The darker side of being a parent of a special needs child
I want to discuss this because I know some people may not realize that parents of special needs children struggle with a dark side. That dark side is guilt. It's sometimes crushing, to be honest. You think the following things:
Did I cause this?
Was it that time I went out drinking before I knew I was pregnant?
Did I not take care of myself enough when I was pregnant?
Was my genetic contribution the cause of their struggles?
Did I not parent well enough when they were little?
Do I parent right now that they are older?
What did I do wrong?
And on and on these thoughts go. It's like a wound that never really heals. And it's selfish too because you focus on yourself and feel like it must have been FROM you. And then you feel bad for that, it's not about you. BUT, what if it's your fault?
You know it isn't, deep down. Somehow the wiring in their brain is different. You didn't abuse them. You may not even have the same issues they have, so you have no cause to believe it's genetic. And even if you DO, it's not like you were pregnant and thinking "Boy I hope this kiddo has struggles! I should eat nothing but bad food just to ensure it!"
I have two children with different special needs. I can't tell you how many times I have felt guilty, like I did something. I am sure any parent of a special needs child is nodding reading this, thinking yep.
We didn't do it, ladies. And most of us, even with the struggles, wouldn't change our kids for the universe. But what we would beg of you is to be kind and supportive.