I wanted to take a minute to speak to all the special needs parents out there that read this blog. I will never even pretend to understand what walking a mile in your shoes is like. Life is relative and everyone has a different experience when it comes to being a special needs parent.
That being said, there is something that I find greatly concerning and it seems to be a commonality amongst many special needs parents that I come into contact with.
So many of us wake up in the morning and before we put on anything else, we put on a smile. Why is that concerning? Well, it’s not if the smile is genuine and if it is than that’s truly awesome.
However, what seems to happen all to often is that we dawn a smile to hide our pain, exhaustion and distress from the rest of the world.
We all have our reasons for doing this. Personally, I’ve found it’s easier than telling the people in my life how I’m really doing because it tends to make them feel uncomfortable and leave them not knowing what to say.
I think most of the time, people don’t see beneath the smile.
If they did, they would see someone that is struggling with so many things in their life. They would see that behind the smile hides heartache, pain and utter exhaustion.
Why is it that we feel that we need to suffer in silence?
It shouldn’t have to be this way. We should feel free to share how we are feeling, even if others find it depressing. The reality is that they only have to listen, they don’t have to live it.
Please don’t suffer in silence. Please don’t feel that you have to always hide behind a fake smile.
It’s so important that you feel like you can talk about what you’re going through. Your feelings matter and are valid. If you don’t have anyone in your life that can lend you an ear, remember that you can come here and connect with countless other people that understand.
Hang in there and please know that there’s at least one person out there cares. Have a great night.
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Gavin, thanks so much for bringing this up. As a special needs parent, who is also a therapist, I struggle with finding people to share my challenges and joys with. I believe that when God created me, He had a very special person in mind for me to be a father to. That is my son, David. But I’ve found that parenting him is like being on a marathon roller coaster ride. There are days when I marvel at how far he has come, and there are other days when his challenges hit home in the pit of my stomach like a dull thud. But I wouldn’t trade the experience. Because he has taught me so much, and I love him more than words can say.
Thanks, Rob. You and your family have a special place in my heart.
my kid tells me to not fake smile because it does not look like a real smile at all it really looks off or like a scowl. i didnt know this till he told me.