Tag Archives: mental health

Backstory.

Yesterday I did what I’m sure looked like an obligatory Facebook brag post. Especially to people who probably don’t have school-age children, or …any children. But the ones who had to hands-on watch their children navigate their education through a pandemic every day for the last year, I bet they got it.

I didn’t post that for myself. I already know how neat my kids are; I get to live with them every day. When I posted that, I posted that for her. Whether it helps her read it today or it helps her when she reads in 20 years, she needs a reminder that her mom loved her and what she overcame. She will see what I wrote, remember the lovely comments shared from people who are dear to us and see a picture of what she looked like at that moment.

Just because she did well and got straight A’s, doesn’t mean that she didn’t work. her. ass. off.

It’s not a scenario where things come easy to her, look at how perfect she is, blah, blah, blech. The real truth is that I watched her study and worry and plan and make goals and work really hard to finish them. That’s all on her.

And she did all of this basically sitting on a mattress, on her bedroom floor, surrounded by Cheetos’s, our loyal dog and a teenager amount of dirty laundry.

Please make no mistake, as a mother trying to help my children learn through a pandemic, I’m an idiot and can’t teach them anything, but I can online shop. I transformed the loft and I set up quite the beautiful school area. It had wonderful lighting and it was comfortable, with productive desks and chairs. I tried to give both her and her brother, who was enrolled in some CLC college courses, an environment where they could concentrate when they needed it, and then walk away when they were done.

I’m pretty sure they used it for about a week and a half. And I didn’t push them because this wasn’t about me doing all that work and me getting upset because they didn’t use it. (Truth: It gave me something else to do during the pandemic besides putting booze in my coffee and overeating. ) Nay, nay: It was about them being comfortable when everything around them made no sense.

Her freshman year in high school should’ve been filled with nervous giggles, experimenting with outfits every morning, walking to classes with new friends, sneaking out to get ice cream on her lunch break, walking in the halls and blushing when she passed somebody she had a crush on, laughing with her friends in the locker room about how much swimming class sucks with their period, going to a pep rally…going to a football game….going to Homecoming, going anywhere…with anyone…

Our walls are thin in our cookie cutter home. Her bedroom is next to mine. I know the sound of fear, frustration, angst, anxiety and sadness. Her teachers voices came out of her laptop sounding legit Charlie Brown. I heard late-night heated and passionate conversations, but couldn’t make out the words. Those emotion-filled moments made my tears run all the way down to my pillow.

But, there where lovely noises. She taught herself some pretty bitchin’ guitar playing. Her lovely voice, soft and lilting, wafted into the hallway. The strumming was comforting, the sounds of her trying to figure out the Bohemian Rhapsody solo, endless Fleetwood Mac. She had the lonely time to do that. l will cherish those sanguine sounds that seeped through my bedroom wall.

Another sound that didn’t make me feel sad to accidentally overhear: the laughter with her friends. They found a way to make the “pandemic sleepover” work; messy but still with laughter and love.

What one wouldn’t also post on social media is that she battled two significant and private medical issues that most don’t know about, and one very significant dental issue that meant literally 30 doctor and specialized dentist appointments in a year. In one year. In a pandemic.

Could she cry to her friends at the table in the lunch room, where she could get hugs and whispers of support? No. But she could talk to their faces on her small phone screen and at least feel some love, however she could get it. Funny…it’s the one time as a mother I have been grateful for my children’s social media.

Life has gotten slowly back to “normal”. She eventually went back to school, picked out cute outfits, walked the halls, snuck off to The Jewel with friends on her lunch break, met her teachers face-to-face for the first time, played an actual high school lacrosse game, even laughed on a bus with her teammates…normal things started happening again. I think the kid is finally able to realize that she is going to be okay.

My life purpose is to love and protect my family; keep them alive for a life that is worth living. I have two other great kids who are creating their own life journey tapestries, but I celebrate this moment for the little one who won an epic battle this year in her bedroom. Shine on, little diamond.

Moran #3

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Your Pain is My Pain, My Darling.

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…I wonder if he can feel me thinking of him. Does he sleep? Does he finally sleep well? Sleep for him is an epic battle in the dark of every night. Is he cold? I hope he’s not cold.

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…I wonder how many people in my life truly know what it’s like to live every day with someone who fights for the will to live? Is it….four friends? Twenty? Over a hundred? Or am I the only one? I’m sure I can’t be the only one. I wish it wasn’t anyone ever. When people ask me how I am doing, I say, “Fine. How are you?” But I want to SCREAM…

“MY CHILD IS NOT OK. I AM NOT OK.”

I’ll just keep on trying to hide so no one asks me how I’m doing.

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…he is alone because he turned 18. The last time he was in the hospital, I could be there with him, at least for awhile. Now, apparently, he is old enough to vote, get a tattoo and to handle his grief and despair alone in isolation.

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…I sit in the dark, wrapped in the fuzzy purple blanket that makes me feel better, but I think it’s broken. I have my phone next to me, waiting for news, any news; something that will help me with our grief and despair. I ask at no one in the dark, “Why can’t my child be ok?” No one answers. I have barely slept and grief is tiring and it also keeps you awake. Tomorrow, I will not have a good day, no matter how you look at it. I have to work, I have to smile, I have to pretend I’m fine. It’s exhausting for my child to get through a day and it’s exhausting for me to try to help him get through a day. He deserves to get through a day. At least tomorrow he will have another day. I wish I could suck up all his pain because I would wear it for him always.

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…I wish he could see the one million bright and lovely things I see when I look at him. How much he is loved. How dark life would be without him.

To him I want to send a message in a bottle…As if life isn’t hard enough, as if our world isn’t fucked up enough, as if my tank isn’t on empty enough, I still will always fight…and I will always Coldplay you, my darling.

“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”

In the wee small hours of this morning, while my child sits alone in a mental hospital…I would give all of everything to go back and have him swaddled in my arms. Safe, happy and sleeping like a baby.

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