Thursday, May 2, 2013
Home. The place of comfort, relaxation, peace. Your own place in the world. The place where you can leave your troubles for a little bit and breathe. The place where you find comfort in being surrounded by your own familiar belongings. Where you know where everything belongs and why it fits best there. Sometimes your home, your place of comfort, becomes a battle ground. It becomes a place you don't want to go instead of the place you run to when the world is too much. THere are days when all I long for is to be at home, beside the fire, with my feet up, and my dogs nearby. When the running around gets to feel like its constant I just think about that fireplace. There are other days when I drive as slow as possible on the long driveway, sometimes stopping just out of sight of the house, delaying the arrival home as long as I possibly can. When you are raising kids with special needs home becomes a place where work is never ending and maybe you even develop a sort of post traumatic stress disorder about going home. When you are raising explosive children, home is not a place of peace. It is a place of high stress, constant alert. A place of turmoil rather than comfort for you. You work so hard to maintain the comfort of others, there is none left for you. Home becomes a war zone. Many of the same things that worry a solider in the field worry a parent of a child with special needs. When will the explosions happen? How can we keep damage to a minimum? Is there anything we can do to make it stop? How many will be affected and for how long? How long will the explosions go on before the source can make them stop? The constant combat takes its toll. A light tap feels like an angry punch. A simple expressions becomes a hurled insult. Misunderstandings happen more and more. The entire family is affected. Home is no longer home, but a battleground. Can you imagine going into battle again and again and not coming to a point of fear and battle fatigue? Soldiers go into battle repeatedly and have no choice but to deal. So too must parents of difficult kids. We must face the battle every day, multiple times a day, for weeks. for years. we have no idea when it will stop. Maybe it won't,there is no end in sight. Every day we get out of bed and face the unknown battles of the day. Sometimes they start before breakfast. Many days they continue until everyone drops in exhaustion. We rarely get a chance to go out and do things for ourselves. Who else would deal with the level of stress and chaos we deal with all day every day? When the kids are at school is often the only time we can get anything done outside of the home, but its also the only time there is peace at home. we rush around to get things done and hurry home to our place of peace. If the house is occupied by the ongoing battle, we may linger in the toiletries aisle debating the color of toilet paper we should buy. Anything to keep from going home. Anything to stay out of the battlefield. Next time you rush home to your place of peace and calm and quiet, ask yourself which of your friends is living in the warzone and send us some peaceful thoughts. Maybe send up a prayer for peace. Stop by with some wild flowers or fresh baked cookies. Offer to babysit so we can get out of the battle for awhile. Someone needs to take care of the parents too. If there is no support Parents of special needs kids become isolated. We run out of reserves. And when we do, who will take over the war? The children will need to be taken care of, even when the parents fall ill with stress and pain. It may be you that has to pick up the pieces of their war and battle with them in our absence. Only then will you know the true meaning of peace, after its gone.
at 9:17 AM