Friday, November 22, 2013

Hey, You...

Hey you.

Yeah, you.  The one scouring the internet to find a scrap of hope, relief, or just empathy.  The one whose child's diagnosis still hangs in a cloud over your head.

I want you to know something.  Something that I had to learn the hard way, and still have to remind myself every day.  I still have to shut out the guilt, the frustration for feeling this way.

It's okay to say it's hard.

It's okay because it's true.  There are days when I wonder... no, panic... over what this life will look like in five, ten, fifteen years.  There are days when I think I must have to live forever, because what will happen to him?  He flips out on the rare occasions I'm in the back taking a nap.

To be forced to pretend that it's easy is untrue.

Saying that it's hard, whether it's among friends, family, therapist, or on your knees, does not equal ungrateful.  What does it equal?

Realty.  Truth.  Honesty.

Do find someone you can be brutally honest with.  Your innermost frustrations and hurts are precious pearls, and not everyone knows how to treat them.

Hear me... my child is not a burden.  He is amazing, wonderful, and one of the greatest blessings in my life.  But there are circumstances at times that feel burdensome.  There are moments when the decisions to make and the things to do and the importance to someone else's life that they hold is crushing.

I need... and you need... to be able to say that it's hard without someone telling you how terrible it is that you think it's hard.

We need a safe place to air our exhaustion, knowing that we won't be judged any more than the friend who vents about kids' scheduling issues, doctor appointments, sick days, and the like.  Admitting that these things are hard does not mean that these parents think their children are burdens.  They are just dealing with life, and life multiplies itself when you add more beings to your life, the more life you get.

We all, whether dealing with our children, our jobs, our homes, or general daily life, need to be able to admit when it's hard.  The first step to being able to deal, for me, is to lay it out there.  Bring it out, say the words.

It's like I heard someone say in a sermon once.  Get a coin out, say maybe a quarter.  Hold it right over your eye.  I mean almost touching your eyelid.  Now tell me what the coin looks like.  Tell me the year it was minted, how many letters are on it, and maybe what words are there.

Can't do it, right?

Now hold the same coin out about a foot.  You can read it now.  You can see it, you can deal with it.  You can see that it's a quarter, nickel, etc.  You can see that the rest of the world is vastly huge in comparison.

Now that the problem isn't clouding your vision, you can see to deal with it.

Please don't feel guilty.  You love and care for your kids, or your one kid... and that's why it's hard.  It wouldn't be hard if you didn't care.

Keep going.  You're not the only one, I promise.  It wasn't that long ago I sat with the curtains closed, feeling like I must be the worst mother in the world for how I felt.

I'm not, I wasn't then.  You're not either.

Thanks be to God for you who finished this because it relates, and for you who know someone who needs you to listen unconditionally.

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