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When Your Child Needs More Help Than You Can Give


This post will not resonate with everyone. I know that. But for some, I hope that it is affirming and validating and helps you know that you are not alone.

It was 2015 and life was spiraling out of control. I couldn't find which way was up in this new chaotic life.

It was a perfect storm of puberty, friends leaving, and reprocessing what had happened before he came to live with us. All of this and my son couldn't control his behavior. 

His insides felt out of control and his actions followed.

The outbursts were mainly targeted at me. It was a heavy burden to carry. I felt like I was failing and I simply could not find my bearings in this upside down world.

We knew we needed help.

Our son needed more help than we could give. 

We were at the end of the rope and felt like there was nothing else we could do on our own.

We sought help. We contacted an agency and started the process of receiving therapy. For my son. And for me.

I had internalized a lot of his struggles and carried them on my shoulders, where they never belonged. Plus I had my own baggage that was making life more difficult than it needed to be.

Therapy has helped with a lot of things for both of us. It truly has been powerful in our lives and the life of our family. But it hasn't been able to reach all of my son's struggles.

We now find ourselves in a similar situation as we did over three years ago. We've done everything we know to do and it just isn't enough.

It's been three weeks since we had this realization. This time finding help looked different. It wasn't just adding a new therapy program. It was finding a residential program to help with his struggles.

And praise God we did. We found the perfect program at just the right time for my son. It truly all came together quickly and through God's hand at work.

He is adjusting well and so are we. We will get to visit occasionally. We get to talk on the phone regularly. And, most importantly, he is getting the help he needs so that he can return more healthy and able to function.

Since our son has been admitted to the behavioral hospital we have felt an outpouring of support and prayers and encouragement. It was more than we could have imagined. Cards, phone calls, text messages. It has felt good to know we have such a support system surrounding us.

I have prayed for other families going through similar situations, circumstances where you feel like your child needs more help than you can give. And I have just a few points of encouragement for you. These come straight from my own experience and thoughts and struggles surrounding this situation.

1. There is no shame in asking for help.

We cannot be everything to everyone. We cannot erase the trauma our children have experienced in their lives. Help is there for a reason. It's okay to need help.

2. This doesn't affect your value as a parent.

This doesn't mean you've failed. Or that somehow you dropped the ball. It means you fiercely love your child and want what is best for them. You are fighting for their well-being.

3. God can redeem even this.

This is my hope and prayer. No situation is past the point of God's redemption.


There is a clear absence in our family these days. It still feels a little weird. But I have absolute certainty that our son is where he needs to be right now. And he is getting the help he needs.


You might also want to read:
Mothering a Child through a Crisis with Purpose


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