destroying everything he can. This morning I was sitting on the couch working a some of my Android development stuff, I had my Samsung Epic 4G sitting next to me (within inches) on the tray table. I had been rebuilding a theme and having a really difficult time getting it to work right. Next thing I know Emmett comes running through the room picks up my phone and launches it across the house. I watched in slow motion as it hits the corner of our tile fireplace and slides about 10 feet screen down across the floor. I was shocked and reacted by yelling at him (not one of my better moments and I’m not proud). I had just spent the last week having that god damn phone replaced 3 times due to defects (they were all refurbs so no big surprise but still very frustrating). On New Years Eve I got a replacement and it actually worked. I was happy to be back up and running and now I just want t beat my head into the wall.
This kind of stuff happens all the time. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to rebuild the keyboard on my wife’s netbook because Emmett ripped the keys off and even the rubber contacts attached to the board not to mention the little white clips. I actually had to go out and buy a cheap keyboard just to use for parts. The DVD drive in my computer tower is broken cause he likes to eject the tray and shove it back in as hard as he can. I used to have a XBOX 360 (which was a really good escape for me) until Emmett climbed up on the table one morning and picked it up and slammed it down onto the floor. There was a game in the drive and it jammed the tray so that it could no longer open. Plus the case cracked and wouldn’t go back together. It never turned back on after that. I don’t know why he does these things. I know life for him is very frustrating but damn, really.
The only thing I really have left is (what’s left in working condition on) my computer tower and my LCD it’s hooked up to. I moved them into the living room when I gave my office to the kids for a playroom. We use it to stream Hulu because we gave up cable about a year now. Everything else has been broken or sold off to cover something for the kids or my wife. I really am grateful I was able to have those things to sell. It helped my family and I feel really good about that. But there is still a selfish part of me that really misses my stuff. I know they are material things but sometimes it’s just nice to feel “normal”… I loved playing Call of Duty on Xbox Live, it was an escape and for a little while I forgot about everything going on around me. I just felt “normal” for bit. Sometimes things like this are really important and when you lose them or choose to give them up it definitely is bittersweet. On one hand you are able to provide something for your family but on the other you are losing something that kept you sane and gave you a sense of normalcy. I don’t know if that makes any sense.
As I stated prior I know it’s selfish to feel this way but it think it’s also normal at the same time. Most of the time I don’t even think about it. I’m used to not watching TV or playing XBOX but sometimes things gets so bad that I really miss being able to do those things. Of all the things I given up the one I miss most is my career. I miss helping people. I was a fire fighter and paramedic. Not to pat myself on the back to hard but I was really good at my job. I have received awards for lives I have saved as paramedic on really bad trauma calls. I loved the sound of the siren and the smell of my turnout gear. Every time I see am ambulance or engine go down the road I realize just now much I miss it, I keep thinking I should at least get my medic card back. I let it drop a few years ago cause I couldn’t afford the continuing education. I know I would probably never use it but it’s a huge part of who I am.
Today has been a really bad day so far and I was having one of those moments where I really miss these things. I wanted to share these thoughts while I was having them. I think it’s important that people understand that there are all kinds of sacrifices people in my situations have to make. Sometimes it’s an xbox or even something as big as a career. I do it because I love my family more then the things I owned or work I did. However, sometimes it would be nice if life would recognize how tough everything already is and not require me to continue to give up everything. I know that’s selfish but I am only human and sometimes I just need to catch a break.
I share these thoughts and feelings for the sole purpose of giving insight into who I am and what my life is like. I know there are other people out there that experience similar things. Maybe they feel as guilty as I do. Maybe if they read this then they can know they aren’t alone in those feelings.
—Lost and Tired