It Would Be Easier If It Were Cancer – My Messy Beautiful


angry momI don’t wish my child had cancer. It’s just that tonight it feels like it would be easier if he did. If it were cancer I don’t think I would be feeling angry with him that he is asleep on the couch after not having done anything all day like I am right now.  I imagine I would only have love and care and concern for him if he had some other disease like cancer.  But he doesn’t. And I’m fighting feelings of anger. At my son. Who is sick. And I hate it.  How can I feel angry when he is sick?  It’s not cancer. It’s anxiety and depression. And some days I just don’t have the patience or understanding to be a good mom of a depressed kid. Some days I just don’t have what it takes to help his panic disorder.  When I stop crying and throwing things and sit still long enough, I realize it is grief I am feeling.  Grief for him and for me. He has so much potential; so smart and funny and so talented.  And the depression and anxiety rob him of all of it.  And rob me. Rob me of the joy in parenting. Rob me of watching my child achieve and perform and live and enjoy.  If it were cancer I wouldn’t feel the need to explain, or justify, or be tempted to lie about him.  I know better.  I know it is a brain illness and not a character weakness.  But tonight it feels like failure. Tonight it feels like something I haven’t done right.  Tonight it feels like it will never be any better.  The psychiatrists, the therapists, the medications. Tonight it feels like they are a forever thing. Tonight it just feels like it will never be any different.  And it makes me angry. And sad. And helpless. And tonight, a little hopeless.

I don’t want my child to have cancer. And most days I have accepted that this is a battle we will have to continue to fight. And we will. Continue to fight. But tonight I am angry.  And I feel like a terrible mother because I am angry with my sick child.  I guess the upside of the depression is that he is still asleep and he will never know his mother had a meltdown at his expense. It’s messy and beautiful. But tonight it’s mostly messy.  Tomorrow I will see the beautiful.


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, happiness, Life's challenges, mental illness, parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to It Would Be Easier If It Were Cancer – My Messy Beautiful

  1. OH! So sorry!! I totally understand what you mean by wishing it were Cancer, it makes sense. We mourn what things could have been and what they were supposed to be and anger is just part of the mourning. I hope today is a better day. Forgive yourself!

  2. Hannah says:

    Wow. Thank you for this brutally honest post. It was beautiful. I love raw emotion, I truly do.
    I live on the other side of this relationship – in your son’s position (as a grown woman and mother myself). It’s not easy. And I often feel horrible for the people who have to deal with my illness, especially my husband, because they can’t “fix” me. For some reason, reading this very REAL emotion from a caretaker’s perspective made me very – “happy” would be the wrong word – grateful. I am GRATEFUL. So, so grateful for wonderful people, just like you, who have the strength and determination to LOVE us through our hard days, and the strength to save your own breakdowns (and we know you have them) for the times or spaces where we can’t see because you don’t dare burden us more.
    Oh how I love you!

    Here is the flip-side of this emotional roller coaster:

  3. mam262 says:

    I know a little of how you feel–but in my case, it’s me who has anxiety and depression and my husband who feels the way you do. I feel the same about myself, too, sometimes. Anxiety and depression look and sometimes feel like selfishness–someone who just WON’T do the things they need to. During my worst times, my husband has been pushed to the brink of simply taking our girls and leaving me. And when I see the people around me who struggle in their own ways and yet continue on and lead functional lives, a part of me screams, “I’m not choosing this! It’s not a choice–I feel powerless to choose or change anything!” And yet I feel disgust for myself, that I can be reduced to nothing more than a frightened, paralyzed burden to the people I care about most. I’ve struggled for 26 years with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and things have improved in many ways as I’ve gotten older (I’m 31), but it’s hard to see how my struggles affect my husband and three daughters and to feel like my best efforts won’t entirely shield them from my illness. You are a good mother to persist in loving even when your frustration and despair feel overwhelming. Even mothers of children with cancer feel anger at the sense that they’re powerless to change things. I think we all grieve for the loss of what once was, or the dream of how things could be. Know that ultimately it is your son who will be responsible for his choices and his handling of his illness, just as it is my burden, and not my husband’s, to find balance. But loving him, persisting with him, and acknowledging and finding good outlets for your very real and very valid feelings of anger and frustration and loss make you a very good mother.

  4. Pingback: Lessons Learned

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