Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Beacon
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, October 25, 2014

I remember coming to PSST for the first time almost 4 years ago, worried about so many things.  These were dark times for our family, and at the time, we could see no light at the end of the tunnel.  One of the worst fears I had, after all we had been through with our son, and how much heartache might still be ahead of us, will he tear our family apart?  And can I – will I – still be able to love him?  Looking around the room, I asked myself, what about all of these parents?  Many of their children had been in multiple placements, physically attacked their parents, damaged their property, stolen money or property from their family, relapsed multiple times, been arrested by the police, and had generally put their parents through hell and back.  Can they – do they – still love their children?

What have I seen in our PSST group since then?  The love is so fierce, that it’s strong enough to knock you over.  Clearly, there is a lot of pain and heartbreak wrapped up in that love.  So many sleepless nights, gut-wrenching confrontations, and bitter tears shed.  We don’t get to experience joy and pride in quite the same way that other parents do.  We have changed our expectations – we are proud when our child earns his GED, or sticks with a new job for more than a month.  We are proud when our child accepts the consequences for violating a home contract, is clean for 30 days without a relapse, or makes a conscious decision to go back into rehab.  It’s certainly not what we expected or hoped for as parents, and it’s definitely not what we were prepared for.    

I still remember PSST parents Jim & Cheryl dealing with a very public and troubling situation with their son.  It would have been so easy for them to skip that week’s PSST meeting, but they came and shared their story.  I was so glad that they did, because their strength in the face of adversity was knock-you-over inspiring.  What hit me the most was Cheryl’s final comment – no matter what their son did and how much he disappointed them, even if he ended up on death row, they would still be his parents who would care for him and love him forever. 

We don’t really expect our children to see, understand, or appreciate the depth and commitment of our love for them.  Most “normal” children don’t either.  However, what is special for our children is that our love for them has survived crushing pain, and our commitment to them is forged in repeated disappointment and fear for their very lives.  And if they really caught a glimpse of it, they might think we are crazy, foolish, or just plain idiotic for caring so much.  Don’t get me wrong, we may get so angry with our children at times that we can hardly bear to see them, and at some point, we may even decide that it’s not good for anyone involved for them to live with us. 

But the love is there, shining brightly – a strong, unwavering beacon for them should they someday see it and decide to follow it home.


Anonymous said...

What a beautifully written post, Jen! Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a powerful post!
Jenn, you are so insightful and you two have been unwavering in your support for your child...no matter what.

The unlikely chance that I would log on at 1:30 AM & get to read your post is amazing & worth the loss of a little sleep.

We always felt like we TOOK more than we gave at the PSST meetings. Our journey was a long & very rough road filled with land mines almost every step of the way. However, the thought if abandoning our child was not an option....no matter what...but we couldn't have survived the frontbline war zone years without all the great skills we learner and practiced in role plays at PSST.

We are all stronger & better people because of our tour of duty with PSST as our leader.

CHERYL. :-) <3


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