In the last few weeks, things have been crazy for me. My husband left for training and won’t be back for four months, we moved, kids started new schools, plus I’m writing a book. A big book. Mark’s book. My friend and I were on the phone today, and it prompted me to want to write about it…
Life is crazy. Each one of us live through our own host of issues. Some struggle with things far beyond what I’m dealing with. No one is dying in my house. No one is sick. No one is without food, or basic needs for sustaining life. But my son is struggling, which means I’m struggling. I was around his age when I started really dealing with my first round of depression. If you know me at all, you know my father left when I was young. Nothing that probably half of you reading hasn’t experienced, but to my nine year old self, it was earth shattering.
I didn’t cope well, plus it doesn’t help that he wasn’t a model parent. My mom was doing the best she could raising two hormonal, and hostile girls. My sister and I didn’t make life easy for her, but well, we were kids trying to deal with our excess emotions. Ironically, my mom moved us to a new town in New Jersey when I was in the same grade my son is in. It’s fucking HARD to adjust in middle school. I went from being comfortable with my friends, to this tiny town in Morris County where evvvvvvverybody knew everybody. I met a friend who introduced me to her friends, but I was still “the new girl.” My son isn’t like me, though. Not in that sense. He’s quieter, a loner, not the kid that’ll talk to you because he’s pretty sure you won’t like him. (Even though IMHO he’s the best kid ever.) He’s sweet, kind, considerate (to anyone but his sister). He’ll give you his food if you’re hungry, his coat if you’re cold, but he exhibits the same signs of struggle.
The worst part, I can’t fix him.
I can’t fix him, and I don’t know how to deal with that.
As a mom, we want to hug them, protect them, give them happy and wonderful childhoods, but when the fog is so thick you can’t see the sun, what do you do?
You keep walking, hoping that eventually the rays will find you.
I wish I could assure him of that. Let him see that I’ve been there. I’ve dealt with it. My four best friends and I met at his age, and we still talk. They love their “Aunts”, but to him: “I don’t understand.” or “It’s not the same.”
And for him … he’s right.
I’m not saying if my husband was home, this would be better. I’m not even saying that if we didn’t move he wouldn’t be struggling, because we all remember that middle school SUCKS. It’s awkward, things are growing in weird places, and yuck…but I can’t help but feel like I should be able to fix this.
My daughter on the other hand, has three new best friends. They’re already FaceTiming and calling each other daily.
Then there’s me…alone. My husband is doing everything he can to be here for me, but I miss him. I miss having a partner. In two weeks, I literally packed (with a lot of help), moved, unpacked (again I have two pretty amazing friends who helped me more than I can say), wrote a lot of words, got my kids in their new school, and have our house as if we’ve lived here for a long time. Yes, I was a military wife for thirteen years, and we do this–well. Even still, I’m exhausted, worried, and under pressure.
But even with all the turmoil, stress, writing to be done, I’m so blessed.
Eventually, my kids will adapt, the words will get written, and we’ll find balance. Because really, this is how we roll. And if I can just keep pushing through the fog, I’ll see the sun again.
I dealt with depression growing up from my father leaving when I was born. My mom was always the strongest person I k ew because she admitted she couldn’t fix it all and make things better. But by admitting that, she was also admitting that things could get better despite not having the answers.
This post hit so many levels for me it’s unreal. I hope your son finds a way to become his own person in a new place. Time will tell.
Prayers to you and your family during this trying time.
Thank for sharingyour challenges ????
I so totally empathize, Corinne. I went through a fog/depression about 7 years after my Dad died (I got help with it, but for a long time I denied there WAS a problem…even from myself) If I learned anything from my experience, it’s that you can’t “cure” someone, no matter how much you want to! Of course, everyone who suffers from depression has a different story, and different levels, for very different reasons! All you can do is show him all the love and support in the world, letting him know that you will ALWAYS be there for him, no matter what!
There has been a HUGE amount of change in your lives over the last little bit, and I pray things will settle down and you’ll get a routine going (and your Hubs will be home before you know it! 😉 ) In the meantime, you’ll spend as much time as you can with the kids (when you’re not writing about Mark, of course) and rely on us, your OTHER family to help cheer you up and take your mind off your troubles! Much <3~Jacquie
I tottaly understand you. I don’t want to say who i lost because i’m not writhing to get simpaty. I just want to wish you strengt, faith and many patiens to get throug all this.I hope eventualy things will get easyer for your son.
Sorry for my bad enghlish .
Shannon Burdsall says
Thanks for sharing! I have felt many of the same things and I just wonder when things will be better. My children are 15 & 16 but for half their life they had to deal with their fathers health issues and mental illness. I ended up having to homeschool my son because I couldn’t get him to go to school. He has ADHD and is very quiet and doesn’t like to be around other kids. Finally this year I got him into Alternative school which only has 12 kids and he seems to be liking it, so here is to better days hopefully. Stay strong, I know sometimes it is hard.
My nephew is going through the same things right now in middle school. It’s awful to watch. He stayed with me this weekend and I could see it. I couldn’t imagine it being my son. I am so sorry. I am sending prayers and love and hugs to you and your family.
Angie McGuire says
My heart is so full reading this. It goes to show you that every person you meet is going through something, possibly making them silent or loud.. Making us think they are annoying or “stuck-up”. But this is where you stop judging and realize that everyone needs someone at different times in their life.
Being a parent is never easy… You always worry and love unconditionally and it truly doesn’t matter how old they are. I have 2 girls out of college and a boy in high school and raising each of them has been a different challenge for me. Your heart breaks when they’re sad, and not knowing what to do or how to “fix” everything is a true challenge. But you’re right… You can’t fix everything. And that makes it hard as a parent.
