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Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Parent's Perspective

My mum and I are incredibly close and I would even go as far as to say that my mum is my best friend.

Wherever I am, whatever I've done or whatever I may need, my mum is there for me without fail.
I am extremely blessed to have a truly incredible family, made up of supportive, encouraging and loving parents; a big brother that exceeds any expectations of what one would hope for from a sibling; a sister- in-law who is more like the sister I never had, and of course a husband who provides me with constant care, support and affection- as well as my truly fantastic extended family and friends.
I know how lucky I am to have this incredible support team around me- I also know how much my accident and subsequent disability has affected every member of my family.
To give you some idea of just how much these people have been affected by events in my life, please take a minute to read the following words from my wonderful mum Jane Spurgeon.
This is why Get a Life!' wants to raise funds to provide support not only those who have become disabled, but also for those who have to stand by helplessly and watch those they love have their lives turned on their heads.

Jane with Karrie

"When your child becomes disabled after illness or injury it is the most devastating feeling in the world. 

As a parent all you want to do from the day your child is born is to protect them.  The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming and all you want to do is take the pain away.  I have said time and again that I would swap places with my daughter.

She was 23 years old  when her life changed from one of independence, to one of chronic pain and having to be dependant on her family.  

I am 60 years old and have had a good life and feel guilty that I have been spared the pain and suffering that she has to go through daily.  I have lain awake night after night grieving for the life she had, and praying for some miracle that would take the pain away.
It consumes your every waking moment and affects your relationships with your partner and other siblings, as all you can think of is your disabled child.  

You try and carry on your daily life as normal - put on a brave face, but the feelings of helplessness, guilt, bitterness and grief are always there.  Sometimes they overwhelm you completely and all you want to do is scream and shout or curl up in a little ball and hide away from the world - there are even times when I have felt quite suicidal - just wanting the emotional pain to end and then you feel guilty for these feelings because you know your disabled child is going through much worse than you. 
It's a vicious circle and you need someone to help you to come to terms with the situation so that you can cope and give your child the support they so desperately need.

The support that Get a Life! is proposing for the families of people who find themselves facing a life with disability after an able-bodied life, would have helped not only me, but also my whole family- not only as individuals, but I believe that it would have also helped." 

Do my mum's words ring true with your own feelings or experiences? 
Would you like to share your experiences as a sibling, a parent, a child or a friend of somebody who has become, or is becoming disabled? Have you become disabled yourself?  
 If so Get a LIfe! would love to hear from you- for your story either to be used as a testimonial on our website, or if you'd prefer, to be used to move our cause on further, by learning what the very people we are trying to help would feel would be  to them.