My journey to healing
For a little bit of background, I come from a family of migrants. Parents who came from Europe to provide a better life for their kids. Parents who were not shown love and affection, because back in their time that wasn’t the main focus when raising children. The focus was making sure they were taken care of, fed and alive. In their time, mental health didn’t exist. “You’re depressed? Go do something you’re just lazy!” My parents never asked me about my day at school, never asked me how I was doing and damn sure never paid attention to my deteriorating mental health as a teen. They only viewed my actions and outbursts over the years, as me being crazy. Never did they once think there was an underlying problem, they didn’t consider intervention nor did they attempt to educate themselves on what the issue may be. But that’s a lot of deflecting on my part and a lot of “they” statements. Solely mentioned to exaggerate the delayed diagnoses. There were years of suffering and many failed attempts that could have been avoided, had my mental health been cared for like my physical health was.
You’ll Never Understand My Love for You, Little Boy
I knew parenting was going to be hard, but never in my life did I imagine I’d be doing it entirely alone. And never in my life did I imagine JUST how hard it would be, day in and day out. From the early morning when my son wants to hang out at four AM, and watch cartoons, to the late nights that he just can’t seem to fall asleep. It’s exhausting. From the coughs, bug bites and scrapes from him being well... a boy, I never knew how much I’d worry about another being. From the doctors appointments, days he seems to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, unsolicited parenting advice and not being able to do anything as I pleased, like I did before having a child. It’s literally mentally and physically draining. Attempting to manage my time effectively has been nearly impossible, so finishing school work on time, and working full time has been a struggle–to say the least. And don’t get me started on terrible two’s, and how accurate that is... some days I definitely want to call off work, take my baby to his sitter and just sleep and cry. But I get done what needs to get done, breaking down isn’t an option.
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss
I've been coming across more and more women opening up about suffering a miscarriage, still birth, or loss of a child. If you've ever experienced any of those tragic events, you feel SO alone because of how "taboo" the subject is. No one wants to talk about their miscarriage, and people don't know how to console someone who has suffered the loss of a child. That's where the problem lies. When this subject is brought up, it's usually quickly dismissed or made into an awkward moment when the other person doesn't know what to say. If you've ever been in that situation, you don't need to say anything! Just be there to listen. Listen to all the details the mother wants to share with you, listen to all the horrible parts that she can't get through telling without crying. Just simply, BE THERE. Before suffering a miscarriage, I was that person. I had no idea what to say (I'm horrible at finding the right words to say in tough situations). But upon having experienced that, I've learned that there is NOTHING you can say. Nothing will bring that sweet baby back, nothing will change the outcome of what the mother went through. She just needs your listening ear and support.
An Open Letter to the Boy Who Decided to Opt-Out of Being a Father
I don’t hate you for walking out on my child, I’m not even mad you decided to leave. You made a choice I would have NEVER expected from you, but I can also say I'm not surprised. You never stuck around when times got hard. I just never thought you'd leave your child in the process. But it’s nights like these that the resentment hits me. The nights when my son is sick and after a long night at work, I’m still up til the early hours of the morning because he’s so uncomfortable he can’t sleep. The nights where I can’t seem to get him settled down because having a cold— everything in his little body just aches and feels terrible. The nights where I fall asleep for 5 minutes thinking he’s finally ok enough to get some rest, only to be woken moments after dozing off. It's the days where I am worried all day at work, with my child in the back of my mind. Calling every break I get to see if there's any improvement. You don’t even care to check up or ask if he’s ok. You have absolutely NO idea when he's even sick, or getting an immunization, or needing daily (expensive) probiotics. You know nothing about his health, nor do you care. He's been to the hospital twice, do you have any idea as to why? Of course you don't. Don't even get me started on the financial aspect of this. Co pays, pharmacy costs, otc medicine—that’s all on me because fuck a job when you’re put on child support right? Instead of supporting and financially helping, which is the least you could do—you quit your job and claim you cannot find another. But that's a story for another time.