A Mother Cries . . .

When it comes to our children, moms don’t need a reason to cry.  We cry when our babies take their first step, perform in their first play, break a bone, learn to ride a bike, lose their championship and graduate from pre-school, elementary school, high school, college . . .

The highs, and in this case particularly the lows, of our children’s lives, move us, taking us out of our own skin and placing us in theirs.   When painful episodes unfold around us – we feel engulfed in the emotion and the vicarious experience of the moment.  And sometimes that moment is an excruciating painful one.

Tonight I cried because I felt my daughter’s anxiety and sadness.  Separate and aside from that, my beautiful hyper and oppositional son couldn’t calm down and threw himself into yet another rage with very little provocation or any apparent logic.

So like many brave and wonderful women who have come before me, I now stand on the harrowing, uncertain and unnerving precipice of having to medicate my children.

I did not come to this place quickly or lightly.  In fact, I have spent the majority of their lives seeking any alternative possible.

My exhaustive measures and endless trials included everything natural, homeopathic, nutritional and complimentary, but because of my children’s daily struggles I made the decision to try medication as a way of giving them (and me) hope.

Today I cried because I know, to be completely true to my inner wisdom, I have to accept that my babies, like all the beautiful children who are struggling on our planet, are suffering.  We call them by a myriad of names such as Indigo’s, Crystal and Rainbow children.  Some are autistic, some are on the spectrum, others are beyond the spectrum.  Some are classified as ODD, ADHD, OHI and any number of other initials that mean everything or nothing at all.

But for us, as mothers, they are not labels and check boxes.  They are simply our children and we call them by name as we try to soothe their tempers, connect to their emotions and lessen their fears and anxieties.

For these children, medication may be a necessary step as part of their soul’s journey.  And accepting this unwelcome fact is a huge part of my own soul’s growth.

Today I cried because it’s been years that I’ve avoided the Western medical approach to my kids’ special needs and now I’m not sure if what has prevented me from being open to this modality was a passionate connection to what I believe is best for them or that my own story had clouded me from seeing medication as a potential blessing.  Part of my mentality has to do with my own family of origin history with medication and depression, but more on that at another time.  Truth be told I have tried medication for my son before and when it failed (three times) I was quick to smugly offer to the ex-husband, doctor, special ed committee: “See?  I told you he is special/different/Indigo and that medication isn’t the answer.”

A mother cries for so many reasons and today, I am a mother who joins thousands, perhaps millions of mothers who cry because they just need to release their sadness and self-imposed feelings of shame.  This isn’t just one of the hardest decisions a mother can ever make for her child, it’s excruciating.

Thankfully, I know I am not alone in this journey.   And just knowing that helps, even if just a little, while I sit here and cry.

13 Responses to A Mother Cries . . .
    January 31, 2011 | 9:11 am

    I’ve grown up with depresion and axiety and I never wanted to take any meds because I just wanted to be normal, now however I know that my meds help me to remain in control of my own actions and to be myslef. I feel happier and less defensive towards others. I know my mother Wendy also cried when I was so sad that I could not attend school, or when I felt the world was closing in on me. we struggled together to find answers and to be comfortable in our own skin. I was diagnosed with aspergers disorder at the age of seventeen. This was no shock to my parents or to myself and it did not change who I was or who I am!

    Sometimes it’s ok to cry.

    • Diva-Mama
      January 31, 2011 | 3:44 pm

      Thank you Rachel. I hope more and more young people (including my children to whom I will read what you wrote) learn from your courage, honesty and open heartedness.

  2. Jodi
    January 31, 2011 | 9:15 am

    I know you know this, love, but at a time of self reflection on our most beloved chldren, there is so much emotional tourment that precedes and procedes our every choice made by us on their behalf it helps to be reminded and to breath in this higher knowing: There are no right or wrong choices, just choices on the path to growth and freedom for us as individuals, for our children in our chosing for them during the very brief time we are given that opportunity; but that we do it with great love and knowing of the blessing of the experience of being here and doing so out of that great love. May you feel peace in your heart and in your home, always. xoxo, Jodi

    • Diva-Mama
      January 31, 2011 | 3:41 pm

      Thank you Sister Goddess! May any mother who is beating herself up over the choices she faces find peace and a deeper tolerance and acceptance of herself along with the choices she makes on behalf of her children. This is a good life lesson, and as if often the case, is born through painful experience.

