*Guest Post by Colleen Petersen of An Ordinary Mom blog
You are likely wondering why I’ve disappeared from our friendship. It’s not you. It’s me. You see, right now I’m grappling with my reality of having a child who needs extra care and attention, constant vigilance for his medical needs and behaviors. This is wearing me down so fast, and when I get a precious free moment, I crash for my own sanity.
I think of our times often, and longingly. I miss you. I miss our fun and laughter. But I don’t know how to find my way back there.
You see, this child of mine is so all-encompassing I don’t have much left after him. I’m scared that if I don’t give him everything I have he won’t be able to succeed. That I’ll be trapped here in this never-ending Groundhog Day replay. It’s not that it’s all bad because it’s not. Just an endless repeat of what often only seems small steps forward and several leaps back.
Please know I appreciate EVERYTHING you have tried to do to help. I see you. I know that despite my seeming inattention that you have been trying to reach me. Please don’t stop. I need you and every other friend I have.
In those rare times when I do have a minute, thank you for letting me vent and get out the frustrations, loneliness, and stark fear. I know you can’t fix anything, I just need to know I have a safe space to be the real me, not the Mom who is waging war for her child. This is my biggest need.
Thank you for loving and accepting my child for who he is. This is my greatest gift from you. We need people who are just fine being around us, who still invite us over, and treat us like anyone else despite the fact that our family is different.
When you ask what you can do to help, and I answer “nothing”, don’t listen to my words. Listen to what my heart is saying. Most of the time I don’t even know what I need because I am used to putting my needs last. If you happen to have time, a meal, folding some laundry, taking my other child out for the day, are things I could always use, but will never ask for. I’m supposed to be self-reliant, and strong. That would be admitting I’m weak and I’m drowning.
Bio- Just an ordinary Mom who has special needs children a husband in Law Enforcement and the Military. I write about our special needs, parenting and my thoughts while residing in Washington State.
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