Thursday, January 28, 2016


This is a poem I would like to share.  It's about how it feels to be the mom of a mentally ill child. I've had it for several years, but thought about it this morning as I prepared to do battle with the school; followed by another family meeting this afternoon. It definitely speaks to me. 
There has been no death,
No gnawing cancer,
No hellish war.
My son has not marched to the battlefield,
Felt the sting of chemo in his veins,
Lain under a cold blanket of sod
With autumn leaves as his brittle pillow.
Yet I am grieving
As if all those things happened,
And more.
In truth, there are dark days
When I would prefer a more traditional burden
Had been placed upon my shoulders.
Then, there would be lasagnas.
A long line of neighbors
Would be like picnic ants,
Beating a path to my door.
Arms would enfold me,
Comforting words would be murmured,
And my grief would be easier borne
Because it would be shared.
I have tried to be honest.
I wear my pain like bright patches of blood—
Surely you can see that I have been wounded?
Am I not wearing my organs outside my body,
Hanging there like gory medallions
For everyone to see?
But the ants and the medics pass by
For other, easier emergencies.
Are my injuries invisible, then?
Or maybe you just can’t imagine
Your feet inside my messy, bloody shoes.
Maybe you fear that if you helped me,
You would be pulled into the quicksand too,
Disappearing under the sheer weight
Of my pressing problems.
As I ponder this, I wonder:
Does my son feel this way too?
How alone must he feel in the darkness?
Every time he steps out of his cocoon,
Perhaps he directs himself.
“Act normal. Act normal. Act normal”.
And despite his best efforts,
Each time he causes another ripple in the pond
Maybe he retreats further
Until one sad day
He begins to disappear altogether.
He too must think that no one sees his pain
Or hears his desperate cries
Or feel the urge to feed him.
Where are the lasagnas?

—Diane Woodin, Family-to-Family spring class 2012
This should be a BANNER Day ... Friday can't come soon enough. I am really worn out mentally.

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