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Should I get help in handling my special needs child?

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Q. Caring for my special needs child is taking a toll on me. I resigned from a job seven years ago to care for my child. Although I love my child with all my heart, being a stay at home mom is not what I would have chosen for myself. I thought things would get better after seven years, but I can’t seem to overcome these feelings. I find myself crying, sometimes shouting and cussing God, always wondering why my daughter was dealt this terrible hand in life. My husband is never emotionally there for me. He tells me I need to get a grip. I know I do but I don’t know where to start. I feel my husband and I are growing farther apart. Which doesn’t only stem from our child’s illness but he hasn’t always been a faithful husband to me. This has also been hard for me to overcome. My reasoning for staying married to him; he has always been a very good father. I was raised by a terrible stepfather, and I want so badly for my children to have that stability and security of their mom and dad together. This has been tremendously hard on our oldest daughter as well. If you could give me some guidance it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Should I get help in handling my special needs child?

Answered by on -

A.

I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation. It is difficult to imagine what you are going through. My recommendation is that you need more support. If this support cannot and is not coming from your husband then do you have other family members who can provide support? If neither your husband nor other family members can or will help you emotionally or otherwise, then how about other health care professionals or even a therapist for yourself? Hiring a health care professional may be able to help out with taking care of your daughter and a therapist can support you emotionally, as well as advise you on how to deal with your husband. The bottom line is that you need support, and you need it on a weekly basis at minimum. You should not do this alone. Lastly, I applaud your sacrifice to stay in what sounds like an unhappy marriage for the sake of your children. But you must realize that you are doing this at the cost of yourself. It is taking a toll on you. To be an effective caretaker for both of your daughters, it is impetrative that you have a balanced life in which you adequately care for yourself. Not caring for yourself appropriately will cause you to burnout, be resentful and be unhappy—a state of mind that you just might experiencing at this time. If you have burned yourself out then it will be difficult for you to care properly for all those around you who depend on you to be well. It’s a complicated situation. To begin, don’t continue handling your daughter’s care on your own; seek out help and support. Take care.

Should I get help in handling my special needs child?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Should I get help in handling my special needs child?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/22/should-i-get-help-in-handling-my-special-needs-child/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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