Welcome to day 5 of the 31 Days of Restoration: Spiritual and Emotional Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.
One thing I could not foresee in the early days after my son was born was the immense loneliness I would experience as a parent of a child with special needs. Like most parents, after the birth of a baby, we were surrounded. Everyone wanted to meet the new bundle; everyone wanted to extend a helping hand to a new mama.
Over the years, the calls became rare and the visits few and far between.
Life gets busy for everyone, and as much as I don’t expect others to be present continuously, I could never have imagined the amount of internal loneliness I would face on this journey.
Participating in typical activities is difficult for us as everything requires extra preparation. Some activities are not appropriate for my son at all — especially those that require movement like running or jumping. Some activities appear to be doable at first until there is a sensory overload and my son needs to leave abruptly.
The type of loneliness I am referring to isn’t even the activity-participation kind. I’m talking about the loneliness we experience when no one understands our pain. When others don’t relate to our challenges. When no one can connect to our sadness and heartache and despair.
We want to be like everyone else, but we can’t seem to get there. We want to belong, but the struggle is too intense. We want to reach out, but our sorrow is too deep, too dark, too difficult to describe in words.
We choose to spare others. We withdraw. We fester in silence.
Sometimes, we are in the company of many people and still feel incredibly lonely.
Affirmations for Restoring Connectivity and Overcoming Parental Loneliness
- Even though I am alone today, I am not lonely on this journey.
- I am surrounded.
- My child is surrounded.
- I am loved.
- My child is intensely loved.
- No matter where I am or who I am with, I know I will be OK.
- No matter what, my child will be OK.
- No matter what, it will all be OK.