depression and a disabled child
My 6 year old son is severely disabled (he is like a 5 month old baby in what he can do). He can’t sit up, feed himself, roll over, talk, walk, etc etc. The problem is that I’ve fought depression since kindergarten (that’s as far back as I can remember). When he was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, I dryly commented to myself, "Well, this certainly won’t help with the depression." I cannot escape the sadness I feel for him. I wish I was religious so that I could find relief in the whole "this world is temporary" idea. But I either don’t believe in God, or I hate God…but I think I lean toward the hate. The thought that there are children in the world (aside from my son) who suffer so severely by the hands of adults (abuse) makes me insanely hate God.
Before I had my son, when I was depressed (which was pretty much every day), I would make it through by saying to myself "At least you’re not in the Nazi Holocaust. Imagine how horrible that would be. This is a cakewalk compared to that." Then when my son was an infant, before we knew anything was wrong with him, I’d say to myself "I may be stressed and depressed, but at least my son is healthy…there are people whose children are sick and disabled…I need to count my blessings." Then when the diagnoses began rolling in, I’d say "Well at least he’s not blind." And then it would turn out he actually is legally blind. So I would say, "Well at least he doesn’t have quadriplegic cerebral palsy" and then it turned out that he does. Now the only thing that *might* make me feel a *little* better is to think about how I’m so glad we have him, instead of someone who would neglect or abuse him.
Bottom line is that medication, therapy, and spirituality are not helping me, and I need something to alleviate some of this, or else I don’t know how I’m going to make it. If only I had faith in God or a Higher Power…that would make things so much easier. I’d kill myself but A.) I’m chicken and B.) I don’t want my son to be motherless.
Then there’s the whole thing where I hate myself because I’m so ineffective at everything because I have no energy. Which of course leads to more depression and more ineffectiveness.
Sorry this is so long. What can I do?
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Yeah, that’s a lot to overcome–makes all my problems seem completely insignificant. As a parent though, I applaud you for keeping it together for the sake of your child as long as you have. There really is no easy answer–the faith or answer or whatever it is you’re needing right now must come from within.
I do agree with Tits–read up on the articles here, discussions and all that. You might just find that something needed to inspire you to make it through all this. I can’t even imagine dealing with all that on a daily basis, but you got what you got from life, and even though it’s not fair you’ve just gotta deal with it. I know it sounds harsh, and no one deserves the pain you and your son are going through, but you have to endure, because it will get better. There’s no telling how long it will take, but it WILL get better.
If you have faith in nothing else in the world, have faith in those words. Make a goal, select a path, or whatever and stick to it. So long as you walk that path, you can tell yourself that you’re going the right way.
My heart goes out to you. There is a piece of information that is tough but I hope you may find at least a little bit of comfort in it. In the past, miscarriages were more common and medical wasn’t very good. If this was those hard times your son might not have lived. That is why I am grateful to hear that your son can live, because I imagine that as a mother that is the most important thing to have.
Your depression has a root and that root lives in your child, it is your path to seek this root and overcome it. It may be difficult, but the life that will follow will be greater than anything you’ve ever lived before. Search how to heal the disabled, seek a solution to depression. I wish I had more useful information to share but I do not want anyone to give up. Perhaps your son will grow up to be a theoretical physicist just like Stephen Hawkins.
It is said by the buddhists that life is suffering. I think it is necessary to end this suffering. If there is any advice I would give to you, it would be to love your child and love yourself. Don’t be afraid. You are not alone. The world is filled with rage and despair, but it is also filled with beauty and joy.
Try to focus on ways of making yourguys’ interaction easy. Focus on things you can do for now to gain some hope about how your life is. The answers and pure relief aren’t going to come immediately but just do what you can in order to feel more power over yourself and then you can get more power over your situation and so forth…
Remember, in times of weakness, just do it.
Linda, where do you and your son live? Have you heard of Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, MA? I work there and it’s a WONDERFUL place for kids with disabilities. Children need a dual diagnosis to be enrolled, and based on the small amount of info you offered, your son sounds like he may be a good candidate. It’s a place where disabled kids are given the opportunity to reach their full potential, and where parents of the kids have not only a team of resourceful professionals working together for your child, but also a community where other parents can relate and understand. It’s world-renowned. Sounds like you could use a support network, big time.
Also, forget the God stuff. You’re looking for someone to blame and it’s easy to blame someone who you can’t see and don’t believe in (neither do I for the record). Your anger will solve nothing. Having a child with disabilities is incredibly scary and challenging, and will take much hard work and courage on your part. And being angry at someone only means you’re not accepting reality or moving forward. Don’t get stuck in your anger, and don’t try to place blame. This is no one’s fault, just a unique and difficult situation that requires your strength and bravery. You can do it, especially if you take the time to find a good support system. Don’t give up, reach out and ask for help and don’t stop searching until you’ve found specialists and therapists and everyone you need to get your questions answered and to be there for you when you need it. This is jut as much about you as it is your son, so do whatever you can to take care of yourself.
best of luck
I don’t think loathing in pitty will do any good. I know it must suck, and I feel for you, I do. But you have to understand you have to be strong for both of you, to get out there and try a few things to step into a mind that can take your compassion to a whole new level. Those who understand sadness can teach happiness. It might not be a easy road but life hasn’t given you an easy break yet you will deserve your rest and with all this emotion you have built up you CAN do great things.
My only actual advice would be seek guidence from an spiritual elder. They will mold your spirit!
I’m sure you are an effective mother and are able to provide for your son. While the way he expresses himself may be different, I am sure that to him you are his world and everything you do for him is so greatly valued. All the things you do that you consider small life alterations for him can mean more than any of us can really appreciate.
Don’t look for God when you’re really looking for rationale. There isn’t going to be any rationale. All you can really do is continue to do the best you can, knowing that the challenges (and the rewards!) are just different from any other “normal” life. Keep on truckin’, and just remember that what you’re looking for in life isn’t always really what you want out of it.
Love is all we need. i send you my love today Linda. i light a small candle for you now. .. and i . hope all of our good wishes give you the stregnth you need to deal with the obstacles that life has thrown on your path.
may they make you grow and may the sun shine in your heart…
Spirituality in my eyes is the only release, Remember it’s not about choosing a religion its understanding god and creating a relationship. It’s nothing that will happen in a few weeks, it takes months of trying to get a break through. I really wish there is something more I could do, besides just saying words that probably don’t mean much to you…..