Reach out. Carers week.

Dear Autism parents and carers,

It is carers week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the difficulties faced.
The biggest difficulty all carers face is talking about the reality of their situations.
No one likes to talk about the negatives.

Scrolling through my social media posts these past few days I have seen so many cries for help.
So many apologies for admiting the the truth.
So many of you are struggling.
I am too. We all are.
You are not alone.

I need to say something to you.
You might not like but….
…please, PLEASE, stop apologising for reaching out.
Please stop with the ‘I feel awful for saying this,’ ‘Sorry but I love my child, but hate Autism’,
‘I am a rubbish Mum because I can’t cope’, ‘What did I do wrong?’……because you are allowed to not be coping!
It is ok to not be ok!

Caring for a child with additional needs is all consuming.
Autism is bloody hardwork, and unless we share the truth, awareness can never truly be increased.
To be aware people need facts.
Autism is not all flowers and fairys, sometimes it is just weeds and devils.

You do not ever, never, need to apologise for being honest. Ever.
You need to give yourself a pat on the back for having the guts to state the truth, for having the courage to admit that things are hard.
Be proud of being honest, not ashamed.

We all have days when we hate Autism. When our days are full of meltdowns, anxiety and undesirable behaviour.
We all love our children more than anything else, but it is normal to get frustrated with them….with the Autism.
We do it because we care.
We don’t post on social media for sympathy, we post because we have no where else to go.
We reach out because we want reassurance that we are not alone.
….You are most certainly not alone, and please don’t ever be sorry for writing how you feel.

I know it is a natural reaction.
It is never easy to write anything negative about your child.
It somehow feels like we are saying that we don’t love our children because we are admitting that it is hard work.
We know you all love your children, honestly we do.
You are allowed to say that you have had a bad day.
Having bad days does not mean you do not love them.

People judge, I know. And I know this is the reason people don’t like to publish their true feelings.
I have had experience of this.
So. Many. Times.
I used to worry. Worry people would think I was a moaner, a failure, a bad Mum….
….now I try not to care.
Nobody has ever walked in my shoes therefore they have no right to judge.
I will not apologise for stating how I feel because that is how I cope.
I use social media as a platform to tell you how it really is.

To all those Autism parents and carers out there, you are doing an amazing job.
It might not feel like it today, or last week, but you have got this.
Don’t ever feel the need to apologise for reaching out or asking for help. EVER.

Here for you always,

Our Autism Mum. Xx

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