S is for Step-parenting Special needs.
Everyone has a unique story. This one is no exception. It’s not a story I ever expected to be a part of. God has is plans, though, and I’m privy to it only as he allows.
I tend to share my journey openly and as honestly as possible. This leaves much room for criticisms. I have lost friendships, too. People I thought believed in the hope and redemption of Jesus turned out to believe there is only hope and redemption for some people. I am not one of those people, according to them.
In all the struggles that I have shared with friends, family and strangers, I remind myself constantly that I am not alone. I can’t be. I’m human and a sinner just like the rest of the world. I have received many emails from people who have the same struggles I have described but have never heard it voiced before.
Just because we choose to have children, whether it’s through adoption, marriage or child birth, doesn’t mean we are immune to anger, resentment, and even hatred towards those small, innocent hearts. That doesn’t mean we should act on those feelings. But they must be dealt with. Otherwise the seed will grow and become a monster.
I have seen this monster in the mirror. It was a scary thing to not recognize myself. It was even scarier to see the effects on my family.
The best thing I ever did – and still do – is be honest about where I’m at.
I don’t understand Marie. She does a lot of weird things that seem to yell DOWN SYNDROME in my face. I am constantly angry at her so she is constantly in trouble. I have felt a huge amount of resentment and hatred towards her. It was overwhelming. There were some days I simply couldn’t be in the same room as her. She has done things that made my entire body shake with rage.
What I was seeing was the behavior.
I wasn’t able to see the heart.
What I was seeing was down syndrome.
I wasn’t able to see the girl.
What I am able to see now is that the anger issue has less and less to do with Marie and down syndrome and more and more to do with me.
Where does this anger come from? Wouldn’t it make sense that anger comes from pain?
Now, as the adult, as the parent, it’s my job to work through whatever pain I have been hiding from.