Swallowing the last sip of a stiff drink, I dragged my body off the couch. Walking toward my bedroom, I stopped in the hallway to notice the open door on the left. Looking into the darkness of the room rendered me breathless for a moment, and I slowly turned to avoid the sight.
While brushing my teeth, I looked in the mirror and decided another night without washing my face would be justifiable, so I turned out the light. When crawling into bed, I looked once more to see the darkness in the open room, but my husband had already closed our bedroom door.
Turning toward my husband while he prayed, I tucked my hands between my thighs and curled into my weary body. As he finished, I quietly whispered, “he’s all alone.” My husband’s hand touched my body as he replied, “You can cry if you need to; it’s okay.”
With that, I sobbed myself to sleep.
Standing in front of the mirror yesterday morning, my eyes fixated on the smeared mascara. I was startled by a ruptured blood vessel bleeding into half of my eye. Sadness and angst had taken a toll on my body, and my eye told the story of my heart.
I am the woman who left work on Sunday and called her husband, only to hear the beginning of a rumbling between her two sons.
I am the woman who received a text that her husband had elicited help from a friend to handle the struggle in her absence.
I am the woman who met her son at her friend’s house, at the end of an exhausting workday, while he was still raging and unstable.
I am the woman who listened to her friend’s concerns and appreciated her presence.
I am the woman who asked her son for permission to touch him, only to have him yell at her in confusion.
I am the woman who created safety for her son to return home and find nourishment in a comfortable space.
I am the woman who asked her son if he needed to be evaluated by a crisis assessment team.
I am the woman who listened to his concerns and answered his questions.
I am the woman who walked with her son out of their home and drove him to a children’s mental health hospital.
I am the woman who waited in the lobby with an anxious son, desperate for help.
I am the woman who filled out paperwork and answered the questions of the assessment team.
I am the woman who listened to her son’s story as he shared with the doctor and nurse.
I am the woman who scratched his back as they waited.
I am the woman who heard her son say that he was worried he might harm himself if he went home.
I am the woman who listened as the doctor explained what it would look like if her son was admitted to their facility.
I am the woman who heard her son ask if she would consider letting him stay.
I am the woman who said yes.
I am the woman who received his smile and gratitude when he realized someone had heard his cry for help and he was safe.
I am the woman who walked with her son toward his hospital room.
I am the woman who watched her son anxiously ask when he could take a shower and see where he would be sleeping.
I am the woman whose son turned to her and said, “Thank you, Mom. I love you. Goodbye.”
I am the mom who held back tears as she told her son, “I love you, and I’m proud of you. Work hard.”
I am the woman who walked down the stairs and out the door to her car after being stronger than she knew was possible.
I am the woman who drove home alone after her son was admitted to a pediatric mental health hospital after attempting to harm himself and threatening to harm his brother.
I am exhausted. I am hopeful. I am grieving. I am relieved. I am shattered. I am thankful. I am brokenhearted. I am the woman who…
May you feel God’s blessing as it softly coats you and cradles you. You are the woman who is strong and courageous and kind and a creative, nurturing mother. Lots of love.
Thank you for your words Claudia. Receiving your love!
I can only imagine the heart struggle as you left your son there. I’m sure that you wanted to be the one who could help him and keep him safe – and his brother safe as well – but you had to leave him there to work out his struggle with doctors and nurses who can hopefully help him more.
I’m sorry for your pain, your hurt, your worry, your angst, your loneliness, your longing for all to be well, to be “normal.” My family has walked this path. It is a path we will never forget. I’m thankful you have a caring husband who could tell you, “You can cry if you need to; it’s okay.” God sees every one of your tears and feels the pain in your mother’s heart – a good mama, making hard choices. Blessings to you. I will be praying for your family.
Dear Barbara, oh how very true. I wish I could provide it all and yet, I can’t. Thank you for your words and your blessing and for sharing so vulnerably here in this space as well this month. Grateful to have your voice.
Sweet, sweet Bethany! I am ONE of the WOMEN who prayed for you and your family from the moment I heard. I am ONE of the WOMEN who cried at the moment I read my text about the battle you are in, knowing you and Darin are not strong enough for this battle but that CHRIST will give you HIS resurrection power to overcome. I am ONE of the WOMEN who love you and your family very much. You are on the front line of this battle, but you are not alone in the warfare. And, I am so proud of your son! He made some very adult requests for a young boy!
