July 2013 is ending, and it finds us weary. This state has come to be an expected result when one is a caregiver to a #specialneedschild or #specialneedsadult.
This time, the adventure has been overwhelming. The horror has spread to every part of our immediate family. Relationships have been destroyed, lives have been forever changed in a very negative way. This is the third time in my parenting life that I have felt "below the ashes".
Here is the formula for survival I am using:
- Stop and allow time to become a healer.
- Slam the door shut on support to the principle subject
- Fight to resist choosing "final solutions"
Stop. If a life can be salvaged from the emotional ashes, one must be still and know a higher power is needed. Time. Healing is always accelerated if one will allow prayers and meditation to do their work.
Slam the door. Even though all our research and experience confirms a mental illness exists, once a subject reaches adulthood, it actually becomes more difficult to help. When you reach a point where nothing is left to add, and the mentally ill person disregards all assistance, it creates a vacuum. A caregiver can reach the point of an emotional breakdown. Knowing this, it is prudent to disavow all assistance and relation with the special needs subject. That is what I have been forced to do. Disavow all things which have contributed to the horror. Until the subject seeks and accepts treatment, they effectively have passed on. This brings a time of mourning.
Fight. Pastor #rickwarren recently returned to the pulpit, and brought a timely message of heartbreak and healing. His loss was a real, physical event. There is also the kind of loss that lingers, when a person is still living, but has alienated themselves from those who have given their life to help. That is a loss which brings daily reminders, almost as if a death occurs every day. A real danger develops, which can bring a caregiver to the point of exasperation. When hope cannot be found, or the sources of spiritual support are tarnished by selfish, judgmental attitudes towards the mentally ill person, then the caregiver can break down. Until one faces the total emotional and spiritual depletion which can occur in situations like this, you cannot fully understand that death appears as a merciful option. One must reach inside and find the will to exist, then Fight for it. This Will must exist, and be allowed to grow stronger.
In my three part series #TheParentsTrapped @trion.com and @authspot.com, I address the challenges of parenting a #specilneedschild. Looking back, I can see those days were just a walk in the park.