Don’t Pity Us Because My Child Has a Disability

jenna-norman-292396

(Posted originally in The Mighty)

Well meaning friends can sometimes say hurtful comments. Yes, it’s true. It may not be their intention and I believe they love us. But there are times when their words and actions can cut through our hearts rather than heal.

How many times have we heard one saying, “I feel bad for you. This is why I didn’t have any more kids of my own” or “I don’t think I’d be able to do what you’re doing.”

Whether we accept it or not, people seem to pity those who have kids with disabilities. Perhaps it is human nature to pity what we do not know. For friends close to us, their pity might come from caring about us. They know, and we know, that raising a child with a disability entails challenges and sacrifice. Of course they love us and they don’t want to see us and our child struggling.

But pity is not what we need. We need empathy.

We need friends who can feel what we feel; friends who will be moved by love to help us; friends who will respect the efforts and sacrifices we make for our child; friends who will be there no matter what.

Pity rarely moves people to action. Some people might pity homeless people, but how many of those are intentional to help them turn their lives around? We may pity those who were affected by natural disasters in other countries, but how many of us have really actively participated in a work that will help them rebuild their lives?

We are not in a pitiable state. Our child is not to be pitied — nor us his parents. Yes, we may have difficult challenges to face, but we’re not in a depressing situation where we are merely existing. We are still living our lives to the full and for this, we are happy.

Yes, our child may have limitations, but he doesn’t deserve to be pitied. He needs love and understanding. Most importantly, he needs respect.

So please, don’t pity us. We are OK.

 

15 thoughts on “Don’t Pity Us Because My Child Has a Disability

  1. What a great post to get these words out there and let people know how it feels to be pitied. Everyone should just share love and respect and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s such a thin line between pity and compassion and I think it’s so hard for people in an “outside” situation to know how to help. It’s unfortunate though that with “pity” come stigmatizims and that is what we do not need ! Believe, love, Faith and support is what we need .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with everything you said. This is why it helps for parents like me of special children to speak up so others can understand how we feel. Thank you so much for taking time to read this post. It means a lot!

      Like

    1. Hi Charlene. Thanks for sharing your posts with me. Yes, we think alike and we feel the same. I like your post on how to show empathy and compassion to parents of children with special needs. Please keep in touch!

      Like

  3. I agree with @inthesestilettos. Such a thin line the world has created. I would never wish anything ill favored on someone else but it is very difficult to understand when you have no clue on what they are going through. I love that you have spoken out and shed light on a subject most wouldn’t. My daughter has learning disabilities that make her feel less than confident in many situations. And sadly, not everyone knows her struggle so they only judge what they see. This was such a great post! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great reminder! We so often look at the strained end of things instead of the blessing that our challenges can be. I am so glad you posted this – it’s a reminder we all need!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say and say what they feel or what they can put into words, you are right. I agree no one deserves pity, but respect and empathy.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s