I truly admire you, and know that there are people going through challenges every day just like you. You’re an amazing person. Keep being a positive realist:).
Karen G. says
Thanks for sharing, it is always a good thing to know we are not alone. It sounds like you have alot of loving support but we still need to experience life to learn and grow stronger. I empathize with your feelings of helplessness with your son. My daughter developed anxiety in college and is struggling with very strong emotions. She was such a laid back girl her whole life so it was a great surprise to me to witness the change. I can’t fix her which as a parent we want to do for our kids. It is a daily struggle, one she has to learn the tools that help her cope and I have to let her do that for her own well being. Thanks for the encouraging words. I wish all the best to you and your family!
I so understand where you are coming from. I have 5 kids, 3 my husband and I adopted last year. My sister passed away a year and half ago and we adopted her kids. One is in middle school and the others are in high school. When we adopted them they had to move schools even though it was only a town over it was still really hard on them. Losing a mom and a step dad that walked out after their mom died and then their real dad not even wanting them. I worry about them everyday. The youngest boy is acting out and is mad at the world, and I totally can’t blame him. The middle boy is adjusting the best, he and my husband have gotten really close this past year. Then there is my 16 year old girl. She and I were always close but she is so sad and depressed. I try to make sure every day that they know how loved they are. Some days I feel successful and others not so much. OK so this was a little longer than I intended, just know you are not alone. Even though we are far away from you I feel like I can say this on behalf of all of your fans, we are here for you! Praying things get better for you and your son. It really is the worse feeling as a parent to see your child hurting and not be able to fix it.
Vera Green says
I totally get it. I was very shy growing up and making friends was not easy for me at all. I lived in my own world just me and my books, loved to read. I was a pleaser , keep the peace type of person. People were drawn to me more than me to them. I reached 8th grade and everything changed for me I met two of my three best friends who I still talk to. I pray your son finds a special friend so he comes out of that shell just a little . I have a 13 year old neice going through this now she is very shy and sensative. It reminds me of me. I just pray she gets her footing soon
Thanks for sharing.
I have not personally dealt with depression but have friends that do. Just want to send my thoughts and prayers along with my strength. Know that I am thinking of you and your family. Sending you smiles and hugs
Lisa Schohr says
I worked with a school district for 15 years. If he is struggling at school and feels alone you might talk to his teacher or the office and see if possibly there is someone for him to talk to. A lot of schools offer free counseling to kids like him. Let them know what he is dealing with, with the move and his dad being gone right now. It may help. It might take a few times of talking with someone before he opens up a little, but it may help. A lot of time they are just being a friend and will talk about something that may interest him or even play a game. It’s just a thought. You seem like a very strong person. You and your family with be in my thoughts and prayers.
Carrie Bottrell says
Many prayers coming your way. I’ve never been a military wife, so while I can’t relate to the imagined chaos you have lived with, I can relate to the feeling of “this is how we roll.”
Middle school is awful at times. I have a daughter who struggled adjusting to a new school in 7th grade and it led to her coping by cutting herself. As her mom, I felt awful because the lack of feeling accepted made her go to drastic measures to release herself from scrutiny and criticism by her peers. In an age of social connectivity (if that’s a word!), teens seem more disconnected and that worries me terribly. All we can do is love our babies and be there the best we can. Sending hugs!
Hi I’m single mom off 3 girls well on my side I hve many things I can complain about because they don’t have all thry need like food clothes but everyday I thank good because we still breathing but I been in depression since i was! I can’t remember thank you for sharing this ..I can’t wait for Mark.
Gloria Minor-Fridley says
I’m so glad you shared this with us. I really needed the boost this gave me this morning. I know no matter what I’m facing, the sun will always shine through and that gives me hope. Sending so much love to your family and as always you are all in my prayers.
What a wonderful post. I wish I could say that everyday I’m happy but that would be a lie. Be happy you will see your parnter again. My left for heaven and will not return. Everyday I get and wonder how I will make it through a new day. I was just getting to where I wasn’t crying everyday and then some memory or song — something makes me realize he will never be coming back. He was the best of me, my everything, my soulmate, me would finish my sentences, knew my thoughts without telling him. I miss him so much I physical hurt sometimes. But I cry and remember we had a long life time of love, two great kids and I know he loved me. You are so strong and your stories so real. My husband would always say – just one foot in front of the other today. Thanks for your post.
Sandy Jones says
Corrine, My son was in third grade when he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It was the worst feeling ever! As a parent, we struggle because we want so much for our children. Like you, my dad wasn’t around much, and our relationship is strained to say the least. Because of this, I sometimes try to overcompensate, so that my kids will never be able to experience the loneliness and feeling like they will never measure up like i did as a child. So when my son was going through a tough time like your son is today, I took it really hard. I blamed myself because I felt like a failure. I looked around and thought, ” What could I have done differently?” The one thing I leaned through all this, is that depression can happen to anyone. Sometimes the people you least expect are the ones who suffer the most. The hardest part is that you just don’t know what is going on inside his head. Their struggle is not visible on the outside. I wish I could tell you when it changed for my son, because for many years it came on and off. He is now a senior in high school and is one of the most popular kids in school. Somewhere along the way he found his balance. That doesn’t mean I still don’t worry, especially with him going off to college in the fall. I just do the best I can and pray that he will be ok.
I feel your pain, middle school is the toughest time for kids. There is so much change going on in their life at once. They are trying to figure out where they fit in and who they want to be. You sound like a great mother and at the end of the day, it’s all you can do is be there for him. I’m very sorry to hear that you and your family are going through a hard time. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. I really hope things get better for him!