People in caretaking or other situations (such as having to care, or advocate for someone with special needs) find there are two groups of people:
Those who "get it"
And those who "don't"
For many reasons sometimes we find we really don't want to talk to people. But sometimes when we do....
So many times people who haven't walked in your particular shoes just don't get it. And that means me, too. For example, I know someone whose teenaged son became a paraplegic last year due to injuries suffered in a car accident. The doctors told her people with her son's injuries normally either die, or walk away. Well guess what, her son split the difference. We can talk on one level because of some of what I have had to do for Bil and other family members but I have never had to take care of, or advocate, a person who is partially paralyzed and is so mad about the whole thing that he takes it out on everyone around him. And who deals with constant exhaustion trying to run a business and working full time at another job so she can have medical insurance.
So you really try to pick and choose who you speak to, who becomes your friends. The uppermost thing on your mind when you live and breathe a special needs situation (and I am so fortunate that I am not at this point in time, although there was a time or two in my life when I did) is....will people really understand? Will you get support? (which is NOT the same thing as people feeling sorry for you.)
Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts.
Recently, I was thinking of some instances when I have just been blown away by people...or, in the British sense, gobsmacked. In Part 2, I want to talk about a person I knew on one level, but I didn't truly know "the rest of the story"until after she was dead.