I've sat on this story for about a day because I wasn't sure how to put into words my heartache and grief that a family is struggling this hard and that no intervention saved them from what happened.
Kelli Stapleton has written a blog for some time chronicling her struggles and triumphs raising a very aggressive autistic child. Her extremely open and honest journey can be viewed on her blog, The Status Woe, and she's even posted videos of trying to make the behavior plan work...
I think that video gets me the most. After the inciting incident, it looks like the intervention specialists or counselors send Kelli across the room and you see her huddled in the doorway with her fists pressed to her mouth while she watches her child and can't help.
To say that Kelli seemed like an intelligent woman who, when faced with challenges, tried to rise up and meet them isn't a leap.
To say that being a caregiver to a child who...
God, I'm crying. Gimme a second here.
Kelli looks like she loves her child. I don't think lack of love had a thing to do with the horrible falling of dominoes that drove her to do something so...
Basically, I think I just wanted to say that caregivers? It's okay for it to be too much sometimes. We all feel isolated, like no one gets what we're going through. Like we're alone, holding this Atlas variety weight on our shoulders, and no one is going to ever lift it.
We can't always make the right choices. We can't always be perfect--no parent is and yet as a caregiver to a special needs child, we're expected to be.
Ask for help. Walk away. Run away if you have to.
Know you're not alone.
I wish I could give you all a big hug and tell you it's okay to have weak moments. To be scared. To not know what to do.
It's okay to fail. You can fix almost anything.
I'm going to cry about this some more now. If you are a caregiver, take a moment today to take a good clean breath. Close your eyes and really just let it all go, if even for just a second.
If you know a caregiver, tell them they're not alone. Give them a big hug, man. They might need it.
I think the part in her last blog that got me the most was, "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue. I’m so happy that Issy has successfully completed treatment. It was a miracle making that happen. But I never once had any peace or rest."