I love being a mom. My child is the light of my life. He is my proof miracle exist in this world and it is my job to love him, guide him and protect him. But that isn’t always easy and sometimes as parents, we can’t help. I was faced with that situation a few years ago when my son turned 16.
My son is a little bit of an introvert by nature. I’ve known this since he was a child and knew he found his own company more pleasing than that of other children. He has always walked his own path and never let others lead him astray. but at 16 I saw my child change and I was helpless to fix it. I couldn’t make it better, I couldn’t wish it away and I couldn’t protect him from the monster that swallowing him whole.
When Your Child Needs You And You Can’t Help
In the Beginning
It started out with little things, small changes nothing big. In fact, I admit I didn’t even see it coming till it consumed him. Small things like not finishing homework because he seemed disinterested. Teachers and counselors told me it was normal for gifted children or children with high IQ’s to be bored and just not do the work. I let it go I know now I shouldn’t have.
Then it was sleeping late on the weekends or not wanting to go anywhere. Trouble getting him out of bed for school or to hang with friends. Again people told me this was normal teenager behavior. My gut told me otherwise but again I let it go.
Next came the sleepless nights, headaches, missing school, and sleeping for days. This cycle soon consumed him. It would start with a headache that led to not sleeping, this would lead him to feel sick and miss school and then him burying himself in his bed and sleeping for days.
I would see my kid occasionally he would be able to keep the demons at bay for a while and I would have my fun, sarcastic, all too logical kid back for moments only for him to be swallowed up again.
The cycle continued days, weeks and months went by. Trips to the doctor revealed that he was healthy. No flu, cold, allergies nothing that you could see under a microscope or detect by a test.
Don’t worry mom the doctors said he is a good kid and healthy. It’s a phase it’ll pass said, teachers and counselors. He is a teenager its normal all teens are moody said, other parents.
NO!! My inner voice screamed. There is something wrong this is not normal. I saw my child changing right in front of me and I was helpless to stop it. He was drowning, being swallow by an invisible creature and I couldn’t save him. I was helpless to anything.
For the first time as his mother, I couldn’t make it better. There was no fixing it with a kiss, hug, or a bandaid. There was no talking it out. My child was drowning in the darkness and I was helpless to pull him out.
The Monster Within
The breaking point came when he no longer showed any interest in life itself. I spent so many sleepless nights terrified I would walk into his room only to find he was gone from me. I was so frightened by this revelation that I immediately took him back to the doctor and essentially said this is not my child. He is broken and it’s not detectable by a test. We are missing something very important because he is suffering and nothing is making it better. I am helpless to fix it. No amount of love, guidance, or support is working.
The doctor knew I was not leaving till we solved the problem. That I was determined to save my child. So after a long talk and some very pointed questions to my son, both the doctor and I realized the monster devouring my child was DEPRESSION. I was completely caught off guard by this. So many questions ran through my head.
With a diagnosis in hand, we started treatment. Son now has a medication routine that helps him find his inner peace. He is my kid again. a son who is way too smart, logical and still thinks his own company is way better than anyone else. He comes out of his room, works a full-time job, goes to school full time, and talks with the family. We spend time just talking.
Is the monster gone? Slayed? No.
The battle between darkness and light will be one he fights daily. It’s a battle I can not fight for him nor can I protect him from it and that is my burden as his mom. The war will never be truly won but with each day and each battle he gets stronger.
The war will never be truly won but with each day and each battle he gets stronger.
As his mom, I learn to live with the fact that even though I can’t protect him from it or fight this battle for him I can be his champion, his safe place to lay his head, and the one person who loves him unconditionally even in the dark times.
Have you ever felt helpless to help your child? Have you gone to battle for your child and come out stronger?
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