I don’t quite get it…
I don’t think I have ever looked at someone else’s child and truly wished they were mine.
So why do people feel guilty because they have neurotypical children and we don’t?
Why would they think that I wanted their kids for myself or wanted their life for my own?
I remember friends talking to me about this not long after our baby girl died. They were worried about inviting us round to dinner for our regular Friday night get together in case their kids made us feel bad. I explained they wouldn’t, we love their kids, but they are not our kids, they don’t make us long for our daughter, our daughter’s absence makes us long for her – nothing else.
They got it, they are smart people and told us after talking about this issue they realised how ‘arrogant’ their notion was… as I said, they are smart people.
I know we have exacerbated the situation for our ‘non-coping’ family and friends with the outcome of our subsequent child ending up with a severe brain injury… but I just can’t get my head around this ‘guilt issue’?
It’s a ‘Catch 22’ situation. You are guilty at the concept or connotations you have of how the parents of the child with the disability are living so you stay away.
You don’t get to know the child, you don’t get to see or experience the joy they bring, you don’t get to lend a hand if the parents need it, you deny the parents (your friends) your friendship, you deny them their former life and then, because you are no longer involved in their life, you think their life must be really bad – it’s not.
I don’t feel I should make those struggling with their ‘guilt’ feel OK about their shortcomings. They disappoint me and it is not because I covet what they have – mostly I am sad for what they don’t and who they’re not.
They are missing out on a whole world of good stuff and so are their children.
I think ‘Abloid Guilt’ keeps you stupid – they need to get over themselves, over their ‘arrogance’.
The sooner we can get rid of the current charity based mindset in Australia for those with a disability the better.
That way those “poor kiddies with the brain ‘owies’ and their charity claiming parents” can simply be “a family”.