Self Pity is defined by Webster’s as excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s own troubles.
Such an easy thing to fall into when you have children with special needs. Everyone around you continuously tells you how sorry they are that you need to deal with certain situations and at some point you start seeing yourself as a victim and seeing your situation as a misfortune. If I can offer any words of advice for those of you currently in this state, is to fight and get yourself out of there FAST! Resist the urge to throw yourself a huge pity party with red carpet event and after party! It’s just not worth it
I am not saying you won’t have days where you want to cry and scream and ask yourself why. Why me??? Why my child?? There’s nothing wrong with that. Cry it out, scream it out and then move past it. Don’t dwell on it because you can’t possibly help your child in this state of mind.
When our kids were first diagnosed I allowed myself some time to absorb the situation and then immediately began putting together a plan of attack. I had no idea what our life would be like, but I knew one thing for sure, we were going to fight. Fight hard to give these kids the best life possible because they fought hard to be here. See our boys were both born premature, with our youngest being only 25 weeks at birth. This little boy had a very rough start even fighting a battle with meningitis while only being a few weeks old. It was hard to watch him suffer and struggle. It was hard not knowing if he would be coming home and if he did, what the future would hold for him. If there was ever a time to have a massive pity party, this would have been it. Instead we didn’t. We prayed and I remember asking God to give him the strength to fight and he did. My son came home on oxygen and a heart monitor and those were the longest months of our lives. We were in and out of doctor appointments with him and in every single appointment we received more unexpected news, like vision loss and a compromised immune system. All things that looking back were providing the perfect setting for a break down. Not to mention we were also starting to observe behaviors in our oldest which eventually led to his autism diagnosis. Yep the perfect brew for a self pity stew!
We didn’t fall into that trap and our lives and our children are better because of it. We challenged ourselves to look past the pity and the circumstances around us and instead focused on how we could help our kids and give them the tools they needed to be successful in life. We turned our situation around and chose to see the positive. This doesn’t mean we don’t have days where we struggle because we do, but we no longer let those days determine our attitudes. We use those days as learning experiences and they have made us stronger parents.
So if you find yourself struggling perhaps because your child recently got diagnosed or because you feel exhausted and defeated, please remember you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Focus on your child’s accomplishments. Remember they were given the gift of life and their lives were not tragedies. Instead choose to see their lives as a story of triumph.