Thursday, September 16, 2010

super sad true love story


* title appropriated from my current reading material

I struggle to find the words for what is happening in our family right now. I owe deep and careful consideration to each of my children, as a writer here, for how much I reveal about their lives in the light of my own. As they age their need for privacy becomes more paramount. Writers over time have handled this differently, some with a dismissive efficiency and brilliantine lighting and others with complete avoidance. Ryan over at Pacing the Panic Room decided to stop blogging about his stepson completely once he hit a certain age- but Ryan is not a writer born and lived, but primarily a photographer- this is how he captures the world and brings narrative to his inner life. Writing is how I do that, and writing TO someone is imperative. I spent most of my life writing for my own eyes only; since elementary school throughout middle, high school and my twenties I wrote feverishly and prodigiously for my eyes only. Now? I am not a closet novelist. I brandish my sweltering poor novel begging to be born like a sword, sharp and swinging through the crowds, inviting attention and commentary.

This blog is the same creation. I write here about my life and often end up enlightening or calming- or admittedly
embarrassing or startling- my own self, letting the cracks of light shine through where the broken parts are. It is in honestly sharing my life- the truth of it- that matters to me. My children are the heart and bone structure of my life. What comes during birthing Ever will be as fundamental and meaningful to me as what comes now with my son Dakota, at 16, as things are not all right, and Mr. Curry and I are working the murky waters of parenthood with a water blistered map and shaking hands.

As many of you know, I was pregnant with Dakota at 19, recently broken up with his Dad, living with my mother and sister in a one bedroom apartment, recovering from my life so far, completely unmoored- not passionate or moved by anything but the obsessive love and thoughts I had for an ex-boyfriend, J. I had Dakota and my life began. I woke up. Literally I do believe that my brain woke up during my pregnancy and delivery. I had been in a coma beforehand, a protective skim and skin that kept me safe from the complete and total and terrifying ' awful rowing toward God ' that my soul had been doing. I asked people to repeat themselves frequently. I thought slowly and often, stupidly. I had no hobbies or passions outside of my private writings and reading. I moved carefully and clumsily. My self esteem was non existent and every expression and communication I reached out with carried that void. I felt slow. Suffocated. I could drive by the same pink house for months, years, and if someone mentioned it as a point of reference I would ask What pink house?
So when this miracle happened to me- one of the truest miracles I know of, the daily miracle of new life- and Dakota was born, I shook myself like a wet dog nearly drowned in the river and headed toward home. Home was my son. I built who I am today by imagining what I needed to be to be a great mother. I began with the foundation of all writers- the books I had read and adored up until then with the ideals about human life contained. I read every parenting book that could offer even one idea that would be worth knowing. I began- and continued for years- serious therapy. I took up exercising for the first time in my life, as a way to teach myself discipline. I enrolled in community college and started bankrolling the A's. I prayed, I meditated, I fought my demons- which were terrifying. In my mind there was nothing that could touch us, my son and I, because my love was pure, unconditional, and fiercely protective of my son- not myself, not my ego or insecurities. I had no desire to protect myself anymore. I wanted the self that I knew stripped, rubbed raw and like a burn victim, built anew from within. If my entire life until then had been about fear and survival, this new life would be about the selfless bravery of love. Not perfection- I wasn't expecting I"d never yell at him, never snap, never say anything I'd have to take back or apologize for, never make a mistake or hurt him. I was expecting that what I did, how I parented- the AP, the nursing, holding, gentle discipline, open discussions on emotion and being a living example of how to handle difficulty, the structure firm enough for stability but open enough for unique personhood, the years of barely surviving to pay for private school- all my carefully culled ideas and actions- that they would protect my son from some of the very things he is feeling and thinking and experiencing right now.
I based this one one belief: that the emotions, suffering, pain and agonies of my childhood and youth all came from my troubled parents. Without the abuse, trauma, conflict, I didn't know what I would have been, but surely not a pot head, a drinker, a girl who carved SLOP ( smoke lots of pot) into her arms with a pocketknife and at 15 spent weekends in the local house of drug dealing men in their twenties. Surely not a girl who hated herself, who didn't know herself. Surely not a girl who flunked school, who cared less what happened to herself as long as the party never ended and her friends were close. Not a smoker since 15, not unusually- even for a teen- preoccupied and terrified every breathing second of what everyone thought of me, and not passionless and drifting. Not a girl who screamed at her parents, slammed doors, refused chores and ran away from home at 15 until she was caught and dragged home.
And now that belief has been unearthed and shaken by the neck and flung to the floor underneath my feet. I don't know what to make of the swirling vortex of responsibility and blame and confusion and theory that eats me alive as I try to comprehend what I missed or did wrong to bring my son into his pre-teen and teen years so unhappily. I don't know what the rules are that I am to follow here on this blog as I walk through one of the hardest times of my parental life while preparing to bring new life into our family. I don't know how to find faith in myself as a mother or a person when the oldest leading the pack of our children is not all right. How can I trust that what I did was right when it's ... not? I see as the days go on how uncertainty is beginning to shadow me again.

