As a parent of a special needs child asking for help has never been easy for me. Since my son’s autism diagnosis, I often felt as the parent, I was responsible for everything. If there was something that needed to be said or done, it was up to me. My biggest struggle in this journey has been learning how to let go of the responsibilities that someone else can handle. It hasn’t been easy and not sure I’m even close to getting there.
I decided to write about this because it recently came to my attention that a family member is having similar issues and I recognized that she is doing the same thing that I have been doing for years. Keeping it to herself, locking it up inside, and letting no one in. Even when you are repeatedly asked if you need help or want anything to please let them know. I’m imagining she is feeling the same way as me and I understand how difficult it is to say yes. But there is one thing I do know. If you don’t accept help when it is offered, eventually everything catches up to you and you will get help one way or another. I’ve often hit the wall and been forced into taking the help whether I wanted it or not.
I realize I can’t do everything, but I can’t tell you that I’m not going to stop trying. I know it’s not the best way to go about things, but it’s just the way I am. After hearing about my family member, I felt that it was important for me to write about it because I see me in her and in recognizing this, I know that I need to try to start letting go of my need to do everything.
I once heard this quote, “find your tribe and love them hard.” This is so true especially as a parent of a special needs child. There are going to be way too many things going on at the same time, other children to tend to, errands, work obligations, etc., and you will need your tribe. I’m so lucky even as often as I say no thank you, my tribe will always back me up and be there for me and my family.
To the parents (especially new ones) of special needs children, who are like me and have a difficult time accepting help, do yourself a favor and let it go. We all need help from time to time. It doesn’t have to mean you are a failure or irresponsible. It just means you are human.
So, go out there and find your tribe and love them hard. You will feel better that you did.
Patricia Burbella says
Very well said! I am always here for you. And I am so glad to be part of your tribe!
I have not had the pleasure of meeting you yet but from the few things I’ve heard, to me, you are an incredibly strong woman, you have been dealt some challenging episodes in your life and you powered through mostly on your own. It certainly is not easy asking for help.
Thank you so much and I appreciate your kind words. No, it isn’t easy to ask for help but sometimes you just have to.
Christine Arnone says
Hi Joann so glad you wrote about this, I hope this will help other parents.
I too I’m glad to be part of your tribe. I’m will always be there for you.