This post is meant to help dispel the stigma attached to families that sometimes need help. I want everyone to know that it happens to the best of us, including the Lost and Tired family. You shouldn’t feel alone because you aren’t. 🙂
Many times parents and even more so, special needs parents, have to do things they are always proud of in order to do whats best for their family. When you’re a special needs parent, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of responsibility and work that goes into the care of your special needs children, that you can often find yourself behind the 8 ball.
Speaking for myself, I was not prepared for the health issues and diagnoses of autism my family has received over the years.
We knew about Gavin’s aspergers just before Elliott was born. Comparatively speaking, Elliott seemed typical and we hadn’t suspected anything. When Emmett came along 2 years later, we knew something wasn’t right with him. Both Elliott and Emmett ended up being diagnosed with Autism or Aspergers pretty close together.
Emmett was diagnosed first and Elliott followed shortly after.
I guess my point is that sometimes, there’s simply no way to prepare for these things. These challenges, as I like to call them, don’t always present themselves right away, such is the case with Autism, at least for my family. I ask that you keep this in mind before judging my family or others like mine.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I wanted to talk about something a little sensitive. It’s sensitive in the sense that I’m not exactly proud that things have come down to this for us. While it’s a temporary situation, it’s still difficult for me not to be embarrassed or uncomfortable admitting this and openly discussing it.
Having said that, I realize that by sharing this with all of you, perhaps it will help someone in a similar position to get the help they need for their family and perhaps be more comfortable doing it. I have a great many people that read this blog every day and I’m hoping that my honesty will help to dispel some of the stigma attached to what I’m going to talk about.
If nothing else, at least you’ll know that you aren’t alone and sometimes that really makes a difference.
With the boys being home from school now and Emmett’s special dietary needs, we have been having a difficult time making the most of our grocery budget. For 9 months of the year, Gavin and Elliott eat breakfast and lunch at school, making things a bit more manageable.
For the month of June, we simply ran out of resources and this morning had to visit a food pantry. Lizze was actually the one that went because it was easier for her than watching the boys.
Words can’t explain what it feels like to come to the realization that something like this is necessary for your family to survive. It makes me feel like a complete failure as a husband and especially as a father. I try so hard to be as self-reliant as I possibly can. When this happened today, it really hit me hard. If I had to list the top 3 feelings I’m experiencing about this turn of events, I would say, embarrassment, humiliation and humbling.
There is a huge stigma attached to things like food pantries. There is the assumption that just because someone visits a food pantry that they are somehow irresponsible with their money or maybe to lazy to get a job.
While that may be true of some people, it’s unfair to assume that it applies to everyone else.
I can tell you from Lizze’s experience this morning, that it’s not easy to go to a food pantry and ask for help. It takes a great deal of courage, pride swallowing and love for your family to so something like this. I have a hard time believing that anyone would do this if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
Lizze’s experience this morning was that she was treated with respect and dignity, throughout the entire process. That made things a bit easier and less embarrassing.
I hope that if any of you out there find yourself in a similar situation that you realize that it’s okay to get help. Doing so won’t necessarily be easy but it will help your family to survive and that’s what really matters.
If you are putting off doing something like this for some of the reasons I mentioned above, don’t. There is nothing wrong with needing help. It happens the very best of us. I want you to remember that you aren’t the only one that has had to swallow their pride in order to get their family through a difficult time.
I want you know you are not alone. We all need help sometimes and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It takes a strong person to do right by their family regardless of the reasons they find themselves in need of help or what they have to do to get it.
The Lost and Tired family has had to ask for help today. If you need it, please don’t be afraid to do the same.
This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.