The small choices that you make as a parent that can have such looming consequences, choices based around discipline ( hard lines are too hard, make room for age, personality, circumstance- or is the hard line what keeps them safe from the void when the teen years fall and their own lines are too blurry? ), expectations ( accept each child as the best they can be, C's are OK if that is the best- or does that attitude lead toward a loss of faith in ability and eventually a lack of investment? ), priorities ( support and encourage all interests to build personal esteem and self knowledge- or is that simply supporting self absorption and momentary fancy instead of hard work and perseverance, so essential to success in most any aspect of life? ) and time ( I must write this novel to model self investment and hard work to my children- or must that be set aside because we have chosen to have a larger family and the children need me to focus on them? ) .
Not black and white, of course, but in the moment, the decisions must be made, and they are often black and white, and the learning curve is incredibly steep.
Dakota and I have always been extremely, even unusually close, but I knew the dangerous and unhealthy dependence that can form between a single mother and her son, so I was careful not to put my adult needs on his small thin shoulders. I had friends, and a boyfriend, and my mother, and my therapist and prayer and my writing and books. But mostly, day to day, it was he and I. He came to work with me until kindergarten, and his complete confidence, preternatural emotional communication and polite ways brought compliments everywhere we went. I still have the note from his preschool teacher ( he went a few mornings a week at 3 ) saying that he was the most well adjusted, polite and happy child she had ever taught. But despite the external validation, I watched Dakota to tell me how well I was doing my job or not. I listened and watched and supported and guided and every sign said I am more than OK- I am exactly who I am supposed to be in this world. You know, not a Buddha, not a child prodigy, not anything or anyone but just perfectly himself.

Every picture I have of us over the years reveals the love and trust between us, taken for granted every moment by him, and not a single one by me. As it should be. And now I cannot reconcile the two. The past and present. I do not have the answers but I have, as always, the absolute and complete conviction and love guiding and motivating me to find every answer under every rock in every secret room, even if it is to my detriment, even if it scrapes away the burnt layers of skin I have carefully cherished as my own all these years. So without the needle through thread, the detail of the shape, I give you the outline: a very young, very sad, very adrift mother has a son by herself, and raises him the very best that she can, and for a while it was beautiful and all was well, until one day it was ugly and nothing felt right. And then she called every number and knocked at every door and banged down every Google lead until she found the right places and people to help. Because that I still know: If you are a mother and you don't know what to do, you find someone, anyone who does.
C.M. Jackson said...

not a mom---but I do know that you need to keep hope in your heart and understand that the love you gave and continue to give exists in his heart--he may not be willing to recognize it now but he will--peace-c

Elizabeth said...

love never dies -- it just goes underground --

and I wish I knew what to say to ease your heart, but all those platitudes are just that. You are good. You are good enough. You are, actually, more than good enough.

