Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Journal Entry: A Mother's Love

I haven't felt much like writing lately.  2014 has ushered in so much change and so many challenges and I know its all for my good and well being.  I've struggled with what to say at this moment in my life when I'm taking on so much. Its as if all the things I've talked to women about for their lives is being tested in mine. I've always been very transparent about the battles I've had with bulimia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I don't mind sharing my story because I felt it will help someone else but what if its your child.  Its somehow different.  Its rips my heart out. It forces me to rethink my parenting. I hurts my soul.

My daughter suffered from severe postpartum depression after having my grandson. It triggered her anxiety which also became severe.  She didn't realize anything was wrong with her.  She never had an issue bonding with her son but her anger was deep, her lows were very low, and our household was volatile. My home was no longer my sanctuary. It was hell. I didn't know what was happening to my daughter and our relationship.  I would watch her cry at nothing, cussing me out about everything, and bawl from confusion.  She had no idea either.  The challenge for me was with her being an adult, she refused to see a doctor.  We make assumptions about how we would handle these types of situations but you never know. 

I tried to focus on my own peace. I continued my own therapy. I traveled to visit friends but my daughter was sick and I was confused to how to help her.  Twice she attempted to harm herself in front of me and six weeks ago she did.  In the middle of an anxiety attack, as I tried to help her calm down, she look a large cutting knife and cut her wrists very deep, multiple times in front of me.  She felt nothing.  I watched the blood stain her blouse as she continued to scream about her loneliness and fears. I rushed to her aid and as the attack subsided, she realized what she had done.  Her heart was broken.  She was scared and so was I.

I'm witnessing my daughter's fight for her mental health.  Everyday we are working towards healing and its not easy.  We are battling stigma, lack of services, and  lack of compassion.  In my professional life, I tell women that their mental health is just as important as their physical health.  There is a deep rooted connection to both.  I've told my daughter the same. I'm not trying to be her counselor or social worker but her mother. My daughter is healing.  She is in treatment.  I had to also check my own state of being after witnessing her detachment in harming herself.  I believe that God allows these road blocks to build us up.  Restoration is ours. Healing is ours.  Love is ours.  

Mental health services are lacking in so many of our communities.  The stigma is so great that way too many want to ignore their own hurts and pains. We must encourage all people to seek out healing when there's hurt and be a support.  My daughter has just begun her journey to healing and she has a team of aunties and friends to get her to where God will have her to be. I can't dwell on the fact that I witnessed my daughter's attempted suicide. I have to celebrate that she is still here.  Let's work on our healing. 

At this time, I have to give attention to myself and my family.  The community work can wait. Its all for the love of my daughter.