I am filled with guilt.
I feel guilty for living my life without the daily responsibility of caring for my son with special needs. It is a guilt that I try to push far back in my head, yet it still resurfaces and continues to badger me.
There is something within me that feels that Nate should be with me and I should be his caretaker. Yet, instead I am living free. I am doing exactly what I longed to do.
Since Nate has been gone, I can now sleep late. I can decide when I get out of bed. I no longer have to wake up for Nate. When I do get up, I can go for a morning run or go to the gym. I can go out with my friends, staying out late, catch the last movie, or getting pizza in the late night hours. I can do this all without the need for childcare or “Nate-care.”
Yet, there is guilt with all the freedom that I have. It seems wrong that my former life is gone. The life of caring for my son with special needs full-time, and making sure that I had help for him. That time no longer exist, when whatever I wanted to do required, making sure that I had coverage for my child.
My plans went through the normal process of…
Friend: “Can you go out?”
Me: “Well, let me see if his father can have him that day. If not let me ask if my mother, sister, or brother can take him.”
If they could not, I would return with a response….
Me: “I don’t have coverage for Nate. I can’t go.”
Now that he lives at a residential facility, I am free. I can come and go as I please….
And….there is guilt.
Because my son is not home and I feel as if I should be caring for him. Yet, when I think about it, I know that where he is living is best for him….and for me.