I fucked up this mothering thing….a lot. I indirectly forced my child to grow up too fast. I leaned on him for support far more often than a standard teenager should be depended on for support. He has seen and heard things he will live with forever. He was the rock that I had in no one else.
Then one day he fell apart. He wasn’t supposed to fall apart. I quickly fell apart too, now I had only ME to lean on. I woke up one day and realized, I am the parent! My son saved me and now I had to save him and that’s what parents do, broken or not. I had to pull myself together or at least pretend to pull it together.
For the next 2 years we tried therapy, we tried medication, nothing was helping. He would leave everyday and I would hope like hell that he made it home alive. He wanted to die. He told me many times he was only here because he couldn’t do that to me. Then there came a time when I could tell his love for his mother was no longer enough. I’ll never forget that phone call; he said “please come get me, I’m sitting by the railroad tracks. Please come get me before i do something stupid.” When I got to him, all I could see on his face was a silent plea to not be pissed he was skipping, to not be pissed he had me leave work, to simply understand that he was on the ledge and no longer afraid to jump.
I kept him home with me for weeks (he was skipping everyday anyway, with me I knew he was safe). We eventually found a small private school for kids who had dropped out, who had been on the edge and wanted to try again. He used to complain about it a whole damn lot. But in reality, they are easy on these kids. Need to cry all day? Come sit in the office and cry. Need to talk? Come to any staff and talk. Life sucks, the climb is too hard today? Then go home and try again tomorrow. He goes and when life crashes down he tells them and they help him get to the next day. I no longer worry he is going to commit suicide, however I can see the self medicating continues daily.
The point? Today he’s 18. A day I wasn’t prepared for, which I think is fairly normal. As a child he walked through hell with me, as the oldest. Even though he still struggles I am proud of him for staying. For not giving up and giving in. He’s come a long ways, even if he doesn’t think so. He’s smart, he’s handsome, he’s talented, he’s funny……HE TOO, IS A SURVIVOR.