This article was posted on the special-needs parenting blog Not Alone last week and couldn’t have been more timely for me: When Mama Needs Help
Because the time has definitely come: this mama needs help.
Our son’s running away unleashed a pent-up deluge of negative emotions that I’ve been pushing aside for a long time. In the days following, I found that I couldn’t interact with my oldest kids without all those emotions getting in the way and preventing happy interactions. I didn’t want to get out of bed and deal with the same problems again. I didn’t want to put food on the table around the clock. Really, I wanted to binge-watch Netflix until they’re grown. (Which, in fact, I’m doing as I write this while my mom has the kids because I’m sick!)
It’s a fine line: our kids need to understand that their sinful choices hurt other people, but they themselves need help and healing before they are going to actually build healthy relationships. As the parent, I have to do whatever it takes to keep myself healthy and able to be a model of Christ-like love, whatever poor choices our kids may make.
Starting this week, I’ll be seeing a counselor who has experience in these types of family/adoption issues and is familiar with the fact that PTSD is a common diagnosis for trauma parents. Seems strange, doesn’t it?
When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t doing well mentally and emotionally, I took inventory of my symptoms. Hmm, those sound exactly like the symptom list for PTSD. That’s crazy. I’m a mom, not a soldier. I brushed it aside, resolving to try harder, to pray more. And then I started coming across source after source pointing to PTSD as the diagnosis for parents in the trenches. Maybe…I wasn’t so far off? And for sure…it was time to get help.
If you would, please pray that my counseling time would be helpful and productive, and that the Lord would use it to heal my heart.