Friday, January 30, 2009

Us v. Them?

Have we transitioned into a society that is non-accepted and misunderstood. Was I a part of such a world that moved so fast that people with special needs (autism, Ds, CP, etc.) and their parents were viewed as something of an oddity. Unfortunately I believe that I was a part of that world and that that world still exists. But fortunately, God has seen fit to bring me into a world where life operates at a slower pace.

Growing up, I knew kids with special needs and their families and as a Therapist working with special needs kids, I knew the parents and before I had John, I often wondered why these parents seemed to have an attitude of "me v. them". They seemed to operate from a point of view that the world was against them and they had to scream to be heard.

Since John has come into my life, I realize what these parents felt like. It is almost as though you pass through a curtain into an invisible world that is very misunderstood much less tries to be understood. And to worsen matters, the Bureaucrats in charge of both worlds belong to the other side - the side that doesn't care to understand our kids and is quick to label them.

Watching the movie, Radio the other night with my family and being able to see this issue from both sides made me stop and think that we sometimes do live in two different worlds. This movie is based on a true story and the reenactment on screen truly parallels life.

The fact is having John has caused us to change our lifestyle and some of the friendships that we have/had. And sometimes it can be lonely thinking that no one knows or cares to understand of what your life is like. But I have decided that it is all worth the sacrifices made to be able to say that I now live in this world of special needs. For it is not until John came to us that I have truly begun to see the true meaning of life and that it is not about money, houses, cars, jobs, power, etc, but it is about love. I thank the Lord that He has chosen to teach me this lesson. Although the method is difficult, the lesson has and will forever change my life....for the good, I'm sure.

My attitude is not me v. them, but one of pity for those who have not taken the opportunity to see and understand this lesson. And judging from the fact that 9/10 babies with Ds are aborted every year in this country, the opportunities have been offered to many people. You don't know what you are missing...there is another world out there and it is more beautiful and satisfying than the rat-race in which we all feel trapped.


Lovin Mama said...

I, too, am enjoying this new world I'm living in. I've learned to take the good with the bad. I only wish more people were willing to take a detour now and then to learn about our new reality.

Beverly said...

Our new wonderful world is great! so many people are missing out. We are all so blessed!

Jeanette said...

Amen. Beautiful post. It is so true that people just don't know what they are missing.

Becca said...

Beautifully put, Jay. You have a unique perspective in being a therapist who has seen your life from both sides (from the parents you worked with before John was born, and from being a parent to John). I just remarked to someone the other day that sometimes I feel bad for parents of typical kids that they're just going to have an ordinary life, whereas I feel like my life is pretty extraordinary with Samantha and the relationships I've developed with others as a result. It's a wonderful world of love and acceptance and friendships forged with amazing people you wouldn't ordinarily have met, who feel very much the same way.