I 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.