Note: Today’s guest post is by Katrina Maria Gelderbloem. She has a powerful message to share so please do pass this along!
So for anyone else this would be easy to do. Right? I collected Clayton from school and drove into the car park outside the post office, parked in the disabled bay (
as Clayton has blue badge and he won’t walk far because he falls to the ground and won’t move and that can be in the middle of a busy road). Lady next to me has parked over her space and has her wheels completely in my bay so there isn’t enough room to open the car door let alone wheel his disabled buggy to fit next to the car door for him to get in, (as if I don’t he either runs into the road or dives under the car or the car next to us, regardless of if its moving or not)
The post office has stairs so I cant strap him into his buggy anyway which I would usually do so he doesn’t run off and is kept safe. I have to get in the car to get him out, yes he is 8, but Autism and being non verbal doesn’t mean he can OR will follow instructions, Clayton gets out, stumbles and pushes the car door which I cannot open fully as the lady has parked in my bay, which confuses him as that never happens, he can always open the door fully to get out.
This results in a lady getting out of her car inspecting her car and screaming at me as I try to get Clayton to walk up the stairs to post office, saying if there was damage to her car I would be in trouble…..I shouted back at her from the top of the stairs to the shop door way, you shouldn’t be parked in my bay, you gave me no room to get out, which resulted in her screaming more at me
…..as i was taking my eye of the ball Clayton struggled out of my arms and ran to the sweets, which he knows he would find the sweets he wanted 3 shelves up on the left. (btw this is the smallest shop and was less than 5foot from me) This tiny post office is packed full of 5 or 6 other people. Clayton has pushed passed one lady, resulting in her turning to me and shouting at me that MY child is so rude and pushed passed her.
I go and grab him and his sweets and explain that he is disabled (a word I would rarely use, but I wasn’t ready to explain Autism to 2 women shouting at me).
So to the women in that shop today.
I am sorry for the 2mins taken out of your day who were inconvenience. I am sure I made you angry and you now have a story to tell of how rude I was and what a bad mother I am allowing my child to do that to your partners tonight.
What you didn’t see when you both huffed and puffed away muttering was the tears rolling down my face, the silent tears, the unheard and unnoticed ones, the ones that I just couldn’t hold back, the ones that rolled down my face and started dripping on my t-shirt. The abuse you directed at me because of my son was unnecessary, but what does that matter right? You said your piece it made you feel better, your 2mins out of your day made you feel powerful you spoke up. Awesome!!
The abuse we have to put up with because our children don’t fit into a box, don’t and aren’t accepted into society, so much so they have to go to special schools. The unheard and unseen tears we cry because of people like you, because of those 2mins in your day where you felt empowered.
Take a look into a moment of ours, see the bigger picture and open your eyes to other possibilities to just being a “bad mum” or a “naughty child” Our days can last for 22hrs, we live on 2hrs sleep day in day out if routines change like the holiday season, we get through the day by focusing every part of our being onto our child not being hurt or injured and getting through another day. We do this because we are their mums. Because nobody else has their voice, because we are the only ones who are going to protect them and love them unconditionally and keep them safe.
The question is who has our backs?
Who keeps us safe and protected?
Who is there when our tears are so much our t-shirt’s are soaked from unheard and unseen tears that roll down our faces?
To all the special needs mums across the world, holding it together by the skins of your teeth. I HEAR and SEE your tears. I am the WHO. I have your back!
NOTE: there was no damage to anyone’s car, nor did the lady get injured being pushed passed by a very slight 8 year old.