Seeking support in difficult times

As a special needs parent, I feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't

Special needs parenting is hard stuff.

Most days I am able to glide through, fit in, and seamlessly smooth over the rough surfaces.

Other days I am reminded just how alone I am, how my community of friends empathizes, but not one of them truly understands. They aren’t able to fully comprehend and process how their actions can send my child into a downward spiral, a meltdown that may take me hours to extinguish.

The loneliness and exclusion falls solely on me. I haven’t spent enough time building a community around myself of people who understand. I feel guilty when I have to open up and express how someone’s actions may impact Carter, and it puts a burden on them.

I don’t expect anyone to know off-hand what might trigger him, but I do find myself thinking more and more that I need to start surrounding us with some families who are in our circumstances.

I think Carter sees his own differences and lately seems down almost all of the time. My once extremely happy-go-lucky kid is monotone and absent at times. I feel like I need to get him more into a group that he can identify with and in return I also can identify with.

The pandemic is adding to the isolation. The few peer social interactions he received through his pediatric therapies have halted, social skills groups are basically non-existent in this area and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of options to help us put ourselves out there.

Now the plans for opening schools in the fall won’t rid us of this social isolation either. I have never felt more lost in my life; any choice is a bad one and there is no winning either way.

Lauren Martone is a blogger for ParentingNH from southern New Hampshire. You can contact her at Lauren and her family’s story were featured in the July 2015 issue of ParentingNH and in the July 2018 issue.

Categories: Carter’s Corner