These words describe Moms at War
In the last few days, I have talked to several moms who feel this way. Several moms who share something in common with me. These moms, despite whatever diagnoses their children may have, are raising boys like D.
Their sons have diagnoses ranging from high functioning autism to mood disorders to no diagnosis at all. The diagnosis does not matter, the symptoms are the same.
Hyperfocusing, obsessing, perseverating.
Difficulty regulating moods.
Difficulty understanding social situations.
Easily overstimulated by normal environments.
Difficulty with school, whether attendance, academic, social.
Verbally and physically aggressive towards the ones they love most.
These moms, like me, love their boys. These moms are fighting day and night for their boys. These moms spend countless hours scouring the internet for answers about services, medication, insurance, and anything else that might help their boys. These moms, like me, would give everything to give their boys the chance at being normal.
These moms are at war. They are fighting a war with invisible (and sometimes not, honestly) bloodshed. The kind of blood shed that comes in salty tears, broken hearts, and physical pain. These moms are fighting a war that very few people will ever understand, a war that unless you have fought it, you would never believe.
The war has battles in every aspect of life. There are battles at school, battles with friends, battles with the boys’ friends, battles with family, battles with husbands, battles with people who have never met these war torn moms. There are battles about medicine, battles about food, battles about television, battles about school or homework, battles about battles.
These moms do not choose to create these battles, quite the contrary, in fact. I assure you, these moms would make chocolate chip pancakes, buy cookies on the way home from school, spend their last few dimes buying a small orange juice with no ice at 3 in the afternoon to ensure that these boys have what their body craves because a food craving boy is a boy who is on the verge of exploding because a green car is in left hand lane going north.
These boys, these precious boys…
These boys are fighting a battle so much bigger than the battles their moms are fighting. These boys are fighting an internal battle that we will never understand. They are fighting something, that I can only make sense of by calling it demons, inside their minds and bodies. Their bodies cause them true physical pain, but that pain is nothing compared to the emotional pain they live with.
These boys have little control over what happens because their bodies do not send the same signals ours do during a battle. When they have regained control after battle, they realize the significance of what happened. This realization creates not only a negative, but a grave perception of how others feel about them. These boys believe they will never regain love and trust because of that battle. Therefore, their self esteem is the lowest of lows, another battle.
This war is personal. This war is moms fighting for and against their beloved sons. Moms don’t want to face their sons in battle, but often there is no other option. When moms are faced with sons who are destroying dining tables, chests of drawers, and chairs…when moms are faced with sons who are hurting siblings, themselves, or Mom…Moms don’t have a choice.
Moms of boys like D are in a never ending war zone. There is never a break, never a moment of respite. When moms have sons like D, they are fighting battles even in times of peace. Moms of boys like mine do not get rest. These moms do not get a time of rest and relaxation. Even when moms of boys like mine are away from their boys, the anxiety inside them is exploding. They are wondering if they will get a phone call, what will that boy be like upon pick up/return home, what will happen that will have to be taken care of while the boy is away, and so many others worries. There is no rest.
One of the moms I talked to told me, I wish I could crawl inside my child’s head for one day – 24 hours — to try and understand what is really going on. He struggled to verbalize or even recognize what he is feeling. He can’t control what he can’t understand and we can’t help what we don’t understand. One thing I am 100% certain of is none of them would choose to live like this if they had the cognitive ability and insight and self control to stop it. ~~ Hurting Mom
Oh, what these boys and their moms would give if only we could do that. To be able to just get a glimpse of understanding that would help our most beloved boys. These boys that know how to warm and break our hearts in the same breath. To be able to call a cease fire on the battles that are being fought with them, for them, and against them would be a blessing that moms of boys like mine would lay down their own lives to do.
What a glorious day it would be to end the bloodshed of salty tears and broken hearts, while understanding and truly being able to help our boys.
Moms of boys like mine,
I love you.
I am praying for you.
I am here for you.
We must stand together in this war.
Only those who have been in this war understand every tear.
Only those who have been in this war understand the battles.
With love and prayers,