The tea that I purchase has little sayings and nuggets of wisdom on the little piece of paper that attaches to the string that holds the tea bag. After a recent and brutally stressful day, as I was attempting to relax with my cup of tea, I noticed the paper tag and it said this: “Recognize that you are the truth.” It was in that split second, in my solitude, that I said the words out loud to myself for the first time ever.
“I am the parent of a learning disabled child.”
The words aren’t easy to say because this truth can hurt. My son has been subjected to human cruelty and misunderstanding. As his parent, I’ve endured stares, pity, been the subject of gossip, and criticized. And the amount of personal and familial stress can be extreme. Yet this truth also brings out the best of humanity with kindness, caring, patience, and acceptance; and this is where the organization Pierce County Parent to Parent has given me more truth to my parental and personal life.
Pierce County Parent to Parent is a non-profit organization and is a program of Washington PAVE (Parents Are Vital in Education). The organization provides emotional support and information for parents who have a child with disabilities or a chronic health need. Personal support from another organization trained volunteer parent who has a child with similar needs is beyond a blessing. My parent helper was kind, supportive, interested, and wealth of information. Most of all though, she just “gets it.” Singing to the choir is a beautiful song indeed, especially when you feel like a lonely soloist who is wandering about aimlessly to find a group to make sense of the music. Through my phone conversations, an excellent packet of written and online information/support groups to help parents grieve, accept, and cope, and the hope of other events to come (like this Thursday night’s Community Inclusion Program for families like mine—check it out by clicking HERE), gives people like me empowerment and connections.
If you are like me:
I urge you to check out this group if you haven’t already. The clickable links above will take you where you need to go. Stay strong and hopeful in the face of the truth. It’s hard to do, but it can be done. Remember the old adage, there is power in numbers. Trust me: there are more of us out there then you think.