When I shared yesterday, on this very platform, the reality of living with an adult child with special needs, I was not prepared for the “me too” messages. I was overwhelmed with other Moms sharing their own struggles and admitting that they have never admitted that openly. Maybe it is a fear of being judged, but their honesty and willingness to be vulnerable, made my heart smile. It is the whole sentiment of never doing life alone and being in excellent company while doing it. My blog was simply an opening for a meaningful discussion. They called me brave, but I am simply being human.
And then there were the other helpful messages of giving suggestions on how to “feel” better. Discomfort is a catalyst for society to want to “fix” things. I don’t believe I asked for help or suggestions. In fact, my solution is simply to walk through the raw emotions that I continue to process. I am mindful that those individuals had good intentions, but I simply wanted to be heard not fixed.
Society is a quirky gathering. It has certain criteria that is acceptable. God forbid, we don’t fit into that tiny box. What I did yesterday stepped away from the “norm”. I admitted that sometimes I grieve the child I thought I would have before we knew Bailey had Down syndrome. I served up a plate of vulnerability sprinkled with a little anger. And yet, somehow, there was a need to cover that up and make it better. I spent years avoiding those feelings because of the guilt. I was plagued with an underlying current that told me I wasn’t suppose to think those thoughts. But, here I am. Owning them. Honoring them and really, walking beside them, because they are a part of my being.
I am not unique in my story. There are many out there walking the same path. We are all doing the best we can. We can help each other by providing validation and affirmation. Listening to hear instead of listening to respond. I felt like I was heard yesterday and that is really all anyone wants to be.