Well, the writing of this post has been inspired by a friend who had been asked to address a small group of parents of special needs children. She asked us the question “what would be the one thing we would share about our journey” and this got me thinking. Should I tell her how I really felt in the early days or shouldn’t I? – there are just some things we never talk about because we don’t know how other people would judge us if we actually mentioned these.
BUT I decided too and in addition to this I have decided to write this post about it in the hopes of helping others realise that they are in fact not alone and giving them some hope as well that the “Dark Days”do in fact become Brighter as time passes. So here it goes……..
When Jordan was initially diagnosed it felt as though a knife had gone through my heart. I felt lost, alone and betrayed. I felt scared and unsure. I did not know how I was going to cope. I had never heard of Autism before and I did not know what to expect. I had so many questions and not anyone to ask them too (The initial guidance centre I went to was very clinical. They gave me their report, with a few recommendations and that was that. No follow up, no further advice etc).
I felt as though I was dumped into the unknown and I couldn’t help asking the Lord the question “Why me?” I was devastated and over the coming months became hugely depressed to the point of even having suicidal thoughts. The only thing stopping me from doing anything was my total love for my boys. I would never have been able to do anything to harm them and I would never have been able to have left them without a mother. I remember going through a denial period and I also remember going through a mourning period. Very strange to mourn a child who is still there. BUT I think this is normal (at least I hope so anyway). I remember crying over hopes and dreams I had had for my little boy as I felt that these were over. I was so scared of the future and what this would bring for my child. To this day I believe I had to go through all of this hurt and pain in order to begin the healing process and in order to realise the great achievements that awaited us in the future.
About six months after his initial diagnoses I went to an Education Psychologist to have Jordan reassessed – again I had that growing hope that she would tell me his initial diagnosis was wrong BUT she came back with the same diagnosis. Devastation again but this time it was different. She phoned me the following day to find out how I was feeling and to offer her guidance for this journey I was about to embark on. And this is what changed my outlook. I didn’t have a clinical, uncaring feeling. I had a compassionate, caring approach with proper guidance on the next step to take. For those of you starting out this is extremely important – find someone who you trust and who is caring towards your feelings too! She introduced me to the therapists who would make the difference in not only my little boys life but in mine as well (I won’t repeat previous posts) but this was really crucial as they became not only my little boys therapists but my lifeline as well. They were the friends that could give me answers to my many, many questions and in turn I began to hope again. I began to believe in progress. I began to believe that there was hope for the future.
Jordan was initially diagnosed when he was 3.5 years old and completely mute. If you have read my previous posts you would have seen how far we have both come. At his current age of 10 we have had so many blessings along the way and many of my initial hopes and wishes have already materialised. I still believe that there will be many more hopes and dreams coming true in the future and I know now in my heart that we will succeed.
And so to those of you who feel depressed and bewildered and find your days are at the moment dark. Who are too scared to tell others how you really feel. Who put on that brave face when you leave your home, not letting family or friends or colleagues see how you are actually dying inside, how depressed you actually are. Know that many of us have walked in your footsteps before. Know that you are not alone and even if you don’t feel like there is hope, try and believe there is – because it does get better! You will learn to cope and more so you will appreciate the small things in life. Its amazing to see how your life is enriched by the small things 🙂 Sometimes I wish everyone could take a step back and take a breath and appreciate the little things – the world would be a much better place.
Also, try not to hide your feelings (very difficult I know, because you feel ashamed of having them). Find at least one person to talk too. And if not Blog 🙂 I have always joked along the way, that Jordan needed to finish with his therapies so that I could start with mine 🙂 and the friend who prompted this post has assured me I have already started my therapy – blogging 🙂
And so to end off my post, believe in your heart that your “Dark Days” will become “Bright” and whats more you will get to see amazing rainbows along the way! Believe in yourself, your child, his/her therapists and teachers and then you will be able to sit back one day and realise just how far you have come and be proud of what you have accomplished – there is no better feeling than that! And as the sun rises each day you will find new miracles await you! …and you will realise how much you have to be thankful for. xxxxx