Mary said...

Your steadfast love is what he needs, and god knows it is hard, boundaries and routines.

Most of us have done it,caused our parents untold grief,and most of us pulled through.

X

Gina said...

i can not help but be pulled in by your writing.
the love you have for your son is both evident and admirable.

when you do publish a book, it will definitely be on my reading list

Carol said...

Reading this was like reading about my life with my oldest son. I have felt each and every feeling you describe. He is now 32 and I haven't seen or talked to my son, the son I know, in twelve years. I talk to the drugs within him, the bitterness, the deception falling from his lips. He is my son, but he isn't there right now. I hope and pray one day he will be back.

Godspeed...

Carol-the gardener

jennifer said...

maggie, i wish it could be easier for you, for me, for all of us.

call me any name said...

My heart goes out to you. Do keepin mind: you are doing the best you can. And more.
I remember the day my then 15 yr old daughter said to me in a really cold voice: Mum I think I don't love you anymore. And turned and left the room (and this was just one of many many confrontations and conflicts).
And I felt the ground open up between my feet etc.
She is now 27. She remembers. We spoke about it recently and she confessed that she could barely hold herself when she said it all those years ago, that all the time she felt like crying and running into my arms but also needed, really needed to say this - for reasons she never understood, not then, not now.
Hang on in there. Growing up is so hard. And teenage years are the worst time for it...

Evangeline said...

I too had the steadfast belief that if I made different choices than my own parents, gave my sons a childhood full of love, stability and gentle support, that things would be different for them. We haven't even hit the litmus test of teenage hood yet, but that belief is already pretty frayed. The crushing anxiety came early for us...the self harm, the misery, the painful self consciousness, all there at 7 and 8 years old, and I was gutted. Where had I gone wrong?

It's genetic, a lot of it. Some of us are wired restless and anxious, with souls fathoms deep that will not find peace easily, no matter how loving the hand guiding us. But if people like you and I, that had no loving hand, made it through to the other side OK, then surely our sons will get there too?

I am rooting for you and Dakota.

Petit fleur said...

I'm sorry you all are on the rough waters. Is it possible that D could have a hormone imbalance or thyroid issues?

It may sound weird, but those things can really take over when they are not right. Even the powerful brain falls victim to their power.

Whatever it is, the strong and steady presence and unconditional love of you and Mr. Curry will usher him through this.

Peace,
pf

Brigindo said...

Your writing is at its most beautiful when you write about your family, Dakota in particular. I hope you continue to find ways to do so while protecting their privacy and respecting their ownership of their stories.

The hardest part about raising our children is not the daily decisions made with nothing but hope and good intentions (although that is hard) but letting them go. Part of letting them go is realizing that as much influence as we have, we are not responsible for who are they are. If, in theory, any of us could get it all perfectly "right" it would not stop them from experiencing pain and taking missteps. Likewise the most brilliant of loves suffer the most from growing pains.

The one thing I can assure you is the little boy who shared that brilliant love with you is still there and will eventually emerge within the amazing man he will become. I just can't tell you when. Keep the faith.

svasti said...

You know, I grew up with two siblings, and each of us turned out spectacularly differently.

We each had the same upbringing and while I can of course, look at my parents and name the ways in which their parenting was wanting sometimes... the thing is, each of us had the same parenting.

My older brother was apparently a normal little boy, too. Perhaps until he was around 9 or 10. Then he seemed to become a very angry person. I was the one he mostly took that out on, in terms of physical and verbal assaults. Always when my parents weren't around, and they never seemed to see. They didn't guess. And how does a child express the assault they are experiencing, that it's different to normal brother-sister fighting?

He has stayed angry ever since. His whole life, and he's now 40 I guess. He has nothing to do with our family in general, except the odd occasion where he turns up for ten minutes. Nothing my parents do seems to change the way he relates to them, my sister or me.

