But then... the first nasty comment came in, on the previous blog entry. I was expecting some negativity, but this person's comment was a doozy. I didn't let it through, of course, and I won't even deign to address it. Because the person writing it wasn't only 100% in the wrong, but she has absolutely no idea what life has been like for the past six years, and how absolutely urgent this placement was. That the facility Dovi is in, is not a prison, or exile, or an institution. It is a wonderful school geared precisely to the severely autistic population; a place where Dovi will actually learn real life skills and be toilet trained, things that are not possible in a regular public or private school, plus a busy household. But the comment gave me pause, as I realized that there are going to be naysayers out there who will find something rude and insensitive to say to every post I will write. And I thought to myself, what do I need this aggravation for? I finally managed to move forward and put the past few difficult years behind me. Why relive it? Why dredge everything back up and revive this blog?
I am not writing this blog because I need to defend our family's decision, or to feel better about it. I am writing it for two reasons: One, because as time will move on and the memories will dim, I am afraid that Dovi's untold story will be forgotten. The further away I will go from the day-to-day crushing burden and stressors that were part and parcel of raising Dovi, I will be loathe to dig it up all up again and rehash it. Now is the time. I want to be able to relive those days, bit by bit, and find the beautiful parts and the unbearable parts. I want to be able to be a voice to those brave heroes who are struggling every day to keep their heads above the water and survive another day. And I want them to know that they are not alone. Two, because the mothers and fathers of high-needs special needs kids who had to come to the truly heartwrenching realization that the situation was harmful to the caregivers, siblings, and the child as well, and that they had to find a better living setup for their child, should also feel less alone. Early on in my placement journey I got to know Amy of Normal is a Dryer Setting and I read her entries, one by one. Now when I went through my own heartbreak when Dovi's placement became a reality, I read and reread her entries of the days following her son's placement, and I was able to identify with every word. Blog like hers are what kept me going. So you never know; this blog might be a balm to someone else's aching soul when they face the same gut-shattering dilemma.
It might be hard to understand where I come from and what the grueling struggle for survival is really like, if you're not a parent of a severely autistic child yourself. And ironically enough, some of the negativity I've faced - not here, but on other social media - did come from other special needs parents, who couldn't understand why I wasn't coping. Well, that's okay. Every child is different; every parent is different; family dynamics differ; community norms, social expectations, religious obligations, etc differ from person to person. I don't expect every reader to understand. But I do ask that the readers refrain from making rude and hurtful comments. They are not helpful.
So, I'm still having second thoughts whether it is worth it to put myself through the potential hurt that might result from continuing with the blog. I think the benefits will outweigh the risks. I hope so.