Gavin had and honestly still has attachment issues. Lizze was his primary target and the situation became even more messy because they had both been traumatized by the same person. That person was Lizze ex-husband and Gavin’s biological father. He was very abusive and both Lizze and Gavin have been formally diagnosed with PTSD as a result.
The point is, they are both doing so much better now and have a relationship like they used to before Gavin (through no fault of his own) began having major behavioral problems a long time ago.
The five of us are still struggling in many ways and likely always will but we’re happy. We’re together and moving forward again.
We’re all in family counseling each week to help with everything we have going on in our lives. That’s not anything new but it’s worth mentioning.
Lizze and I are also in marriage counseling for the purposes of helping us avoid the same traps we both fell into previously. We’re learning how to make ourselves a priority.
It’s easy to become so focused on our kids, we forget to take care of ourselves and our marriage.
We’ve learned a great deal from this experience and hope to help others learn from our mistakes. When I say mistakes, I’m referring to well intentioned but woefully misguided attempts to give our kids more than we end up having left to give.
Basically, we are learning not to physically and emotionally bankrupt ourselves by giving endlessly to our kids, without taking time to care for ourselves.
I bet I could poll ten random special needs families and they would likely be able to relate to what I’m saying here. That’s not so much comforting as it is scary because it shows how widespread this type of situation is.
Lizze and I are far from the only parents to run ourselves into the ground without even realizing it. We have survived and now choose to share our story in hopes of helping others recognize the seriousness of caregiver burnout before they experience it first hand..