Then there's me. Intelligent, apparently gifted. Good with words, writing and acting. And yet, my romantic innocence and naiveness, along with my brother's violence towards me was my undoing.

Too young, I was taken advantage of, and the damage was already done. I too, ran away from home and hell, ended up as a teenage stripper for crying out loud. I rejected my parents and thought I was way too messed up to ever have kids of my own. How could I inflict myself on small innocent children? So I've spent my life keeping my parents at arm's length, loving them, but never quite forgiving them for not being there for me when I really needed them. And I've also spent my life in search of myself: healing, understanding, growing, learning.

My sister was the calmest of the three of us, and the least affected by anger and drama. Then again, as she freely admits, she is very good at repressing her emotions. So, what's better? That said, her life has turned out more "textbook perfect" than mine or my brothers. She's happily married with two kids and a house in the suburbs.

I want kids, but I don't want her life. I'm happy that I am me, even if my parents would prefer me to be more stable. Less in debt. Less gypsy-like.

Point is this: you give your children love in whatever way you can. But you can't control what recipe the Universe uses to create each of your children's souls. They have your DNA, but they have their own life and personality.

Not everything that goes into each Recipe for A Soul is as desirable as we'd like. None are the same. None are perfect.

It must be heartbreaking to watch your boy struggle so much. But he has his own journey. You just need to be there for him in any way you can.

It's not your fault. xx

Lola Sharp said...

Parenting is rife with pain and guilt and love and...

Dakota is in my thoughts, as always.

I have faith in him.

Love,
Lola

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Good luck, my dear Maggie. I hope you find your answers and the right people to help.

Can I just say that being a troubled teen myself, I later realized that the problem was never my parents? The problem was me trying to figure out who I was and my place in the world. For some people, that's easier than for others.

Hang in there,

SB

justmakingourway said...

I haven't hit those years yet with my kids. But I am honestly afraid. Afraid of just what you are writing about.

I agree with Mary though - your love (and Mr. Curry's), even if Dakota doesn't know it or acknowledge it - is what he needs most. Understanding that you will love him, through good and bad - even if he's throwing it in your face, is so important.

Sending you all love and strength.

Mo said...

No roadmaps, no magic spells to make it all okay.

Have faith. Don't back down from your love for him. Big kids still need to know in their bones that that is true, whether they show it or ask for it or even want it or not.

Annie said...

Dear Maggie,
You keep doing what you are doing, loving him and seeking help for him. You balance his needs with your needs and the needs of every member of the family. All I know is, my mother's love for me, helped me to stay a loving and caring person despite a troubled childhood. I didn't attribute this to her, until many, many years later; but her love for me made all the difference. Your love for Dakota is meaningful, and it will always help him, no matter what else. Also, we can't predict outside influences. He's young. You made it out of a bad situation. There is always time for him to find his way. You can rest knowing you are doing everything that you can.

Maggie May said...

Genetics are huge. On both sides of my family we have all kinds of fun horrible genetics at play when it comes to emotional and mental health.

It's not just 'teenage struggle' for D, is it definitely more. Finding out what that IS exactly is our job. We have two more years until he's 18 where we can force help on him. The therapist he's been seeing this last year has been invaluable, and he continues to see her.

We go next week for the results from the neurosychological testing.
There is something else we are doing that I'm not talking about here, that will begin in a few weeks.

His thyroid has been tested and was normal. I totally agree with looking at those things- we must approach at all angles in order to have the best chance at success.

I just know that i WILL NOT do what I saw a lot of my friend's parents do in high school...kind of throw up their hands in anger, disgust, hopelessness, fear and pain and give up. They grounded and yelled and pleaded and begged but never got their kids real HELP, when many of them needed support for mood disorders. Many people that land in AA or NA have mood disorders that they are self medicating. When someone is in this much pain with no circumstances to explain it, then the problem resides within, and I look at it as our job to help close in on exactly what the problem is to bring the right tools to the table.

