I was once told that only special people get chosen to be special needs parents. In my opinion that is crap. We become special needs parents because it is something that happens randomly; it nothing we do and nothing that a higher power decides. Its life and it’s something as a parent we have to come to terms with, deal with and then get on with.
Some people find it easier than others to except that their gorgeous bundle has extra needs. It is an extremely hard and emotional rollercoaster. But your child is your child. By letting yourself fall apart isn’t going to change your child. It is not going to make the diagnosis go away and at the end of the day, falling apart will not help you or your bundle.
This may sound really harsh and unkind, I promise I don’t mean it to. But for every day that we don’t accept things as a parent is another day we are not truly supporting our child. A diagnosis is by no means the end of the world. It is a signpost to help point us in the right direction, to begin to start to understand the road we are on. I will never say the road is easy. It’s bloody hard and most of the time it’s up hill, bendy and bumpy but it can also be amazing.
I never cried or fell apart when I found out that my son was autistic; I already knew and I think I was just glad that finally we had an official diagnoses so we could start getting the help and support both my son and our family needed. However I would be lying if I said, I had never shed tears; I have shed many, many tears. It’s bloody hard having a child with autism. You fight battles that you never dreamed you would have to fight. You fight for help, support and just to keep yourself and family together. It is never ending, totally consuming and completely exhausting.
Friends and family really do try and get it but it’s impossible for them; you can only truly get it, if you are living it. I survive the shit and heartache by being able to share it with people who just understand it. This is The Tribe. We all need one and the special needs Tribe is a tribe that just cannot be beaten.
It is not always easy to find your tribe. But it’s so important that you. It is all too easy to let yourself get lost in the thick mist of parenting your child and focusing all your energy on everyone else but yourself. I have found that I spend little, to no time on myself anymore. I rarely see my old friends and find it much easier to stay at home than risk going out, which can all too easily turn into a horrendous nightmare of survival and wishing I had never bothered leaving the house.
But I have discovered The Tribe and it is amazing. You don’t need to look far for it. They are there on Facebook, blogging away, setting up get togethers and running support groups. We are not alone, and we don’t need to do this alone. If you haven’t found The Tribe yet, go and look. They are all there, waiting to lend an ear, have a chat and share their crazy life with you.
I had not realised until very recently that I was part of The Tribe. It had never really occurred to me there was one. It took a friend to point it out to me. And I am so glad she did. We all feel alone at times, especially at the beginning of our long rollercoaster of a ride, but we aren’t. If you share the good, bad and ugly with someone else who truly understands, you will stop worrying quite so much and start believing that you aren’t going mad, and most importantly that you are doing a pretty amazing job rising your crazy bundle of joy!