I have heard that moms with special kiddos isolate themselves because they feel that ‘normal’ parents won’t have empathy, patience or understanding. We really haven’t done that with Boo, but we had Allie first. So the relationships were already established. We are also lucky that we have a tight-nit group of friends who can go six months without speaking to one another, but in an instant pick up where we left off. (Establishing Girls Night In also helped)
So maybe we “special parents” are not isolating ourselves, but rather being isolated by those who do care about us (and I do believe they do). I think they isolate us for a couple of reasons.
The first is that they do not want to burden us with their own troubles. They worry we have too much on our plate and feel guilty adding more. These friends do not get that we need to feel more than Boo’s mom/therapist/taxi driver/pharmacist. This I know to be true, in my case. A friend is going through a divorce and didn’t feel she could burden me. I don’t think that friends understand that I have to be more than Boo’s mom. I need to be Kerri. As much as I need to lean on them, it has to be a cooperative exchange.
The second reason is scarier to me. They do not want to “be” us. They do not want to look at their child and wonder that there might be something wrong. That they are lucky and (your know some do) feel that our children are spoiled/misbehaved. They want to see the perfection of their own children. Never realizing that our kids are perfect too. Some feel guilty for their ‘perfect’ family. Others feel self-righteous. And still others feel that there might be something wrong with their child, but if they are not exposed to Boo and my out-there with her struggles they won’t have to admit it.
I count myself lucky that I have a circle of friends who love us because of Boo, not in-spite of her. What is your opinion, Do we isolate ourselves or are we isolated by those who once were our friends?