THank you all for your incredibly personal and thoughtful replies.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Maggie,
I should have added that it turned out I was clinically depressed and possibly bipolar. My family genetics include a lot of depression and alcoholism (on both sides), which I suspect was probably self-medicating.

Melinda said...

I know someone whose son went to a Catherine Freer wilderness program. It was utterly, stunningly transformational. Expensive, but I believe there may be financial aid available. There is no greater pain, I know.

krista said...

i don't have any advice. or answers. but one of the great things about this little blogging community is the fact that we, as relative strangers, can empathize and relate and feel things as though we were of the same blood. it makes us care for dakota as though he were family as well. wishing so much peace to you and yours. strength and peace and love. all at once.

Collin Kelley said...

Maggie, it's not always the parents or the parenting. Sometimes teens run into people and situations on their own that simply turn their world on its head; things that seem to fundamentally change them. It happened to me when I was 16. I can clearly see in my journals when I changed, and I've pinpointed the exact time -- down to the very night and what I was doing -- when a switch in my head was thrown and I saw the world very differently. And I was very, very afraid. There was no parenting in the world that could have done anything to prevent it.

Miss Grace said...

You keep trying and trying and trying and loving and loving and hoping.
Bad things happen to good kids.
Good kids make bad choices.
He is loved and you are loved and you just do your best and you hope.
I come from a family of addiction and pain, and some mistakes get repeated, but the love of my parents shines through.

Marion said...

Oh, Maggie. This is such an amazing love letter to your son. You are one of the most fierce, fabulous & loving warrior Mama's I've ever known. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. I know you will do everything humanly possible to guide/help your son in the most loving & caring ways possible.

Love is healing and there is nothing on earth stronger than a Mother's love. I'll keep him and your family in my prayers. Love & Blessings!!

Julia said...

We pour and pour and pour love in, and sometimes we (or at least I) forget that we can do only what's in our power to do -- and not everything falls into that category.

Kids make bad choices, even when we've done everything we can to teach them how to make good ones. Sometimes it's because of genetics, sometimes it's because of damage we don't know about and can't see, and sometimes it's because they're teens and don't see ahead the way we do.

I've been in a similar place to where you are -- am there now, in fact -- and you are right: you cannot give up. Cannot. Because no matter how hard it is, the one thing you can never live with is that you stopped trying.

Amy said...

Maggie, My daughter is two and I am 37 and yet I felt the same way when she was born. My life opened. I was just watching shadows on the walls and then I was turned around and into the real. I became who I am.

And yet, I can see so much genetics at play within her. And, at times, it scares me. I can surround her in love and security and give her every path (and guard rail) she needs to find herself but I am also realizing that some of that has been mapped out within her from before she was born.

I am keeping Dakota in my thoughts and you as well. This is a tough road. Does Dakota have any relationship with his biological father?

Mel said...

Maggie, Maggie. I hear you, and I feel your helplessness in the face of things you cannot control. I know very well the need to protect your child from the very things that almost destroyed our own fragile, needful young selves. You are doing all you can, and that says a lot. You just never know, especially with boys, as they are so very different and closed off sometimes. My brother has struggled all his life with moods, drugs, alcohol, reclusiveness, and has disappeared for months at a time, both worrying and infuriating us all. His life has been harder than that of my sister and I, though we all shared the same household and love of our parents, but something in him just did not let life flow easily. The family mantle of addiction and mental illness has fallen more on him than on the others, I guess. I have had to learn to accept that I cannot help him, nor does he wish to be helped, as his demons are his own. All I can do is love him. But. But your son is young, there is both time and hope, and you are fighting so hard to help him, so keep the faith, keep hope, keep strong, and love him harder than he will let you. I am hoping, hoping for better for you, and hoping the stress and the pregnancy do not wear you down. Please take care, and thank you for your honesty and for sharing so much with us, as we all stumble toward grace.
And oh, what Evangeline said, some souls are just fathoms deep and will not find peace easily. So sad and so true.

