We have this picture in our minds. We wonder what our child will one day become and when it goes off the rails and doesn’t fit the scenario in our heads, we feel cheated out of our proud poppa or momma moments we had been expecting.
We may have missed seeing our child graduate from high school, go to prom, or kick the winning goal. Whatever it is, we didn’t get the satisfaction
While everyone else’s child seems to be succeeding at something, yours is struggling. It could be drugs or alcohol, learning differences, mental illness, autism, or all of the above.
That investment of your love and time in raising your child has to offer something in return. But it feels like it’s not and you can’t help but feel deflated.
I’ve grieved the loss of normal. And it’s hard.
Before Charles’ suicide, back when we were struggling with his drug abuse and depression, I’d have taken two weeks without a phone call from police as a reward.
Grieving the loss of expectations that never materialize is normal. We’re entitled. But then we have to adjust.
The truth is, we can’t invest all of our own expectations for life in our children. We need to invest expectations in ourselves. Because we can’t control or live our children’s lives for them. We can only live our own. This is why we need our own coping skills –and an attitude of compassion instead of competitiveness.