Dear Barbara, thank you for your words here. Thank you for being one of the women praying for us then and always. Thank you for loving us and reminding me of the truth and that we are not alone. I was proud of him too, he struggles so much and still he is so very brave.
And you are the woman who was brave because you didn’t have a choice. You are the woman who stayed engaged when you wanted to flee. You are the woman who creates safe space for the complexities of out of control and overwhelmed to find moments of rest and understanding. You are the woman who in the midst of your frailties held your son’s heart so well, he was smiling in gratitude even as you walked away. This is heartbreakingly well-done. ❤️
Thank you Timari, Oh yes, how I wanted to flee. Thank you for the ways you noticed me and your words back to me here. Your comment is so very meaningful to me. Thank you.
Bethany, my heart breaks for and your family. I’m so glad there is the facility there to help him . I do not know your day to day struggles, but you are a strong woman. I wish so many times I had a mother who listened to me. May you and your receive God’s Blessing for healing.
Dear Judy, thank you for loving me and my family. I hear your desire to have had a mother who listened to you. I only know parts of your story but thank you for your vulnerability here. We have open hands for God’s blessing and healing! Love to you dear one.
Bethany. Mercy, all mercy to your wise, brave and tender mother’s heart.
Dear Jan, thank you sweet friend. Your words are a blessing.
I am that woman, too. You are not the only one, and you are not alone. You are brave to expose your heart out for all to see. For us, the struggle has improved – I will pray that one day you will be able to say the same. Until then, pour out your heart to Jesus and cling daily to him. One day you will look back and see that the worst moments were also the sweetest, for when you need more Jesus gives more. I will be diligent in my prayers for you and your family, because I understand the road you are walking.
Thank you for letting me know I am not alone and for sharing that you are this woman too, My heart aches for you and I am so thankful that your struggle has improved. I pray along with you and I am thankful for your words and prayers for me and my family.
I am honored to witness your strength, tenderness, courage, and love. Thank you for inviting us into this sacred space; I’m joining you here in love and prayer..
Dear Susan, thank you for being a beautiful part in helping me to share my heart through written words. Your support, prayer, and love is openly received!
Thank you for sharing your heart with all it’s complexities with us. I also know the heartbreak, anguish, and grief of not being able to provide the help my teen needed. With many tears I repeatedly turned her over to God and hoped that help would come in the residential psychiatric hospital specializing in those with both Autism Spectrum disorder AND Mental Illness. Sending her several states away at only 15 was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Sometimes we have to share our children with others to get them what they need. Thank you again for writing your heart.
Oh Dorothy, thank you for sharing a part of your story here with us. What heartbreak you have endured and to see your beauty and strength here is refreshing. Praying for you and yours as you face the daily challenges of what today holds for you. Thank you for your comment.
You are also the woman who is giving others strength and courage by sharing your story.
Thank you Carisa. Thankful for your support and comment as it is often so isolating.
Bethany… I love your love for your family.
And you are rocking it with your vulnerability. So much that is not right is happening. But you write in ways that all of us need to hear. Thank you
Remembering to pray…
Meaning not right with our world and politics.
Thank you dear Becky. I appreciate your support and the ways that you encourage me and and those of us who are using our voice to speak up about all that is not right in our world. Thank you for your love and prayers, always appreciated.
You are the woman God is holding, askingvyou to walk a hard road. We are with you!
Dear Beth, thank you for the reminder that I am being held and that others, including you are with me!
My heart and soul cry for you as a mother. Words can not even begin to say how deeply I feel your pain. May God give you comfort knowing that your son is safe and healing in his new surroundings.
Thank you for crying with me MelRae. Your comment is a beautiful blessing to my heart and I pray that you experience God’s comfort as well in the depths of your heart.
Feeling the weight of this with you, Bethany. My heart goess out to you and Darin and your boys. Thank you for allowing us into this space with you. Sending love your way.
Dear Chris, thank you for feeling the weight of this with us and for your comment. Taking in all the love!
Bethany, my heart has tears for you and your family I read this.
Sending love and prayers,
I love you Victor. Thank you for your heart tears, your love, your prayers, your words. It means so much that you read and commented dear friend.
I don’t have words, except to say how incredibly courageous and loving you are. I am feeling the pain for you and Darin and your boys. Sending much love!
Dear Janet, thank you for your words and for how deeply you feel this with us all. Receiving your love and looking forward to hugging you soon!
Bethany, thank you for your raw vulnerability. You are a brave, beautiful, warrior mother. I am in awe of you.
Thank you for your words Laurie and for taking the time to write. You are a blessing.