Thursday, April 27, 2017

From the Outside Looking In

I stand here, looking at you, willing and praying for this to all go away.
    Knowing you are anxious and angry and sad helps me grasp the behavior,
     but it does little to help me understand what is flying through that head of yours.

I stand here, watching you unravel...watching you struggle.
             You writhe...kick...throw...yell.
   You pull your hair as if to pull your dark thoughts out of your head.
   I watch you squirm. Your anxiety appears to manifests itself as bugs, crawling inside.

I stand here, wondering how fast you are processing every thought.
       I picture your mind like rockets shooting off at random times, colliding in air...
          ...and then there is an EXPLOSION. At times I see the
        rockets getting ready to soar, but other times the explosion is the first thing I see.

I stand here, watching the wheels turning inside your mind. Your every thought connects to another.
    Some event that makes you anxious comes trucking along, but it results in a thought that
    makes you angry. So, anger jumps on this emotional roller picks up speed....
     encouraging other memories and trials to jump on the next car.
                    Inside my head I scream, "MAKE IT STOP!"
    Unfortunately that ride just keeps flying around until you realize what your actions have done, 
              and then you crumble. 
    Sadness jumps onto that roller coaster.
       As the ride comes to a stop your body collapses and tears spill from your eyes.
            Tears full of guilt for what you maybe just did.
            Tears full of fear that you won't be "normal" like the other kids.
            Tears full of fear of the unknown, not knowing what makes you angry.
            Tears full of fear that this is how you always will be.

I stand here, hugging you...wishing I could make it all go away.
      Your body finally feels calm and at peace. The rockets have ceased exploding
          and the bugs have stopped crawling.
           If I hold you long enough will I absorb the anxiety...the anger...the sadness?
              Do you feel me fervently praying?
                Do you sense my will to take your burden and make it mine?

I stand here, trying to comprehend.
    How can I say one thing and your mind convinces yourself of the opposite?
    How do just two questions wrong on homework during the entire week equate to failure for you?
    Why when I say, "You are smart" do you hear, "I am dumb?"
    How can you not see how funny and clever you are?
    Why do you translate a lesson on the value of money into an indication of your greed?
    Why do you insist you are nothing special?
    Why when I say, "I love you" do you sometimes hear "I hate you?"
         ...and the list goes on.

I stand here, second guessing every word and action that comes from me, for fear that
      it will be interpreted the wrong way. I try to hold all my emotions in for fear they
      might be translated wrong. This morning was rough. By the time we got to the school
       drop-off I was in tears because I knew you were suffering and 
                 I feared you have no idea how much you are loved.
    You saw my tears and thought they were because of you. 
  They weren't, but guilt and sadness hit you like a ton of bricks.
           I saw your face. You hit rock bottom.
           I drove away, tears rushing down...that was my rock bottom.

I stand here, wondering what YOU really feel. Do you feel your thoughts exploding like rockets?
       Do you see yourself squirming and do you feel the bugs? When you are calm does your
       mind feel like a sunny field of flowers? Can you sense how your body changes?
          Deep down...way down in the inner recesses of you, do you see how special you are?
                 How loved you are? What do you see? 
         The biggest hope of mine is that under all of this you know that....
                     I still KNOW and SEE that YOU'RE STILL YOU.

I stand here, thankful for the gift of forgiveness. Thankful for salvation.
       Thankful that I can comfort you that you are a child of God and that someday
         all of this will be gone as we will live in eternity with Him.
              Until that day...
                        I will stand here, by you, loving you.

Watching mental health struggles tear a loved one apart
is a painful process. I continue to try to
understand in the hopes that I might be able to help.
This is my view from the outside...looking in. 


  1. This is beautiful and you are an amazing mom.

  2. Read this again and still am moved by your willingness to share such an intimate struggle, and hope! Bless you!