Ask Jackie: Unexpected Blessings

The “Bubble” and what it means to me.

Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013

Have you heard one of these comments? Or maybe said it yourself?

If they would just let their child experience life instead of keeping them inside a bubble, they would be better off

or

They just sheltered their child and kept him inside a bubble,
protecting him from every life experience,
which probably did more damage than good.”

I have heard these judgments and assumptions made numerous times. They’re usually directed towards parents who keep their child with special needs at home a good majority of the time.

Well, I have a bubble and I have used it to hide many damaging emotions. My bubble is the wall that I have created to protect my heart from feeling shame, guilt, fear, failure and being judged by others. Those are horrible feelings I feel sometimes, not always, when I take my son, Dillon, out into public.

Fear of my son being looked at as something other than beautiful. Fear of feeling like a failure as a mom because I “should” be doing more for all three of my boys.

Fear of having painful feelings of guilt of being embarrassed of my own son.

And then the most painful feeling of all and that is shame. Shame is when I hear that little voice inside my head that says that I AM a terrible mother, a terrible person, and I that I don’t deserve to be loved because of having those horrible feelings. So, to avoid feeling that way I will sometimes choose to stay home with Dillon in our safe little bubble.

And now my youngest son, Colin, has started to create his own bubble around his heart. He shared with me the other day that at times he feels embarrassed when people stare at Dillon and that people might think he’s weird. I told him that those feelings were okay to have and that he should not feel guilty about having them and that I feel embarrassed too sometimes.

He was shocked that I felt that way too. And then he said, “Mom, sometimes I cry in my mind.” And I remember my heart just broke, yet I felt so connected with him. I said, “Yeah, I know how that is, Colin, and I cry in my mind too.” He then said, “Mom, that was a good talk….a long one, but a good one!” I just laughed and then cried.

So, when you are out in public and you see a family struggling with their child’s behavior and trying to get control of the situation; please try to not judge or stare. Say a prayer for them, help if you can, and keep in mind that they too might be crying in their mind.

Jackie

Tags: special needs, Autism