Thursday, June 22, 2006

“Does it make any difference son—that I love you?”

This was my heartfelt plea as I sat in a Doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, trying to comfort my adult son as he cried uncontrollably into the palm of his hands. Mood disorder; barely three syllables long, yet, the ramifications of a manic episode could take days to describe.

As a little boy, whenever he couldn’t sleep, my son would crawl into our bed, cozy in between his Dad and me, and announce with certainty that he would fall asleep if only, “Mommy would just rub my back!” Each time he awoke from a childhood nightmare, this routine occurred and, he was right; it always worked! This day, as I sat next to my 6’4” son, I touched his back and began to rub lightly. I no longer felt the soothing connection, the warmth you feel in your gut when you know—you can make it all better. I can’t, I keep trying, but this is bigger than any childhood nightmare. Somehow, my son knows this as well. He didn’t lift his head from his hands, he didn’t relax; his shoulders just sagged in defeat as he continued shaking from the relentless emotion he was releasing.

“Son, I love you. We are here for you. We are proud of how you are working through this.” In times past, a manic episode would entail self-medicating, rages, and a rapid-fire, chaotic down-ward spiral. By the time we sat in the patient room this day, we had endured 6 days of mind racing, anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and paranoid thinking. At each angst filled moment, our son had come to us for help. This engagement is a welcome relief; different from times past.

“Mom, I just…….can’t……..do……..this…….any……more!” he sobbed in between gasps. It reminded me of a time when he was 10-years-old and his school classmates relentlessly teased him day after day. You see, my son has Tourette’s Syndrome; and the 4th grade children did not understand his uncontrollable ticks. Driving home from school in our mini-van one day, my son asked me, “Mommy—would it hurt a 10 year old boy to die?” It was my time to gasp. When someone’s life feels desperately out of control, the desire to live is diminished.

“Son, you are doing this. You have taken control of this; you chose to see a Doctor today. You have decided to do exactly what is needed. You are incredibly strong son—and I know you can do this. We will help you; you can count on us. You don’t have to endure this alone. Does it help you to know, at all, that I love you?”

His only response was to sob. As the Doctor arrived, we began to review what brought my son to this point. It was then that I realized how far we had truly come. I remembered the times before that my son had not turned towards us when he was in pain; instead, he delved further into the distant land that all prodigals roam. I remembered the countless times he disregarded our offers to help. I remembered the times he angrily announced that he didn’t need, nor did he ever want to be like, us. This day, he sat quietly next to me as we discussed with the Doctor what direction to go. It was at this moment that I was given a gift of thought, an “Aha! Moment” if you will. It was a gentle whisper, “Your son is heading in the right direction. You are his mother; he is finding his way back home to you…and to me!”

Stomp your feet, clap your hands, sound the trumpets! Yes! A mother’s love—a father’s love, does make a difference! And the love of our Heavenly Father—empowers us and is ever present: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid nor be dismayed for the LORD your God, is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

This kind of love has eternal value! His love makes a difference; I find rest in it each day. Oh, that my son, and all prodigals, could find their way home to His life transforming love!

40 comments:

A Bishop wife said...

My autistic son will be 5 in July. We managed to get him in the special ed preschool for one more year-praise Gd.

I am truely terrified of mainsteaming him in public school. I have seen his innocets when he is at the park and other children make fun of him. He is not even aware of what they saying.

We love our Steven, and want to protect him. I feel so sick inside at times over this, that I can not even discribe my pain and do not even bother trying to explain it. I can never even seem to find the words to write about it.

Believing that it is all a barral of roses and life is great is no easy task.

I truely felt your pain and by God why do things have to be this way?

Praying for your Prodigal said...

A Bishop wife: I will e-mail you as well...but let me post a GREAT blog that I have discovered that pertains to your comments.

http://mommylife.net/archives/2005/02/about_that_extr.html

This is Barbara Curtis's blog--Mommy Life. Barbara is a mother to 12 children (yes, that's 12--not a typo!) and the post I linked you to is about her son Jonny--who is Down Syndrome. It is a beautiful post that every mother with a child who has a "little something extra" should read!

I hope you feel encouraged--browse Barbara's blog--she is an amazing writer, has authored several books and has quite a story to share. Most recently she has posted about a problem they have experienced because of some neighborhood children teasing their son.

Hope this helps.

Diane

Brenda said...

Diane,
I am rejoicing for you that your son is home. And I'm praying for all of you.

Thank you for sharing your story and his.

Dawn said...

