Monday, March 21, 2016

Clouds, Watchers, and a Child’s Perspective

Rise up and find your own sunrise moment
I still believe courage is perspective…it’s where you are in life, what you’ve experienced and how long you have lived.  And I imagine the mind of an 11-year-old struggling to find his place would sound a little bit like this:

Today I woke up to a rainy day.  It was just like the day before and the day before that.  Though I could see no puddles on the ground, I know it was raining just the same.  The clouds were dark and angry…grey and foreboding.  And I can’t remember the last time I saw the sun.

And it isn’t even an interesting calm leading up to a perfect storm.  It’s just raining and dark…with no end in sight. 

My family and friends tell me the sky is blue…that the sun is shining…and that I should feel the warmth on my skin.  I should be riding my bike and embracing life…hanging out with friends.

But all I see are clouds.  Impossible to get past, hanging in the air everywhere.  I fall and give in to a downward spiral.  Even as I cling to the hope and love of my family, it’s not enough.  It is never enough for me to escape from this constantly dismal landscape.  It changed and moved so swiftly, I had no choice but to keep following along, and try to be okay.  And so today, I finally fell down and gave in to the dark clouds, increasingly aware of being separated from what I had come to believe was my normal life.  Now I am exposed, freed from the mask I’ve worn for months, trying to hold on and make everyone happy…knowing deep down it would be an epic fail from the start.

And now I can begin again…but I need your help.  Stepping out of line mid-point, I’ve lost my way.  I worry about what my friends and other people will think.  I’m not sorry I found the courage to ask for help…will you have the courage to meet my gaze, help me move forward, and get back on track?  Because what I have is not really something you can see.  It’s not even something you can experience and feel as I feel.  Because we all have clouds blocking our view…and we all see the same thing completely differently.

For me, help meant having a watcher…someone who wasn’t too close to me or cared too much…a stranger…a watcher to let me “be” and sleep and dream…to wake and get back up. 

But watching wasn’t enough…because they can’t see me on the inside, and I didn’t know how to explain how I was feeling to the outside world.  I only knew it was more than I could take and I couldn’t breathe.  I’m not sure how I feel about having “problems.”  I’m not sure how you will feel about me as a person and kid if you find out. 

After my watchers were finished checking on me, I learned that having the courage to get help can sometimes leave you completely powerless, and at the mercy of adults and medical professionals…and that even if I say the clouds are gone, no one will listen and believe me…and now I need to make a list.  I need to write down how I can keep from needing courage to ask for help again…I need a safety plan to feel safe at home again.  I have to talk to people and convince them I have an umbrella within reach if the storm clouds return.

I still have a ways to go…I know I am a constant worry to everyone who loves me.  But I’m trying my best.

This is the conversation I wish that every parent could have with their child before that child reaches the ledge of despair and gives way to full-blown crisis mode.  These are my thoughts and impressions the past several months of clouds around my son have left me with.  You come to realize what is important, and suddenly, the commitments you think are unbreakable, the meetings that are critical…well, they are the ones with counselors, social workers, anyone that is carrying an umbrella that might shield your child from his storm.

The others, the ones that pay the bills and keep a roof over your head…come into a new perspective when you consider even a single moment you might have to live without your child living in it.

Today the sun is shining…at least as far as I can tell.  A little overcast maybe, but the sun is peaking through and casting shadows on the ground.

For every child that has awakened to a day immersed in clouds…may there always be countless watchers and caring human beings to offer umbrellas along the way.  My hope is that we can all consider each other’s perspective a little more.  And specifically, make eye contact, and meet the courage of countless children with acceptance and understanding. 

I am most grateful for the morning sunrise, reminding me that what truly matters is still intact, there is still hope for a better tomorrow, and my child will continue to grow and move beyond this passage of time when all he could see were clouds because of the kindness of others…not in spite of the indifference of others.  I still believe courage is perspective and that kids really do know it all…and we must help them when they lose their way and their current perspective is not enough.  This is my sunrise moment.  What will yours be?
Courage is Perspective...:

No comments:

Post a Comment