“One of these things is not like the other; one of these things just doesn’t belong…” So goes the old Sesame Street song. Sometimes, I can lean towards self-pity and feel that I am not like those around me, like I am the one who doesn’t belong.
Having a husband with a disability makes me different from those around me. Being the sole wage earner in our house makes me different from my peers at church and at work. Working alongside my husband to help him succeed in spite of his disability can be wearying; I am especially aware of this fact when I am around other couples who talk about their relationships. My marriage is different…and has changed drastically since Ben acquired his brain injury ten years ago.
How often I wish Ben’s disability fit into a neat package — that I could find a support group for people with my issues. There are support groups for caretakers of those with epilepsy. There are support groups for those supporting a loved one with a traumatic brain injury. But I don’t think I belong in these groups. Ben’s issues don’t fit into any neat category. I haven’t yet found a support group for emotionally fragile women whose husbands suffer from seizures and significant short-term memory loss.
I know there are lots of great support groups out there; however, I don’t feel like any of them fully fit where my family is at or where I am at due to my husband’s disability.
It’s easy to feel like I don’t belong. I think many family members who live with those with hidden disabilities feel like they don’t belong. But the Bible reminds me otherwise:
“…including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:6
I belong to Jesus. And I don’t need any support group other than church to remind me of this wonderful fact!