I am such a positive pants and at times I hesitate to share things that are more personal, more upsetting or just more uncomfortable to say.
I guess partly because it’s exhausting too….sharing emotions and being really open, leaves you feeling exposed. My energies are usually better spent on the kids, the business and my family. However at times I think it’s good to open up, get things off your chest. I know from the many Special Needs parents that I network with that actually it’s important to speak out. So many others like me are feeling the same. I’m hoping by sharing my thoughts and feelings it helps others feel less alone.
This is hard to say……but having children with Special Needs can feel incredibly lonely. At times I’ve felt so isolated. And more often than not you can choose to isolate yourself, as it becomes the easier option. You don’t share the same experiences, you look at things through a very different lense, and your choices for your family can often look so different to others.
Loneliness happens most often when you’re in a room full of people, seemingly chatting and connecting, but that’s just it, you don’t always feel connected, you can feel some what ‘out of the loop’. Ironically, most often you feel the least lonely when you are alone.
Why do I share this?
Look, I know that as your family grows, your life changes, regardless of whether your children have special needs. Your circle can often become smaller, and your focus is on your children, juggling work perhaps or simply life.
This is the case for many people.
It just feels magnified, adding another layer when you are the parent of special children.
You come to value your close friends and family so much, and never take for granted the conversations when you can share the wins, the successes and the celebrations – that to others are run of the mill. You keep a small circle around you that really get it. For me I have a few really close friends that really understand us as a family that I know I can share the little things with. Often these can be the people where actually you don’t need to say, they simply just know why you make the decisions that you do and support you on them. Some of these are at a distance too, keeping in touch on what’s app and just putting a smile on your face – sometimes that’s all you need isn’t it? Those are the friends that have no idea how much of an impact their silly banter, quotes from your fave TV show or sending funny pics actually has.
My network of Special parents are a huge support too, this community is growing all the time and I hope others that may feel like I did will get some comfort and reassurance from our support group and feel that little less lonely.
And hey look I get it…..I get why some friends become distanced and that’s only natural. I don’t hold anything against them. When you find yourself down a different path to the one you thought you would, your focus changes and actually at times it takes all your energy to keep your business, kids and family ticking over. I am probably not the friend I was previously and inevitably some friendships become distanced.
I guess I’m in a place now that allows me to accept this and not let it upset me anymore. I accept now my life looks different to how I might have imagined. But do you know what I’m SO grateful that it has turned out the way it has. My children have taught me so much.
Never take things for granted
Celebrate the small things
Enjoy the simple stuff
Live in the moment
Actually now I am at this place in our journey, I really do enjoy seeing life from a different angle. Being a special parent has so many positives and the view is great through a different lense.