Corinne said...

Oh lady... hugs to you and your son. You will get through this, both of you, together.

anymommy said...

Your writing is gorgeous, M, in that scary, desperate way that all mothers have when something is going wrong and you can't fix it. All we want to do is fix it.

You haven't done anything wrong, sweet lady, in fact it sounds to me like you are doing everything you possibly can. He'll find his way with your incredible family behind him.

shelookslikeamom said...

As a recovered clinically depressed teenager myself, I want to say thank you for working so hard for your son.

After months of internal pain and shutting down emotionally, my mom started asking all the right questions on the night I was going to commit suicide. Not that I was just kind of thinking about it, no, I was actually waiting for her to leave the room so I could do it. But instead of leaving, she started asking the most simple questions, to get the answers out that I didn't care enough to tell her on my own. Without that dialogue, well, my family would never be the same. I don't know what prompted her to start talking to me on that night, but that was the least she could do at the time when it was most needed.

You, on the other hand, are working so much harder to seek your son's happiness and that is truly inspiring. Like you said, you won't just throw up your hands and give up. I will take your experience as a mother and hope that I can do the same for my daughter. I'm sorry that it's hard for you right now, but thank you.

Still Life With Coffee said...

oh my heart is with you on this one.

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for sharing. And you already know this but not giving up or giving in is the best that can be done. You said it yourself that you only have a few years where you can control certain things, so the fact that you're taking advantage of that is amazing. It's a really hard thing to do, so even if certain parts of this are out of your control (and possibly out of his), you already know (or should know) that you're doing so much for him, all you can. I wish you all the best.

And by the way, that's a beautiful photograph of him.

tiffany said...

Having been in both your shoes and his at different points, all I wish to do is say that all will be well, but we all know that everything is not always well no matter how we wish it to be.
One of those doors you knock on or knock down will have the answers behind it Maggie, and the help that you need, that he needs, to get through this... just don't ever stop until you find that one.
Strength be with you.

katiecrackernuts said...

No words. Sorry. No offer of advice. Sorry. Wishing you every, every, every hope of it all coming good. People keep telling me ours will come good. There are days I think that too. At the moment, not so much.

Mwa said...

Beautiful. And this so resonates with me. I'm already scared because me son seems as melancholy as I was at his age. Doesn't bode well for the future. I think some of it may be genes, rather than upbringing, and of course we pass on more than we know. All we can do is love and keep trying. x

Phoenix said...

What's hard is that I watched this happen with my brothers as I was growing up and I'm at a loss as to what to say to make you feel better.

I wish it was easy enough to say to the people we loved, "There is nothing you can do to make me love you less" and that would fix all of the anger and anxiety and reveal the source of all things. But the truth is that people are so much more than just the product of the home they were raised in and there's only so much you can do as a mother before you have to let him do what he's going to do and pray that he returns safely at the end of each day.

Love never hurts, though. Just keep loving him and he'll find his way back home.

mosey said...

The commitment and love you have for each other in your family is wondrous to behold. And you remind me that my occasional "throwing my hands up" attitude is just NOT okay when it comes to family and friends.

Lo Lo said...

Maggie-
Your son. My brother. You're right: this isn't typical teenage stuff. This is something deeper with D. I see it in your writing. I saw it in my brother all those years ago. Drug addiction, alcoholism, self abuse... he did it all. The whole family went through their cycles of wanting to help, wanting to give up, wanting to commit him, wanting him to just wake up and be "normal" one day, wanting a better life for him....

I wish my brother had the love and concern of his mother the way D has yours. Unfortunately, it was one more bit of abuse heaped upon him that my mother suffered with the same demons. Genetics are a fierce and terrible thing sometimes.

I'm wondering about D's dad. I bring this up only to alleviate you of some of the genetic burden. You can't hold yourself exclusively responsible for his demeanor. (I also wonder if men whose paternal connections have been broken CAN be healed by maternal love alone. I wonder this about my own kin. Seems like all the love in the world from their big sister is still not enough. I wonder if something that helps D become more aware of his "yang" energy will help him to know himself better, and help him to shift the energy from self loathing to self love.)

