Down Syndrome Awareness Q&A: Have your Friendships Changed?
Have your friendships been affected?
Our whole life has been affected. If you would have asked me this question 2, 3 years ago you would have been able to feel my bitterness without me saying a word. It was real. I was hurt. I needed “normal” in a not-so-normal season. So, when friendships shifted and old rhythms seemed to vanish, it was very hard.You can read more about that here. I felt stripped of so much that I worked to establish. Things I had sacrificed for and invested in. It was hard to not blame.
Now, I see my anger came from those changes. Changes that validated my feelings of fear and loneliness. Feeling that I was unworthy, because I thought I brought a baby into the world who would struggle and be unaccepted. I didn’t surrender, I didn’t trust, and I didn’t feel I had value waiting for me underneath the protection of my old identity and the routines and associations that came with it.
This paired with the anxiety I felt whenever we went out and people would see my baby was all a reflection of my internal battles. Battles I didn’t want to be in.
The undeniable truth was that my view of perfection had become warped, to the point that this experience made me feel like a failure. I had fallen for the lies of the world, holding myself to unrealistic and limited definitions of a tidy life.
I wish I was awake to confidently step into what God led me to the day Rory was born. I wish my faith would have been stronger and I could have let go of the world’s view and see her solely with the love of a mother, without the voices of my life experience whispering in the background.
If I would have been able to do that, I would have avoided so much upheaval in our personal life. In our friendships. In our routines. But with challenge comes wisdom. So I give myself grace for my lack of it. I give people grace for not knowing how to handle what I myself didn’t know how to handle.
When I reflect back now, I see wisdom, growth, and a new spirit in myself. God broke some things off me with this. Some deep-seated beliefs and insecurities. All my fears for Rory were actually the fears I’ve carried for myself. I just felt them double because she’s my beloved. She’s my child.
So, yes friendships changed. My marriage has changed. My life has changed. For the better.