“I’m so done! I’ve HAD IT!”
Have those words ever spilled out of your mouth as you’ve cared for your child with special needs? Well, they have from my mouth. I hate to admit it, but there are days I’ve just had enough.
One of my friends whose life is a similar to mine has confessed to me (as I have to her) that we have said these words not only in our heads but also they’ve come out of our mouths. And sometimes they have been with anger, exhaustion, and a few other emotions!
A number of years ago my friends’ husband actually called me to please call his wife who had just “had it” and left. He said she was going away for a few days. I suggested we let her get on the road, cry for a while, get out all the frustration, and (because I’d been there before) let her gather her senses and figure out when she needs to come back. I told him I’d call her just before I went to bed (usually around 11:00 pm) and if she weren’t on her way home, I’d have some serious (caring/understanding) conversation with her.
This gal is a precious “younger women” in my life. I’ve sat with her on a few occasions in hospitals, on the phone, at our home and when we get to have lunch…over a nice meal. She is one of the few people I’ve given permission to call me at any time day or night if there is a problem. And she has. I love that she does, and how wonderful it is that I’ve been available when she’s needed me. We are really there for each other. We “get” the life we’ve been given, so we know we can say anything to each other and we don’t share it beyond each other (with the exception that she has given permission for me to share this story with you!)
So, neither her husband nor I had heard from her. At my bedtime I made the call. She didn’t answer but texted, “I’m almost home. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
The next day sounded something like this:
Friend- “Hi Cindi. I’m sorry I got you into this. I just had had it and I needed to get away! I came to my senses (named the town where she turned around) and knew I needed to come home. I knew I couldn’t leave them!”
Me- “Why didn’t you call me? Did you cry until you turned around? Did you yell like we’ve talked about? Do you feel better?”
Friend- “Yes I cried, and yes I feel better. I’m sorry I didn’t call you.”
Me- “Sometimes we just have to get it out and talk later. I’m glad your fine. So, where were you going to go?”
Friend- “To the happiest place on earth… Disney?”
WE BOTH BROKE INTO LAUGHTER!
Me- “So why didn’t you invite ME?!??!”
Life is hard. Having friends helps us get through these challenges. It doesn’t actually matter what the challenges were, because we know we have them, and those of us in the special needs community know how challenging and even frustrating that 24/7 care can be.
I have only have one thought of wisdom for you, and that is to find someone who is a little down the road in this journey of life and ask him or her for help. And then, when you get to a place you can help another, be there for someone younger. Honestly, the journey is so much better with someone at your side. So when they’ve “had it,” you can help get them through that time….until the time it’s your turn!