Ultimately, he will emerge from this darkness. There are corrective drugs, there are therapies, there is the unconditional love form you, and, more than anything, there is time. He is young and in the thick of it. Thank goodness you have the awareness and the capacity to hold such love in your heart for him. Not every person in his shoes is as lucky.

Take care of yourself, even as you take care of him.

You are stronger than you know.

Much love to your whole family,
LoLo

Teri D. said...

oh maggie - you write with such aching beauty. i often feel totally speechless after reading your beautiful expressions...and find myself unable to even leave a coherent comment.
your D has a beautiful and strong mother. I hope very much, that it could be enough...
thank you maggie for being so brave in expressing things most of us cannot.

Bee said...

My daughter had a horrible year at 15. She cut herself, she lied to us, she did lots of things that we suspect but can't confirm. She wouldn't talk to me. We would go to therapy together and she wouldn't talk if I was in the room. I would ask, "You can't talk or you won't?" "Both," she would answer.

Happy, loving and beloved childhood -- yes. All that.

I don't know what the answer is, and I didn't really take my own advice, but I do think there is a big piece of growing up that has nothing to do with the MOTHER. Try, if you can, not to feel each rejection so terribly personally.

Suburban Correspondent said...

"And now that belief has been unearthed and shaken by the neck and flung to the floor underneath my feet."

There are those of us who suffer similarly, my friend; single mothers, married mothers, stable households, and unstable ones. I've come to believe that, in some of our dear sweet children, adolescence is a seed waiting to explode like a bomb. Nothing we do can stop it. God bless you and keep you strong. You did your best and that is all that can be expected of any parent.

lesliesholly said...

So beautifully written. I will say a prayer for you and your son. I am experiencing some of the same "where did we go wrong" thoughts concerning my own oldest son right now and total confusion about what to do to help him so I feel a real kinship with what you wrote.

Monday said...

BTDT.
Hang on, you still have a long ride through his adolescence.

Your job is to facilitate treatment for your minor child. Do this ASAP, and do not wait one more day.

The whole mess is overwhelming but there is help for him and your familiy.

This is what worked for us, and kept my daughter alive:
Getting yourself professional help, and get him into residential treatment, then a boarding school while he is a minor, and get him out of your community with all his people places and things.

It really does help teens to not be in the community and at home.

Parental authority, while you still have it, use it.

amber said...

I have already read this, and commented, but when I clicked the link on mamapundits blog, I cried instantly when your header popped up. I really hope this all works out in your sons favor. my heart aches for you, and leaps for you, at the same time. You are just so damn strong, and to think you do all of this with grace and not to mention a child thriving inside of you.

alwaysmomof4 said...

Your words are haunting and beautiful. Being a mother means just as you say, try everything and also get help. You haven't given up on your son and he holds that knowledge in his heart. The conflicts that come as are children grow more independent and make concerning choices, can make us unsteady.

As you do all you can I offer the words of a dear friend when I struggled with my relationship with my son. She said parenting a teen sometimes mean, "Biding your time without being indifferent." Your mama instincts are telling you you are doing the best you can, listen.
http://alwaysmomof4.wordpress.com/

Candi said...

I too, was a single mom at nineteen, and I too, am struggling with a teenager that wants so much to be independent of me, but relies on me so much. I too, have an oldest/only child that demands so much of my attention that my three younger children are missing my guidance. I too, suffer from guilt, sadness and depression and have sought the advice of many therapists. I too, want to shake my daughter by the shoulders and tell her that EVERYTHING I have done in life was/is because of her. I too, can feel your pain as my lovely girl is going through her own struggles. I too, am sad and don't know what to do, but pray that whomever is listening will keep her safe and grounded and wise. Hang in there momma, you are doing your best.

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