This is so tough! Thank you for sharing a bit more about Curt so that we know how better to pray. I read Barbara's story about her son yesterday - incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Sandra said...

Diane, thank you for sharing this with us, it really does help knowing how to pray or rather, what to pray for.

I'm sure this is a hard time for you all, but you're such an amazing mom and I'm glad Curt has you to help him through this.

God Bless,
Sandra

kpjara said...

What an incredible honor that God has gifted you this life (in your son) while on earth. I know God is so proud of you!

Many prayers for rest and peace.

msdramateacherlady said...

Sending my best to you and your son. I hope all is better soon.

Emily said...

Your beautiful post brings me to something in the Word that brought me comfort just yesterday. I'm reminded of Christ's words in Mark 9:23 -- "Everything is possible for him who believes."

He let you into his life, and now you're beginning to travel this road together, and instead of trying to take control over everything, you're doing what you do best: you're loving him. You're believing in what needs to be believed in.

There are those of us who toil endlessly to find answers, reasons, explanations.

And there are those of us who know the one answer. And what we're left to do is love and believe.

Could there be a better God? Never. I don't think I could have a warmer heart after reading these experiences of yours.

Dionna Sanchez said...

I admire you. You have steadfastly prayed for your son. He is so blessed to have your love, your stength, and your prayers in his life.

Magnolia said...

Diane,

I have a daughter with epilepsy and know how cruel other kids and even some adults can be.

Emotional bullies is what I think of them.

I know that God never says all things are good but that all things can work together for good.

I can't often see the good when bad things are happening...if at all. It's beyond my understanding.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

One of the meanings of the phrase 'to be moved' there is fall.

We might fail in our day to day life, but He will never let go of us. He won't ever let us fall. How's that for Someone who has your back? LOL

Diane said...

Diane, I am so happy for you and your son, that he is seeking treatment and coming to you instead of doing what he USED to. Something that's been on my mind a lot lately is something I've seen on church signs and in several places. It's like God has made sure I see it and keeps reminding me of it.

"If God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it."

I just feel like He meant for me to tell you that. I hope it helps affirm what you already know. Whether it's medication or therapy of some sort, there is help for your son to live as normal a life as he is capable of. I firmly believe that. May God guide y'all on your journey to that place, I pray.

Diane

Karla said...

It is a huge step that your son is seeking the medical attention he needs. I am so glad to hear it. Big, big, wonderful step!!
Are mothers included in prodigals?

Kris said...

truly blessed to read your blog...so glad and thankful that you can see His hand in the SLOW healing...baby steps, if you will. We must claim victory and know/trust/believe in His control. Take a sec and check out my blog for yesterday. www.krisdmurphy.typepad.com. I'm doing Beth's Daniel study and I blogged what we learned in video yesterday...I know you'll appreciate it. Knowing you see His deliverance thru the fire 8-) Your son is blessed guy to have you

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Karla,

Yes, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, are all included when i speak of prodigals. I have e-mailed you directly, but wanted to add that for a further, deeper description please see my April 28th post.

We would love to pray for your prodigal as well!

Diane

tam said...

What a beautiful moment between mother and son...painful...but beautiful and how amazing and awesome that you would receive the word of God in a whisper (like a breeze blowing through you?)
to provide you with comfort, confidence, peace and security.

I pray we don't ever have to pray our own personal children back home yet I am exulting with you that Curt IS home and IS back and IS on the right path...

Your story brought me to tears Diane...joyful and heart twinged...thank you for sharing these moments with us...

Mary-LUE said...

Wow. This all sounds heartbreaking. Yet, I see, like you, where your hope is coming from and how you see the difference in how your son is handling things this time. Hearing how difficult this is for him makes his previous tendancy to self-medicate, etc., more understandable. It must be difficult to resist when you are so distressed.

Thanks again for sharing with us.

Hattigrace said...

My sister is bi-polar. We have lived through countless manic and depression cycles. She has always loved God. But it is a chemical imbalance, as much as a diabetic needs insulin, so she needs chemical help to balance her mood swings. I pray your dear son gets the help he needs.

MugwumpMom said...

I feel for you, and am praying. Thank you for sharing this with us...it is honouring.

Juliabohemian said...

Wow, that definitely helps me understand a little better just what you have been talking about in your posts. Thanks for being so open. Getting professional help is the best thing and there is MUCH hope for both bi-polar and Tourettes.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Oh I just ache for you all as I read. It must be beyond agony for you to watch your child hurt so terribly.

