I don’t know if it’s the loneliest road but being a parent of a special needs or disabled child is definitely a tough road to travel.
Gratuitous picture of Mac because why not….
I’m not talking about my child’s journey, at this exact moment. I’m talking about my journey as a parent of a disabled child…….multiple children to be exact.
I was talking with another parent this morning. It feels so dishonourable to admit that parenting a special needs child is hard because you are supposed to love and cherish and champion your children.
Which I do!
But I also spend a huge amount of energy advocating on their behalf. Unless you live this life, you really have no concept of what it’s like. This is one reason that I share so openly about our life; so that those who have no clue, can have some clue, if they want, about what it’s like to live with and parent disabled kids.
I also share so that other parents who are going through similar experiences can know that they are not alone. I know this because I have many parents share with me……..”I thought I was alone until I saw your post and then I realized that I’m not alone.”
Too often, we believe that we are the only ones going through this. And it’s not until someone is brave enough to say, “This is what I’m going through and it’s ugly and messy and beautiful and courageous all at the same time.” that we realize that others are on this journey with us and we are not alone.
And that is the beauty of community.
We all need community. We need to know that we are not alone. We need to know that others have walked the paths that we are walking. We need to know that others understand the exhaustion and the frustration and the pride that we feel for and with our children. We need someone to understand that we live within chaos and that there is still beauty within the chaos. That growth still happens within the chaos. That love grows within the chaos. That life continues within the chaos.
This is why I share. This is why I lay my soul open so others can draw strength and courage from the knowledge that they are not alone. That there is a connection within the loneliness and isolation of parenting special needs kids.
We all want to be loved and accepted, not in spite of who we are but because of who we are.
I see you.
I recognize you.
I validate you.
You are worthy of love and acceptance.
You are more than all you “do”.
You are doing your very best and that’s enough, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
YOU are NOT alone!