  3. Jackie Haughn
    January 31, 2011 | 9:22 am

    What a wonderful, heart opening post you shared. I’m sure many can relate to what you’re feeling. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to surrender and let go. Seeking Western medicine by no means reflects who you are as a mother….a lot of good has come from it and many lives have been saved or prolonged as a result (Aids, Cancer & so on). Your intentions are always for the best of your children….PERIOD!! Choices aren’t set in stone. He may be on medication for a while, and you have the right to discontinue it when you feel guided to. But in this moment, trust that you’re doing the best because you are. It’s time to let go and allow some other means of support to come in. And I’m sure you’ll continue with alternative healing as well 🙂

    • Diva-Mama
      January 31, 2011 | 3:37 pm

      It is so hard to shake the sometimes self-imposed stigma we carry around with us. I feel blessed to have such wise women chiming in with such heart-centeredness. And yes, you are right. I’m not stopping anything that I know and believe in – just have to go down this rabbit hole for a while too.

  4. tracey pagan
    January 31, 2011 | 12:29 pm

    love, hugs and support your way. xoxox

    • Diva-Mama
      January 31, 2011 | 3:27 pm

      It may take a village to raise kids, but it takes a sisterhood to sustain us through motherhood.

  5. Jenn Deutsch
    January 31, 2011 | 4:25 pm

    Cantor Shira,

    I am a teacher of those special children and wouldn’t change a thing! See his or her ILAC sign as a beloved Rabbi once told me. I AM LOVEABLE AND CAPABLE! See what children can do and not what they are still developing! A parent thanked me for telling them all the things her son could do and for loving him. You see she was prepared for yet another conference saying her son had not mastered simple goals and was very disabled. Yes, he has some unmastered goals and is 2 years below his developmental level. However, the eye contact, the ability to join a group, his ability to tinker and put anything back together and first words are what I see!!! See what special talents these special children have! Look at Einstein, Temple Grandin and what many others with special needs have accomplished. I too struggle with medication for those with special needs. I have seen medications and special diets help and have also seen them fail. That is why we have Individual Education Plans to help these children. We must also have individual plans for medications and plans beyond academics for these wonderful children. Yes, I go home crying too sometimes as I see how my students struggle and feel I have not done enough even when I have done my best. Know you are not alone. Know I send you hugs and love and support and virtual tissues. Know it is not shame! These children and these families are blessings! Society needs to see these blessings and recognize them! I also recommend we all read the NY Times article published long ago about So You’ve landed in Holland. It talks about if you’re planning a trip to France you learn some language and a bit about culture and history and make a plan for your trip. Much like when having a baby you make a plan and take a trip. However, when you have a special needs child, it as if you have boarded the plane to France but the pilot lands in Holland. If you dwell on missing the Eiffel Tower and Champs De Lysee then you will miss out on the tulips and windmills and all the beautiful things in Holland. Please see all the beautiful things in these special children I know I do!

    • Diva-Mama
      January 31, 2011 | 5:20 pm

      What you wrote is amazing Jenn. Thank you for sharing. For those who don’t know the article, I’ve included it below.
      For music lovers, here is a song written by Will Livingston based on the original essay (click on the track name to play).

      Original essay by Emily Perl Kingsley (written in 1987):

      “When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland!” “Holland?” you say. “What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place. So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.”

      • Jenn Deutsch
        January 31, 2011 | 5:46 pm

        Can you please post to the song link again don’t see it.

        • Diva-Mama
          February 7, 2011 | 12:21 pm

          Yes! It is Will Livingston’s Welcome to Holland (in case the link doesn’t work).

  6. How Far Down the Rabbit Hole? | divamama
    February 7, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    […] my last posting, A Mother Cries…, I shared that I have begun a medication protocol for both of my children.  I am still not 100% at […]

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