The last few years, everyday has been a constant struggle. Trying to remember the girl I used to be. Trying to accept the person I am. Wondering if this is the real me, or a shell of the woman I once was.
Isolated. Confused. Lost.
Every single day.
I love my son. (The fact that I must prelude my sentences with that annoys me….but such is this life). I honestly love him so much it hurts. But if I’m being honest, even on his very best of days- it’s still a tough job. For the last 3 years (almost 4) I gave up every piece of me, in hopes of giving him a brighter future. Every need/want/desire I had was put on hold, for him. My education, my career, my social life, my health, my sanity…
If I could go back and do it all over again, I like to think I would put a little more effort into myself….but the thing is, I couldn’t. I busted my ass to get him where he is. Insurance battles, ongoing evaluations, specialists, doctors, therapists….all while trying to cope with the reality that my son is different, and deal with life’s daily struggles of being his mom. It was all just too much. I had absolutely no time to focus on myself. Every thought, every breath went into Dawson and his future.
There simply wasn’t enough time for me. Or my marriage….
Before I had Dawson, I was always busy. With work, friends, family, the great outdoors. I was always on the go, and I loved it. Yes, becoming a parent means your priorities change…but it should never mean that you have to give up everything about yourself to raise your child. Instead, raise them to know and experience all the things you enjoy. Let them see the passion and love you have for whatever feeds your soul.
I didn’t do that. I couldn’t. It was too hard to find any kind of balance. Just to get through a day without completely losing my shit, was almost an impossible task. I honestly don’t know how I made it through those years…but I’m glad they are over. I am just now getting to a place where I am feeling more confident about being Dawson’s mom….but it took almost 4 years.
A lot can happen to a person….to the parents…of a child with special needs…
Three years ago, when I had realized Dawson was different, I remember turning to my husband. I asked him what he thought. Did he see something I didn’t, was I too concerned? He didn’t have much of an opinion. He thought our little boy was perfect just the way he was…but ultimately-he knew that wouldn’t be enough for me. I needed to know for sure what was going on. He put his trust in me, and I took off.
That’s when it all began. That’s when I closed the door on social media and distanced myself from everyone. It was me and Dawson, and of course Emmy- against the world. The 3 of us pushed forward in an attempt to give Dawson everything he deserved, while Randy went to work and provided us with everything we needed at home.
It was the beginning of our “divide and conquer” method. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the only solution that worked for us. At the time…
I spent the next 3 years being Dawson’s mom. Everything I did, revolved around my son. I fought, I complained, I cried….every day. I barely made it out alive. The old me, never cried or felt sorry for herself. I had become a version of myself I could hardly recognize.
Three years. Three fucking years, the Chelsey I had always known was gone. I couldn’t figure out if she was lost, or had completely changed. Everyday, I spent my life feeling as though I was walking in someone else’s shoes. I was living someone else’s life. Nobody in their right fucking mind would give me a task so challenging. I was meant to have 4 kids, work full time and find the perfect balance with parenthood and marriage. This life I was living, never felt like it was my journey.
There’s a lot more you should know. And you will, in due time. But for right now- just know that I am okay. I’ve found the girl I once was, and I am a better person (and mom) because of it.