Dear Strong Mom;
I see you.
I see you in those moments before you breathe in deep, square your shoulders and paste a smile on your face.
I see you as you hide your shaky hands and nod, as if taking in the info dump you will barely remember as you walk away from the hospital ward your child now rests in.
I see you as you will away the tears and cloak yourself in strength you barely feel, as you tell everyone things will be fine and pretend that your world didn’t just collapse beneath your feet.
I see you as you reach to open your child’s door, your hand hovering over the handle as you prepare for your life to possibly be destroyed. I see you hold your breath as you open the door and search for any sign your child is still alive.
I see you as you watch helplessly as your child struggles, pushes you away and accuses you or not understanding and not caring enough.
I see you trying to be strong. Trying to appear you are stronger than you really are. Of believing you need to be strong for all those around you.
I see you. I see past your walls and masks. I see the tears and trembles and fears you can’t hide fast enough.
I see you and want you to know you are not alone.
As your child deals with the depression that clouds them, as they struggle to chose life over death, as they focus inward and never see your pain, I want you to know that you haven’t gone unnoticed.
There are no answers.
There are no explanations or reasonings.
Depression, suicide, anxiety…every aspect of mental health that affects us and our families…it’s hell on earth. Not only for the sufferers, but for the caregivers. For the lovers. The parents. The siblings.
As you try to be strong for your child, I want you to know it’s okay to be weak, to not have the answers, to feel powerless and at a loss on how to help.
There’s nothing you can do other than to be there.
Be their punching bag. Be their shelter. Be the one they know will always be there.
And in those moments when your child has turned the other way and can’t see the tears, let them flow. Don’t be afraid to let them see how this affects you too.
You don’t always have to be strong.
It’s okay for your child to know you can’t always be strong. It will help them in the end. I promise you.
Dear Mom who is so strong…I want you to know I see you and I’m here if you ever need a shoulder to cry on.
Oh my Steena. This is so very moving and deep. You’ve held your head so high, just like the women you are speaking to. I’m so sorry and also so glad to hear that she’s come through it. As a sufferer (back in the 90s), support is paramount. Thank you so much, Steena, for sharing your (her) story. Sending you love and hugs from Nova Scotia.
???oh, my! No words!!!