The 12 steps to being a special parent
More than once on this blog, I have referred to the 12 steps used by people recovering from an addiction.
Now, truth be told, I have never actually been to a meeting, or even read a book about the program.
(not that there's anything wrong with that)
Nope, as is the case with most of the grey mush of trivia that make up my mental hard drive; what I do know I got from American Television shows like Seinfeld, Friends, SATC and The Simpsons, (a little bit) and biographical books.
So while my knowledge is sketchy at best, the bits I knew seemed to fit with what I have experienced as a parent of children with a disability, in my case autism.
Okay, straight away I can see the differences. We didn't choose to have kids with special needs, whereas the addict supposedly chooses to indulge their addiction.
But perhaps I can make this analogy; when you consider that some people can take a drink and only have the one, some people can buy a lotto ticket, or put a few coins in a slot machine and then walk away, some people can take out a store card and only buy the clothes they need, and pay off the full balance every month.
And some people cannot.
Some people have the compulsion that turns an interest in "Wine Tasting" every now and then, into drinking a bottle of vodka before breakfast, everyday,
that takes a little flutter on The Melbourne Cup, and turn it into losing their house, their family and virtually everything they own just to try and "break even" and win it all back,
that takes the decision to apply for a couple of store cards because they need things, then a personal loan to pay off all those cards, only to spend spend SPEND and run up the high interest credit all over again. With nothing to show for it. (ahem)
These are not conscious choices. Whatever the rationale, some people have an addictive nature and succumb. Some people have a weakness that manifests when they are under stress. Whatever.
By the same token most of us didn't choose to become parents of children with a disability.
Yes, there are some angels out there that knowingly adopt or foster children with special needs. Good on yer, my hat is off to you.
The rest of us have this greatness thrust upon us, and it takes us time to grow into the job.
So that is where I identify with "The Program", and why for my next several posts I will be examining each step and evaluating it's inclusion in my fellowship.
Right here and now I am asking you to step up and give your suggestions for the posts, either by comment or email if you are shy. I won't judge you. I know we all take a different route to this. I will of course give my opinion and my feelings on issues like the "Higher Power", but I will support and respect your right to express an alternate position.
I couldn't think of a respectful way to illustrate this serious post. So I thought I would just show off my lovely "new" vintage shoes that I am stepping out in. (geddit?)
Aren't they purdy? and they were only €35
Till next time.