I do not have bi polar - only anxiety and depression. But from what I have experienced, I can imagine a bit of the torture that your son is in. I pray that some meds will help. I will pray for God to heal him - whether it is through effective meds or radical healing.

Your love so matters. As you can tell by him coming to you. I am rejoicing that he is with you, asking for help. That is, as you have realized, so huge!!!!

Thanks for sharing. I will be praying.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

in lieu of trackback, I thought I would let you know I linked to you today about this post. I hope that is ok.

Ma said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. Nothing can ever beat a parents love for their child. god bless you and your family.

Delia said...

A parent's love is sooo important! No matter what age our children may be, they still need our love and support. I'll be praying for your son and for you. I hope he's able to get the help he needs.

heartsjoy said...

How many things to work through. I am so happy that he is coming to you! I know it must break your heart not to be able to make it better right then. It sounds like you are loving him so well!

Midlife Moments said...

I really enjoyed reading about your son. I too have a child with behavior problems/medical issues, and every day is a struggle for me. It was nice to read your story and cling to the hope I see in your writing.

My little girl is only 5, yet mentally is a 2 year old. I love her with all of my heart, but some days it is as if I am not there.

Thank you for reminding me that even if she doesnt hear my prayers, or feel my undying love.... He does.

Heather

Suzy said...

Thank you for writing this heart felt post. Praising Him in the storm is hard at times, but I'm learning that it is a thing I CAN DO. You are blessed that you have already learned that.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to hug my kids more often, and not let my 'busy' day distract me from the true meaning of what life is about!

Will be thinking of you and praying for you as well.

Laurie said...

My oldest son had encephalitis when he was four. It made a life-long alteration in his personality. He also developed epileply because of it. A major brain operation at age 16 also enters the mix. Though he loves Christ the battle is so difficult for him. Last year, at age 21, he finally reached a point of beginning to come to grips with the fact that he has a handicap he needs to be aware of and deal with. Because of this he is now able to both offer himself more grace, and to better understand God's grace in his life.

Kristen said...

Thank the Lord that your son is home with you and seeking yours and your husband's help instead of trying to help himself. I hope that the doctor was a help and I hope he finds what he needs. At least he's home safe with you now!

Susanne said...

I linked over from Janice's site. My heart goes out to your son and yourself. I will be praying for you both.

Shalee said...

Diane,

You and your family are in my prayers. I am so proud and in awe of your mothering and pray-filled support for your son. God is more powerful than anything satan is throwing your way!

Thanks for letting us be prayer warriors for you too.

Love to you,

Shalee

Dawn said...

Thanks for encouraging me every day. It is good to know that I can still write coherent thoughts! It's been a long time since I've written much.

BoringTales said...

Oh gosh. Is this the same son who moved to Florida or do you have another? We'll be praying for him.

Paula said...

Dear Abba,

My heart cries out to you for this precious believer's son. Restore him and make him whole. Calm the storm that rages inside his mind. Give peace and understanding. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

You are a wonderful mom. He couldn't make it without you.

Love and hugs,

Mom2fur said...

You know, for all we think kids don't hear it or feel it...they do. When that baby is crying uncontrollably in your arms, as you walk back and forth in the nursery in a fugue state from sleep deprivation...that baby knows you are trying to comfort him. That teenager who rolls her eyes, she really does appreciate the advice. And your son has always appreciated your love, even when that didn't seem obvious. All that love...it accumulates like the best bank account in the world. It gives that little extra measure of strength your son will need to take him through life. I wish him all the luck, and send hugs to you, too.

janna said...

We don't always know how far we've come until we look back far enough into our pasts to see. What a great example of how you were able to see how far indeed your son has progressed.

eph2810 said...

Thank you so very much for sharing from the bottom of your heart. That gives hope to others who might be struggling with adult children. I PTL that your son is home with you and is asking for your help.
dreams and future...

Carol said...

Your courage is an inspiration. How difficult this all must be for you both. May God continue to bless and strengthen you as you live through what will one day be a testimony that will bless and help others.

Morning Glory said...

Oh, Diane, I'm so sorry to hear of the pain, but so happy to know you are able to seek help with and for your son. Finding the right treatment, medication, whatever, is so difficult, but thank God the technology has advanced to allow us so many more options today. I'll be remembering you in prayer.

Stephanie said...

Praise the Lord for the progress that you can see!

Still praying for you guys!

Thank the Lord for Godly parents who understand the power of prayer!

Jan said...

Our eldest has Tourett's. It is a constant strugle, balancing meds and behavior, fighting depression and despondance, but God is always there with us, in the worst of the storms. Prayers for you and yours.