Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: WHO Are You?

I Lost My Identity To Special Needs

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Photo Credit: Michelle Chapman

Recently I posted a video to my personal FB page where I was open and transparent to those closest to me. I have been writing for several years. Mostly just sharing my thoughts on my personal social media accounts. I decided to see if I could get my words published. I wanted to share my autism journey with the world and help advocate for my son and so many other autism families.

In the video I had made myself vulnerable by requesting prayer for my writing because all I can write about anymore is autism. I am a stay at home mom, caregiver, and advocate. I am desperate to reach the girl that I was before I got here. I just want to take off all of these hats and be... me.

I have no idea who I am.

To even think about myself outside of these roles that I have been gifted means that I would have to step away from life itself. Well, in my mind it would take that much work.

I understand that I have to make time for self care to begin to find that connection with the person that is lying dormant underneath the caregiving blanket.

After I posted that video, an old friend called. She immediately started speaking words of encouragement into my ears. These were words that I longed to hear. Affirmations of what I was writing about and how God has given me so much more. I just had to open my eyes to see it.

It’s easy to lose yourself in the sea of special needs parenting.

Parents are constantly giving, pouring, and dishing out. They rarely get time for themselves because really, they stop caring about themselves. It’s not a sad thing. It’s a reality. Special needs parents are stronger than they care to admit. This is why they lose themselves. They have no other choice but to be strong for their children and for their family. To take time away from that would look like a pilar collapsing from underneath a bridge. This is their life.

One thing is sure, however. I am never alone. No matter if I feel like I have lost the person I was before mothering a child with autism, my identity is always found in Christ. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). When I am lost in the field like a sheep that has wandered away, He leaves his herd to come find me.

Even when I don’t feel like myself, His word reminds me how deeply I am loved. Once my attention is focused on that truth, I no longer have the burden of wondering who I am. Now, I can rejoice in Whose I am.


Photo Credit: Michelle Chapman

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.