Resentment Being the new parent of a special needs child carries a plethora of issues that need to be dealt with, and it can seem like they need to be dealt with all at the same time. It is important to remember you are grieving, that grief is the response to unmet expectations, and that it is a process that takes time to complete. The third stage of the grief process is that of anger and resentment. You will probably be angry about the entire situation. Take time for the anger. Let it burn, like a raging fever that is eradicating all the viruses in your body that can potentially make you sick. Scream into a pillow. Journal all your thoughts – no matter how resentful they may seem. Beat rugs. Make home made bread so you can “punch” something. Whatever it takes to work through the anger is worth it in the end. You are not going through this stage alone. Everyone in your family is going through the same process, and should be given the same respect as you. While enduring this stage it is important that you do not create long lasting effects that will have to be dealt with when the stage is long past. Any and all relationships can, and are, affected deeply by this stage. However, they can be affected in a positive manner when the anger is dealt with in a reasonable manner.
Lashing out in a negative manner and creates walls of pain that take years to break down – if they are ever broken down at all. This is something you certainly want to avoid. Lashing out won’t make you feel any better, but calmly discussing your feelings and thoughts with someone who is going through the same process will ease your pain. Do not neglect the other children in the family. They are grieving too, and they are doing so without the understanding that you, as an adult, have. Talk with your children in a straight forward manner about what has happened with their younger sibling. Explain that their sibling will have to be dealt with in a special manner, and encourage them to ask questions that you should answer honestly. Do not, however, answer questions the child does not ask. When the child is ready for answers, they will ask. They, like everyone, need time to assimilate all the answers. Grief in children is considerably different than in adults. From the adult point of view it can seem chaotic and unproductive. The key to understanding grief in children is to realize they deal with grief in doses. One minute they can be playing happily with friends, and the very next they are having a severe grief meltdown. Ten minutes later, they are seeking permission to go outside and play with friends again.
This is because the highly emotional feelings have been expressed and accepted, the child is then able to again detach, and is selfmotivated to move forward. In fact, dealing with the grief in doses is a very good way of dealing with the process.