Being a parent is an amazing, beautiful, scary, frustrating (add in just about any other adjective here) experience. You become your child’s biggest cheerleader, advocate, protector, enemy (the teen years terrify me), friend, etc. But when you have a special needs child, those feelings intensify so much more, especially depending on their level of dependence on you. Translation: sometimes it’s harder to brush off the hurt caused by other’s insensitivity towards your “different” child.
As parents we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children to do better than our parent’s did for us and I don’t mean materialistically (although I would so NOT turn down the lottery if I ever won).
Something happened earlier this week that upset my husband and I a lot more than I would have initially thought. Sadly, I don’t think it was because of WHAT was said – which I won’t repeat – but needless to say was not something that as a PARENT (special needs parent or not) sat well with me, but more because of where it was said and the manner in which it was said.
As a family that doesn’t fit inside what is considered “normal” we are open to ridicule – which is fine if that is what someone feels the need to do. (Please note that the situation I am alluding to was not directed at us personally but more a feeling of resentment/disdain towards special needs families in general.) But when that ridicule happens in a place that we have felt was a safe “zone” as it were, where acceptance and tolerance are huge, and from someone who, while we don’t know personally, we felt would have the same values (considering said location of where this all went down), it’s even more upsetting.
So without all the details, I will simply leave you all with this. Be nice. And not just to those who are “like you” – in whatever form that may be. Be nice to everyone. Words hurt and once said, cannot be taken back – even with an “I’m embarrassed by what I said and that you had to be subjected to it but I’m not sorry about what I said” kind of an apology. We are all entitled to our own thoughts and feelings but it’s what and how you share them than can make a larger impact on those around you – especially your children.