I used to be a happy, positive person. Swear. There was a moment in my life where my dreams had come true. I had my dream husband in my dream town with my dream job. We even had a beautiful little girl that looked like she came straight out of a Baby Gap advertisement. This life lasted temporarily. I think it was God’s way of giving me what I wanted long enough to get me through what was to come.
My dream job didn’t turn out to be such a dream after all and after a terrible business deal, my small business was stolen from me by people I thought were my friends. My husband’s dream job just ended and never started again. He wasn’t fired, still he never really recovered from it. Our marriage was great but we were beginning to notice that our Baby Gap child was a little more difficult than the other kids her age. She was smart though, so we just accepted that she was going to be difficult. We moved from our dream town to go closer to family to help with our difficult child.
While licking the wounds of our lost dreams, the bottom truly fell out. I got pregnant, and though I really wanted another child, I had no joy at all because deep down I knew something was very very very wrong. I will detail my horror story of a pregnancy and birth in a later rant. After he was born, we were told that there would be problems, but they were unable to give us specifics at the time. We decided to move to a larger city and my husband got a great job in Chicago (1,000 miles away from everything we’ve ever known). We moved our little family to a suburb North of the city and settled in. I was able to stay home with the kids thankfully. After 6 months of getting doctors and specialists set up for each child, during the last week of February 2016 we received official diagnoses for both of them (our designated week from hell). Our beautiful, brilliant, outgoing daughter has High Functioning Autism, Anxiety, and OCD tendencies. Our loving, flirty, happy, hansom little son has Dystonic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy.
When my husband and I met, we were artists. I was a dancer and he was a musician. We were free spirits who loved moving around and experiencing new places. We were self-described gypsies who just wanted to live life to the fullest. Now, he works a job in Corporate America in a cubicle located in a Chicago skyscraper while I am a stay-at-home mom (a term that previously made me cringe) to TWO (not one)…. TWO special needs children.
I am by no means an expert in special needs parenting. This is not an advice column. My kids are both very mild. However, I need to rant as most special needs parents do. Special Needs Parents are tired. We are overworked and undersupported. We sacrifice and live a life none of us chose, but wouldn’t trade for anything. (Well, maybe temporarily for a solo vacation to Fuji for two weeks). Nobody likes to talk about special needs parents. We get the sad looks and the “Oh, I’m so sorry” statements that are all from very well-meaning places. We also get to deal with the assholes who think that we caused our kid’s autism by sleeping with one arm up during pregnancy or even better… we are completely making our kid’s autism up. Like we really want that or something. There are also ignorant people who think that we take our kids to therapy too much because they look so good that they are fine now. It’s people and situations like this that I plan to rant about and welcome stories from other parents too. I will probably piss somebody off. That’s okay. My hopes is that I can maybe make another special needs parent laugh just once. Laughter is less frequent for us. I hope my sarcasm helps.