I thought it might be helpful for me to get a few things off my chest. I carry around enough stress on a daily basis that I don’t need to burden myself with more then I have to. I also want everyone to see what happens to many special needs families like mine. Maybe you can learn something from me and use it to avoid this from happening to you.
Please note I have a very narrow focus for this post. This is not directed at my parents or in-laws.
Confessions of a special needs parent:
I’m angry, hurt, resentful and just plain PISSED OFF… I’m the oldest of 6 kids.and my confession is that I feel we have been abandoned by them. I have been there for EVERY SINGLE one of them COUNTLESS times throughout their lives. My blog gets 50-60,000 hits a month so far this year. I literally have hundreds and thousands of emails and messages. Do you know how many of them are from my siblings……….ZERO. We are living through something that most people will never experience and fewer would survive my own brothers and sisters pay no attention to us. Lizze just recently have major surgery. Do you know how many phone calls we received from my siblings combined……ONE. I suspect that some didn’t even know she has had surgery. Maybe that’s why they didn’t call to make sure she was okay. How many times do we get a phone call from any of them just checking in to see if we are doing all right…….ZERO. How about even checking in on their nephews…….ZERO. I literally CANNOT remember the last time ANYONE made ANY effort to spend time with one of my kids. Do you know how much that hurts? Elliott doesn’t even remember some of their names and that just kills me. Recently a few of them traveled across several STATES to go visit my sister. If they can find the time to do that, why can’t they find the time to visit us? We live 10 minutes away. No one even returns my phone calls most of the time. Everyone is just to busy with their own lives to worry about us.. I could understand if they didn’t even see each other but they do. I see the Facebook updates and the pictures of parties and tailgates. Maybe our lives are just to complicated for them to handle. All I know is that we are living through extremely challenging times and can use all the help and support we can get. I thought that’s what family was for….maybe I was wrong. I’m sure I will be upsetting some people by writing this but it’s the truth and that’s what matters. I don’t even care anymore because I just have to much on my plate to even attempt to make anyone think that I’m okay with this. I’ve brought it up before and nothing changes. I’m tired of trying to make everyone else feel better. What about how I feel?
It’s gotten to the point where I want to just pick up and move some where far away. Maybe then I could rationalize why no one seems to find the time for us. I could always think to myself that “they would be here for us if we lived closer”. Living just 10 minutes away doesn’t allow for such rationalization. It’s a much harsher reality to know that we just don’t seem to make the cut. Brown’s games and tailgating is more important then being there when your family needs you the most. I’m honestly at a loss as to what else I could say. I’m hurt, angry and I feel abandoned, all things I would never do to them. Maybe my expectations are to high. Maybe it’s unfair of me to expect anyone to want to be a part of our lives. I know it isn’t easy but I would like to think that we are worth the effort. At least my kids would be worth the effort.
Even the Lost and Tired family isn’t immune to this type of loss. I wish I could say that this type of thing rarely occurred but that wouldn’t be true. It happens to families like mine every single day. Our lives are already made challenging enough. Why do we have to lose so much? Why can’t people see that we can still offer something meaningful to their lives?
If you are reading this and you know a family like mine, please don’t let this happen to them. It takes a lot of strength and patience to be there for a special needs family. I promise you that it’s worth it and the impact you can have on their lives simply because you stick by them is immeasurable. Please learn from what has happened to us and countless others. If you know a special needs family pick up the phone and let them hear a friendly voice. Give them someone to vent to. Let them know that they aren’t alone…..
-lost and tired