Misunderstood – The Parent of a Child with Special Needs (Part II)

Misunderstood – The Parent of a Child with Special Needs (Part II)

Resentment? "Misunderstood - The Parent of a Child with Special Needs (Part II)"Resentment is a strong word…

He asked if my other two children resented him. This teenager trying to understand. Do I think they resent him? The attention given, the care received, the considerations made. This was a teenager, less knowledgeable about the ways of the world, of censoring thoughts rather than allowing them to form into words. Not that this is his fault; he is a good kid. I don’t believe he feels this way, but the thought crossed his mind and the word entered his vocabulary when talking about J.

Other insinuations have been made by adults about our life. Things would be easier…? The realization that some may view our life, our son as an “entity” to be resented fills me with disappointment, despair and dread for how others not as close to him view him. Even some in our family that we once thought would be promising supports instead suggested we shut the door and walk away…

But how could one ever walk away from a child? Your child. An infant you brought into this word for better or for worse, for joy and pain, for moments of disappointment and praise. How could you walk away knowing that life isn’t perfect, that he wouldn’t be perfect (which is perfection), following in our image, our imperfections passed along? These little beings capturing our hearts, pieces of our souls.

You can’t walk away from your soul.

Do I wish we had more money?  Of course.  Do I wish we were able to experience some of the things families filled with neurotypical kiddos do?  Certainly.  Do I wish gatherings, friendships, education, self-care and independence came easier?  You better believe it!  Would it be better if my vocabulary didn’t contain so many obscure and rare medical terms, my address book not filled with specialists and therapists throughout our state and beyond?  Yes!  But…

Our children give us light. They challenge us, as all good children shall do…just in an unexpected way. They are our teachers, our guides, unveiling the world through eyes of pure innocence. Bringing out otherwise hidden demons in those once thought worthy of looking up to; allowing shine to break through in those who would be overlooked.

Our kiddos with needs so special spur us on to be their champions, teach us to hold on and to let go, inspire us, give us a new vocabulary, bring us friendships where we once thought there were none and expand a world that once seemed so small. The insignificant is significant, and what’s perceived as important is no longer worth the time.

Special children’s laughter warms, their sense of humor finds a way to peek through the barriers laid before them, their strength is unmistakable….un…mistakable. For J, he is the love of my life, one of my most important contributions to this world.

And this world would not feel as true to me if it weren’t for J. He has given me more than I can ever truly acknowledge, certainly more than I will ever understand.

Resentment doesn’t even make it into the equation.

You can read “Misunderstood – The Parent of a Child with Special Needs (Part I) here.

About the Author:

Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate.

11 Comments

  1. Lori Lavender Luz July 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I had never considered the change in perspective as such a gift, but now that you mention it, it is QUITE a gift: “The insignificant is significant, and what’s perceived as important is no longer worth the time.”

    • Gina
      Gina July 28, 2011 at 12:53 am - Reply

      Thank you Lori. Still, sometimes it’s hard to remember, until J points out something that everyone (including myself) usually takes for granted….

    • Jenny July 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      I agree, Lori, what an awesome sentence, and something a lot of us have come to see, I bet.

  2. Heather July 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Resentment…hmmm. Yes.

    I worry about that too. A lot. I struggled for a long time with my own inability to forgive my Jack’s birth mother for what she has done to him. But that was my hangup, not his.

    And now, i can look at the future and have more hope.

    • Gina
      Gina July 28, 2011 at 12:54 am - Reply

      I’m glad you were able to find that place. That is likely one of the most important things we can do!

  3. Sugar Loco - Jenny July 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Whoa, these past few days, you’ve been quite profound! So sad to think that anyone would feel like they were resented by someone else. Every person is precious.

    • Gina
      Gina July 28, 2011 at 12:56 am - Reply

      LOL. Yeah, that happens from time to time. Don’t worry, I’ll stop for a bit. And I agree….I hope he never feels that way and I want all my children to know that every person is precious and to be celebrated and appreciated! I hope I do a good job with that one!

  4. karen July 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    I resent those who don’t invite my son to playdates or make fun games up to poke fun at the quirky things he does. I resent those who insist he is neurotypical or that he has autism when we are FINALLY happy with his diagnosis. Not happy he has one but relieved to have it right. I resent the economy for taking away services my son deserves…

    But resent him? Not ever a thought in my mind. He is part of me. I prayed for him and loved him before we ever met. I will love ALL of him for all of time.

    • Gina
      Gina July 28, 2011 at 12:57 am - Reply

      KAREN! Perfectly said! THANK YOU!

  5. Bobbie July 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Gina…

    This touch so many places in my heart. I know this. I understand this. I agree with Karen, that too is how I feel. All I see is my son and I love everything about him actually both of my sons as they both have their own special issues. I would not change one hair on their heads. This was such a powerful post.. and it hit home. Our kiddos are amazing gifts that give everyday. It is up to us to open our hearts, eyes and arms to what they offer us and the rest of the world. Thank you.

  6. Devika April 12, 2013 at 12:23 am - Reply

    The blog is amazing, simply breathtaking. I remember how difficult it is to understand and anticipate a child’s need. I am dealing with a 6 year old kid and as a matter of fact I know that be it a 6 month or a 6 year old kid, it is very neccesary to understand them as well as tactfully communicate with them. Apart from this blog, I also came across a blog yesterday which talks about this same issue. I found it to be very helpful. do go through it as well. http://goo.gl/Ek28Z

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