When I first heard the term “glass” child at work I was a bit confused. During a conversation at work with my boss and a co-worker they both looked at me and at the same time said, “you are a typical glass child”.
What does that mean and why did they say that to me? I found out that a “glass” child is someone who grows up with either a sibling or a parent with a disability. I grew up with a brother who has Cerebral Palsy and a best friend who is deaf. When I was around them people did not see me, they looked through me to my brother and best friend and what their disabilities were. I was like glass to others around us. I have never seen this as a negative thing but for many “glass” children I can see how this would be a negative and a hard thing to over come.
I believe “glass” children are fiercely independent and fiercely loyal. I can remember people picking on my brother and my best friend and coming to their defense often. I also learned how to do many things at a young age to help out my parents because they were very busy with taking care of my brother. This was my normal and to some extent still is my normal.
Working at Joni and Friends has really helped me in so many ways. I have told friends recently that working here has brought healing to my heart in just the short amount of time. Everyday the Lord reminds me, it’s okay. My life has never been “normal”. I have said for years that the Lord made me independent so that my parents would not have to worry about me as much as they had to worry about my brother.
Here I am, now working for an organization that affords me the privilege to not only be there for those affected by disability but to reach out to other “glass” children (who are adults now) and let them know it’s okay, you are not alone.
Even though I am a typical “glass” child, I see how God has used that over the years to help me get through struggles I might not have walked through as easily if it were not for my fierce independency and loyalty.
Do you have some one in your life that has a disability? How do you view yourself or your family? Have you heard the term “glass child” before reading this post?