Grieving the loss of normal with a child who suffers

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.

Your kids are not trophies

 

 

 

 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

3 thoughts on “Grieving the loss of normal with a child who suffers”

  1. You are spot on in this post. I went through the stages (anger, grief, acceptance). I still get depressed from time to time, but I try to move on and keep busy. A good quote: “Comparison Is The Chief Of Joy”. Thanks for all you mean to this community.

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