|Harry and his brother Oliver Beswick|
Charlene Beswick's life changed forever the day she gave birth to two twin boys, one with a facial difference called Goldenhar Syndrome. Here is a passage from her book Our Altered Life.
By Charlene Beswick
Why I decided to share my journey
I didn’t cope particularly well with the news that Harry had been born with Goldenhar Syndrome. I wasn’t expecting it and I had no idea whether I was up to the job of being a special needs mother. You would never have known this to look at me though. Since I was a child I have been the joker, the entertainer and the one who has tried to make light of a situation and see the humour. So, I painted a smile on my face and tried to live up to the idea that everyone else had of me as a strong, positive, woman.
It wasn’t until 6 years later by which time my marriage had disintegrated, our family home was being sold and I was feeling the effects of sleep deprivation with an autistic son who thinks that sleep is overrated that everything caught up with me. My mum took me to the doctors and I was prescribed anti-depressants to save me from myself.
Looking back to the start of the journey, I wish I could have spoken with someone who didn’t feel the need to pretend that everything would be fine when they didn’t know that for sure. I wanted someone to tell me the cold hard facts of a life less ordinary. I needed to have a pity party and grieve for the life I had lost as well as planning for the new future ahead.
My book is that ‘conversation.' It’s the book I would have wanted to read at the beginning. My truth about how I struggled and learned to forgive myself for something that was never my fault. An account of how the baby I felt I had let down made me the best mum I could ever be. A transformation from weary to warrior mother and hopefully, some hope for other parents who have ever felt as lost as I did at the start and need some reassurance that the life you never expected can still be an incredible one.
The book Our Altered Life will be available through Amazon on September 29, 2017.
For now, read where it all began at Charlene Beswick's blog, http://www.ouralteredlife.com