2 August 2017

Dear friend,

Yesterday I did it... I asked for help. I don't know why I am so totally and completely horrendous at  accepting I need help. Perhaps it is the Wonder Woman complex raising its stubborn head again...

Many brilliant women I know suffer really terribly from the Wonder Woman complex, maybe you do too. You know that feeling that you should be on top of everything, totally in control. That feeling that you  have to can do everything on your own. I've always been told I have high standards and it is true, I do, especially for myself! That makes asking for help even harder...

I should have this, shouldn't I???

Actually asking for help was easier than I had anticipated. When it comes to talking about my son, I can witter on all day long, I am in grave danger of being a bit of an autism bore. I can see my hubby's eyes start to glaze over when I get on my soapbox...

The challenge in asking for help came when the questions changed direction. When the focus shifted...

How do you feel?  
What do you need? 

It stopped me in my tracks. BUT It felt good to be listened to too. It feels like a very very long time since I thought about me... Since anyone thought about me...

Any parent struggles with finding time for themselves and many struggle to find themselves after a baby is born. When you become a parent it can easily become all about the child, their needs, their wants, what's best for them. Add Special needs into the mix and these needs can become magnified, time becomes more pressurised, worries more intense... You are so wrapped up in the Special Needs so intensely fighting their corner that you are in danger of losing yourself.

Maybe now it is time for the real woman revolution. Maybe it is time I stopped trying so hard and accepted help. I need to have time to thrive and not just survive. I need time to just be me. I need to accept that someone else can help my son I don't need to do it all!

Yesterday I asked for help...

We are on the list to receive support - I'll keep you posted. 

In March 2017, the Mental Health Foundation, conducted a survey to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems in the population.

Key findings

  • Only 13% of people report living with high levels of good mental health.
  • More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression
  • Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. 

A significantly high number of special needs parents suffer from depression or anxiety or both but as the parent of a child with autism I was offered very little emotional support. Many parents quite simply feel dumped on diagnosis.

I strongly believe that psychological support should be offered to all parents of newly diagnosed children. Special needs parents should be thriving not just surviving! 

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