Friday, September 9, 2016

Outside Perspective

Good Evening!

Busy day for posting I know!  I will be on a business trip for a week so I have to make sure there is plenty of new stuff to read.  Actually, sometimes ideas seem to hit me in bunches and other days I hit the writers block wall face first.

A friend on Facebook made me think about a very important point.  All of us have a mental picture of our loved ones that slows down time.  We see them in their most vibrant and younger stage of life.  For instance, the Tyler that I think about is the happy and teenage Tyler.  I have to say I don't immediately think of him as a 24 year old man.  I'm sure any of us who are parents relate to this.

But when dealing with special needs family members, this can be an especially challenging aspect.  We love those people that we care so much for, so we want to picture them the way that makes US happy.  Its an escape of sorts that softens the effects of changes.  Where this becomes so problematic is when it turns into denial.  

When I first thought about Tyler going to a residential home I immediately pictured my "little boy" and how he still needed his parents.  He was still my CHILD and that was the image that I was holding on to.  I would imagine that those caring for parents with new special needs have the exact same issue.  We remember our parents as the caregivers and the solvers of all things, so we desperately look for indications that they can be that way again.  

We have to try very hard to put that aside, no matter how hard that is to do.  We have to think about the state of things TODAY and make our decisions based on that.  It's easier said than done for sure.  This is where an outside opinion from a doctor, friend, caseworker, or therapist can help us to keep our proper perspective.  Don't get upset at these opinions or shut off your mind because "you know what's best".  I can say that because I was stubbornly guilty of it.  Instead, listen and understand that people that are slightly removed from the situation can have a valuable vantage point.  

Once we turned off the emotion and set aside the image of how we wanted to see Tyler, he began to grow as an adult.  We trusted that by turning his care over to a staff who knew how to handle his situation, he would get what he needed for this stage of his life.  Same would go for a parent with special needs when it becomes time to turn them over to more specialized care.

Always be brave enough to ask yourself what the best level of care is for that special needs person in an objective way and follow that path.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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