I haven’t written in a long time and I’ve missed it. There’s just been so much happening over the last month that I don’t even honestly know how I’m still standing and functioning. The carousel that is my life is spinning madly out of control right now, and I’m holding on for dear life. I don’t dare look up for I know that I’ll lose touch with what grip I have left in reality.
I’m grieving right now and it’s a grief that many may not understand. Losing someone you love to a severe and lifelong mental illness is as devastating as losing them to the abyss of death. And when this person is someone who you gave life to, it’s unnatural and carries with it an unbearable weight of shame, guilt and pain like no other.
People understand when you actually lose a child. They grieve for you. They tell you how sorry they are for your loss and how terrible it was that he died so young. A community mourns the loss of a young life like nothing else. But when you lose a child to the grips of mental illness and addiction, the world shames you. You can’t talk about the pain and sadness you feel, because everyone believes that you can always save a person if you just love them enough.
I love fiercely. From the depths of my soul, I fought hard for my child to have the life he so deserved. From play therapy to later on the endless trips to detox and attempted rehabs, the restraining orders, the psychiatrists and hospital stays – until finally as an adult he chose to no longer seek treatment for his conditions. I tried the route of seeking guardianship of him, however given his particular MI, there’s no legal precedent for severing his rights and freedoms.
I am feeling so torn. As a mother, I want to fix him. To nurture him and love him and make his world safe. When he hurts, I hurt. As a person on her own journey to recovery, I need to protect myself from his abuse and manipulation. I need to let go and accept that I can always love him but I will have to do so from a distance.
I just don’t know what to do with this kind of grief. Wednesday may be the last time I will see him for a long time and I’m feeling sad. Sad for all that has been lost and what will never be.