Friday, February 4, 2011

Crazy Inducing Guilt

The logical side of me has always known that Ryan's disorder is not my fault. I have always been the type of person to put more value in my logical arguments as opposed to my emotional ones. But like anyone, the emotions can make you a little crazy sometimes.
In the beginning I felt so much guilt for Ryan's disorder. I felt that I was a failure as a mother and that I had not tried enough with Ryan. So I then did the exact opposite and tried too hard. My whole life became even more intertwined with his, which is saying a lot from anyone that knows a new mom and the obsession they have for their baby.
I think the guilt stemmed from the fact that it is the parents responsibility to raise their child to be productive members of society. So when Ryan was delayed I felt like I had failed him. That I had done something wrong. This feeling was also intensified by the therapists coming in and explaining how to do things with Ryan. I felt like Super Nanny was in my house 24 hours a day telling me what I have been doing wrong and how I need to fix that.
So I would watch intently while the therapists were over and then repeat things they did with Ryan for hours everyday. My house also started to resemble a toy store because I bought so many toys thinking that if only Ryan had this toy then he would not be delayed in his fine motor skills. Or if he had this toy he would not be behind in speech.
I spent so much time in "play therapy" with him that I spoiled him in a way. Now that I have been backing off from Ryan and trying to teach him independence I realized how dependent on me he was for everything. I realized how much I was doing for him instead of teaching him to do it for himself.
Of course I know now that I was going crazy. Any toy in the store was not going to change Ryan from who he is as a person. The therapists were not judging my parenting style, they were showing me how to help Ryan in his development. Also Ryan's disability is absolutely not my fault. Actually his disability is just one characteristic of who my son is as a whole. Just one part of the beautiful picture. Without his disability he would not be my little boy who I love so much. I stopped blaming myself and stopped looking at Ryan's disability as a problem because it is not a problem. It is just Ryan.

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