Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Et tu, my son?

As any parent busting a gut for a child with profound disabilities knows, there is no shortage of critics.

At some point or another,  whether by social workers,  paramedical therapists, doctors, friends or relatives or all of the above, we will be chastised. Our crime? Expending excessive time, energy, love and government resources on citizens who who will never meaningfully progress.

Receiving that message is never pleasant. Even when uttered with a smile or a caress as if intended for our own benefit. As in "You are exhausting yourself. I am saying this for your own benefit."

But when the message emanates from your own child - as it did for me last night - and is then wholeheartedly dittoed by another one of your children, it is exponentially more traumatic. It's another realm of pain.

Twelve hours later, I still haven't scraped my psyche off the floor. And that's after my hour's swim this morning, which usually propels me to near-euphoria. I'm so devastated I'm considering splurging on the most decadent chocolate bar in the supermarket - blow the money and calories.

I suppose children presume that parents come equipped with elephant's hides. Mine is actually paper-thin.

Here (above) is a sketch of C. in her wheelchair - did it pre-psyche-assault, of course.


Cath Young said...

Sometimes the comment is made out of true care and concern for you, and not meant in the least to be a judgement on the worth of the person for whom you are caring. The same can be said to those who caretake a Supreme Court judge when the wears of caring start truly affecting the caretaker adversely. Do take care of yourself.

Elizabeth said...

I don't know. I'm with you. Don't let them get you down.

The Sound of the Silent said...

Thank you for your concern, Cath. You are absolutely right. My son probably was motivated, at least in part, by care for me which is why I didn't respond to his comment other than on this blog.

But I think the pain I felt was due as well to the fact that he and my other children are totally detached from C. It is what it is. And they are exemplary, compassionate people in every other sense.

The Sound of the Silent said...

Thanks for your support, Elizabeth. And hoping that you'll continue to blog during your residency at Hedgebrook. I can't imagine all those weeks without fresh posts from you. They are bright spots of my day - right up there with my grandchildren. (don't tell them I wrote that!)