It was laid on my heart to share a portion of my life that I never thought I would ever revisit. As an African American Culture we are conditioned to refrain from having conversations about our feelings, situations that worry, taunt, or may be embarrassing to us. It has become the norm to continue with our daily lives with it all bottled up or having conversations within ourselves to try to make sense of what is happening.
I can remember Pop as a baby, not a newborn stage, but at a stage where people would begin to notice that something might be wrong with him. I knew that I just wanted everyone to treat him “normally”, so I would just bring him everywhere I went, act normal, and DARE anyone to ask me any questions about him.
In my mind, I am thinking, if they don’t know anything then they can’t treat him any less. I did this for years! As I went through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), my main goal was to protect him and give him the best life possible, and not allow anyone to make him feel as if he was abnormally “SPECIAL”. Grieving is often associated with death, but there is something called LIVING grief . In my situation, it was the loss of having a “typical” son.
As I share this part of me, I want everyone who may be experiencing these feelings secondary to having a child with a disability to know it is okay to have these feelings. Deal with your feelings, and don’t allow anyone to tell you at what point you should be feeling what. It is your JOURNEY, your TRUTH. If I could give you any advice today on what I would do differently, I would say... talk more about what’s bothering you, have more conversations with people you trust, you don’t have to do this journey alone.
Photo Credit: Keith Claytor, Time Frozen Photography
A mom of an I’m perfect child in an imperfect world