The following message was posted to Facebook recently, on a private group wall, and is being reprinted here with permission of the author. While meant for a limited audience, its message may resonate with many of us.
Over the last few weeks, well meaning friends (even my husband), have warned me to not share too much, least people judge unfairly. That I should remove posts. I want to be clear, I am very aware of how it may appear to some. That there are those that may, as my husband fears, think less of the person I am.
Well, shame on you. Shame on society. I am not weak for admitting that I need help, I have been through things that most wouldn’t come out the other side. Seeking and accepting help does not make one weak, especially given the alternative. I have been breaking myself to try fix my family and everything on our plates, to try and help our special needs child. If I do not reach out for help, it will end sadly. How unfortunate to live in a society that is hush-hush on things like suicide. Where I would feel shamed into being quiet about what is going on now.
The truth is that many special needs families are greatly suffering, but they suffer in silence. I know this because of the private messages they send me. It’s no coincidence there’s a 90 percent divorce rate, a gross increase of a anxiety and depression, suicide…the articles you read about the horrific end with these families sometime is not a joke. There are reasons for these things. It is inexplicably hard.
Knowing full well that there are those reading my posts that aren’t capable of understanding or will judge our situation, why do I still share? I share for two reasons: 1) There are those that have pioneered these roads already, that know what to do and what resources there are. Who actually can help. They have spoken up and pointed my family in the right direction. Even though there are those that have turned their backs, there are those that have breathed life back into my family and are helping us to keep going. 2) This is the biggest reason. Perhaps you are also living in the discovery phase. Perhaps your friend is. Living the life of limbo hell, confused and drowning….feeling hopeless. You ARE NOT alone. When things are better, I will be helping these families. This is not ok. I hope watching our journey unfold inspires another mama to keep fighting, to seek help, to take care of herself and her marriage, to find her voice and ask for what she needs. I hope it inspires even one person, to speak up and say “Things have gotten so bad, that I feel like taking my life is the only solution left.” Are those words scary? Very. Is it hard? Hugely. But they are the words that can save your life and start to help make things better.
Things had gotten so bad that I had an entire plan, start to finish. A way to keep the children safe and someone to be here immediately, a way so my family would never see, the best way possible. I even researched all the details. Because I spoke up, we are starting to get help. My husband’s dad drove here from Spokane when he finally broke down crying and admitted to how awful things have become. A friend of our family took our son for a desperately needed break for him and everyone. Community members have lent a helping hand to help us get our house in order. My husband is taking time off work. We are finding counseling for the whole family. Today I am going to either be hospitalized in-patient or out. I hope out, but I am now open if not. We have learned of more resources to help us, to help him. Because of all of this, I am choosing to keep fighting instead of the plan I had intended to follow through with as of Friday.
Let me repeat that. On Friday I told my husband through tears that I was sorry, I simply could not go on anymore, that there was too much pressure and no hope and no end and I was a prisoner in my home.
If I hadn’t shared, I could very likely not be here anymore. I am not saying this to scare anyone. I am sharing this in the hopes that someone speaks up. So friends and family don’t end up losing someone who felt they should not share. Who felt they should suffer quietly. Please please please don’t. Ask for the help you need, but first learn what that help is.