A Different Kind of Pain

To date this blog has been primarily about pain of the physical variety with a little emotional pain mixed in.  While I talk about the emotional and mental aspects of hurting 24/7 the topic is always rooted in my physical pain.

It’s been months since I’ve consistently written or posted anything here, and I know you guys have noticed, and I have noticed too. It’s not that I haven’t thought about writing, I miss it all the time. It’s just that when I sit down and touch my fingers to the keyboard I can’t get anything out.

Am I still hurting nonstop? I am. I’ve just been so consumed with other facets of pain in my life that I haven’t been able to dedicate any of myself to, well, myself. There have been many times I’ve wanted to sit down and write about those pains, those hurts, but since they don’t stem from my own physical pain I have refrained. Worried that those of you who read wouldn’t want to read my thoughts, concerned that it would be too personal to write about. But writing is what I do, it’s how I work things out and get out of my own head and These Next 6 Months was created, by me, for exactly that purpose. So, I’m just going to write.

A few months ago my son (13) got his first real girlfriend. It was adorable. They talked on the phone constantly and spent their after school hours texting and flirting via every social media network. They met through a mutual friend and had never met in person. Their first meeting was adorable.

Adorable.

She is his first hand to hold, his first hug, his first snuggles, his first kiss and his first “I Love You”. She is his everything as far as he knows. About 6 weeks ago things took a turn for the dark side. They started having drama (as most young relationships do) and they would fight and cry over each other. One day while looking at my son’s YouTube channel I realized that they had made videos for each other. These were pretty deep videos, I mean, documentary deep videos about how they can’t live without each other and how they would save each other.

*record scratch* wait. Save each other? From what?

So The Hubs and I talked with the boy about it and it came out that his lady sometimes chooses to harm herself to relieve the emotional pain she feels. It also came out that she had crowned him her prince, the only thing is this whole world that stopped her from hurting herself was him. Talk about pressure right? Could you imagine? A 13 year old boy carrying the life of a 14 year old girl on his back? It was heavy.

Afraid to create a bigger issue out of this-and an enemy out of our son- we decided the best action to take was to discuss with him the options to get her help, how to talk to the counselors at school and a conversation with her parents. He was extremely level headed about the whole thing, explaining that he knew he couldn’t be her reason, she needed to find her own way to fix herself.

Weeks passed and things seemed to get sunnier, and then darker again. He seemed tired all the time, and quiet. He stopped coming out of his room as often and spent less time with friends so we instituted a room free time period where he had to be around the family or go spend time with a friend or two. This seemed to help for a little while, but things just kept getting ickier and came to a head just a day ago.

My phone rang, it was the school social worker telling me that my son had written a text to a friend saying he wanted to take his own life. When she called him in to talk about it, he admitted to writing the text message and said at the time he just felt really sad.

My heart broke. Into a million pieces, it broke.

What had happened to my little boy? What had happened to make him feel so sad that he couldn’t stand to live another day? Breathe another breath? Where had I gone wrong?

We had a long, long conversation with the boy and learned that his decision to say he would take his life was spurred on in an attempt to stop his girlfriend from doing the same. He thought, if she wouldn’t save herself, she would save him. Turns out it worked, but to what end?

I have never felt this kind of terror in my life. I have never, even when dealing with my own pain, felt so out of control. The desire to spend every waking moment with him is suffocating. I can hardly stand to let him go to school for fear he might not come back. I lie in my bed at night fearing that I may wake up without him. I don’t know how any mommy heart can take this kind of pain.

As a family we decided that this relationship was not a good one. Not for him or for her, and he opted to be the one to end it with the promise that they would revisit the idea of dating once they were both healthy. He did such an amazing job, saying things that even I wouldn’t have coached him to say. Feelings he truly had about the relationship were shared and I was so proud of him for taking on such a hard task. Even though he did such a great thing, he is so sad and I know his heart is broken. He will miss her presence in his life. The phone calls and text messages, gaming together online and having someone to talk to about anything. This too, breaks my mommy heart.

When he cries and says “I am going to miss her so much” I cry right along with him.  I tell him that I know he will miss her, and this will hurt for a little while. I worry that this pain alone might be enough to spur on another bought of evil thoughts. Will this be the thing that pushes him over the edge? Have we made a mistake? Or will this be the thing that pulls him out of his sadness, and returns him to himself? I can’t stand the unknown of it all. I am terrified and hopeful all at the same time.

We are blessed with an outstanding team of support at his school, and they have been right there since the first sign of change in my son. Making phone calls home and sending emails to check in. Pulling him aside every few days for a quick chat, reinforcing that he has people who care about him. I just can’t stop worrying, is it enough?

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