Posted by Rebecca Bingham, Special Needs Mommie | Posted in The Special Needs Mommy | Posted on 16-04-2012
Parenting in general is kind of a booty kicker. This is not new information. Usually, I am in a mindset that keeps me prepared for the marathon. The occasional sprints of hard times are taxing, but they end and I get a chance to regroup, breathe and head back into the fray.
It doesn’t happen very often, but some days I loose sight of the end goal. Today is one of those days. I had an appointment with my son’s therapist for goal review and to polish our game plan. We have been working extra hard to help him with his overwhelming anxiety, his inability to have healthy relationships with his parents and siblings and his general need to sabotage himself every time his happy brain kicks in. Much of this is a result of his biology and effects of his adoption, but it absolutely falls in the special needs category. He is angry. He is mean. He is emotionally lashing out at his sisters and he doesn’t really seem to care. He only feels safe when he is in control, and for him, control means being angry and aggressive. As it stands, all our extra work and energy isn’t doing much. He hasn’t made any forward movement, and to be honest, we have moved backwards in several areas.
I am tired. I am worried. I am terrified that we will keep working and working and it WON’T MATTER. He will not be able to heal. He will not be able to bond. I project into the future and all the terrible things that could happen if he continues on this path. And then I start to think about the time and money that goes into trying to help him heal (the hours and hours and hours) and feel like I just want to quit. If it’s not going to work anyway, I just don’t want to do the work.
I have been on this path long enough to know that I will pick myself up, take a deep breath and keep moving forward. I have no choice. I can’t allow the worry to take over. It serves no purpose to give up before the fight is over. I am a woman of deep faith and I truly believe that with the help of my God, all things are possible. Today, none of that seems to matter. Nothing feels stronger than the fear that none of this will be enough to turn it around for this boy. This is a reality in all parenting, and special needs parenting is no different–the difference is in the details. I am going to give myself to day to grieve and worry and then go to bed early and try again tomorrow.
I post this so that other parents can know that its OK to have days when you want to give up. I don’t feel that it is lack of strength or character. It is reality, my reality anyway. I think that others might assume that I feel this way all the time, and I really don’t. Just like parents of typical kids, I spend most days feeling hopeful for the future, excited about the progress that is made and ready to keep plugging along. The days when I STOP feeling that way are especially scary to me because I know that if I don’t do everything in my power, every day, the consequences are enormous. I am the mamma bear. I am the advocate. No one is going to love a kid that refuses to be loved more than I do. The days that I am struggling to like him are extra hard.
So, I remind myself what I learned a long, long, time ago. Just because something FEELS hopeless, doesn’t mean it IS hopeless. We do our best. I keep doing my best for him and the other kids. I pray each day that he will continue to do his best to face the scary feelings he has. I do my best to help my girls understand his actions and protect their hearts from the hurt he tries to throw their way. I don’t know if my best is going to be enough, but that is all there is. So, we carry on.
P.S. I wrote this earlier in the day, right after therapy. It is a tad dramatic, and I already have better perspective, but I decided to keep it the way it was, because the feelings are real, even if they were short lived.