They won’t ever experience their first kiss….

ill never forget first kissI am going to break all kinds of parent confidentiality rules. Luckily none of my kids read my blog; and for that very reason. They are convinced I am blabbing all their secrets and shortcomings to the world. Today I am doing just that. My son has the sweetest relationship with the sweetest young lady. They talk about everything and are true friends. Yesterday He shared with me in detail that he had his first kiss. After having the conversation about slippery slopes, respect, and self control, all I could think about was those sweet, innocent children who would never get to experience their first kiss; and those devastated parents that would never get to have all those special parenting moments as their children grow into adulthood. I know I really don’t have anything significant to add to this conversation about the tragedy in CT. It has all been said. But I commented the other day about the fact that the discussion needed to be about mental illness, and I feel like I need to share my experience. We always say we need to remove the stigma of mental illness, but yet those of us that have dealt with it still don’t openly talk about it. In this world of competitive parenting and over achieving children, who wants to raise their hand and say, “My once straight A “gifted” student may not pass this year because he can’t get out of bed.” What parent wants to post on FB that they pray everyday on their way home from work that they will find their child safe; not having harmed themselves. As you are telling me about your child’s gold award, record setting sports season, and amazing community service projects, I am not going to say “I was so proud of my son today. I was able to get him to counseling without threatening to take him in a police car.” No matter how many times we tell ourselves that mental illness is no different than diabetes or heart disease, somehow it still evokes feelings of embarrassment, shame, and a feeling of “less than”. That needs to change. So today I am not ashamed to say that after a very scary, very painful time of trying to get my son help for his depression, he is doing well. But there was, and is, no guarantee. What we experienced was on a very small scale compared to what the mother of the shooter and so many others must have been and are battling. My son was 17 and I was still “in charge” of his medical care. I feared the day when he turned 18 when I literally would have been powerless to get him any help unless he sought it himself. And there lies the problem. Those that need the most help and are over 18 rarely, if ever, are capable of seeking the help on their own. It is only after a crime has been committed and they are put into the system that they receive some sort of help. I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. Is gun control the answer? Will reforming mental health care prevent another tragedy? Is it a spiritual issue? I believe there is truth in all of these arguments. This mom said it better than me. From depression and anxiety that plagued my family, to Aspergers that has affected other members of my family, to mental illness that manifests itself in suicide or violence, she has put a face and soul to what millions of families struggle with.


About splitpease

I am a mom of three teenage boys who used to be a teacher, who became a personal trainer, who had to sell my share of a personal training studio, who had to take a job running a swim and racquet club, who hopes to one day be able to do what I love and still keep a roof over my head.
This entry was posted in comments on life, family, Life's challenges and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to They won’t ever experience their first kiss….

  1. debbie glasby says:

    I have 2 brothers that are mentally I’ll. Growing up with it is terrifying, embarrassing and damaging.. Not to mention the constant worrying about my parents stress and safety!

  2. davepatchin says:

    Thanks for sharing. I needed that. I’m sure it is hard to feel like you “outed” someone…but until as a culture and as believers we get comfortable talking about mental illness, depression, psychosis, etc. we will be stuck in the box of shame, fear and guilt.

  3. splitpease says:

    thanks Dave. I posted, took down, and posted again several times.

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