by an Anonymous contributor
“The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow –
Photo by cosmo-girl
This time last week I sat on a beautiful beach in Cyprus shaded from the direct glare of the midday sun, protected by a simple red cafe parasol, but most important of all by the loving warmth and affection of good friends and family. The good news about going on holiday is that it gives you time for reflection as you are not distracted by the everyday routines of life. The bad news is that if you have a child with Asperger Syndrome, like my son, it can create extra challenges. Our structures and escape holes are temporarily suspended away from home so that I have to be in many ways more innovative and calm with my son. I also wish to balance this with sensing pleasure and joy in the moment of being away from home. How can I do this? The change and release of routine is huge and I almost don’t know what to do with myself!
Gazing at the rolling, warm waves and clear blue skies helped me to let go of some of the stresses and strains of life’s regularity. Life with a child with special needs can be erratic, brilliant yet demanding. The rhythmic patterns like the tide have a certain formula but can also change without warning like the waves that may be tempestuous and go beyond my control.
I’m also learning every day to let go of a very difficult marriage. My grief has been enormous because I have given up so much for my marriage and family. Many of you may have been through the pain of divorce and separation. It is never an easy experience especially with the added emotional responsibility of a child on the spectrum and other kids too to care for. Now there is silence, grief as well, and I know the process of letting go is very real. This spot of nature is helping me to let go of painful memories.
There is bereavement in this narrative as there may be for you. The loss of that future dream of growing old with your partner, the person you once loved. It is a double loss that I am feeling, the loss of expectation to some extent of what my child might be. I carry the weight of responsibility for a child who is different. The journey can be hard and uncomfortable but we must proceed with integrity and determination. The odyssey makes us stronger and more whole. Loss is public and private. Sometimes my head is held high and I am waving. Sometimes I am drowning inside.
Yet there is hope here as we teach our children to cope with our world as best we can. I focus on my son who has surprised me with his maturity and growth in this situation. I resolve to show him how much I see that he is being brave though this divorce, and I also comfort him when he hurts and offer clarity when he is confused. There is wonder in his love for me and his attempt to protect me from pain, and I show him that pain is something that we can all get through. We continue to share moments together every day to make or discuss things as mother and son. I deeply value this.
It is a complex journey. We all have to take the step to let go at different points in our lives. It transforms into an emotional freedom that we can choose and no one can do this for us. I am even learning to let go of this complexity as I simply sit watching the sun’s light sparkling on the sea and bask in its simple warmth. I can cast negativity out to sea. I am worth it. I cannot change the actions and words of others, only my involvement with it.
How can we as mothers and carers deal with this strain and challenge? I can only share what helps me. Just in this moment, you can breathe deeply casting out fear and breathing in joy and self belief. Deep breathing is free and liberates you step by step. The rhythmic waves guided me in the power to do this, and I can always return to this place simply by returning to those memories on the beach; returning to my breathing. I encourage you to find your safe place and if you need to let go of something painful, breathe out and let it go with each exhalation. Breathe in deeply and take in all the goodness, as you accept yourself unconditionally and allow your life to change for the better.
Thanks for taking the time to read this Monday’s Motivational article.
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