The Gargoyle of Guilt

I’m stymied. I’ve been trying to write for days, but it all comes out as a rant, or a whine, or a whimper. I’ve been too angry and sad and wiped out to say anything that anyone would want to read. I don’t even want to read it.

I feel this compulsion to write about the special needs parenting experience, like it’s my responsibility or my calling or something, but the reality this week is that the special needs parenting experience is kicking my trash.

I don’t have anything lovely to say about it. I don’t have the energy to muse about the lessons I’m learning or the ways we are growing. In the rare moments when everyone is asleep, writing guilt creeps up my spine and sits heavily on my shoulders, hunched and hideous like a gargoyle. Write an article, it says to my annoyance. Better yet, a book. “Shut up,” I think.

I can only put in my earbuds and cradle my iPad as I climb into a figurative canoe of sorts, floating and drifting easily on the sea of Dish on Demand. Dutch tells me I don’t need to feel guilty for being in survival mode.

But I do anyway.

  6 comments for “The Gargoyle of Guilt

  1. Susan
    September 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    “Dutch tells me I don’t need to feel guilty for being in survival mode. But I do anyway.”

    Listen to your husband. Everyone has survival mode. How would we make it through those crazy times of life without survival mode?

    I love this quote from Simple Abundance.

    “The best you can do is all you can do, and the best you can do is enough.”

  2. Nevada
    September 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    You describe how I feel most of the time. I am simply surviving and going through the daily motions and routine of life. I think that is normal. My handyman has been my encouragement lately. He reminds me all the time that God wouldn’t trust his precious little angel with “just anyone.” Sometimes it takes an outsider or a different perspective to remind us of just how important the work we do really is. You inspire me even if it’s just for being honest about what it’s like to raise kiddos like these!

  3. LusherLaRue
    September 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

    My goodness, don’t feel guilty. I am single and have no kids and I hit survival mode at least once a month. I don’t know how mothers of special needs children do it. You are an inspiration to me. I know that if you can make it through each day (even if by the skin of your teeth), then so can I. Thank you for your honesty. Your writing has given me a new insight and appreciation for these special children and the daily struggles of the parents who are raising them.

  4. Jen
    September 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Saying what needs to be said is enough. Always. There are no rules here. You made this space. And this is what it needs to be this week. Nothing more. The end.

  5. Natalie
    September 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Survival is what it takes to keep going sometimes. As a special-needs mother, I also need to collapse at the end of the day and regroup for the next one. Hang in there. You’re not alone. Also, never feel guilty. Guilt should not be part of our world.

  6. Kristie Wilkins
    September 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Can I just tell you how much I love and appreciate you? Finding your blog was like greeting an old friend and kindred spirit. Parenting special needs children is HARD and sometimes just plain overwhelming and sometimes downright UGLY. I love your sense of humor and the fact that you are real. Both my husband and I love to read your blog and chuckle at your venting because we can relate on so many levels. I have you to thank for pulling me out of survival mode many times with your humor and I wish I could return the favor for you. You are a fantastic mother and a delightful person Megan. Please don’t doubt that!

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