That was then, this is now!!

by Karla Barnett on January 8, 2012

Connecting with other moms, on a similar journey, has been extremely therapeutic for me. I once had a mother tell me having a child with special needs is like being in a secret society. Initially, I did not agree with her, but the more I thought about it, I changed my opinion. Think about it, a majority of your friends don’t have the type of issues we deal with!

1. Weekly therapy (occupational, physical, speech and sometimes behavior)
2. Integrating therapies into your life
3. Sensory integration issues (vestibular, oral, tactile, etc.)
4. IEP’s
5. Consistently rejecting friends and family’s invitations because you don’t want to explain your child’s quirky behavior
6. The list goes on!

I’ll never forget the first person I spoke with early on in my journey. Not a mother, but a man, and he was my boss. I never imagined discussing my fears with him and thinking he would understand, but he did. I could not get my arms around having a baby and having him immediately taken away from me to fight for his life. He was 2.5 lbs and extremely fragile. His hand fit in my husband’s ring and his skin was translucent. Come to find out, my boss’ daughter had the same experience with her child, and he was an amazing source of support for her. He arranged a time for me to speak with his daughter, and for a brief moment, I felt relieved. I’m not alone! A day later, it was back to reality. I visited the NICU for 7 grueling weeks, living each day in a FOG! I never told my boss what his support meant to me. I hold a special place in my heart for him, because for a period of time, he was my main support!!!!

It took me a few years before I actually connected with someone else that I truly felt comfortable with, and sharing my innermost feelings about the journey. I actually met her while at a therapy session, and I approached her because she was crying. I did not need to know why she was crying. The only thing I wanted to do was to let her know that she was not alone and it’s ok to cry. This particular day, her son was struggling through therapy and, at that moment in time, she felt defeated. I totally understood !!!!! We soon became friends, and when I found that she could relate and reciprocated similar feelings, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I had finally found someone who truly understands what I’m going through.

With the little support I had, most days I felt as if life was just passing me by and I merely existed. Yes, I had the full support of my husband, and he is amazing, but he is not a mother!!! I soon began to rely heavily on God. I truly believe God selects you for a journey because He is trying to birth something in you and establish your purpose. Prior to this journey, I had very little faith, and I now know that He placed me on the journey to increase my faith. Did my faith level increase immediately? Absolutely not! I can honestly say that my faith level did not change until the 3rd year into my journey. It wasn’t until I decided to allow God to take charge, and allow Him full access, did I see the progression in my son.

Who is your support and how have they helped you get through your journey?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shari January 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

Wow Karla! U r my main support! The honesty you are sharing is wonderful! Thanks for bring brave enough to tell us all how u feel! Can’t wait to read your next post.

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Karla Barnett January 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

Awww…thanks Shari. The honesty has been extremely therapeutic for me. The feedback has been amazing!!! Thanks for all your support!

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shaz January 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Blessings Karla! I feel EXACTLY the same way..helping other parents empower themselves in the smallest ways has helped me on my own journey with Ismail.

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Karla Barnett January 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Shaz…you are an amazing inspiration to many mothers!!!

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