Today on Straight Talk With Carly Alyssa Thorne, Carly talks with Brian R. King about parenting and parenting children with special needs.
Brian’s Story: A Life in Progress:
I share this from time to time as much as a reminder to myself as to those around me. The story of my life includes:
1) Growing up with undiagnosed ADHD & Dyslexia which made school a place I went to experience feelings of failure at the hands of impatient teachers and the mocking of fellow students.
2) I was bullied almost daily from kindergarten until my sophomore year in high school. This and other factors led to a suicide attempt at age 15.
3) As I prepared to graduate from high school, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and spent the summer in chemotherapy. It was during this time that my small circle of friends drifted away as they were unable to handle my illness.
4) Many years later I would meet and marry the mother of my children. We learned our sons were on the autism spectrum and endured hundreds of meltdowns, doctors appts and school meetings that left us feeling defeated.
5) Then after 12 years of marriage the boys and I were abandoned by their mother, and I was left devastated as well as a single father. (Thank heaven for family and a few amazing friends I couldn’t have made it through without).
6) After a lifetime of chronic pain I was diagnosed last year with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. A debilitating connective tissue disorder which leaves me in pain every day and can make walking and other simple activities very difficult to do.
Why do I share all of this with you? It’s because that my life has taught me the most powerful lesson of all, than in every moment of your lives a choice stands before us. The choice to be grateful for the moment we’re given, or the choice to be bitter over life’s failure to give us what we believe we’re entitled to.
I learned the power of this lesson later in life and the gifts it has given are truly priceless. Among those gifts are the understanding that:
1) The past does not equal the future.
2) Things don’t go wrong in life, they simply go different.
3) Our job as parents is to allow our children to raise us to become the parents they need us to be.
4) The meaning of life is to discover the way to be as human as possible. To realize that life between us is best when it’s a collaboration instead of a competition.
5) There are as many ways to be human as there are people, and as long as they’re leading from a place of love they’re doing it correctly.
6) Your mind doesn’t need to feel the same way your body does.
7) More problems are solved through love and patience than hatred and force.
8) If you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got, then you’re best is enough.
9) We live in a world where there’s more than enough for all of us, though we often forget to share.
10) You won’t learn what you’re truly capable of until you’re willing to be both courageous and vulnerable.
This is all I can think of right now. Much love to you, I hope this is helpful.
Brian R. King, LCSW
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