I hate feeling lost. Powerless to a situation. I used to have what I felt was a good grasp on my kids. That my mother's intuition was strong and I could trust my gut. And while I still believe that a mother's intuition is real and a strong guiding force in parenting for all mothers, I do feel as though I've lost mine. Its as if I have been plucked from a crystal clear swimming pool and dumped into a murky lake, unable to see clearly, and with no path to follow. I find that I'm doubting myself and my mothering decisions more often than ever before. I am questioning each day, wondering if I'm making the right choice. I feel like every ounce of hope I have is slowly slipping away.
With each passing day life with Rachel is growing more and more challenging. With each new obstacle we overcome, a new one is thrown at us. It feels like we can never get ahead and find peace. Not for her. Not for Kirk and I. And not for our other three kids. Even a simple family vacation that should be fun and relaxing turns into daily turmoil for everyone.
I just want to quit. All of it. Why has this become our story? Why can't we just be happy? Why can't we just have some peace? I don't want to have this constant battle for peace for all of us. Somedays I want to find a placement for Rachel. Somewhere that she can find her own peace and I can find mine. And I feel like a horrible mother for saying that. For actually writing those words. And the level of guilt for evening feeling that way consumes me little lone actually writing it.... for giving those feelings a voice.
How do I do this for another 16 years? 20 years? How? How does this not take away from my other three kids? How do I keep them from wanting to get as far away as they can, as soon as they can?
I once thought this would get better. And it's not. It's getting worse. She's getting worse. Today it's completely overwhelming. For the last month it's been completely overwhelming.
I don't have experience with this yet, because mine is younger than yours. She'll get through. It won't be for another 16 or 20 years. There are all the hormones and the challenges and pressures of high school which are extremely difficult for even the most well-adjusted, neurotypical child. She has all of those and then so much more with everything else she has to deal with. It's hard. Hard for her. Hard for you. She will though even out.
All of that said...surely you didn't really think the teenage years were going to get better, right? :)
With time and love and a lot of wine, you will get through this and you will see her through to better days. In the meantime, lots of hugs.
Hey there Karri,
First, I just want to let you know that it takes A LOT of courage to put those thoughts into written words. So many of us, myself included, do not always own the truth in how seemingly daunting the future with a Special Needs child might/can be. Mine is younger too and we are already faced with the talk of guardianship and the like.
I can't know everything that you're going through as every child is different, but I can relate to feeling that loss of control, GUILT, and questioning every decision. We all know that you love your kiddos and contemplating an alternative placement down the road and doing what's best for her and your family, to me shows an extreme amount of LOVE, care, and thoughtfulness for the family unit.
I'm thinking about a documentary that I saw on PBS called Rachel's Story that has turned into a program called Rachel Is. That first one talked a lot about housing options for those with developmental disabilities in their State. You're living this, so you probably don't want to watch someone else's struggle either, but I just wanted to mention it so you didn't feel alone.
I hope despite the battles and sometimes hourly hardship, it was good to see your oldest son home from college for the holiday break. I bet he's grown since he said goodbye to you in that college dorm parking lot:)
I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I can't imagine the daily struggle and how consuming it must be to have all of this on you, all the time. You're not a horrible mother. In fact, you are one of the most amazing, strong and loving mothers I have ever met. I am proud to call you a friend and someone whose parenting I look up to and hope to achieve when mine is older. As always, no judgement here at SYS- you know the rules! I hope that you and Rachel both find your peace, in the best possible way for your whole family.
Love and hugs
I have no words of wisdom. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and sending hugs. Nicki
Karri, I just want you to know that I hear you and I see you and I'm so sorry this is so hard. You are an amazing mother: it's obvious in your honesty and your struggles and your ferocious love. Hang in there. You've been there for so many of us here at Share and we are here for you.
Karri, I am so sorry that Rachel is struggling, and I am sorry about the effect it is having on your family. You are very courageous to have shared your inner feelings.
My heart goes out to all of you. Hugs and love.
Huge hugs, I'm so sorry. I have felt like I've wanted to quit for weeks now. The struggle at this time of year is so real.
I know this is not the most popular opinion, but my husband and I have been researching a placement for Tucker for several years now. His pediatrician mentioned it to me when I was in a PPD/sleep deprived haze when my third son was an infant and Tucker was only nine. I looked at her like she was a crazy person.
About a year later I looked into the facility and Chris and I even toured it. The place will be perfect for him, when we are ready. No one else in our lives feels that we will ever get to that point, but they are not his mom. They do not see the struggles he faces every single day, and the effect it has on the whole family. It's so much to deal with.
So thank you for sharing so honestly. You are not alone.
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