It’s been a rough go for our family over the past year……over the past decade.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never “get back to who I was”. I will never “recover” in that sense of the word.

I vaguely remember last summer….not the details but the overwhelming feeling of dread, exhaustion and horror that I felt. I could hardly crawl out of bed in the mornings. Choosing to comfort myself by saying that I was teaching my children to be independent and get their own breakfast. Usually a fight would require that I get up and mediate. I was ever so thankful to have help last summer. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait for September when things would “go back to normal” and I’d be able to accomplish something……anything.

September rolled around and everything really fell apart.

Living with the challenges of special needs is not something that affects only the children or their parents. The entire family is impacted. Some of the impact is amazing and incredible…..things like knowledge and understanding(of diverse abilities) , compassion and grace (for all). Those things that may be need to taught to people who don’t live with differences are just apart of our lives. But along with that, can also come trauma.

Listening to older sibling melting down for hours, is wearing. Witnessing the chaos that a meltdown may bring and being forced into a secondary position while a parent attempts to regulate an extremely un-regulatable situation is traumatizing. Even if it’s all you know, it wears you down.

This past school year, we spent the entire year dealing with the effects of trauma within our youngest. Within the final months of the school year we saw the pendulum shift. I started to see glimpses of joy and peace and happiness where there had been only anger and fear and control.

I have help again this summer and it’s incredible. I’ve beat myself up for needing help. Felt guilty for taking time for myself. And come around to the understanding that, I need restoration. For me to heal is critical. Just like we prepare time and space for our children to heal and grow……taking time for myself to heal and grow is also critical.

So this summer, I will sit in the sun and I will float in my pool. I will drink a glass of wine on my deck and enjoy those moments where everyone is playing nicely (because they are actually happening this summer). I will take care of myself, my husband, my family and my house. I will let go of all of those things that weigh me down (this will probably have to happen hourly because I am an expert at self doubt, guilt and overthinking) even though I will probably pick them back up, too many times.

My future feels a little uncertain because I don’t know what it looks like; but I do feel that I am healing and that I am being restored and this is a good thing……a very good thing.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

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